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NON-Reflective signs


Why does ARA Signs ONLY offer Reflective Signs?

We occasionally receive requests for NON-reflective custom* signs. We only offer reflective signs for the following reasons:

1. Durability

  • Non-reflective signs are made using VINYL that typically has only a 3-year life expectancy if used outdoors. The life expectancy is even less in hot, sunny climates. Vinyl WILL crack and separate from the aluminum or other surface it is adhered to due to UV and heat within a couple of years.
  • Our least durable (and least expensive and least reflective) reflective sheeting, Engineer Grade (EG) Type I, carries a 7 year sheeting manufacturer’s warranty and a 1-year unconditional warranty from ARA Signs
  • EG sheeting is much thicker, more durable, conforms to ASTM D-4956 standards and lasts much longer than even so-called “heavy duty” non-reflective vinyl

2. Price

  • We order a LOT of Engineer Grade and other grades of reflective sheetings. Consequently, we receive excellent, preferential pricing on the sheetings we order
  • Our cost for Engineer Grade reflective sheeting is actually less expensive than if we ordered a roll of non-reflective vinyl
  • In summary, if we had to order non-reflective vinyl for a customer, the price of the non-reflective vinyl sign would be higher than had we made the signs using Engineer Grade reflective sheeting

* This discussion applies to CUSTOM signs ONLY. Per MUTCD, DOT and Highway Department regulations, all TRAFFIC signs MUST be reflective (usually High Intensity Prismatic and, in some Jurisdictions, Diamond Grade).

It’s conceivable that someday a customer might state that they absolutely cannot use a sign that is reflective (although Engineer Grade, first developed by 3M in 1948 is not very reflective by today’s standards), to date every customer that has requested a “non-reflective sign” has changed their minds and opted for our Engineer Grade signs once we’ve explained the Durability and Price advantages of our EG reflective signs.

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