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Safety and Fun on the Snowmobile Trail

The right signage makes the difference
Various mishmash of signs

For more than 50 years, Voss Signs, LLC, has been producing custom and stock signs for a wide variety of industries and the general public. Founded by John Voss and later purchased by family friends, the Menters, the company has established a reputation for customer service and quality workmanship across North America and overseas.

“We’re definitely seeing a growing demand for outdoor trail signage,” said Tom Tenerovicz, marketing director, Voss Signs. “Since the pandemic, outdoor recreation has increased so much, especially in snowmobiling, as people are discovering trail systems they weren’t aware of before.”

The International Association of Snowmobile Administrators (IASA), a non-profit organization representing 27 U.S. states, Canada, and Sweden, states that snowmobile trail signs have three essential purposes: regulate the flow of traffic, keep riders aware of the trail characteristics, and provide information for enjoyment of the area and the experience.

What sets Voss Signs apart from many other sign suppliers is that it is the direct manufacturer of the products it sells.

The size, shape, color and content of snowmobile trail signs must follow the guidelines set out in each respective jurisdiction, many of which are based on IASA guidelines. Working out of its 60,000-square-foot facility near Syracuse, N.Y., Voss Signs is well-equipped and experienced to manufacture and supply whatever type of signage is needed on or off the trail. Using American-made materials, Voss Signs features non-corrosive aluminum and plastic signs for outdoor use, with designs that are either screen-printed or digitally printed to provide long-term durability.

Tenerovicz notes that although they do make signs using a variety of materials, including aluminum, 95 percent of outdoor snowmobile trail signs are made with plastic, as the material holds maximum UV inhibitors for long-lasting outdoor durability and colorfastness. High-density polyethylene is available in six gauges, from 0.024 gauge to 0.125 gauge, depending on the signage use and requirements.

Reflective Trail Signs

Voss Reflective Trail Signs are 12 inches by 12 inches, diamond-shaped and designed for the information and safety of trail users. They are available in either medium (0.05 gauge) plastic, with reflective beading or the heavier (0.07 gauge) plastic using 3M®Engineer Grade reflective sheeting.

“We do a couple of different types of reflective signage for the snowmobile/trail world,” said Tenerovicz. “The majority of what are used throughout Canada, and most of the U.S., are made using reflective sheeting, available in 3M® EGP Reflective, 3M® 3200, High Intensity Reflective and Diamond Grade Reflective, depending on the specified need. Generally, in the Northeast Corridor of the U.S., outdoor snowmobile trail signs are produced using the beaded reflective format using glass beads.

“We make our own plastic on site and utilize an in-house reflective beading process. For customers that prefer full reflective sheeted signs, we have a consistent inventory of reflective sheeting, although due to the current supply chain issues, the lead time for replenishing the reflective sheeting has been challenging and has resulted in delayed order shipments from time to time.

“The reflective beaded sign is reflective at night and is as durable as one made with the sheeting, delivering exactly the same sign in color and design. Plus, it’s less expensive because we can produce it in our facility in New York, using the proprietary process developed by Voss Signs. The beaded signs look a little bit different from what people might be used to seeing, but they are just as effective.

“Some trail systems must use reflective sheeting due to regulations within their region or county/state standard. Generally, private trail systems can do what they want for signage as long as they meet state/provincial standards.”

Custom signage for the highest quality

What sets Voss Signs apart from many other sign suppliers is that it is the direct manufacturer of the products it sells. “Custom signage is one of our specialties, along with various types of trail signage,” said Tenerovicz. “Custom work makes up the majority of our business, although we still have over 250,000 signs in stock at any one time.”

Sign that reads "Stay on trail or stay home"
Photo: VOSS Signs, LLC

The company’s graphic artists create signs to exact specifications and provide a proof of every custom order for approval before going ahead with printing. They can accept logos and artwork in Adobe Illustrator, .eps and some PDF formats, and computer artwork by email or CD. Also, a designer can start from scratch and work with a customer to get the exact design needed.

The Voss Signs’ screen-printing process allows for the reproduction of high quality artwork with extreme accuracy, using durable outdoor inks for long outdoor exposure. As Voss Signs mixes its own inks, they can match any PMS number or color sample provided.

Full-color digital printing gives the flexibility to produce signs in a wide range of sizes, reduce production times and costs, as well as accommodate short deadlines. The outdoor life of products using this printing method is more limited than with screen printing, but by using the newest ink technology available, the process offers outdoor life for five to seven years depending on conditions.

Tenerovicz says that when it comes to production timelines, the typical turnaround is about two to two-and-a-half weeks. The only unknown that might delay production is the uncertainty of the supply chain. Despite the company’s inventory of reflective sheeting and aluminum kept on hand, it must compete with much larger purchasers, especially when it comes to aluminum. However, regarding safety concerns out on the snowmobile trail, this isn’t likely to be an issue because most outdoor signage is made using plastic. 

Visit for a full catalog listing of the company’s selection of signs.