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Choosing the Right Poster or Sign Material: Getting the Most Out of Going Big

Hamilton the Musical Poster Printing |

There is so much planning that goes into an event, that it can be difficult to get detail just right. Choosing the right location, inviting the right people, coordinating the speakers or activities – usually the last thing on your mind will be what materials to use for your signs and posters. This can be an important factor though when deciding where a poster will go, how long it will stay up and how you plan on displaying it. There are several different materials that posters and signs can be printed on and they all have different strong points:

Indoor vs Outdoor

The first question that should be answered is “will the sign be used indoors or outdoors?” Some materials are more durable and will stand up to elements like rain, wind and UV rays from the sun. Luckily we can print signs using UV safe inks to avoid fading and discoloration.

Outdoor Signs

When creating outdoor signs, you will usually want to print on plastic materials as opposed to paper based substrates. Materials such as Coroplast (corrugated plastic), vinyl and Sintra board (rigid PVC) are better options for outdoor use because they are water resistant. Vinyl banners will not easily rip, and Sintra and Coroplast are rigid so they will not bend or crease easily. Printing on metal is also a good option for a long lasting sign.

cut out sintra board signs |

Indoor Posters

For posters and signs that are going to be used primarily indoors, there are more lightweight and affordable options. You will not always need a rigid sign and instead can use a paper poster that can easily be rolled up and transported. Paper posters are also easy to mount using clips, magnets, tape, adhesives, tacks and more.

Foam board posters are also a great choice for creating a prominent display. The thick canvas makes the image protrude off the wall which adds some dimension and draws attention. Foam board is also easy to stand on easels and displays without falling over.

paper posters basketball players |


You should also know whether or not you will need grommets installed on your sign. Grommets are small metal rings that are placed in the corners of a sign or banner so that they can be easily hung using string or rope. Grommets can be installed on almost any type of poster or sign.

Silver grommets used for hanging posters, signs and banners |

Banner Stands

Another simple solution for transporting larger banners is to use banner frames or retractable stands. Popular styles of this are step and repeat banners which usually take a logo or image and repeat it across the canvas. These are commonly used for runways and photo shoots, but have recently become popular as a fun prop for weddings, birthdays, company parties and other special occasions. They usually come 8′ x 8′ or 8′ x 10′ and can be easily assembled at any function.

step and repeat banner printed 8x10 and used for runway shoots |

Retractable banners are another great option when signs need to be easily installed or moved around during an event. The vinyl or fabric banner rolls into the stand and can contract to a small, portable package. The most common size for retractable banner stands is 33″ x 78″ which makes them visible on college campuses, trade shows and retail stores.

portioned retractable banners for a health organization |

Now that you have a better idea of what type of poster or sign you will be printing, it’s time to get designing! Check out our graphic design templates or head over to our website to get a quote on your project!

Have further questions? Leave a comment below and we can help you decide the best option for your poster or sign.


Print and Design Expert


  • Eli Richardson
    July 18, 2023

    In a few weeks, my cousin is opening a small coffee shop, so she’d like to print out posters and flyers to spread the word. I’m glad you elaborated on choosing a material that’ll stand outdoor conditions. I’m positive my cousin will benefit from choosing plastic materials for her outdoor signs.

  • Eve Mitchell
    March 15, 2023

    It’s good to know that outdoor signs need to be printed on plastic materials. I’ve been thinking about getting a new sign for my business but I’m not sure how to print one out. I’ll reach out your print shop to see if you have guidelines for printing these signs.

  • media backdrop banner
    October 23, 2020

    One of the reasons businesses should take advantage of portable systems is because they are one of the most affordable types of trade show products available. Portable display systems allow companies to exhibit professionally while keeping costs as low as possible.

  • Aaron White
    October 8, 2020

    It’s interesting to learn that outdoor signs should be printed on plastic materials to make them durable. My wife and I are wanting to start a small clothing store and we were wondering how we could market the company with signs. I’ll be sure to tell her that we should use outdoor plastic signs to market the clothing store.

  • Braden Bills
    October 6, 2020

    My friend wants to get some outdoor signs to advertise his business. It makes sense that getting a banner printed would be beneficial! That seems like an effective signage choice.

  • Megan Alder
    September 15, 2020

    I like that you said people might not think it is so important, but in reality, the material signs are made of does matter. My husband and I have been thinking about starting a business and we are looking for advice to choose the right sings. I will definitely make sure I look for the right sign seller for my business.

  • Braden Bills
    August 10, 2020

    My friend needs to have some signs made for his business. It makes sense that he would want to get some that are good for outdoor usage! I’ll make sure that he knows to get the right sign materials for that kind of thing.

  • John North
    March 18, 2020

    Foam boards look really cool when you have to show really amazing artwork for your next game or event. They add a creative touch to your campaign!

  • Henry Killingsworth
    February 27, 2020

    I appreciate the tip on printing outdoor signs on a plastic material that is water-resistant. One of my best friends is returning home from a humanitarian trip next month, and I want to surprise him with a banner at his home. I think it would be a good idea for me to find a store that does graphic design so that I can get a really good looking banner.

  • Taylor Wright
    January 24, 2020

    It’s interesting that banner stands can be used for weddings or company parties. My work needs to get some banners for our next corporate event in a couple of months. I’ll be sure to use these tips to get a good banner.

  • Jenna Hunter
    January 16, 2020

    I can see how it could be really helpful for a business to make sure that they have the right types of signs. It could be really useful for them to get a vinyl banner from a professional. It was interesting to learn about how a long-lasting sign can be made from metal so that it won’t crease or bend easily.

  • James Borst
    December 23, 2019

    It is interesting that foam board posters add dimension and draws attention to the image by protruding off the wall. My wife and I are considering designing a poster for our daughters 16th birthday and we aren’t sure what material we should use. We may reach out to a professional that does commercial signs to see what they use to make an impression.

  • jack stiles
    October 9, 2019

    I thought that it was helpful that you suggested to choose a sign material based off of the environment that it will be in. We want to find a sign for our business, and it would be outside. I will be sure to choose one that will be suited for an outdoors environment.

  • Tyler Johnson
    October 3, 2019

    That’s good to know the grommets would let you hang up banners and posters. I feel like that would help something a bit heavier stay hanging longer. If I decide to get a banner for a company party I’ll have to make sure to get some grommets for it.

  • Ellen Hughes
    July 25, 2018

    I like that you suggested choosing vinyl, corrugated plastic, and rigid PVC materials if you’re looking to create an outdoor sign because they are water resistant. My husband and I are planning to establish a business in the future. It’s important for us to install a sign in front of our shop for our customers to notice us, so it’s essential that our signage won’t easily get damaged. Thanks!

  • John Mahoney
    March 14, 2017

    Thank you for talking bout the importance of figuring out is the sign you want will be indoors or outdoors. It makes sense that the material that will be used will depend largely on this. I can see how remembering to consult with several companies can help you find one that has a good reputation and delivers the best quality.

  • Troy Blackburn
    January 12, 2017

    That’s a great tip about considering whether or not your poster is going to be indoor or outdoor and to consider the different types of materials that will benefit either of those options. I’ve heard that there’s some materials that can really make your poster stand out among others. Things like the shininess, the texture, and other things really can make a difference! I’ll have to keep this great info in mind as we are needing to print some posters for my daughter for a school project!

  • emily bennette
    January 5, 2017

    This is some really good information about a poster and sign making. I like that you talked about how you should consider where the sign will be. I wouldn’t want to have a material for a sign get destroyed after a short period of time.

  • Dennis Sanchez
    December 27, 2016

    I had heard that making sure a business is working with the right printing service was important, because it could be quite beneficial to the marketing department. You mentioned that when you are choosing a sign, you will want to work with materials made of plastic, as opposed to paper based substrates. Definitely makes sense that you would want to have a good print service, so that they could provide you with the material and prints, to ensure that your outdoor signs look great. Thanks for the read.

    • Alex Lindsley
      January 3, 2017

      Thanks for the reply Dennis. Sometimes cost is a factor, so paper posters can be cheaper for a single event. If you need something for an outdoor event, or more durable, there are a number of materials that would work in that instance. I would say, do your research. Google the company you are going to use. Check them out on Facebook and/or Twitter. A company worth using will have customers willing to leave good reviews. The cheapest thing can cost more in the long run.

  • Laurie
    October 11, 2016

    The type of material and size will depend on what you need the banner for. Whether indoor or outdoor, if you need it for multiple uses, etc. as some materials last longer than others. Great information, thanks for sharing!

  • Kairi Gainsborough
    October 10, 2016

    I’ve been thinking about having some banners printed for personal use, but I never considered all the options. I would hate to spend the time to have my image professionally printed, only to have it pulled down in the wind. Thanks for the advice about using plastic materials, like vinyl, for outdoor use. It sounds a lot stronger than using something made out of a paper-based material.


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