Chicago Channel Letters – All American Signs
Looking for a new, unique sign for the storefront of your commercial building? Not certain on what the available options may be or how to interpret signage terminology? Welcome All American Signs! On this post we’ll take a look at Channel Letters, review their various types and explain their components.
Take some time to get to know basics of Chicago Channel Letters and how they can benefit your business! Signage is how you present your business to potential customers. Certainly, the look of your sign makes that all-important first impression on anyone who visits your business location. At All American Sign, we specialize in creating great signs that help you stand out from the competition.
What are Signs with Channel Letters?
A channel letter sign features a 3D graphic element with individual structuring and illumination. Basically a channel letter may be any letter, numeral or other type of character. They combine with other similar characters to create your sign’s presentation. Each character consists of aluminum sheeting and acrylics. Channel letter signs are quite flexible. In addition, they’re available in a wide selection of fonts, sizes and colors.
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Fabricating Channel Letters
Channel letters usually involve the following components:
-Face. With standard or front-lit channel letters, the face utilizes 3/16” thickness colorfast acrylic sheets. They are typically cut to custom shape with a CNC or multi-cam router. Acrylic sheeting can be custom-made to a wide spectrum of colors with the use of translucent or perforated vinyls. At All American Signs, we stock products from premier manufacturers. The acrylic face of the letters attach to the channel letter itself with usage of a “trim cap”.
-Backs. The backing of channel letters are made from aluminum sheeting. The material is available in a range of various thicknesses.
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-Light Sources. Channel letters are available as illuminated or non-illuminated sign options. Most channel letters feature internal-LED illumination. Consequently, they offer substantial energy savings in comparison to neon options.
-Trim Cap. The device for attaching the acrylic face of channel letters to the main body of the letters is an eco-friendly, sturdy plastic that extrudes surrounding aluminum foil. The trim cap connects to the acrylic Chicago Channel Letters face via a bonding, liquid agent. It simply attaches the trim cap to the face of channel letters. Next, the face is ready to attach to the main body of the letters.
-Return. The sides of channel letters are known as the “return”. For standard, front-illuminated channel letters, the return’s depth is usually three, five or eight inches. Return depth is often in lease agreements or the ordinances of your local community. The shape of returns to form the letters’ character by utilizing computerized, bending machinery. Aluminum sheeting that’s part of the channel letter manufacturing also is available in various colors.
Varieties of Channel Letter Signs
-Front-Lit Channel Letters. Among the most popular version of channel letters. A front-lit channel letter will typically feature a trim cap, acrylic face and an aluminum back and returns. Also, we offer several appealing options – just let us know how you envision your custom signs!
-Reverse, Halo and Back-Lit Channel Letters. For a truly unique look that sets your storefront apart, consider reverse Chicago Channel Letters. Rather than an acrylic face, the reverse option utilizes different size metal faces and aluminum returns. Also, they feature clear Lexan or poly-carbonate backs. The return of reverse channel letters are usually smaller. For example, about 3.5 inches. We mount these letters with a 1.5 inch. As a result, there’s a halo effect surrounding each character’s shape.
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-Front/Back or Combination-Lit Channel Letters. Considering a sign with red-lit faces and a bluish halo effect? A combination-lit channel letter would be ideal in this case. These attractive signs utilize 3/16-inch acrylic for the faces mounted with trim cap to aluminum returns that are about five inches. Likewise with reverse channel letters, combination-lit options use clear backs using vinyl, translucent graphics for a halo color.
Channel letter signs available at All American Signs are custom made on account of the many variables that play a role in their design. For instance, we consider factors such as lettering height, font, stroke and return thickness, return depth and color and mounting type. Face color, trim cap thickness and color are also issues to consider. Our typical process is to quote designs on their own depending on the options our clients choose.
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Mounting Options to Consider with Channel Letters
The following are some of the options to considering with respect to mounting a channel letter sign:
-Direct or Flush Mount. When appearance is critical, you’ll probably like a direct mount installation. For this option, the letters attach directly on to your building’s façade utilizing a pattern with non-abrasive fasteners. With reverse channel letters, direct mounts featuring standoff spacers are a common choice. With flush or direct mount channel letters, the electric wiring that connects the letters sits behind the bulkhead facade or wall.
-Raceway Mount. A lot of property management firms or landlords require installation of channel letter signs upon a raceway. Essentially, a raceway is a metallic box containing the wiring and power source for the letters. The benefit of a raceway mount is that it lessens the amount of necessary wall perforations for completing the installation. Raceways usually match the color of your building’s facade.
-Backer Mount. Comparable to a raceway mount, the channel letters attach to a metallic cabinet or panel that’s usually bigger than the channel letters. The power source and wires are either in the backer cabinet or just behind the facade.
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Before considering the many types of storefront signs, there are other factors to review first. For example, check out what your lease or local sign ordinances require. Talk with your property manager (or owner) before proceeding with signage. Without a doubt, it’s a good idea to verify that what you envision is permissible.
Purchase the best signage your budget allows. Signs are not similar to direct mailers or print ads. With signs, there may be a higher initial cost. However, they’re less costly over the long term. In addition, it’s less costly to purchase a sign one time. In other words, buy a sign you’ll be happy with for the duration of your lease.
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Just like any other aspect of running a business, quality is important when it comes to signs. For instance, choosing a lesser quality LED sign means that its appeal and brightness may fade with time. Furthermore, using lower quality trim cap risks cracks forming on the cap. The result is a sign that looks old and out of date. Using lower quality acrylic also risks the fading of your channel letter signs sooner that it probably should.
-Confirm before you place your order. Will your signage have Underwriter’s Laboratory approval? In some cases, a lease might require it.
At All American Sign, we are a total service provider of custom signs with a dedication to excellent customer care. Our number one objective is providing our clients with a great product that’s even better than you anticipate. If our knowledgeable team can be of help to you or if you have a signage-related question, don’t hesitate to call us!