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CUSTOM SIGNS: Options & Advice


1)  For Custom Signs OPTIONS and ADVICE, please click on the following:

  • REFLECTIVE SHEETING OPTIONS for CUSTOM SIGNS   What GRADES of reflective sheetings are available for Custom signs? Why is High Intensity Prismatic reflective sheeting often the best reflective sheeting for most custom signs?
  • COLOR COMBINATIONS for CUSTOM SIGNS:  The recommended color combinations for custom signs and what colors are available: What is the best colors for Custom signs?
  • SIZES and SHAPES of CUSTOM SIGNS   What sizes and shapes are available and what is recommended?
  • LEGIBILITY and TEXT SIZE   What type of font, text size and layout is recommended for custom signs? What is the smallest text size I should use?
  • OUR WARRANTY   What guarantee do you offer for your Custom signs?

2)  Why PURCHASE A CUSTOM SIGN FROM ARA SIGNS? Because we only use the very best sign making materials and methods to manufacture the best, most durable custom reflective aluminum signs available.

When making our CUSTOM signs, we use the SAME

  • materials
  • sign making methods
  • business practices
  • offer the same warranty

that we use to make our highest quality DOT / MUTCD compliant traffic signs:

To produce the best, most durable custom outdoor reflective aluminum signs, you need 4 “ingredients”.  At ARA Signs,

1.  We only use the best ALUMINUM

  • Alcoa™ 5052-H38 that meets ASTM B-209 and is the alloy and hardness specified by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), state DOT and Highway Departments and our sign making material manufactures. We never use 3000 series recycled aluminum or any alloy other than 5052
  • 0.080” thickness for most signs (0.100” and 0.125” for extremely large signs, by special order); the thickness required by the FHWA and state DOTs. We NEVER use thinner 0.063” and 0.040” aluminum
  • Chromate Conversion Process (Alodine 1200) to reduce the chances of aluminum oxide (oxidation, a.k.a. “white rust”) from forming. Very few other sign shops purchase sign blanks that are treated with this special process

2.  We only use the best REFLECTIVE SHEETINGS: 3M™ and Avery-Dennison™

  • the “gold standard” of reflective sheetings, proudly made in the USA and some 3M sheetings are also manufactured in Canada
  • meet or exceed ASTM D-4956 reflectivity standards for up to 12 years* of outdoor use (* depending on the type and grade of reflective sheeting used)
  • less expensive sheetings made in Asia and other countries usually meet the ASTM reflectivity standards initially when it is new, but quickly lose their reflectivity and no longer meet ASTM or state DOT standards within just a year or two of use outdoors

3.  We only use the best LEGEND MATERIALS: 3M™ transparent colored acrylic film

  • the only legend making material that is guaranteed against fading and loss of color for the same length of time as the reflective sheeting it is laminated onto. The best material for hot, sunny locations
  • unlike silk-screened signs, our signs will NOT crack due to “post silk-screen cracking” in cold weather
  • the only legend making material that conforms to Federal retroreflective and brightness Specifications FP-96, Section 178.01(a) and ASTM D4956 in EVERY color, EVERY time

4.  We insist upon the best BUSINESS PRACTICES

  • we not only believe in “CUSTOMER SERVICE”, it is “a condition of employment”.  We are a family owned and operated business and we take pride in providing the best service you'll find anywhere.
  • our PRIDE-IN-WORKMANSHIP shows in every sign we make
  • Our QUALITY CONTROL and STANDARDS are second to none
  • we have the best, longest WARRANTY available: most sign shops warranty their signs for 3 months. We guarantee our traffic and custom signs for 1, 2 or 3 years (depending on the type of reflective sheeting used)
  • our Sign Makers are extremely TALENTED, CREATIVE and are very familiar with the MUTCD and all other FHWA sign regulations, the National Park Service “Uniguide” requirements and USFS and other agency needs. Of course, we are not familiar with specific local sign regulations or requirements for every jurisdiction, city and county.


    Please click on the sign category images above to see the 9,000+ signs we offer