Entrance Signs

This section should provide you with some inspiration on the types of signage and designs suitable for welcoming your visitors.

A sandblasted timber nature reserve entrance sign – supplied with 2 shaped planks, sandblasted text and a bird illustration on one post
Timber finger post with directional arms

Entrance signs range from large, feature welcome signs, directional signs, park entrance signs, signs for business entrances, school entrances and visitor attractions. This section should provide you with some inspiration on the types of signage and designs suitable for welcoming your visitors.


While Shelley can work from your own electronic artwork you can also take advantage of our talented graphic design team to create attract a striking entrance sign design.


We work in a variety of materials for school entrance signs with the decision usually determined by a mixture of budget, desired appearance and how much of a concern vandalism is. While many companies work with self adhesive vinyl letters, applied to the sign material, Shelley recommend digital printing – this produces a more robust finish as letters cannot be peeled off but importantly provides far greater design flexibility.

Common materials include:

Timber & Wooden Signs

Timber and wooden signs can be supplied as individual panels, with some quite complex designs, or as part of a framing structure for a full-colour printed panel. The versatility of timber gives you scope for some highly individual graphics.

There are a variety of woods that can be used for signs, but the most common and sustainable durable timber is red cedar. Cedar is a durable wood that sandblasts well, making it ideal for tactile signs. It is also locally sourced in many areas, which reduces the carbon footprint of the sign. Other options for wooden signs include oak, maple, and cherry.

Glass Reinforced Plastic

Shelley specialise in the production of GRP signs which are used widely in parks, nature reserves and public open spaces. We believe that this material offers a great solution for educational establishments and schools as it offers excellent impact resistance, great colour fastness with a 10 year warranty against fading and a surface from which graffiti can be repeatedly cleaned. Shelley Signs consider this the flag ship product for school entrance signs.

High Impact Acrylic or Polycarbonate

These 2 materials are similar and tend to be used interchangeably. Both offer good impact resistance and glossy finish with the printed images on the back. The main drawback is that the back can be prone to vandalism and if graffiti has to be cleaned from the surface it can tend to go cloudy.


This aluminium composite material is widely used for school entrance signs. It prints well and is ideal for use when vandalism is not a concern. Dibond can be fairly easy to scratch and does not clean up particularly well if they attacked with spray paint.

PVC and Foamex based materials

While these are sometimes used for entrance signs for schools and colleges we do not consider them to be suitably robust although are often ideal for internal signs.


How and to what your entrance sign is fixed to is an important consideration. Common fixings can range from wall fixed, fittings to metal railings or post mounted, usually onto steel posts but oak or pressure treated softwood can also be used. Sometimes signs can be fitted to existing posts which can be a useful cost saving.

Depending on budget there are a number of different styles available including flat, 4mm thick signs, signs mounted in aluminium or timber frames and a frameless Return Edge, Reinforced Back sign structure which provides a robust and solid sign structure. You can also choose the colour of painted signs with metal.

Powder coated aluminium

This is the most popular style of metal vertical frame with an attractive finish and powder coated in colours to suit. Delivered in kit form with the top section bolted to the legs on site.

Mild steel

All mild steel options are zinc plated (rather than galvanised) and powder coated in colours to suit.  We are now zinc plating rather than galvanising as it produces are far better and smoother finish with similar durability.   This is a robust option for entrance signs and may be suitable if vandalism is a particular concern.

Stainless steel

Our normal finish is a Brushed stainless steel – to powder coat seems a waste! Stainless posts and frames are more expensive and we normally use them in a marine grade steel for coastal locations.


Produced from air-dried Oak frames with vertical legs and timber sourced from FSC suppliers. Oak gives a stylish finish and would be our recommended timber. Please remember that all timbers will weather down and develop a silvery sheen over time. Oak can be prone to some splitting.


Produced with pressure treated softwood legs these softwood vertical frames are a slightly cheaper option than the oak alternative. However, if budgets will run to the slight extra charge it is well worth trading up to oak for a more stylish finish. Softwood will also weather down.

Recycled plastic

Available in brown or black recycled plastic this material is becoming an increasingly popular choice for vertical frames & posts. We are more limited in the amount of ‘joinery’ that can be performed and therefore the profiles are slightly heavier than standard timber

Common types of entrance sign

Single leg aluminium

Smaller signs at around A3 or A4 size are normally supplied complete with a single leg post & frame. This example has a powder coated aluminium leg and clamp frame with a full colour GRP sign.

Single leg timber

Signs at about A3 or A4 size are supplied with a single leg lectern frame. A choice of either Oak or pressure treated softwood posts. The signs are normally supplied without frames on these timber posts.

Pitched roof shelters

These roofed structures are a popular way to create a very noticeable feature on site. Produced in either pressure treated softwood or Oak they can house either printed GRP interpretation panels, lockable notice boards or a combination of both. They can be produced either single sided or double sided.

Integral signs & notice boards

Many clients appreciate the flexibility provided by permanent printed interpretation graphics in our robust GRP process together with the option to display short-term changeable graphics in a lockable notice board. These can be supplied as integral units in either timber or powder coated aluminium.

Heritage style fixings

Often ideal for town, city and street furniture style locations our range of heritage style interpretation fixings can include any combination of cast effect header panels and decorative posts with collars, finials and base embellishments. Please call to discuss options. 

Shaped signs

While it is easy to just think in terms of rectangular signs and interpretation we can very easily produce interesting shaped and profiled signs. This can vary from leaf profiles to a landscape profile or shaped and decorated timber with printed signs recessed into the wood. Please call to discuss options.


Shelley can offer a full install service if required or can deliver to site for your own staff or contractors to install.

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