The Sign Center - Channel Letter Signs - Call us for your signs need, Austin TX, 512 792-1364 San Antonio TX, 210 769-9473
Austin Signs - Back-lit signage - custom signs
A standard channel letters is a three-dimensional graphic custom signs element. Its channel custom signs is fabricated from sheet metal or acrylic, most often aluminum since it will not rust. A flat sheet of metal is typically cut on a table by a computer-controlled router, laser, or water jet, based on a vector-based art file. This creates the back of the channel and is the basis for the letter shape. The sides of the channel letter, called the returns, are then formed by bending a 3 to 6-inch-wide strip of metal sheet around the aluminum back. This return can be welded at the seam or flanged and riveted or, with a metal stitched, can be fastened with galvanized or stainless wire to the back to create a solid can in the shape of the letter. The letter can is painted and fitted with any lighting components necessary such as neon gas tubes or light-emitting diode (LED) modules. A trim cap border is applied to its edges which gives the letter face a finished appearance and creates a fastening surface to attach it to the letter can. When illuminated at night, channel letters draw the eye of passers-by.
The face can also be applied with black perforated vinyl, so the letters appear black in the daytime and white when lit at night. For the best effect, face colors are usually matched with their closest corresponding LED color. A white LED is best used with a yellow or orange face. Since the advent of LED lighting technology, channel letters have become thinner in depth, decreasing to as shallow as 2" to 3" from 5" to 6", a trend which began in Europe, and is seen increasingly in the United States.4>
Exposed neon channel letter.
These are standard custom signs channel letters, but the neon is covered with a clear acrylic face to keep birds from making a nest as well as to protect the exposed neon from outside elements, i.e., weather, etc. This allows for the exposed neon to be seen, as well as the inside of the channel letter interior itself to add to the dimensional look.
Plastic formed Channel Letters.
Formed channel letters feature a molded plastic backer with a raised lip. A plastic molded cover snaps over the base. The cover, or face, can be flat, round or "prismatic" (faceted face) and is made from translucent light-diffusing colored plastic. Light is emitted from both the face and the sides of the letter. Cut vinyl can also be applied to the face to create various colored light effects in a custom signs, or to produce a halo effect. The plastic face can also be made with a translucent chrome finish so the letters appear chrome by day, but still light up at night.
Back (Halo)-lit or reverse-lit letters.
In this custom signs letter type, the face of the letter is constructed from aluminum and the lighting is directed to the back. Letters in this style are also called halo letters. LEDs are installed to the inside back of the can, and the back is often fitted with a clear or translucent plastic back to diffuse the light and protect the lighting elements and wiring. The letters are typically mounted 1-1/2" from the wall so they are set off from the façade of the building. The inside of the can is often painted white to reflect light. The effect of the halo lighting allows for a variety of creative effects depending on the color, sheen, and texture of the building surface. Light-colored building surfaces with a matte finish produce the best halo effect.
Face and Back (Halo)-lit letters.
These custom signs letters combine the same features of a face and back-lit letter. The inside of the can is usually painted white.
Channel letters may be flush mounted (attached directly to the building facade), or they may be mounted on a raceway. A raceway is a rectangular mounting structure which serves as both a container for the signs electrical components (such as a power supply) and a mounting structure.
A raceway also serves as a mounting structure but typically contains only wiring. It is thinner and broader than a raceway, and may also be used as a backer panel for the channel letter set.
Face-lit letters may also be mounted so they rest on the top the building surface with a bottom and top rail supported by metal arms.
The Sign Center Texas 1403 Blakeney Ln, Austin, Texas78753 United States