Building a Channel Letter

Material choices needed to build channel letters are rather simple, but there’s also a lot more flexibility now, which makes adding channel letters to your product mix that much easier. There has been no better time in the history of the sign industry than now to offer channel letters as part of your product mix.

  • Backs and Returns—Choosing channel letter materials is quite simple mainly because there’s no real need to deviate from industry standards. The industry standard for the backs (or the faces, in the case of reverse channel letters) and returns is aluminum, either mill finished or pre-painted. The difference is found in the thickness of the aluminum. Other finishes include anodized, brushed anodized and mirrored. However, these are rarely used, and typically only used when an architect specifies these finishes. 

     

  • Trim Caps—Be very careful when gluing trim cap to polycarbonate material so that the glue you use is making a strong and secure bond.” Again, these are fairly standard gauges and material types throughout the sign industry based on years of experience. As noted earlier, the only thing LEDs have really changed is the depth of the letters, though some adjustments have been made to channel letter face materials.

     

  • Facings—Acrylics and polycarbonates are typically used for the letter faces, and both are available in colors in a variety of colors. Some colors are better than others at transmitting LED light from behind the acrylic, and there are variations of white as well. There are more colors available in acrylic than there are in polycarbonate.

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