Top 10 Types of Outdoor Signs

There's no better way to advertise your business and solidify brand identity than with an outdoor sign. Outdoor signs offer customers a visual elevator pitch of your company and can be customised to match your official colours, fonts, and icons. 

However, there are many different types of outdoor signs, which can pose a difficult choice for many businesses, especially if they've never considered investing in signage before. 

Which materials are best? What if the message on the sign needs changing? In this article, we take you through the different types of outdoor signs so you can make the best decision for your company. 

A-Frame Outdoor Signs

You'll have seen these standing outside independently owned coffee shops and cafes, advertising the soup of the day in brightly coloured chalk or marker. 

They're inexpensive and perfect when you need to make quick changes to your advertising. However, they are not particularly noticeable from far away and are therefore best suited to acting as street-based outdoor signage. 

Back-Lit Outdoor Signs

Back-lit signs are perfect for making your company name stand out just that little bit more. They're usually printed onto a nearly opaque box which is back-lit by your choice of coloured LED. 

Back-Lit outdoor signs are a little more expensive but can advertise both day and night, giving your company maximum exposure. 


The banner is the most versatile of outdoor signs - it can be printed in high quality on a variety of bases and with a number of finishes. Banners work best as temporary outdoor signage. They're best mounted high on a wall or between street lamps for optimised exposure. 

Although they're quite a hassle to pin up, they're easier to pull down than more solid outdoor signage, making them a popular choice for events, birthdays, and other outdoor celebrations. 

Channel Letters

For a modern and memorable outdoor sign look, choose channel letters. These are individual, 3D letters that are mounted either straight onto the facing of your building or a carrier (background). The facings are usually made of acrylic and the sides (returns) are either made of aluminium or acrylic vinyl. 

Channel letters are more expensive than many other types of outdoor sign because they have to be individually handmade and finished. The installer also often must weave wiring between the letters and the wall where they are being mounted, which increases labour costs. 

However, channel letters are extremely effective as well as customisable - because they're handmade, you can have intricate designs and logos integrated into the letter design. 

Electronic Outdoor Signs

Electronic outdoor signs are the perfect way to make your company stand out. They're programmable, making personalisation and quick changes easy. An electronic outdoor sign allows you to communicate topical messages to your customers, such as a Christmas greeting or notification of a one-off sale taking place. 

However, electronic outdoor signs are a significant investment, both up front and in terms of maintenance. They must be regularly serviced and checked over to ensure they are operating properly, as a malfunctioning sign is likely to deter potential customers. 

Illuminated Outdoor Signs

Illuminated outdoor signs only use electricity when it is dark. They are multipurpose in that they advertise like a traditional sign during the daytime, and only light up at night (in contrast to back-lit signs, which stay lit constantly). 

Placing an illuminated outdoor sign on the front of your building will allow you to advertise 24/7. Though these signs are fairly expensive, they do offer a long life, especially if the LEDs used are of high quality. 

Individual Cut Letters

Individually cut letters can be highly effective as outdoor signs, especially if the sign in question requires a specialist font or icon. 

They are usually handmade, which increases the overall cost. However, they look incredibly smart and can really complement the front of your building, especially when mounted onto a smooth and contrasting facing. 

Window Graphics and Lettering

This type of outdoor sign is perfect for building up brand identity in a building with little room for external signage. They support a range of colours and fonts, and can be printed in high quality for signs involving photographs or illustrations. 

However, they can be a bit of a challenge to install and remove unless you hire a professional. Window graphics and lettering can be printed on opaque vinyl (which blocks out the sun), or perforated vinyl (which looks opaque from the outside but gives the effect of a tinted window on the other side of the glass). 

Outdoor Signs from Trade Print Solutions

We hope this article helped you decide which type of outdoor sign is best for you. Trade Print Solutions has years of experience in the sign printing industry and guarantees only the highest quality products. For a quote, get in touch today.