4 Things to Know About Metal Fabrication and Signage

Metal signs can be an excellent and long-lasting investment to improve the look of your business. If you’re considering a metal sign but aren’t sure where to start, we can help guide you. Here are answers to a few of the most common questions that we get from our customers.

1. What does the design process look like?

Typically, your fabricator will not be heavily involved in the design process except to advise on fabrication restraints. However, the fabrication team should be able to assist with any questions you may have along the way. If the company is unsure that the design will work, they will often fabricate a small sample to see if it will meet the customer’s expectations.

2. What are the best types of metal to use for signage?

Metal choices can be pretty straightforward, depending on where you plan to hang your sign. Discuss the specifics of your project with your local metal fabricator. To give you an idea, here are a few of our common recommendations:

  • If the environment could be corrosive, the material must be able to stand up to the elements. Otherwise, it should be coated with paint or epoxy to protect it.
  • If the project is meant for the kitchen, we recommend stainless steel, as durability and cleanliness are priorities.
  • For exterior applications, we recommend copper, which will “patina” over time, meaning that it will rust with age gracefully from light bronze to a green or blue color.
  • Painted or powder-coated metals are an excellent way to pick almost any metal, like aluminum, to create a lighter fixture.

3. How long do exterior metal signs last in comparison to signs made of other materials?

The life of a metal sign can be measured in double-digit decades. The paint may fade, or the surface may rust, but there is a reason shows like American Pickers always covet finding enameled metal signs—they last an extensive amount of time. For example, today’s paints (Kynar 500) have a 20-year finish warranty that guarantees a minimal amount of “chalking, fading, or loss of adhesion.”

It’s also important to note that when a design is cut into the metal, rather than being painted on or vinyl wrapped, then it will last much longer, especially with aluminum or stainless steel.

4. Can a metal fabricator partner with a sign company to create your project?

Absolutely. Formwell Industries, for example, has worked with local sign companies, such as Joslin Signs and Big Visual Group. For us, this process typically begins with the sign company and the customer collaborating on the design. Then, Formwell makes a small sample for the customer to determine if any changes need to be made before creating the final product. 

This process is especially efficient, as two companies are working toward the same goal: to make the customer as happy as possible. When fabrication and sign companies collaborate, the customer gets exactly what they want the first time.

Would a Metal Sign Elevate Your Business?

The Formwell Industries team is here to answer all of your metal fabrication and precision cutting questions. Ready to start your metal sign project? Contact your local fabricator, Formwell Industries, today to talk about your next metalwork project.


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