Metal signs Metal panels & laser cut signs
Metal signs offer a versatile and visually appealing option for businesses looking for bespoke signage that evokes a high-end feel. Depending on the specific design goals of your business, we can immediately elevate your space with textures, patinas, cool or warm colours and varying levels of reflectivity.
While our 3D signs are built up out of hollow metal boxing to achieve depth, our metal panels and laser cut signs are carved out from 3mm thin sheets of metal by a computer controlled robotic arm. The technology allows us to create:
Custom lettering and logos - our clients ask for everything from bite sized text to wall sized floor numbers when ordering wayfinding or informational signage, while brand visuals and logos vary from very minimalist to the more intricately detailed.
Bespoke directory boards to signpost visitors and wall plaques to display important information or recognise contributions - both can be completed with vinyl lettering or by acid etching for a chiselled look.
WHICH METALS CAN I CHOOSE FROM FOR MY SIGN?
There are many materials with which to make metal signs, each with its own unique characteristics and uses. At Glyphics, these are the most common metal signs:
Aluminium signs - popular because they're lightweight and corrosion-resistant.
Steel signs - strong and durable, making them ideal for high-traffic areas or for use in industrial settings.
Brass signs - warm hued, soft and malleable so they suit being shaped into decorative signage.
Subject to the metal that it is built from, your sign can be left raw or brushed for an industrial finish, polished or mirrored for a professional sheen, or powder coated for protection and to match your design scheme or brand colours. Overall, the material, look and feel are down to your business requirements, personal taste and the environment your sign is destined for - whether you're going for a retro feel or sleek aesthetic, we're here to help you shine!
Questions? Read our metal signs FAQs
We use metal to make flat cut signs, which can be finished as you desire. The final product will be lettering, logos, plaques or boards - for the latter two, your graphic or message can be acid etched or overlayed with vinyl.
We can also use metal to build 3D shapes, which you can see more of on our 3D signs page.
Depending on the design and finish, metal signs offer durability. Uncoated signs last up to a few years, offering the naturally attractive aesthetic appeal of metal in a time when industrial design is at its peak, while a protective coating can extend a sign’s life by around a decade. That makes metal signs suitable for any long term signage but especially perfect as part of a wayfinding scheme (check out The Light Box) or for outdoor environments (see London Zoo for a great example).
If you’re looking for intricate designs, laser cutting technology allows us to flat cut metal into all sorts, from bite sized letters and cutwork floor numbers to stencil cut logos and ornately shaped commemoration plates. The technique also means we can manifest simple metal panelling with super smooth edge quality, which has proven extremely popular as wall plaques and directory boards.
At Glyphics, the most commonly used metals are powder coated aluminium (to prevent oxidation), brushed or polished brass (for a vintage or modern feel), or stainless steel which can be powder coated, brushed or polished depending on the look and feel you want. Which metal you choose, depends on the environment your sign is destined for.
Aluminium is the lightest in weight and as a result easier to cut, so good for larger signs or more intricate signs. As it’s an easy material to work with, it’s affordable and scales well if you need multiple signs e.g. for wayfinding schemes. These signs will be powder coated to prevent oxidation and to add appeal - you’ll choose the colour you want and the finish. There’s gloss which is very reflective, satin for a silky but sleeker finish, or a neat matt look - we normally recommend the last two.
Brass lends itself to being acid etched and has a premium feel thanks to its warm gold colour - a power combo that works especially well for plaques. Because of the upkeep required, brass signs can be limiting. All brass signs can be looked after with a lacquer, however that tends to break down outdoors, so these signs are best kept inside. Polished brass signs might be your best bet against the elements, as they can withstand regular cleaning with liquid brass, which retains the finish.
Stainless steel is the most durable metal, with very little upkeep and a lot of aesthetic flexibility. Powder coated stainless steel offers more longevity than say, aluminium, because the quality of the base materials is higher, though it is heavier so consider if weight is a factor for your sign. If you’re not powder coating, you can lean on the raw material for an industrial look with descaled steel, create a matt silver finish with brushed steel, or achieve your desired amount of bling with polished steel - going all the way up to mirrored silver finish, though this comes with the disadvantage of easily picking up fingerprints.
If you don’t mind a fixing on the front of your sign or if this is part of your aesthetic, you can go with holes, screws and decorative caps. Brass (or any metal) locator standoffs can also be used for a cleaner look. For no visible fixings, studs are a winner - they’re pins on the back of the sign that can be pushed into the wall.
Generally speaking, metal signs require little maintenance, resist the effects of the weather and tend not to fade when exposed to strong sunlight, making them arguably the best material out there for outdoor signage.