A standard channel letter is a dimensional logo or graphical sign element that is typically fabricated from thin gauge sheet metal, typically aluminum, so that it will not rust as it is exposed to the elements. A computer-controlled CNC router usually cuts the desired shape out of the flat sheet metal, which creates the basis for the dimensional letter or graphical element. The sides of the channel letter, often called the “returns,” are then formed by bending a 3″-6″ wide strip of aluminum. The return can then be welded at the seam or fastened to the routed sheet metal base, thereby creating a “can” formation in the shape of the letter or dimensional sign element. The inside of the formed letter is then typically outfitted with electrical components, such as light emitting diodes (LED).
The face of the channel letter is commonly comprised of a 3/16″ thick transparent acrylic or polycarbonate substrate that is cut to precisely fit the open face of the shape of the letter or logo element. Trim cap material is then applied to the border of the face and the can to give the letter or logo element a finished appearance.
Channel letters can be mounted directly to the façade of the building or monument wall, known as a flush mount, or they can be mounted to a raceway. A raceway is a rectangular shaped aluminum box that contains the sign’s electrical components, namely the power supply and transformer, and serves as the mounting structure to the channel letters or logo. The raceway is then mounted to the building façade or monument. Typically, the raceway is painted to match the color of the wall that it is mounted to or the color of the channel letters.
Reverse lit channel letters offer an alternative and are fabricated such that the lighting is directed to the back rather than the transparent face. The light floods the wall or building façade that the letter or logo element is mounted to and creates a negative space at night.
Channel Letter Sign Company
From consultation and design to permitting, fabrication and installation, OnSight can assist in every aspect of your channel letter project. We can custom tailor a channel letter solution to fit your budget and design objectives.
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