Custom Reflective Signs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are custom reflective signs?

A.
Custom reflective signs are just like any other reflective signs but with the added and a rather useful feature of customization. These signs offer you the liberty to design a reflective sign that’s unlike another. You may decide everything from how your design looks to what it says. You may use custom reflective signs to create highly visible address plaques, directional signs, instructional signs, warning signs, and more.

Q. What is meant by retroreflection?

A.
Retroreflection is a type of reflectivity that happens when a surface returns a portion of the light directed at it to the source. Retroreflective materials appear brightest to observers near the light source and are used for traffic signs, etc. The retroreflectivity of a surface remains the same irrespective of the viewing angle, which is why these surfaces prove excellent for nighttime visibility.
You may read more about retroreflection and how it works here.

Q. How do engineer, high-intensity, and diamond grade reflective signs compare against each other?

A.
Engineer-grade, high-intensity, and diamond-grade reflective signs are designed to aid nighttime visibility. Engineer grade signs reflect the light directed at the sign and have a lifespan of about 7-10 years. These are the least expensive and the most popular options out of the three types of reflective signs and are often used as parking signs.
High-intensity signs are used where other light sources like street lights interfere with the sign’s reflection. These signs are three times more reflective than engineer-grade signs and carry a 10-year warranty for reflectivity. High-intensity signs are the preferred choice for traffic signs.
Diamond-grade reflective signs promise the best reflectivity and are the most expensive of the three. These signs are mostly used at interstate highways, construction projects, and places that warrant high visibility. These signs are three times more reflective than high-intensity signs and have a 12-year warranty for outdoor life.

Q. Where are reflective signs used?

A.
Reflective signs find application in various places and situations, the most common being parking and traffic applications. Signs of different reflectivity grades are used to provide directions, communicate speed limits, precautions, prohibitions, addresses, and so on.
Reflective signs are also used to facilitate emergency communication, such as marking exits and locating emergency equipment, as well as property signs to convey warnings related to trespassing, soliciting, surveillance, and more. Workplaces also use these signs to comply with standards prescribed by authorities like OSHA and ensure worker safety.

Q. Are diamond-grade reflective signs the same as diamond-grade fluorescent signs?

A.
Fluorescent signs may be considered a step ahead of reflective signs in that they pack the reflective properties that diamond-grade reflective signs promise with an added advantage. The fluorescent colors used on these signs ensure that the signs are visible during the most dangerous times of the day, dawn and early evenings. These are highly conspicuous and are most commonly used for school traffic signs.

Q. What is 3M? What role do they play in reflective signs?

A.
3M is a US-based multinational conglomerate with operations in the fields of industry, worker safety, health care, and consumer goods. 3M translates to Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. The company was founded in 1902 by Dr. J. Danley Budd, Henry. S. Bryan, William A. McGonagle, John Dwan, and Hermon W. Cable. It makes a range of abrasives, adhesives, automotive parts, coatings, office supplies, dental and orthodontics, medical, labels, films, sheeting, and more.
3M pioneered the development of retroreflective sheetings over 50 years ago and continues to be the leader in producing retroreflective sheetings to meet the challenges of today's roadways and drivers. SmartSign is a proud 3 M authorized manufacturer , a feat enjoyed by only a few.
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