Why Pay More for Premium Sign Substrates?


Should My Sign Company Pay More for a Premium Sign Substrate?
Is It Really Worth It?

Is paying more for a premium sign substrate really worth it? This is a question we frequently hear form sign printing companies when considering sign substrates. As a sign shop owner your greatest concern is always your bottom line and maximizing profits for sign jobs. But there is another element to the equation that has equal, if not greater, importance- your customer experience. Whether you are a small sign shop or and expansive commercial printing enterprise, your customers experience from ordering & design to final delivered product, and their experience with the lifecycle of that product, are essential to customer retention and future signage sales.

You get the client, produce their signage, and deliver it. Your job is done- right? Well, not exactly. Keep in mind that a client’s experience with your signage after they receive it has as much impact on your business perception as their direct interaction with it during the design, purchase, and delivery processes of your sign shop. A client’s Cost of Ownership must come into consideration when purchasing sign substrates; one of the true foundations of your product quality and experience.

Your Sign Durability & Customer Perception of Your Sign Company

Short Term Sign Installations
“So my client just needs a few simple signs for a short term installation. Why wouldn’t I just use a cheaper sign substrate that fulfills their need and maximizes my profit?”
This is an excellent question and makes complete sense; but we also have to think big picture and realize that potentially the quality of one small job can impact a lifelong client relationship. Realize that the cheap substrate you used that can yellow, delaminate or degrade after a few weeks of use paints an impression of your company quality and performance long after the installation use. Your customers perception of your products will influence them in future purchases and word of mouth recommendations of your products. Short term installation impact of using a better quality substrate will insure perceptions of your company’s quality, and help avoid being branded a “cheap sign shop”, potentially leading to greater (and more profitable), client endeavors in the future.

Long Term Sign Installations
This one is the no-brainer. As a sign business owner or purchaser you are constantly aware that you are not just “making a sign”. Substrate costs, ink costs, assembly, installation, and logistics to deliver signage all factor into your budget and profits. Long term installations are also where client experience with the lifetime of your signage is key. Substrate durability and consistency become essential and customers are willing to pay for it.

What to Look for When Costing Sign Substrates

When shopping for sign substrates always look for a durability rating. The composition of sign substrates also plays a key role in life expectancy. For example, UltraBoard Core foam boards feature a facer material made of clay-coated paper and is has a durability rating of 3 months making it cost-effective, yet durable enough for most seasonal retail installations. With this in mind, you may consider upgrading to to something like UltraBoard White DP with a poly-coated Kraft paper facer which has a 7 year durability rating; this may be a little overkill, but will guarantee a great looking sign even if your customer uses it beyond the projected time. You may even want to simply go with our best-selling foam board UltraBoard Classic, it features polystyrene facers and a 10 year durability rating that will guarantee your customers satisfaction for years to come.