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The Different Design Options for Channel Letters

To weather the elements and for easy reading, it is essential to properly construct channel letters. Channel letters should have a top-level viability, and it should bring as much appeal to your business as possible. Creativity, elegance, simplicity, and style are the most effective tools to make custom channel letters.

Identifying the parts of a channel letter

There are six main components to channel letters. Many options are available for each of these six components. Mixing and matching different material colours and finishes provides for an unlimited series of choices.

  • Acrylic Face – It is the part that lights up. The colours include blue, red, white, yellow, clear, and a lot more. Translucent vinyl of premium quality can be applied to the channel letter faces for enhanced colour options. To make outlines, fancy fades, drop shadows, and so on, digital printing (full colour) can be used. The acrylic face may be on the front, the back, neither or both front and back depending on the lighting requirements.
Front and back lit channel letters.

Front and back lit channel letters.

  • Edgecap Trim – It is directly glued to the acrylic face, and screwed to the return. Edgecap is one of the most important components of the channel letter. Standard colours include green, red, orange, blue, black, and much more. Metallic colours of premium quality are also available, like chrome silver, chrome gold, and so on. Edgecaps can be custom painted, however, the process is more expensive.
  • Return (sides) – Usually 5-inch wide,  the depth is required for the LED lighting. Multiple stock colours available include light green, dark green, red, white, bronze, and so on. The returns are usually fastened permanently to the backer.
  • Backer – Stronger materials are required for big capsules. They are riveted to the backer at bigger sizes. The backer in every application is white. The reason for that is for optimal lighting. The white backer will bounce the LED lights towards the sign’s face.
  • Raceway – Another important component. In some cases the individual letters are directly mounted to a raceway. This will conceal and protect the wiring. Raceways can be custom built. Usually, the top lid extends the whole length for the purpose of accessing the inside wiring easily. The stock colour for raceways includes tan, black, dark brown, burgundy, and white.
  • LED lighting – Thanks to the advancement in technology, LED’s are less expensive than neon, to produce and install. They are far more efficient and are more environment-friendly as well. Note that extra large capsules and big bold letters will drive the cost up because of the LED factor.
Non lit stud mounted channel letters

Non lit stud mounted channel letters

Different mounting methods

The different mounting methods are as follows.

  • Channel letters can be flush mounted. The process involves directly attaching the letters to the building facade.
  • Raceway channel letter mounting has fewer mounting holes. A raceway is a rectangular sign mounting structure. It serves as a mounting structure as well as a container for the electrical parts of the sign.
  • Wireway channel letter mounting contains only wiring. A wireway serves as a mounting structure. Compared to a raceway, wireway is broader and thinner. A wireway may also be used as a backer panel.
  • Mounting of face-lit letters is also a viable option. They can be installed using a top and bottom rail at the top of the building surface, supported by metal arms.

Channel letters come in four basic configurations. Front lit channel letters provide illumination only from the front. Reverse lit channel letters provide illumination only from the back. Front/Back lit will provide illumination from both the front and the back. Open face channel letters are open only at the front, and they have a thin return.

Channel letters can have a huge impact on the image of a business. Always go with the experts if you want your channel letter project to have a class and sharp touch.

Posted in Outdoor Signs



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