Designing Without Seams

Designing Without Seams

in Dec 22, 2023

We caution against placing seams in acrylic/polycarbonate/modified acrylic faces due to the nature of how they present when back lit as well as the potential to gap open when mounted on the wall.  Typically, there will be a darker color through the seam, while some customers are OK with this look, many are disappointed.  The best option is to create logos/shapes so that they “butt” up next to each other, eliminating the need for a seam.  When presenting this to your customers, explain the disadvantages of seams.  Keep in mind the install/service work in removing a seamed face twenty feet in the air. 

Acrylic (plex) and polycarbonate (lexan) are commonly used in the sign industry and are what we use here at Sign Fab.  Acrylic is available in clear and colored sheets while poly is available in white and both materials have different purposes for different signs.

Manufacturing Specifications for Acrylic and Poly.
Large faces, typically over 48″, but depending on its shape will be cut from polycarbonate or modified acrylic.  We can cut up to 13 feet in length and up to 100 inches wide for a single large face.  Graphics for faces over 98 inches in width and/or 120 inches in length will be roll printed or translucent vinyl. 

Pros of Poly

• Cost & Lighting is comparable to acrylic  • Poly is used on large complex shapes & script letters • Poly is tougher than acrylic in large applications

Standard colors of acrylic come in 6’x10′ (7328 & 2447 white) and stock colors are 6’x8′.  Working with your customer to help them design the best sign without acrylic/poly face seams is the best way to ensure you have a good look and easier install.  Capsule/box signs with white copy and a black vinyl background are prime examples of creating two sign sections that butt on the wall when the length exceeds 13 feet, so that the butt is placed between lettering. 

What if your sign does require a seam? When a seam is necessary, we use our best judgement to make sure its placed where it won’t be as noticeable.

Seaming Graphics
We typically place a minimal overlap of between 1/8″ to 3/16″ in our vinyl or roll print seam when needed.  Material restrictions only allow roll prints up to 58″ in width and translucent vinyl up to 48″ in width.  When logos / letters exceed this size in height or width, a seam becomes necessary.

Whichever material or design your sign demands you can rest assured that we’ve got the best materials and people for the job. Contact our support person at 800-544-6381 or email at [email protected] with any questions.