651-432-4050 Sales@StPaulSign.com

Reflective Aluminum Signs

We design and print custom reflective aluminum signs to be used on roadways, in parking lots, on sidewalks and indoors for emergency directives.

At St. Paul Sign, we print on Diamond Grade (DG), High Intensity Prismatic (HIP) and Engineer Grade (EG) sheeting, which is then applied to the aluminum sign blank. If you don’t know what those are, no worries! We will explain below.

FREE Custom Design

Maybe you just need a no parking sign with customized text. Or maybe you want something more unique with icons, graphics or logos. We love designing reflective aluminum signs, so we do the design work for FREE, even if it’s complex.

Get a Design Proof and a Quote

Send us an email at sales@stpaulsign.com and let us know what you need, including quantity. Attach any graphics, logos or examples that will help us design your sign, and we’ll send back an initial design proof with a quote.

We Ship Nationwide

Florida, California, Washington… Yes, we ship everywhere.

Free Graphic Design

We don’t charge for the graphic design. We’ll vectorize logos, source unique fonts and even send you a mockup of your sign with your quote. No hidden charges.


Why Use St. Paul Sign?

Yes, many companies print signs. But, not every company does great graphics. And most lack in customer service skills. We aren’t happy unless you are happy.

Custom Reflective Aluminum Signs for Roadways, Parking Lots, Sidewalks and Indoors

Reflective Sheeting is an amazing technological product and has many applications. Of course, all roadway signs are reflective. But reflective signs are NOT just for use on the highway. Any sign that’s outside on a sidewalk or in a parking lot should surely be reflective for nighttime and low-light visibility. Specifically, Curbside Pickup Signs benefit greatly from this high visibilty. And indoors, reflectivity is ideal for emergency signage, like “First Aid” signs and “Fire Extinquisher” signs for example. Any vital indoor informational signage will benefit from reflective technology in a lights-out emergency situation.


We use 3M™ Reflective Sheeting

Did you know 3M™ is short for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing? Well, we’re in Minnesota just miles from the 3M™ headquarters, so it’s only fitting that we use 3M™ products wherever possible. They are the pioneers of reflective technology, and have what are considered the best products in the sign industry. The 3 grades of 3M™ reflective sheeting, listed from highest to lowest reflectivity, are Diamond Grade (DG), High Intensity Prismatic (HIP) and Engineer Grade (EG).

  • DG has the highest reflectivity and is mostly used for roadway signage and often mandatory for all stop signs even in a parking lot.
  • HIP has slightly less reflectivity than DG, but is the old standby and is used widely for nearly all applications. HIP is used on roadways, parking lots, on sidewalks, indoors for emergency signs and anywhere else desired where the cost of DG is not warranted and DG is not required.
  • EG has the least reflectivity. We don’t print on EG typically, because it costs nearly as much as HIP and has significantly less performance value.

What Specifications are Required for Road Signs?

Federal, state and local guidelines may dictate which sheeting is to be used for particular signs and locations. Also, there are a slough of general specifications for road sign design that we have to follow (e.g. sign size, font, text-size, layout, border width)

If you are not very familiar with road sign specifications, we recommend that you research signing specifications for your location before having us design your signage. But we can do the research for you, as we will have research and verify these specifications anyway.

Here is the page for Signing Specifications from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Every state will have something similar.


3M™ Reflective Sheeting Comparison

Diamond Grade Full-Cube Prismatic (called DG or sometimes DG3 ) is the ultimate reflective sheeting for highway signage, but HIP and EG still have their place. Here is a page on the 3M™ website: a comparison of HIP and DG. You typically don’t need DG performance in a parking lot or on a sidewalk for non-critical signage. But this video is great at showing you the differences in the 3 main sheeting products.

3M Diamond Grade Blue

3M Diamond Grade White

Roadway Sign Colors

Roadway signs have standardized color schemes for each type of sign. Signs may be printed, or put together with using layers or transparent vinyl over the reflective substrate. Other signs may use a white substrate and are printed with any number of colors. The legend refers to the sign’s letters, symbols, numbers and borders. The sign border and legend are usually the same color.

Sign Type Background Color Legend & Border Colors
Regulatory White Red, Black


Flourescent Yellow

Temporary Warning


Fluorescent Orange



Flourescent Orange

Guide Green White
Guide (various) White Black, Blue, Red, Yellow
Services Blue White
Recreation Brown White
School Zone


Fluorescent Yellow

Fluorescent Yellow-Green


When to use Diamond Grade

For sure, diamond grade should be considered for all stop signs and highly critical warning signs. It should also be used on signs that are outside a drivers central vision area, like on overpasses and wide roadways. Diamond Grade is best at picking up light from an angle and reflecting it back to the driver’s eyes. When application calls for fluorescent yellow, orange or yellow green, Diamond Grade should also be used.

Compare Grades in the image below. From left to right is EG, HIP and DG3.



Font Used on Roadway Signs

Highway Gothic is the font used on roadway signs that was developed by the US Federal Highway Administration. It is a set of six fonts called A Series, B Series, C Series, D Series, E Series and E(M) Series (a modified version of E Series). Each has different font weights, letter widths and kerning (space between letters).

HIP comes in Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Orange, Brown, and White

DG comes in Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Brown, White and Translucent White (above) and in Fluorescent Yellow, Orange and Yellow-Green (below)

Non-roadway Signage

Some non-roadway sign examples are “curbside pickup” signs, “no parking”, “no dogs allowed”, “sidewalk closed”, “exit here”. For nearly all signs of this type, in a parking lot or on a sidewalk, HIP or High Intensity Prismatic has more-than-sufficient reflectivity. There is DG, or Diamond Grade, which is a little more money, but that degree of performance is hardly necessary unless you need to see your signs clearly from a 100 yards away! We don’t suggest EG, or Engineer Grade Sheeting because it costs nearly as much as HIP and doesn’t perform nearly as well.


See our Curbside Pickup Signs page to learn more.

Sign Sizes

For highway signs, we stock or source the usual sign sizes that are typically specified. For unique sign dimensions, we simply fabricate the sign blank and drill the holes where specified.

For non regulated signage, any size or orientation (vertical, horizontal, diagonal) is possible, but typically it is most economical and fastest to use our stock sign sizes. For printed reflective signs, we stock 12×18, 18×24, 18×18, 24×30 and 30×30. Also, it may be important to know that most of our signs have 1.5″ radiused corners and holes at specific offsets to the edges.

Sign Bases

For non-permanent signs, the “go-to” sign base that almost everyone is using is the Portable Pyramid Sign Base. See the Pyramid Sign Base Page. For local customers, we also offer rugged black steel sign bases you may see on the Curbside Pickup Signs page. We deliver these locally, but shipping we have found is expensive, so we don’t suggest the steel bases to out of town customers.

High Intensity Prismatic Curbside Pickup Signs

Close Up of 3M High Intensity Prismatic

Get a Quote

Email stpaulsign.com or call 651-432-4050.