Coroplast is everywhere. It’s on the street corner, in your front yard, on the main boulevard. And it serves many a purpose. From promoting the a grand opening of a new fast food restaurant or new martial arts studio to getting your favorite local politician elected. However, you might not even know what coroplast is.
Coroplast is a brand name of corrugated plastic and a registered trademark of Coroplast, Inc. Because of the success of this brand, it has become a generically used tradename and many people in North America today refer to all corrugated plastic as "coroplast".
The material is commonly used to erect commercial signs, constructing plastic containers & packaging. It is also the material of choice for the screen printing industry.
Everyday small businesses rely on coroplast from their promotional printed & branding needs. Why? Because corrugated plastic is a lightweight and cost effective solution that can easily be mounted many ways due to its versatility.
Here are some more examples of how corrugated plastic can be used:
- Menu Boards
- Indoor Signs
- Temporary Signage
- Yard Signs
- Trade Shows
- Special Events
- Directional Signs
- And Many More!
As you can see, Coroplast has a variety of uses; however, using corrugated plastic is not for all applications. It is important to consider the application of a printed piece before you consider the budget. Because no matter how much money you save, you can never repair the damage of poor or cheap looking branding message.
So, here are 2 things to consider when choosing to use a corrugated plastic
1) It has the internal fluting similar to cardboard box material, and corrugated plastic will be able to withstand more rain that poly coated poster boards, but has the tendency to sway over during high winds.
2) Another downside to corrugated plastic signs is that the print will not be as crisp as poster board signs, due to the slight variations of the material because of the fluting. While still a great sign, you may notice lines in your artwork.
You will notice lines in your artwork especially when printing half tones or gradients. This is still a concern when printing a flood coat or spot colors, but not as bad.
Check out the two examples below. Both were screen printed on a 4MM corrugated plastic. One example was printed using bright, vibrant spot colors. The quality of the print is high, but when you look from a short distance, you can see thin vertical lines throughout the material. This is not a function of the screen or the printer. It is the nature of the material itself & is unavoidable.
Again, consider the application. Where is the piece going? And for how long? How is the piece being applied? Is it exposed to the elements? These are all important questions that have to be answered, before a confident recommendation on material can be made.
Now look at the second example. This was printed using just 1 color, black, and a series of half tones & gradients. The vertical lines are more visible, because the ink has a tendency to collect in the slight variations of the material due to the fluting. Again, this isn’t a product of poor print quality. It is merely the nature of the material.
Coroplast is a highly affordable option for many print applications & can be a great fit for your next project. However, before investing your valuable marketing dollars, consult with your printer, have a good understanding of the final application, & consider how the flutes of the corrugated plastic will affect the look of your art.
Every print job is different & every application requires new consideration. Happy Printing!