Banner Materials & Sign Substrates

Level: basic

Smartpress’ online printing services offer superior banner materials and sign substrates. Before you place your order for custom banners, signs and more, check out our high-quality materials (including eco-friendly green alternatives) to find the one that best suits your online printing project.

Banner Materials & Sign Substrates

A close up of the corner of an alumaboard sign.

Aluminum Composite – White

  • Lightweight and rigid composite panel
  • White aluminum face and back
  • Black plastic core with UV blocker increases UV-resistance
  • Perfect flatness, even with thin sheets
  • Durable and weather-resistance material
  • 100% recyclable and environmentally-friendly
  • Aluminum alloy offers increased corrosion resistance
  • Polyester lacquer guarantees ideal printing properties
  • Highly recommended for indoor, outdoor, long-term or permanent use
  • Excellent exterior stability within a range of temperatures from – 58 to +175°F and minor thermal expansion

FSC Cardstock

The corner of a custom cardstock sign printed with a pink and red design.
  • 1- or 2-sided coated material
  • FSC certified
  • Can be printed double-sided
  • Can be cut to any shape
  • One of the standard sign substrates for printing indoor signage, stanchion signs, various signs that fit into sign holders, window signs with suction cups and more


  • .045” polymer-coated aluminum
  • White or brushed metal
  • Matte or gloss finish
  • Dye sublimation printing ensures photographic quality with outstanding clarity and resolution
  • Fade-, flame- and scratch-resistant
  • Lightweight and durable
  • For indoor use only
  • Common uses: metal prints, wall decor for home, business or professional settings

Corrugated Plastic

The corner of a custom corrugated plastic sign.
  • 4mm fluted polypropylene material
  • Opaque white
  • Great for outdoor signs
  • High-quality twin-wall profile sheet
  • One of the standard sign substrates for both political campaign yard signs and other lawn signs

Expanded PVC Board

The corner of a custom PVC sign with a black design.
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Great for both single and double-sided print
  • Used extensively for fabricated fixtures
  • Can be thermoformed
  • Can be heat bent, routed laminated and pressure- or vacuum-formed in a variety of shapes
  • Excellent for a variety of POP displays and signs
  • Allows for easy configuration of challenging displays, shapes or promotional material


The corner of a custom falconboard sign printed with a teal and white design.
  • Rigid substrate
  • Recycled-paper honeycomb core
  • Strong yet lightweight and portable
  • Great for both single and double-sided printing
  • Can be can be direct-printed, upholstered, laminated, veneered, pressed with decorative foils or painted
  • Can be mitre-cut, folded or curved, shape-cut, photo-mounted and fastened with adhesives


The corner of a custom foamcore sign printed with Sunday and a blue, white and purple design.
  • Polystyrene foam board encased in coated cardstock
  • Similar to the material found in most art supply stores, usually called something like foam board
  • Perfect for Zund cutting and die cutting
  • Pillowing foamcore provides a compressed edge that stays closed when die cut or scored on the Zund cutter
  • Applications and lifespans:
    • POP Displays – Short-term
    • Exhibits, kiosks – Short-term
    • Framing – Long-term
    • Framing (archival) – Not recommended
    • Signage (interior) – Short-term
    • Signage (exterior) – Not recommended
    • Signage (structural) – Not recommended

Foamless Foamcore

  • Sustainable alternative for Foam Board Signs
  • 100% recyclable
  • 100% compostable
  • Thickness: 3.8mm
  • FSC certified
  • Multi-layer paperboard with a smooth surface
  • Embossed paper core ensures a high level of rigidity and flatness
  • Indoor use only

Heavy Knit

  • One of our most used fabrics
  • Highest opacity knit in the industry with light four-way stretch
  • Rich appearance and opacity
  • Uses 90% less water than competitors
  • Produces no wastewater
  • Introduces zero microplastics
  • Uses less energy than competitors
  • Produced in U.S. – no CO2 emitted from overseas shipping
  • Energy used from clean gas, not coal plants

Honeycomb Cardboard

  • Formerly known as corrugated cardboard
  • Designed with three layers: a white cardstock front, a white cardstock back and a Kraft honeycomb core in the middle
  • A biodegradable alternative to foam board
  • Rigid, durable and extremely lightweight
  • Affordable and easily portable
  • Can be printed on one or two sides
  • Great for retail marketing, POP displays, presentations, trade shows and exhibits

FSC Honeycomb Board

  • Sustainable alternative for PVC Foam Signs
  • Also available for eco-friendly Honeycomb Cardboard Signs
  • FSC certified
  • Made from 100% paper-fiber board
  • Dense core is uniquely tilted for superior strength
  • Constructed with water-based glues
  • 100% recyclable 
  • Strong yet lightweight
  • Thick and rigid
  • Thicknesses: 10mm (most common) and 16mm 
  • For indoor use only

Non-PVC Polyethylene

  • Sustainable alternative for Hanging Banners and Step and Repeat Banners
  • 100% recyclable
  • Durable, multi-layer construction
  • Heat-sealable and lightweight
  • Provides exceptional color reproduction
  • Thickness: 13 mil 
  • For indoor or outdoor use

Paper-Based Backlit Film

  • Sustainable alternative for Backlit Signs
  • 100% recyclable
  • 10% post-consumer waste
  • Thickness: 8 pt.
  • FSC certified
  • Bright white coated substrate
  • Designed to provide uniform translucency and image definition
  • Resistant to moisture, warping and wrinkling due to climatic changes that often affect other substrates
  • Indoor use only

Paper-Based Floor Graphic (FSC)

  • Sustainable alternative for Floor Graphics
  • Environmentally-responsible, pressure-sensitive floor graphic material
  • Plant-based without lamination
  • Easy to install and remove without air bubbles
  • Adheres to carpet and smooth/sealed floors

Paper-Based Styrene Alternative

  • Sustainable alternative for Styrene Signs
  • .030″ or .040″ thick
  • 100% paper-based
  • 100% recyclable
  • PVC-free
  • FSC certified
  • Smooth, coated substrate that’s static-free for smoother, faster printing
  • Up to 20% lighter than styrene (more savings on shipping)
  • 94% brightness for clearer, longer-lasting imagery that won’t yellow over time
  • Ink absorption allows for exemplary printing without banding (lines or streaks)
  • Resistant to fingerprints (paper-based composition does not capture oils)
  • Indoor use only


The corner of a clear PETG sign.
  • Transparent and frosted, thermoplastic sheet
  • Offers superior impact strength over acrylic and cost-effectiveness compared to polycarbonate
  • Offers deep draws, complex die-cuts and precise molded-in details without sacrificing structural integrity
  • Easily die-cut, punched, painted, silk-screened, UV-printed and hot-stamped
  • Can be bonded or fastened with adhesives, ultrasonic welding or rivets
  • Easy to fabricate, form, bond and decorate
  • Perfect for a variety of POP displays and other applications

100% Recycled PETG

  • Sustainable alternative for Clear Signs
  • Made with up to 100% recycled content
  • Contains a minimum of 50% scrap content
  • Ideal for applications needing improved rigidity
  • Easy to print, form and fabricate

Recycled PETG

  • Sustainable alternative for Styrene Signs
  • Made with up to 100% recycled content
  • Minimizes virgin pellet consumption
  • Provides excellent ink receptivity
  • Thicknesses: 0.020”, 0.030” (most common), 0.050”
  • For indoor or outdoor use

Polystyrene Foam

The corner of a custom polystyrene sign printed with a green design.
  • Formerly known as Ultraboard or Gatorplast
  • Features a plastic, styrene surface rather than paper or wood fiber veneer
  • Lays flat and rigid with styrene liners bonded to the foam center
  • Moisture-resistant and durability
  • Smooth surface allows ink to stand out vividly
  • Primarily for indoor use
  • Great for permanent displays and signs
  • Applications and lifespans:
    • POP Displays – Medium-term
    • Framing – Long-term
    • Framing (archival) – Not recommended
    • Exhibits, kiosks – Medium-term
    • Signage (interior) – Medium-term
    • Signage (exterior) – Short-term
    • Signage (structural) – Not recommended

Post-Consumer Waste Cardstock

  • Sustainable option for Cardstock Signs
  • 100% recyclable
  • 100% post-consumer waste
  • Thickness: 24 pt.
  • Coated recycled paperboard
  • Double clay-coated surface provides a clean palette for graphics
  • Indoor use only

Recycled Satin Canvas

  • Available for Canvas Prints
  • Base fabric is 100% polyester resin made from discarded plastic bottles (coating not made with recycled materials)
  • Slightly textured canvas with sophisticated satin finish
  • Specialized coating ensures vibrant print
  • Strong yet flexible
  • Resistant to edge-cracking when stretched
  • Waterproof
  • Thickness: 11 oz.
  • For indoor use only

Rigid Paper Board

  • Sustainable alternative for PVC Foam Signs
  • FSC certified
  • Made of 100% virgin wood fibers
  • Triple-coated surface results in a bright, smooth finish ideal for printing
  • Solid white core
  • Thicknesses: 2mm, 3mm (most common)
  • For indoor use only


  • UV-printed backlit fabric
  • 100% polyester
  • Resistant to creasing and fraying
  • Good flatness
  • Very popular for banners, lightbox displays, table throws and bean bags

Smooth Paper-Based Wall Decal (FSC)

  • Sustainable alternative for Wall Decals
  • Paper-based
  • Removable gloss paper
  • Cannot be laminated

Soft Flag

A custom feather flag with a razor flag shape and printed with a green golf design.
  • Perfect for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Feather flags are printed via dye sublimation onto premium high performance 4 oz. flag material for lasting durability

Soft Knit

Two hands holding a folded soft knit banner printed with pet adoption information.
  • Available for SEG Wall Graphics, Tension Fabric Displays, Table Throws
  • Produced using cleaner energy and 90% less water than competitors
  • Produced with zero wastewater and introduced zero microplastics into water
  • Printed via dye sublimation for stunningly high-quality print
  • Durable and machine-washable
  • Thickness: 4.5 oz.
  • For indoor use only


  • Backlit dye sublimation fabric
  • 100% polyester
  • Resistant to creasing and fraying
  • Very soft with stretch
  • One of the most common banner materials and great for lightbox displays


The corner of a custom styrene sign.
  • Lays flat
  • Perfect for printing applications
  • Can be printed double-sided
  • Excellent for short-term indoor use
  • Easily coated, metaled, die cut and heat-bent
  • Features both a higher heat distortion and excellent low temperature characteristics
  • Very economical in the plastic community
  • Great for: POP displays, shelf strips and talkers, signs

Textured Paper-Based Wall Decal (FSC)

  • Sustainable alternative for Wall Decals
  • Paper-based with a bright white surface
  • Tear-resistant and reinforced with synthetic fibers for strength and durability
  • Removable with a release liner for easy peel-and-stick application
  • Slight weave texture and matte finish adds visual interest and helps cover surface imperfections

Learn more about our sustainable materials: Sustainable Signage: 8 Substrates for Planet-Friendly Printing

Have a calendar or direct mail project in mind? As an eco-friendly online printer, we offer a range of high-quality small format paper stocks, too.

If you have questions about sign substrates, banner materials or any other printing services, please contact customer service.