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Foam Board vs. Gatorboard: What Are The Core Differences?

Gatorboard vs Foam Core

When it comes to advertising, in the business industry, signage is the latest, most efficient, and affordable technique that has proven to give excellent results appealing to new and existing clients. What would you say are the best-printed signage and why? There are many great sign options, but the most popular would have to be foamboard and gatorboard printing. We're going to break down the main differences between foam board and gatorboard so that you can decide what product is right for your project!

What Is Foam Board

Foam Board Printing is a frequently used application to display photos, fonts, trademarks, words, and more. Name your desired images, content, or information and we can create marketable professional eye candy.

Foamboard printing
Foamboard Printing

Choosing foam board printing (also known as foam core board) is a high quality, yet economical and efficient choice for your printing projects. It is the most preferred choice for mounting prints, artwork, and photographs as well as being the backing found in picture frames. Printing on foam board allows you to mount your images on sturdy, museum-quality material. The final product can be damaged such as the denting of crushing due to its paper face. The choice of board thickness typically range from 1/8" to 3/16", but 1/2" options or greater are available as necessary for larger displays.

What Is Foam Board Made Of?

Printing Directly on Foamboard
Printing Directly on Foamboard

Foam board and foam core are the same product, and they are commonly used in school projects, advertising, and presentations. As the name suggests, the product is made with a lightweight foam core that is sandwiched between white paper. It weighs around .13lbs per sq.in. And is ideal for both personal and business use. You can opt for thicker foam board, but because of its lightweight and cost-efficient nature- the foam board is the perfect choice for single-use signage. It's slightly pliable. However, overbending will cause creasing, or snapping. The larger the pieces of foam board, the more pliable it is; however, larger signs should be handled with care. Foam Board is lightweight and durable due to its foam core. Images and content printed on foam board are lasting and resistant to sun exposure. Foam board is made of 3 layers of lightweight yet sturdy materials that are easily cut and folded to be formed into practically any shape. The inner layer is composed of resilient polyurethane foam or polystyrene, and the outer two layers are formed of either a white clay coated paper, natural brown Kraft paper, or cotton archival paper. The surface of the regular foam board is slightly acidic like most other types of paper. However, archival paper types (neutral, acid-free) are also available which have been buffeted by an alkali reserve. These are a preferable choice for most modern printing projects because of the level of permanence in the imaging.

Creative Uses:

Foam boards are the perfect choice to display products at conventions and tradeshows, or to highlight sales and promotions, or even in window displays. They are also commonly used to provide directions or essential information at conferences or other special events. If it's a teacher or student project, foam board is an incredibly cost-efficient option. It's also an excellent choice for seasonal displays, whether they be for Easter, the 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. They can be displayed using 3m adhesive strips, hung with hooks, zip ties, or propped against a wall or easel.

What Is Gatorboard

Gator Board Printing
Gator Board Printing

Gatorboard is also referred to as gator foam. It's a tough board for a display that is constructed using rigid black foam at the core. The center foam is comprised of polystyrene; this provides the frame with stability while remaining lightweight. Essentially, it's made with a sturdier version of foam core signs. Their appearance is similar to a standard foamboard sign, but it has a clay face with a matte finish and a sturdiness that foamboard displays do not. It's this quality that is noticeable when hanging and handling signs.

Gator Board Is Sturdy

Gatorboard is designed to be scratch-resistant and sturdy, but if too much pressure is applied, it can result in damage. Additionally, it is not waterproof, though it can withstand slight moisture. If you store and handle the gatorboard correctly properly, they can last for two years.

Creative Uses

Creative uses: gatorboard is the perfect choice for more permanent signage, due to the quality, durability, and stability. Gatorboard is a great option for a catering business or restaurant to create portable signage or menus. It can also be mounted using hooks or screws, and you can opt for grommets when processing the transaction to be completed during the manufacturing process. Gatorboard is also an excellent alternative if you're looking to create directional signage or nameplates, without spending money on acrylic or aluminum signage. They're an affordable, durable option.

Deciding The One For You

Poster Board Printing
Foamboard Printing

If you are not sure what is the best option please start a live chat or give us a call so we can help determine which project would be best for your needs. Keep in mind these key factors.

Foam board is a white substrate with a paper face is lightweight, are composed of polystyrene foam core, are slightly bendable, but if too much pressure is applied, it can cause damage. Foam board printing has the option of a semi-gloss, matte finish, or no finish. Gatorboard has a clay face, a matte finish, and a black compressed siding that is not as flexible or bendable, which is why it serves as an alternate to foamboard prints! 

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