June 2013

LEDs Advance Plastics Evolution for Signs
LED sign faces and channel letters use Makrolon® LD polycarbonate sheet for uniform light diffusion..

While plastics and sign faces are virtually synonymous today, the evolution of plastics technology and uses in outdoor signage has followed a complex path. Sign makers and users initially embraced plastics for their obvious advantages of lower cost, light weight, fabrication ease and versatility compared to wood and metal substrates. Read about the material improvements and technology innovations that make plastic signage ubiquitous today. Learn more.


Inside this issue

LEDs Advance Plastics Evolution for Signs
Signage: Getting the Light Right
Plastics are the sign of the times

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Expand Your Knowledge

Signage: Getting the Light Right

LED lighting is typically a point-light source, which creates diffusion issues not so apparent with a linear type light source such as neon or fluorescent. The average sign manufacturer finds a method and product that works and they stick with it; unfortunately, the LED manufacturers are striving for brighter LEDs and in this endeavor they are inadvertently forcing the designers and builders to adjust, in many cases without warning. In this article, a 30-year veteran of the sign industry examines LED signs and discusses how to best translate a retailer’s corporate image in signage.

Learn more.

Technical Advisory: Acrylic

Acrylic thermoplastics (PMMA) are commonly used for signs and point-of-purchase displays.

Acrylics are strong, stable, weather resistant and thermoformable. Sheets are also available in transparent, translucent opaque colors, and in a variety of textures.

Acrylics’ transparency, gloss and dimensional shape are virtually unaffected by years of exposure to the elements, salt spray or corrosive atmospheres.

These materials withstand exposure to light from fluorescent lamps without darkening or deteriorating. Special formulations resist UV emission.

Colorants can be added to produce a full spectrum of transparent, translucent or opaque colors. Most colors can be formulated to give long-term outdoor durability.

For more information, see Introduction to Plastics, the IAPD guide to plastic materials and applications.

Plastics are the sign of the times

Looking for a durable, weather-resistant material to produce eye-catching displays? All signs point to plastics.

If a single store replaces its shelves with 10,000 pounds of PETG copolyester shelving, the energy saved could power five homes or take 3.3 cars off the road every year. The material is tough but requires 20 percent less to do the job.

Learn more

More Plastics Resources

Get to know your distributor

IAPD distributors are your best source for finding materials for your application.

Go to www.iapd.org to find a distributor in your area. You can search by company name, location or product category.

The IAPD Magazine is online

IAPD is pleased to announce the digital edition of the April/May 2013 issue of The IAPD Magazine, featuring a special focus on plastics in food and beverage processing applications.

The digital issue is easy to read on computers, laptops and tablet devices and can even be viewed on smartphones.

International Association of Plastics Distribution
6734 W. 121st Street, Overland Park, KS 66209 USA
www.iapd.org | iapd@iapd.org
Phone: +913.345.1005 | Fax: +913.345.1006

Designing with Plastics is published by the International Association of Plastics Distribution. While every effort has been made for accuracy, IAPD encourages you to verify information with a plastics distributor to ensure you select the correct plastic products to meet your needs.