Commonly known as foam board or foam core, this rigid sign material consists of a polystyrene foam center with white clay coated paper applied to either side. Foam board panels are used for affordable and lightweight temporary signage, often at events and tradeshows, that can be customized with different shapes, colors, and graphics.
The extruded polystyrene foam these display boards are made of is one of the most common plastics used in manufacturing. It is produced at competitive costs by several manufacturers. It also consists of approximately 95% air, making this material lightweight. The final weight will depend on the thickness, with options consisting of:
Signs from foam board are often rectangular in dimensions measuring:
They can also be trimmed into a custom size or non rectangular shape.
Paper-faced foam board is available in several different standard colors beyond white, including black, red, green, blue, and yellow. In printing, white is used to avoid dull colors caused by printing a graphic over a colored background. For foam board printing, graphics are digitally printed with UV inks in a four color process.
These inks are applied directly to the untextured surface of the foam board and cured with ultraviolet lights. The coated paper and inks make it possible to print photo realistic designs onto foam core. Graphics can be printed on one or both sides of the sign. They are printed edge to edge so that no border shows on the sign.
After printing, signs are laminated with a finishing sheen that is either:
Foam board is also used in photograph and picture mounting rather than having the graphics printed onto the board. This provides a rigid backing for photos, but as the paper is not acid-free, it can deteriorate the image when used for many years.
Foam board benefits from being lightweight and cost effective. It is not waterproof, however, and so should not be used outside unsheltered or for extended periods of time. Users should also take care to handle foam board gently.
This is not a flexible material and bending foam core will cause the polystyrene layer to snap. Rough handling can also cause dents and crushed corners. When used and stored properly, foam board signs can last indoors for several years. Smudges and dust can be removed with a dry or slightly damp cloth.
The signs can be displayed with:
Foam board signs can also have polystyrene foam clad with layers of polystyrene or wood fiber veneer instead of paper, such as with materials like Ultraboard or gatorboard. The polystyrene provides a solid plastic surface that can have a smooth or textured finish and provides additional durability.
At Blue Dot Signs, the ease of customizing and printing on foam core means can manufacture these display signs quickly. We typically provide them to clients to use at a limited run event for promotional purposes, directional signage, welcome signage, and more. They are a cost effective option where a temporary sign is needed. Email Blue Dot Signs at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information on this material and pricing options for foam board signs.