Best Vinyl for Outdoor Signs

Posted by Ryan Brennan on Dec 15th 2022

Best Vinyl for Outdoor Signs

There’s no way around it – businesses need signs. And we’re not just talking about the big sign out front that has your company name and logo on it. We’re talking about the dozens, sometimes hundreds, of signs located throughout the property that are meant to provide customers with direction and information.

Let’s be honest, signage is one of the many things business owners overlook when opening or renovating a business. This is especially true with ADA signage, considering businesses are required by law to comply with standards and regulations outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act – signed in 1990.

ADA signs play a major role in protecting individuals with disabilities and ensuring they’re given an equal opportunity to live and survive in the general public. The signs not only provide information and direction, but they’re conveniently located and designed to be easy to read – both visually and by human touch.

What is an Outdoor Vinyl Sign?

An outdoor vinyl sign, as the name suggests, is a sign made out of vinyl – a unique and versatile material – that’s intended for outdoor use. Due to its durability, vinyl signs are designed to withstand the outdoor elements that typically ruin other materials. For example, they won’t rust like their aluminum counterparts.

Outdoor vinyl signs are easy to hang on a variety of surfaces. Some outdoor vinyl signs come equipped with holes in each of the corners to hang it from a fence or hook, while other outdoor vinyl signs are made with a self-adhesive backing that sticks on walls, windows, doors, vehicles, sign substrate, and more.

There are a lot of different types of vinyl, including etched glass vinyl, stencil vinyl, glitter vinyl, holographic vinyl, metallic vinyl, printable vinyl, and other vinyl graphics.

Vinyl is known for being durable enough to maintain its shape, color, and appearance in extreme weather conditions – including sunlight exposure, rain, wind, heat waves, snow, and much more. This is what makes vinyl such a quality and worthy investment – it continues to prove its value through the test of time.

What is the Best Vinyl for Outdoor Signs?

Compared to other materials – such as aluminum, wood, and/or plastic – vinyl is a preferred option when designing an outdoor sign. With that said, not all vinyl is created equal and there are a wide range of vinyl options to choose from. A signage expert can help you determine what type of vinyl you most need.

In most cases, your decision will be narrowed down to two options – cast vinyl or calendered vinyl:

  • Cast Vinyl - this type of vinyl is made when liquid vinyl is spread into thin sheets before leaving it to cool and dry; it’s the best vinyl for outdoor signs.
  • Calendered Vinyl - this type of vinyl is made when vinyl is stretched into sheets with the use of heavy rollers; it’s commonly used for indoor signs.

In addition to that, outdoor vinyl signs can either be printed or pigmented. The former refers to vinyl that comes out of the factory completely white before having graphics printed on, while the latter refers to vinyl that has colors and pigment ‘baked’ into it before being cut into shapes – both come with pros and cons.

As for the differences between cast vinyl and calendered vinyl, let’s break it down into four categories – durability, color, cost, and removal.


In terms of durability, cast vinyl is the winner. Since it’s not stretched during production, cast vinyl is more flexible and pliable – generally lasting around a decade outdoors before needing attention. On the other hand, calendered vinyl generally only lasts five years outside before it starts to crack, peel, and lose color.


Speaking of color, cast vinyl once again gets our vote when being used for outdoor signs. Not only will the color fade much more quickly outdoors with calendered vinyl, but cast vinyl offers a much more prominent selection of colors to choose from. This makes cast vinyl an excellent option for company branding.


Taking a look at cost, calendered vinyl is best suited for those on a budget and is generally less expensive than cast vinyl – which is better suited for those interested in a more durable and longer-lasting sign. There’s no right or wrong answer, but it ultimately comes down to which one best suits your needs.


In regards to removing self-adhesive vinyl signs from walls, windows, vehicles, and other surfaces, cast vinyl again reigns superior. With calendered vinyl, the adhesive will eventually separate from the vinyl – leaving behind an ugly residue that’s difficult to remove. Cast vinyl is more of a removable vinyl.

How Can Self-Adhesive Vinyl Signs Be Utilized?

Self-adhesive vinyl is the type that acts like a sticker – allowing you to place it on smooth surfaces, such as glass, finished or painted wood, metal, plastic, and more. They have a wide range of uses, both in public spaces and in private homes – for example, vinyl storefront signs or vinyl address signs.

Here are just some of the different ways self-adhesive vinyl signs can be utilized:

  • Displaying advertising material
  • ADA-compliant signage on glass doors and wall decals
  • Marketing for vehicle windows and car decals
  • Vinyl decals and vinyl signs for glass doors
  • Decorate walls of a room or office
  • Banners for outdoor events

With the amount of signs found inside a business – whether they be informational, directional, or just for decoration – many people fail to consider all the signs needed outside the business. Don’t worry, a specialty adhesive vinyl sign will provide the outdoor durability, appearance, and function needed out of the sign.

Custom Vinyl ADA Signs at ADA Central

Does your business comply with and adhere to the standards and/or regulations laid out by the ADA? Are you currently searching for high-quality ADA-compliant signage for your business? If you answered ‘yes’ to either of those questions, then ADA Central would love a moment of your time – because we can help!

At ADA Central, we’re in the business of simplifying the buying process for those in need of ADA signs. You tell us what you need, we make it, and then we send it to you. It’s that simple. Our delivery times are faster than most and guarantee quality with every sign you purchase. Contact us today to learn more!