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  • Carrie Crocker

How Extruded Panel Highway Guide Signs Are Made

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

What are Highway Guide Signs?

extruded panel highway guide sign

Highway guide signs provide mileage and directional information to specific destinations and feature white text on a green reflective background. They are typically placed overhead but they can also be located on the side of a freeway.

different highway guide signs

According to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highway (MUTCD), green colored signs indicate guide messages. Signs describing upcoming exits, mileages to upcoming cities, and mile markers are all guide messages, so they appear in white letters on a green background. Other highway guide signs require different pantone color specifications depending on the purpose of the sign.

How Extruded Panel Guide Signs Are Made: Step by Step

Cut & Punch

cutting extruded panels

  • The extruded panels are pulled from inventory to be cut and punched to the specified requirements provided by the customer.

Aluminum Treatment

extruded panels in aluminum treatment process

  • After the panels are cut and punched, they begin the cleaning and etching phase of the fabrication process at our in-house chemical etching and corrosion treatment tanks. This process etches the aluminum panels surface to ensure better adhesion of the 3M Reflective Sheeting as well as provides increased corrosion protection.

Sheeting Application

sheeting applicaiton to extruded panels

  • Once the panels are dry, they are sent to our sheeting and lamination department where they are sheeted and laminated at the same time using a combination of rollers and heated air blowers. As a 3M certified sign fabricator, we exclusively use 3M sheeting, inks, and over laminates to provide superior reflectively and weather resistance to all of our guide signs.


assembly of extruded panels

  • After the 3M sheeting and overlay films have been applied, it is time for the panels to be riveted together at our assembly department.


application of lettering to highway guide signs

  • Once the extruded panel guide sign has been assembled, the sign makes its way to "lay-out" where letters, numbers, and symbols are all applied.

Quality Audit

Inspection of highway guide signs

  • The last step that our signs go through is a quality audit to ensure there is no sign damage and that the sign has been made to the proper specifications.


loading highway guide signs for shipment

  • The signs will be loaded on an Interstate open 30' trailer in the same sequence of installation. In addition, we can drop the trailer off at the job site and leave it for a prearranged period of time. Our loading team is well trained in the necessity of securely loading to prevent damage during travel. Our open 30' trailer delivery system, due to our ability to sequence loads, allows customers to concentrate on installing signs instead of locating the next sign to be installed; it simplifies the sign installation process.

shipping highway guide signs to customer


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