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PVC - A new aesthetic for football stadium signage

Football stadium with signage on pillars
Foam PVC is light in weight, versatile and durable
Danny O'Brien - Semi pro footballer on the right
Danny O'Brien - Semi pro footballer on the right
Danny O’Brien, Sales Executive for UK plastics manufacturer Brett Martin
Danny O’Brien, Sales Executive for UK plastics manufacturer Brett Martin

Danny O’Brien is a semi-professional English footballer who has played for England under 17s, Aston Villa, Wigan Athletic and multiple other clubs in England and in Finland. He currently plays for Ramsbottom FC in Greater Manchester and also works as a Sales Executive for UK plastics manufacturer Brett Martin.

I’ve personally spent countless hours in European football stadiums over the years – both as a player and a spectator – but it wasn’t until I started working for Brett Martin that I really appreciated the critical role and multiple purposes served by plastic signage in these environments in which I spend so much of my time. But newly built stadiums look to enhance the spectator experience through signage and branding even further, with foam PVC being critical to this.

A lightweight, durable, high performance plastic sheet, foam PVC is a sustainable option for the signage and construction sectors – integral to some of the best sports stadiums in the UK when it comes to signage and branding, its ease of printing, durability and versatility make it a popular choice.

Material choice

When it comes to the planning stages for signage in a stadium, sourcing the right material is paramount from a cost perspective, but it’s also vital to choose a solution that is durable, fire resistant, printable and has a surface that offers the perfect foundation for contrasting colours that really make letters and logos stand out.

Foam PVC, with its incredible versatility, is an ideal choice. Boundless creativity can be brought to life with this lightweight material. Suitable for digital and screen printing, cutting, routing, engraving, and forming, foam PVC offers excellent colour vibrancy, especially on white foam PVC. Superior ink adhesion capabilities make PVC a simple application too, as opposed to polypropylene or acrylic based substrates which require additional primer to be applied to their surfaces prior to printing, adding cost and time to the overall process.

Even in the large format print industry, the leading foam PVC products on the market are lightweight, making them easy to handle and install. Foam PVC is around 40% of the weight of aluminium composite making it a cost-effective alternative. The smooth, flat high-performance surface of foam PVC offers exceptional finishes and is easy for printing, routering and mounting compared to the likes of wood, cardboard and ceramics – in fact, some of the thinnest foam PVC substrates can even be cut by hand and the lightweight nature of the material means no heavy fixings are required to secure it into place.

Setting the tone

It’s not just signage that benefits from foam PVC’s credentials. Internal branding via sophisticated cladding and print work can also be used in dressing rooms for the players, as well as the tunnels they walk through toward the pitch on matchday and corridors, executive boxes and within the concourse area of the stadium. Used to its full printing potential, foam PVC enhances the visitor experience and thanks to its moisture resistance, the transfer of outside elements into the concourse will not lead to foam PVC products becoming damaged, or the visual impact being compromised. Added impact can be achieved via a range of different surfaces and colours; flat, glossy and even neon coloured PVC can be used for internal and external applications and all types are fully recyclable.

Brett Martin’s Foamalux is one example of foam PVC – light in weight, versatile and durable, this range has earned an impressive reputation in sign, display and print. It is also has fire certification for internal applications, which is of utmost importance in a stadium setting.

Its practicality means signage and point of sale can be quickly altered and replaced with other bespoke designs reflecting sponsor changes, season ticket offers or media boards, for example.

The present and future of stadium design

Easy to handle, highly versatile and aesthetically pleasing, plastic sheets in the form of polycarbonate, PETg and foam PVC have earned their place in the most spectacular modern stadiums of today. They come in a variety of formats and their positive attributes make them suitable for signage and branding. For printers, foam PVC is a substrate that works with very fast printers in standard or advanced form – it can even be run on latex printers, as the heat from these machines does not impact on the surface or the print work. Expert PVC providers have kept a close eye on the printing industry, ensuring their substrate is capable of being used on the most sophisticated, high speed printers on the market.

Before any signage or branding project, considerations should always be made prior to sourcing materials. It’s important to ensure the supplier has the expertise to know which plastic is most suitable for what application – at Brett Martin, we pride ourselves on the expert knowledge of our technical teams, who are always on hand to provide advice and support to our customers. A reliable plastic sheet provider is the key to a successful project and their quality in product and service can lead to a smooth operation and a brilliant-looking stadium.


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