Wide variety of construction types
In addition to the variety of places to put them, hanging signs come in a host of different construction materials, such as foamboard, PVC banner, polystyrene, cardstock or expanded PVC, such as Komatex or Sintra. Each type has its characteristic strengths and weaknesses.
Foamboard hanging signs, one of the more common options, are great because they’re naturally lightweight, making them easier to lift and install should they need to double as a mounted sign. Additionally, foamboard-based hanging signs come in different levels of thickness. Thick materials have improved part rigidity and an overall high-end appearance in comparison to a thinner alternative. Rigid materials are important if bowing, wrinkles or waves in the material are a concern. However, because they weigh so little and are sometimes paper-based, foamboard options are not a recommended material for outdoor use.
Coroplast®, otherwise known as plastic cardboard, is another material commonly used as a hanging sign. Much like foamboard, Coroplast® is lightweight and a rigid board option. If budget is a concern, Coroplast® is the least expensive of all rigid substrate options but has a couple downsides. It is an economy material because it’s extruded with flutes reinforcing two flat printable boards with no filler besides the corrugated. The flutes can be seen from the side profile which makes it look unsightly. Additionally, the board thickness can vary between the flutes, making highs and lows which can affect the print and cut consistency. However, Coroplast® is a great option for both single and double-sided print applications.
Choosing the right hanging sign material is largely dependent on its purpose and the length of time it will be used. For retail events, which can be held over a few days or a week at the most, PVC banner material may be worthwhile. Lightweight and affordable, this material helps keep costs down, yet is robust and includes reinforced scrim inside the material to prevent tearing. PVC banner usually needs to be sewn or hemmed on the sides, but is very durable. Grommet holes can be added for easy installation. Banner material is not recommended if you’re looking for a high-end look as waves can appear and curl based on how the sign is hung.