Eleven popular large format substrates you should know about

When it comes to printing large-scale graphics, sometimes half the battle is choosing the appropriate substrate. Not only does image quality, layout and messaging affect how your signage will perform, but also what the piece is actually printed on! For example, the substrate you choose for an outdoor application with a 30-ft. viewing distance may be completely different from what you would need for an indoor application with a 3-ft. viewing distance. Yes, there are thousands of certified substrates for large format out there. In an effort to help you chose the appropriate product here are the most popular substrates for large format production, along with their intended applications.



Using acrylic as the substrate will give your next large format project remarkable luminance and optical depth. Acrylic is much lighter and more versatile than standard glass. Acrylic also facilitates easy hanging and mounting while adding durability and preventing damage to your printed images. It’s ideal for outstanding quality signage, photographic images, and lightbox applications.



This corrugated plastic material is made using an extruded polypropylene sheet and is lightweight and cost-effective. It’s waterproof, weather-resistant, well suited for indoor and outdoor use, and offers an affordable visual communication solution for just about any signage application.


This product is ideal for visually outstanding, cost-effective production of graphic displays for applications such as interior signage, POP displays, tradeshow graphics, kiosks, framing, and mounting. It’s paper-based, includes recycled fiber content, and is known for its superior print quality. Falconboard’s honeycomb core (made from engineered paper and water-based adhesives) offers the dimensional stability required by many demanding applications.


With aluminum faces on each side of a plastic core, Dibond is an ultra-smooth, maintenance-free and long-lasting product. The ability to print on both aluminum faces and long-term resilience to the weather elements makes Dibond perfect for both indoor and outdoor long term custom-mounting applications.



Foamcore (or Foam Board) signage is extremely lightweight, easy to handle and is suitable for cost effective indoor signage. Rigid enough to be mounted on a wall with or without a frame, Foamcore signs offer a high quality yet budget-minded solution for all your large format advertising needs.


This extruded polystyrene foam board bonded between two layers of wood-fibre veneer offers a rigid, yet lightweight signage solution. Ideal for presentations and displays that require stability and easy portability, Gatorboard’s laminate compound includes resin for excellent water resistance. Gatorboard is ideal for your signage and display projects that require additional durability.


Matte Scrim Banner

Most businesses demand banners, exhibition stands and portable displays with high impact. Matte Vinyl Scrim Banner can be used to promote a product, advertise a sale, or simply increase brand recognition. The product is ideal for indoor and outdoor use in airports, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, tradeshows, or any retail event.

Removable Vinyl

This popular product features vinyl material backed with a removable adhesive and is ideal for interior graphics applications. With its clear, ultra-removable adhesive, removable vinyl can be easily taken down without leaving a messy residue on any dry, flat, painted wall surfaces, as well as most types of wallpaper and wood panels.


This thin, lightweight, durable and economical PVC can be used for a cost-effective approach for indoor and outdoor signage. Common uses for styrene include free-standing displays, billboards, POP displays, bus advertising, temporary signage, and tradeshow exhibits.

White PVC

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a high-grade, resilient plastic material known for its durability. It’s waterproof and weather resistant, making this substrate ideal for outdoor signage, while its outstanding image quality adds maximum impact to various indoor applications.


MDO Plywood Signs. Our commercial signs are printed on MDO plywood that come in 1/2" thickness. Fortified with resin-infused fibers, MDO plywood resists water, extreme weather, and degradation. This long-lasting material boasts a smooth and sturdy surface that was both primed and painted.


When choosing a substrate for your next large format project, keep in mind that there are hundreds – if not thousands – of other options available on the market. Choosing the best substrate will come down to the intended application, and ultimately, what you are trying to achieve with the finished product.

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