What is Ultraboard?
Ultraboard is a rigid, lightweight, litho-grade poster board substrate made from high-impact polystyrene. It is similar to Foam Core or Gator board in that they all have a plastic foam center, but Ultraboard comes with a different finish. Ultra Foam board printing has a paper finish, and Gator Board has a wood veneer finish, both of these materials are incredibly vulnerable to moisture, scratches, and warpage. Ultra Board is impervious to moisture, scratches, dents, and warpage because it uses an incredibly hard Polystyrene finish to face the front and back sides of the plastic foam. Ultra board signs are straightforward to work with and simple to install, it can be cut to any size and have an image printed on it which makes it a perfect choice for permanent indoor signage.
Uses for Ultraboard Prints
If you’ve walked into a Wal-Mart recently, you’ve seen an Ultra Board print in use above the aisles. Ultraboard signs were designed to make vibrant, light-weight, warp-resistant signage for permanent indoor use. With two printable surfaces, you can use Ultraboard to create stunning menu boards for your cafe or displays inside your store with 360-visibility. Ultraboard Printing can also be used to make unique open/closed signs with your hours and other relevant info on them. Ultraboard is the go-to material for standee cut-outs of people and movie or video game displays. It’s perfect for permanent indoor signage, trade show displays or flea market displays and can be used to make unique props for public speakers.
Ultra Board printing isn’t just for businesses though it also makes an excellent canvas for artwork, school projects, and other presentations. Ultraboard is arguably the best material to use for portable displays because you don’t need to worry about it getting scratched or dented during transport. You can print, vinyl layer and even paint on Ultraboard, but we do not recommend dry mounting images as the heat may warp the board. Ultra Board is exceptionally durable and impact resistant, yet surprisingly can be cut with any router, die-cutter, saw and even by hand with a razor. For permanent outdoor use, we recommend that you frame the board, as heavy rain will seep in through the edges and cause the layers to break apart over the years.
Ultraboard poster printing is also excellent for easel signs for conferences and events. If the ultra board signs are can be used as short-term outdoor signs. Ultraboard mounting is great for high-end photography poster printing. Direct printing to Ultraboard is best for medium to long-term use signage.
Ultraboard Printing Options
Our Oce flatbed printers manufactured by Canon can handle rigid substrates of varying thicknesses and digitally print directly onto both sides of foam board Ultra Board with UV resistant inks. UV resistant ink is essential for permanent displays because it doesn’t fade when exposed to intense lighting. It is also the environmentally friendly printing choice because UV ink dries immediately and doesn’t emit any toxic fumes. While UV ink is perfect for printing on a rigid material like Ultraboard, we do not recommend use on materials with a lot of flex as the ink will crack over time. If you are printing Ultra board signs in bulk, you can utilize a screen printing process for your sign materials.
We can print any image from plain block letters to the Mona Lisa, then laminate them with a glossy or matte finish to make your image pop. One of the first questions people tend to ask about printing with UV ink is if it will cost more to print complicated, multi-colored images. We determine the price of your signage by quantity, size, and materials used, so photos with detail require no more to print than single colors. When you pair UV resistant ink with Ultraboard, what you’re left with is bold, stunning imagery that will turn heads as people go. Why use a mounting board when you can print images directly onto a warp-free surface?
Ultraboard Die-Cutting Options
A regular sheet of Ultra Board is eight feet long by four feet wide and comes in 3/16 and 1/2 thicknesses. Though the Polystyrene surface of Ultraboard is impervious to wear and tear, it’s surprisingly easy to cut and maintains shape well. Signs made from this substrate can come in any shape or size thanks to Ultra boards high structural integrity. While you can cut Ultra Board with virtually any cutting tool, die-cutting is the best option because it’s the most accurate option with an unlimited range of cutting choices. If you want your permanent signage to stand out from the competition’s, custom Ultra Board Printed signs are the way to go.
Your imagination and budget only limit installation methods. Ultra Board is strong enough to be used as a sandwich board display without being mounted on wood or metal. You can hang these lightweight displays from a string or thin wire and most poster board clips. Ultraboard Prints are easy to mount with double-sided tape for permanent installations or Velcro for temporary ones. Velcro mounted Ultra Board Prints are perfect for restaurants with a separate breakfast and dinner menu or even your open and closed signs. Ultra Board material is water resistant but not waterproof, so be sure to frame permanent outdoor Ultra Board installations.
Ultraboard Print Care
Signage requires very little upkeep to continue looking its best. Directly spray the sign with a light mist of water and wipe it off with a cloth. If you’ve had your Ultraboard sign laminated, then you can even clean it with a window cleaner like Windex. Ultra Board Prints are easy to transport and store well, even in humid environments. The scratch, impact, and moisture-resistant Polystyrene finish used to face Ultra Board ensures that you won’t show up to your essential presentation with broken signage.
Ultraboard Printing FAQ’s
- Can I drill into Ultra Board and install grommets?
Yes, it is very structurally sound and can drill it with no cracks. The UV-curable coating of the ink makes sure the foam board ink will not peel. High-impact polystyrene generally does not need an additional UV coating.
- What is the lifespan of Ultra Board Prints?
Ultra Board signage printed with UV ink has an unlimited indoor lifespan. For permanent outdoor installations, as long as it is in a frame, your sign will last for decades to come. Ultra prints will last much longer than styrofoam signs.
- How does Ultra Board differ from Foam Core or Gator Board?
Ultra Board vs. Gator Board and Ultra Board vs. Foam core is pretty simple. Foam core uses a paper finish that is very easy to print on, but extremely vulnerable to moisture, scratches, and puncture wounds. Ultra Gator Board uses a wood veneer finish that handles light humidity much better than Foamcore but can still be scratched and punctured easily. Ultra Board has a bright white highly moisture-resistant Polystyrene finish that is much more resistant to dents, scratches, and warping. Ultraboard Printing is the best option for permanent displays.
- Can I use Ultra Board displays outside?
Ultra Board can be used for temporary outdoor displays with no issues, especially if UV ink was used to print the images. For permanent outdoor signage, though, it’s recommended that you frame the board as heavy rain can seep in through the edges and cause the layers to break apart over the years. Dibond would be the best material option for permanent outdoor signage not requiring a frame.
- How is Ultra Board Printing typically used?
Ultra Board is for a wide variety of indoor displays. Its most common uses are for informational displays like the signs above Wal-Mart aisles and a video game or movie character cut-outs. Ultraboard is also frequently used to make the main signage for stores and stalls in shopping malls.
- How do I clean Ultra Board Prints?
Ultraboard is easy to clean, wipe it off with a damp cloth. You can clean laminated signs with ordinary window cleaners like Windex.
- How do I store Ultra Board Prints?
You can store Ultraboard Prints just about anywhere. Ultra Board handles high-moisture environments just fine and won’t dent or scratch if other items fall into it.
- Is Ultraboard environmentally friendly?
Ultraboard is 100% recyclable which makes it the most environmentally friendly option for your displays. Also, the UV ink we use to print on Ultra Board dries immediately, so it emits absolutely no toxic fumes.
- How do I install Ultra Board Prints?
Ultra Board is exceptionally lightweight. It can hang from a thin wire, string, double sided tape and even Velcro. Your imagination and budget only limit installation options.
- Can I get custom Die-Cut Ultraboard?
We use large flatbed CNC routers which allow for Ultra Board displays to cut to any size and shape. After we use our full-color printing process, the router will cut precisely on the lines you’ve outlined on the artwork of the board panels.
- Can you print directly onto Ultraboard or does it require an overlay?
Ultra Board is a versatile substrate that can be digitally printed directly on, painted on or used for vinyl overlays. Digital printing straight to polystyrene foam face is the best way to produce a foam core board. Photo mounting is still possible, but it is an outdated process. Ultra-violet radiation lights dry the foam board sign to make it moisture resistant.
- Can I get double sided Ultraboard Printing?
Ultraboard has a face on each panel with a durable Polystyrene finish that allows for bold, vibrant prints. Double-sided Ultra board is excellent for point-of-purchase displays. Ultraboard double-sided printing also works for events and trade show displays. Two-sided Ultraboard signs do not need aqueous coating which makes it less expensive to print than other foam board signs.
- What is Ultraboard made of?
Ultra Board is a lightweight plastic foam center that has a face on each side with an extremely durable Polystyrene finish.
- Will Ultra Board peel?
The three Ultraboard layers are bonded together permanently and won’t peel or warp as long as it’s not left sitting in a puddle of water.
- Will Ultraboard bend?
Ultraboard has a small amount of flex in it but will not bend unless subjected to extremely high pressure or intense heat.
- Will complex designs increase the cost of my prints?
We charge based on the quantity, size and type of material used. So whether you have a single color image or an incredibly complex print, the cost will be the same.
- Do you mount or print to custom Ultraboard signs?
While it is perfectly suitable for vinyl mounting, we use digital flatbed printers with UV ink to create stunning images that truly stand out and will never peel or delaminate. Mounting to Ultraboard is an option but only recommended for high-quality prints.
- What are the typical sizes of Ultra Board?
Ultraboard sizes vary depending on if you want a standard size or custom cut. A single sheet of Ultra Board measures 8 by 4, but these durable sheets can cut to any shape and size. Ultra Board thickness varies as well depending on the project you are working. If you are looking for something small, we recommend our custom counter cards page. Below are a few common sizing options.
- 4’x8′ Ultraboard Sheets
- 5’x10′ Ultraboard Sheets
- 1/4″ Thick
- 1/2″ Thick
- 1″ Thick
- How quickly will my sign be printed and shipped to my doorstep?
We are one of the largest and fastest Ultra Board distributors. Our standard turnaround time is 3-5 Business days, but we do offer same day and next day rush printing services. If you are a reseller looking for wholesale Ultra Board pricing, please email us so we can discuss discounted pricing.
- What do the edges of look like?
The Ultra boards edges are either white or black depending on the color of the surface. We can order special Ultraboard edge tape or use markers if you do not want an exposed edge.
- Can you assist me in the design process?
We have a team of creative in-house graphic designers ready to assist you with any designs small or large. Graphic Design services bill at $80 per hour.
- Do you offer color matching, also how accurate your color is?
We do offer PMS & Pantone Color Matching if you are looking to match previous artworks. Color matching is through a series of small print runs to determine the best color match before going to full production. Color matching services bill accordingly.
- What display resolution do you print?
We can print images at a resolution of up to 1440 DPI, but most images print at around 200-300 DPI.