The 2021 Signage Trend to Look Out For: Faux Finishes

The key to great signage is to stay above current trends. No one wants to visit a business with dated signage that looks like it hasn’t been updated for decades. At Creative Sign Designs, we are constantly on the lookout for new signage trends related to design, lighting, style, and technology.

One signage trend we’ve identified that is on the rise is the use of faux finishes as a design element.

A faux finish can offer your brand more flexibility in your design options, especially if you have a limited budget or building code restrictions in your area. This is an opportunity for you to elevate your signage in ways that might not have been possible before.

In 2021, we expect more of our customers to demand this type of design. Learn more about the nature of faux finishes and how you can incorporate them into your business.

What Is a Faux Finish?

Faux finishes are paints or prints that recreate a texture or the appearance of materials. For example, a brand might invest in a metal faux finish instead of actually building a steel or titanium wall. These prints vary in quality and realism, with some faux finishes looking almost imperceptibly different from their material counterparts.

Faux finishes are also seen as affordable alternatives to traditional building and signage materials. For example, if you are installing monument signage, it might not be possible to use actual bricks in your display, but a faux finish can create that look for you – for a reduced cost.

One of the main reasons why faux finishes have become popular recently is the use of modern technology to easily create realistic looks for a reduced cost. Namely, our flatbed direct UV printer allows us to scale production and get the colors and textures our customers need.

Flatbed printing uses UV inks which are then cured into a solid film under the UV light. This allows us to create new signs quickly and have a reduced impact on the environment by using fewer ink cartridges and an ozone-free light source. At Creative Sign Designs, we have been using this printing method for two years to help our clients get their ideal designs.

Match Any Brand Element Using Faux Finishes

One of the main benefits of a flatbed direct UV printer to create faux finishes is that we can match any interior finish or brand element for consistent branding. For example, if you can choose your brand colors specifically to create a backdrop for your sign or add specific textures that align with your key colors.

You can also use various interior finishes to create a cohesive look for your brick and mortar locations. For example, if you have dark hardwood flooring, you can use a faux finish as the base for your signage and then contrast your logo against it.

The fact that you can match colors and textures exactly in the printing process makes the addition of a faux finish appealing to our customers. They know they can make their vision for their business a reality with professional signage.

Recommended: Using Statement Signage and Lighting to Make Your Building a Community Landmark

Use Faux Finishes on a Variety of Durable Materials

Not only are faux finishes flexible in color and texture, but they can also be used for a variety of materials. You aren’t restricted by the type of baseboard of signage you use, only by your own creativity (with the help of our consultations) in creating something amazing.

Our team at Creative Sign Designs has printed on textures such as:

  • Canvas
  • Plastic
  • PVC
  • Acrylic
  • Carpet
  • Tile
  • Glass
  • Ceramic
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Leather


Your options for materials are virtually limitless, whether you want to print an image on traditional photographic paper or want to add a faux finish to exterior signage on the side of your building.

This flexibility of materials means you can use faux finishes anywhere that you need signage – both for internal and external use. Install a faux finish on your interior signage to welcome customers to your location or add a unique printed finish to maps and other wayfinding sources within your parking lot.

Do not feel limited in your ability to use faux finishes. If you can think of a design with one, we can make it happen.

Faux Finish Applications & Examples

As with many signage trends, one of the best ways to get an idea of what is possible with faux finishes, amongst other design types, is to see them in action.

Our team at Creative Sign Designs has developed many faux finishes over the past few years and we are eager to create more in 2021 and beyond. A few of our most popular designs include:

  • Corten Steel Live Rust Finish
  • Direct Print to Aluminum Faux Marble Finish
  • Direct Printed Faux Stone Finish
  • Direct Printed Faux Wood on Acrylic
  • Direct Printed on Brushed Aluminum
  • Exterior Custom Faux Wood Direct Printed on Metal
  • Faux Rough Concrete Finish Textured Layered 3D Ink
  • Interior Faux Wood Directionals to Match Interior Decor
  • Pine Wood Vinyl Print


As you can see from the examples above, many of our clients wanted a specific texture (like a marble finish) but either couldn’t afford the materials or couldn’t support the weight. A faux finish for marble is popular because it is more affordable and you can put almost any other on top of it.

Faux finishes are also more durable. With the rust finish above, the sign can last for years and still look new, without actual paint or rust damaging the branding. Our clients still get their ideal vision for signage without the risk involved in an unwieldy or delicate material.

Recommended: How to Use Retail Signage to Make Your Location Stand Out

Keep Up with the Latest Signage Trends

If your signage is worn from the sun and other outdoor elements, or it simply needs to be redone with a modern look, call our team and request a consultation. We are happy to discuss faux finishes in greater detail while reviewing different lighting, placement, and materials options for your brand.

Your signage is one of the first parts of your brand that your customers see. Let them know that they are welcome at your place of business and that your brand is modern and up with the trends. Contact Creative Sign Designs today to see how we can help update and improve your signage in 2021.

We have two locations in Florida featuring more than 50,000 square feet of our product offerings. In Tampa and Orlando, we provide a glimpse into the endless possibilities in the sign world. We have created a whole new concept in signage, one that incorporates high-tech design and top-of-the-line construction.


Additional sales offices in Jacksonville, FL, and Fort Lauderdale, FL.


12801 Commodity Place
Tampa , FL 33626
Toll Free: 800-804-4809
Fax: 813-818-7200


285 National Place
Unit 127
Longwood, FL 32750
Toll Free: 800-804-4809
Fax: 813-818-7200


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