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How Custom Routing Makes Signs Stand Out

May 15, 2019

Routers are used to cut custom signs in unique shapes and to add designs to a variety of materials. These precise cuts are controlled by a computer. You can add engraved visual features to wood, plastic or vinyl to attract attention. Other materials used in routing include aluminum and other metals. Here are key points to remember about custom routing.

Types of Signs Used for Custom Routing

  • caution and warning signs
  • directional and entrance signs
  • exhibits and kiosks
  • pavement marking stencils
  • real estate signs
  • street name signs

Planning Your Custom Sign

Custom signs are commonly prepared in a computer numerical control (CNC) routing machine. One of the first decisions you will need to make is the type of material you will use for the substrate, such as wood or aluminum. The machine makes fast cuts and is easy to use with the ability to do multiple tasks at once. A router creates many more possibilities for designers who think outside the box.

When you need sign routing done it’s best to work with a sign maker who has experience in routing signs for a wide range of businesses. Routing is often used for decoratative purposes to make a sign look more classy and eye-catching. It’s also a process used to create custom lettering by hollowing out areas. A wood router is a very versatile hand tool that can be used for cabinetry, desks and many other desk items to create smooth edges.

Modern routers have variable speed controls with soft-start features and options that allow you to customize various projects. Routing is merely a fast way to cut, shape and trim stock materials. Skillful routing techniques are necessary to do high quality professional work. A router is easier and safer to control when pushing the stock toward yourself in a counter-clockwise motion. The machine operates within the limitations for acceleration, deceleration and curve speed. Programming techniques for routing wood is similar to routing for other materials.

Aesthetics and Practical Cuts

The reason for choosing a router in your sign making is likely due to aesthetic or practical reasons. The router gives you the ability to cut perfect edges that may have to fit a matching specifically-calculated edge. Sometimes sharp edges simply add aesthetic value to a sign. Cutting dovetail sockets into wood, for example, is usually to show off craftsmanship. Whether you decide to make your sign artistic or more straightforward, routing will help give the sign its own identity. The public is bombarded with so many signs each day it’s easy to forget most of them, so it helps to add unique qualities.


With custom routing you can add unique effects to your sign that make it stand out from hundreds of other signs. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location for more information about custom routing.

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