Classic Stainless Steel Signage
Why stainless steel remains popular
Stainless steel was once seen as the premium choice for signs, but with the advance of manufacturing techniques, there is now a wider choice of materials and more exotic materials are available. However, stainless steel is standing the test of time. Strong, durable and versatile, this long-established construction material is made from regular steel, which is then alloyed with nickel and chromium to create highly corrosion-resistant stainless steel. It is usual to see steel used for architectural and industrial purposes, but stainless steel for pictograms and cut letters add an engaging element to signage.
Our company history has a close affinity with stainless steel. The dline ironmongery, still going strong, made use of stainless steel in every day design elements, such as door handles and bathroom fixtures. It is from the origins of dline that our company, dline signs, then dlinexsign and now xsign is trading.
Manufacturing stainless steel was once quite expensive – mainly due to the addition of chromium and nickel, which are relatively rare elements – but stainless steel has become a more accessible option as advances in recycling has helped to lower the global price of the material.
Due to its initially prohibitive cost, stainless steel was a luxury material, reserved for specialist applications. The hardwearing nature of stainless steel meant that manufacturing lettering could be quite tricky. It is quite time intensive and requires skilled workers – both expensive options – which added to the high cost of the base material.
However, manufacturing processes have advanced quickly and tough materials like stainless steel can now be cut and marked by a variety of newer, cheaper to run processes, and that has made working with the material all the easier. This has not only led to an uptake of stainless steel in signage, but also different forms of stainless steel signage. Where stainless-steel plaques used to be small, flat, machined items, the same effect can be created using precision etching. This process allows the initial section of stainless steel to be substantially thinner – just millimeters in thickness – and the information can be etched or lasered into the surface. Using ceramic powder coating to create lettering in stainless steel creates a very permanent and classic sign finish, with high contrast and visibility, and is virtually indestructible.
Laser cutting stainless steel sheets allows for an array of shapes, leading to new possibilities for exterior signage. Stainless Steel letters and logos can be cut to any size, shape or typeface for interior and exterior use. They can be created with a brushed satin or polished mirror finish. You can also powder coat stainless steel in any RAL colour to provide wayfinding instructions on top of a very hardwearing base.
Stainless steel letters can be flush mounted or raised from a surface as required. With either option, hidden rear fixings will ensure nothing compromises the finished effect and the final sign will look clean and elegant, as well as being able to cope with the worst that the weather can throw at it.
Stainless steel remains a popular material, as it is durable, shatter proof and weather proof. Easier access to stainless steel has made it more affordable for signage applications. Unlike other metals, it doesn’t rust, corrode, tarnish or fade, and normally a simple cleaning product is all the sign needs to remain looking as good as new.