Face & back lit
Face-lit channel letters
These are the most common and most visible type of channel letters. From plazas, malls and restaurants, to corporate and industrial structures, they are the most versatile form of dimensional letters.
Fabricated from aluminum since it will not rust, a flat sheet is cut on a table by a CNC router, 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 3–6 in-wide strip of aluminum sheet around the aluminum back. This return can be welded at the seam or flanged and riveted or, with a metal stitch, 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 LED lights or neon gas tubes.
A translucent plastic face usually of 3⁄16 in (5 mm) thick sheet acrylic fiber or polycarbonate is cut to fit the open face of the letter can. 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 quickly draw the eye of the passerby.
Halo-lit / reverse-lit letters
While not as bright as a face lit letter, the halo lit, or reverse lit letter delivers a much more subtle, elegant look to your facade sign.
Fabricated from aluminum, with LED modules pointed backwards towards the building, the light floods the wall that the letter is mounted to and produces a negative space at night. This soft glow, or halo, around the letters creates the illusion that the sign is almost floating in front of the light.
Letters in this style are also called reverse lit channel letters and are most typically used in, but not exclusive to, higher end restaurant signs, resort and hotel signs, corporate office signs, and interior mall signs.
Face and Back (Halo)-lit letters
These letters combine the features used in both face and back-lit letter. This gives it a very complex, layered look, adding a second dimension to the lighting aspect of the sign.
Exposed neon channel letter
These are standard channel letters, but instead of LED illumination, exposed neon is used. The neon is covered with a clear acrylic face to protect the exposed neon from outside elements. 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.
You can see these in many restaurants that are looking to give their frontage a vintage “50s” 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, 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.
Fully custom channel lettering signs
Our Channel Letter Signs are completely custom designed and fabricated to meet your specifications, circumstances, design and budget needs. Our in-house design staff, project managers, production and fabrication experts, and installation crew offer you a professional, knowledgeable and pain-free process of acquiring a new channel letter sign for your business.
Benefits of Channel Lettering
- Very visible, bright and professional signage
- Being very versatile signage, there are endless ways they can be constructed, colored, and illuminated
- Eye-catching, illuminated or non-illuminated signage that can be installed outdoors or indoors
- Made up of durable, long-lasting materials
Other Types Of Signs
View our other exterior and interior sign options and architectural graphics