UltraBoard Foam Core Sheet Layering for More Impactful Signs


Foam Core Sheet Layering

Booth sign samples at Printing United Dallas

Recently at the Printing United show in Dallas, we received a lot of positive feedback on sign samples we created to demonstrate creations that can be made with UltraBoard foam core substrates. It was fun to see the response to a simple idea of layering artwork components with separate layers of foamboard, and then stacking them together to produce a graphic that truly “popped-out”, at a viewer. Here’s a quick overview of the foam core sheet layering process that will create more impactful and engaging sign displays.

Layering Your Artwork for Foam Core Substrates

Think of how your composition can be split into layers of foam board.

Begin by thinking how elements of your design can be broken apart into foamboard layers. Idealize how design elements would staickup in the real world. A vacation photo of your family for example, is naturally layered with mountains in the background, trees or landmarks, and then your family in the foreground. Think about how these elements layer together to produce the final image; then transition this to your layers of foam sign substrate.

Setting Up Your Artwork for Foam Sign Layers

The “Easy” Way

Your artwork is vector, so selecting independent layers is easy and you can isolate components and print to separate foamboard layers.

Above: Splitting Vector Artwork Into Separate Foam Layers for a 3D Sign Effect

The “Not Quite as Easy” Way

Raster or bitmap images can prove trickier to isolate components for separate layers. Make selections using lasso or pen tools to separate art layers, then export individual images and paths for foamboard layers . Either tool can also generate paths that may be exported to your final cut file as well.

Above: Using the Pen Tool to select and isolate layers for foamboard

Below you can see how we separated the different image components based on their perceived depth within the image. If the subject matter has very intricate and difficult-to-route edges, more simplistic shapes can be created for the edges that will still provide a feeling of depth even though it’s not a perfect selection.

Above: Raster image selections separated to foam layers

Layering images this way creates a noticeable perception of depth and is an excellent way to attract viewer attention in retail and POP displays. The depth effect makes viewers do a “double-take”, as the signage is more visually interesting versus a traditional flat paneled display.

Above: Final image using routed UltraBoard foam substrate layers.