Standoffs 101

What is a standoff?

A standoff is a small piece of hardware that mounts and attaches a sign to a wall. The three parts of the standoff are the barrel, the cap, and the wall screw. A standoff allows a sign to literally “stand off” a wall and bring it forward. This type of threaded separator is sometimes used in conjunction with another similar piece of hardware called a spacer. A spacer is unthreaded and allows for an entire bolt to pass through. Standoffs can be male and female to fit together, and are typically made from aluminum, brass, or nylon. A hole is drilled through each corner of the sign and standoffs are threaded through the holes. There are also edge-grip standoffs for signs that can’t be drilled through, that hang your sign by its edges.

Standoffs come in a variety of finishes and sizes. This metallic copper standoff is 1″ in diameter and stands 1″ off the wall. The sign has printed vinyl on the wall behind, plus both cut and printed vinyl on the clear acrylic panel, all mounted over a printed vinyl wallpaper for a striking, dimensional effect.

Why use standoffs?

Standoffs can support relatively heavy sign panels so you don’t need to worry about them falling off the wall. They can be used to make any sign stand away from the wall and to add a professional look to your signs. They’re commonly placed in each corner of the sign to create the most strength and support. Though standoffs can be used with most signage materials, most often they are used with acrylic, aluminum dibond, and plastic. Standoffs are available in a wide variety of colors, finishes and sizes.

Crisp metallic cut vinyl on a glossy black acrylic panel is accented with 1/2″ brushed metal standoffs.

What else can they be used for?

Other than signs, standoffs are most commonly used in the electronics field. They are put on top of the motherboard to separate the motherboard from the case to prevent an electrical short. There are also standoffs for LED signs, which are illuminated with LED themselves.

Clear acrylic with cut vinyl lettering backed with a second colored acrylic, using a double set of standoffs so both panels sit above the surface of the wall for a multi-dimensional sign.

Standoffs are an elegant way to elevate your sign to the next level. Their minimalistic, unobtrusive design highlights the beauty of your sign, and helps it catch the eye. Signwave can help you choose just the right size, color, and finish for the standoffs that make your signs stand out.

Standoffs come in all colors and finishes to ensure your hardware enhances the final version of the sign.
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