Standard aluminum signs and brushed aluminum signs are similar in a lot of ways, and they end up used for a lot of the same things. They’re both versatile, durable sign materials that can be mounted, hung, posted or framed, and they can be used either indoors or outdoors.

But there’s a number of differences between them, and which one is right for you depends on what you’re looking for. First, let’s talk about the commonalities between the sign types.

Brushed Aluminum vs. Standard Aluminum: What’s the Same?

Obviously, both brushed and standard aluminum signs are made from aluminum. You probably didn’t need us to tell you that.

What you may not have known is that the signs are not simply solid aluminum. Actually, they’re made of a composite material known as E-panel. E-panel is much stronger and more durable than a simple thin sheet of aluminum. It consists of two thin sheets of aluminum sandwiched between a sheet of reinforced plastic known as polyethylene. The polyethylene core resists bending and other damage in ways the aluminum alone simply can’t.

As both signs have similar construction, they have similar uses as well. They can be used indoors or outdoors, mounted or hung. One of the most popular ways to post aluminum signs is to use the optional drilled holes we offer. It’s easy to use them to mount or hang your sign at either your home or business.

Brushed Aluminum vs. Standard Aluminum: What’s Different?

These two types of signs are more alike than they are different, but the differences are certainly significant enough to be aware of. Here’s what you need to know if you’re trying to decide between the two.

First off, the brushed aluminum signs are made a bit thicker (3mm) than the standard aluminum signs (2mm). It’s a slight difference, but an important one to keep in mind, especially if you’re worried about weight.

One of the most notable differences between the two styles is what they look like before you put anything on them.

Standard aluminum signs don’t have the typical metallic look you might normally associate with a metallic sign. Their standard appearance is a solid white, like poster board. That means that any area of the sign that isn’t printed on will have that solid white appearance. You can, however, choose a different background color for the sign if you’d rather not have plain white.

Brushed aluminum has a standard metallic “silver” color that is probably more what you’d expect from a metal sign. It can be printed on with most of the same inks and colors as a standard aluminum sign, but the unprinted parts of the sign will show as the metallic color instead of white.

Another important thing to note about printing on brushed aluminum signs is that they cannot display white ink. If you have a part of your sign’s design that is white, it will not show up as white when printed – it will show up as the background color, which is the aforementioned metallic silver.

One final difference between standard and brushed aluminum signs is a significant one: double-sided printing. Standard aluminum has it, brushed aluminum doesn’t. Our brushed aluminum signs are built to be displayed on only one side, making them ideal for wall-mounting. The back side of these signs do not have the brushed aluminum appearance, and cannot normally be printed on.

Standard aluminum signs are the same on both sides and can have mirrored or totally different displays on each side. This also makes the standard aluminum sign more versatile in terms of placement, since both sides are displayable.

So now that you understand the differences between brushed aluminum and standard, you can better make a decision on which is right for you. To recap, the key differences are thickness, background color, single- or double-sidedness, and the way each style handles white color.

Have any further questions about these or any other of our signs? Feel free to contact us here, and we’ll work together with you to make sure you get the right sign for you.