What are channel letters?
Virtually every one of our customers asks us this question when they are considering adding signage to their business. Channel letters are custom-made letters, generally speaking they are made out of plastic or metal and affixed to the outside of a building. You see them every day and everywhere you look. They are on churches, businesses, schools, and any number of structures to project a professional image within the community.
Standard Channel Letters
Typically, channel letters are 3 dimensional and fabricated from aluminum, plastic, or polymers so they don't rust or become easily damaged. Since signs are exposed to the elements, it is imperative that they be cut from materials with strong resistance to oils, salts, acids, and oils in the environment.
In most cases, channel letters are precision cut by a computer-controlled router. By using computer-controlled technology in the fabrication process, this means that signs can be produced in virtually any font, shape, and size.
Once the channel letter is cut, a flange will be formed and folded at the edge of the letter that will be used to either rivet or weld the letter to a can. The can is a box that contains the lights (either LED, fluorescent, or neon) that illuminate the sign. This can is created at the same time as the channel letter so that the two pieces can be married together with absolute perfection.
What are channel letters used for?
Channel letters are permanent advertising. Businesses, churches, schools, and organizations use them to showcase their presence and alert interested parties to their location. They are ideal for anyone seeking to increase their exposure to clients and they are a great way to create a lasting presence within the community.
Consider exposed or reverse lit channel letters.
Sometimes, businesses opt to install either exposed or reverse lit channel letters on their storefronts. Exposed channel letters are not covered with a plastic or polymer face which means that the LED, neon, or fluorescent light bulb is exposed without any covering. Depending on the environment and weather conditions, this can make the sign appear brighter.
Reverse lit channel letters are made from aluminum and have a light directed onto them rather than from inside the can. This creates a silhouette of the signage which some business owners prefer because it draws attention to the sign and away from other elements around the sign.
What are the three primary characteristics of good channel letters?
- Attention grabbing - A good channel letter is easily visible and recognizable.
- Sturdy - It is constructed of high quality materials and will not be easily damaged by the environment.
- Easy to maintain - Even the best light bulbs will burn out, and that means that when you go to change them you will want a channel letter that is easily removable from its can for basic maintenance and repairs.