Signage Styles: Clear, Frosted, and Milky Acrylic

Signage Styles: Clear, Frosted, and Milky Acrylic

Today, we are going to outline the differences between clear, milky, and frosted acrylic for you so you can decide which of these options is best.

Signage Styles: Clear, Frosted, and Milky Acrylic

You know what’s amazing? All the signage options you get from even a single material. Take acrylic, for instance. The thermoplastic material is oftentimes colorless, highly durable, and is oftentimes used as a substitute for glass. Acrylic signs can be seen everywhere—lobbies, directional charts, architectural signs, and so much more. But guess what? You are not limited to clear acrylic. Frosted and milk acrylic options also exist. Which is the better for your business or event?

Today, we are going to outline the differences between clear, milky, and frosted acrylic for you so you can decide which of these options is best.

Clear Acrylic Signage

As you are probably already aware, acrylic signs are durable, lightweight, and highly customizable. Similar to clear glass, transparent acrylic is completely see-through. Yet, unlike glass, acrylic can be bent to a certain degree without shattering. Designs can be printed directly into the material, providing a fade-proof and highly detailed product that looks outstanding no matter where it is mounted.

You have two options for printing onto clear acrylic—front or back of the material. Placing the print on the front face is also known as standard surface. The colors will be bold and comes with a matte finish. The only downside of standard surface is that the design is much more vulnerable to scratching. If you choose to print on the backside of the acrylic, the design will be seen through the clear face, giving it a slightly opaque, glossy look. We call this option second surface printing. Unlike standard surface designs, any design on the back of the acrylic is protected from the elements and scratches; so if you plan on frequently moving the sign, second surface is ideal.

Frosted Acrylic Signage

Frosted acrylic retains all the visual appeal, durability and scratch-resistance of clear acrylic but adds a softer touch. Frosted acrylic has a blurred or foggy quality that, for numerous reasons, looks elegant and professional. The frosted aspect helps with diffusing light and prevents anything behind the panel from being seen. For example, you might choose to place several frosted acrylic panels up in a conference room to let light in but keeping prying eyes out. This is also ideal for cubicles, reception spaces, and when sectioning off parts of a store.

Oftentimes, sign companies will offer either printing on frosted acrylic or a frosted decal that will attach to clear acrylic. The differences between these two options is that if you print on frosted acrylic directly, it will be on the front side, providing a matte finish. Some decals can give you the glossy effect you might be looking.

Other ways would be to print directly onto clear acrylic but changing the background of the design to an opaque white. That will create the frosted feeling but still allow light to go through the complete product. This helps achieve back printing for that crisp, glossy feel.

Milky Acrylic Signage

The third option is called “milky” for obvious reasons. Since there is little degree of transparency, more like translucency, anything printed on milky acrylic will have a more solid look. Some light will pass through but not much. Most customers who choose milky acrylic intend to place the sign over a light source. The milkiness of the acrylic will allow for the glow to soften and diffuse around the edges of the sign, creating an appealing and incandescent frame while brightening the design printed on front.

This decorum is one of the reasons milky acrylic is so popular.

Furthermore, you can opt to use milky acrylic for more than covering light fixtures. If you have a desk or counter space with lights, you can place the acrylic panel on top to soften the illumination while creating a stunning display that looks both welcoming and sophisticated. It’s a fabulous element for reception areas in offices, hotels, tech stores and even restaurants.

Another advantage of milky acrylic would be the privacy. It’s far better at partitioning off a room or area and creating privacy.

How Do I Choose The Right Acrylic For My Project?

Nothing is better than a high-quality, customized acrylic sign to hang throughout the office space or create a unique layout. Acrylic is lightweight and shatter-resistant, and the printing process ensures that the colors and designs won’t fade over time. Depending on your project and your budget, one of the acrylic varieties might be better suited to your needs than the others.

Ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Where will I be placing the design? What is the color of the wall? Is the acrylic going to be standing alone?
  • Are there lighting elements nearby?
  • Do I require additional privacy?
  • What kind of finish do I want?
  • Do I want a decal or something else?
  • What is my budget?

As you answer these questions, you will be able to figure out if clear, frosted, or milky acrylic is best. For example, if you need to create a partition for a conference space, you might want to use frosted or milky acrylic. If you plan on hanging the sign in a reception area, you might decide on clear or frosted, depending on the color of the wall behind the logo.

Feel free to ask our professional design team any time you need help with selecting the correct acrylic for your next big project! We’re happy to discuss your options.

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