What Are Channel Letters?
Channel letters are the metal and plastic letters you see on store signage. They’re used on public and commercial buildings and usually internally illuminated. You can see them from miles away because of how they’re lit and the way they’re constructed to stand out.
When creating a custom channel letter sign, you can create hundreds of letter combinations with channel letters by using different fonts, materials, sizes, colors. You can also choose from neon or light-emitting diode (LED) modules to illuminate channel letters. Not only are there various types of channel letters to choose from, but they typically last for years.
Types of Channel Letters
Standard Channel Letters
Standard channel letters are 3-D letters that are covered with a thick type of plastic and illuminated from within. Illuminated channel letters are made up of several components: the channel, the returns, the plastic covering, the backing, and the lighting.
The channel is usually made from metal or aluminum that’s cut to the prescribed letter shape. The sides of the channel letter are known as returns, which are formed by bending aluminum sheets around the aluminum backing. After these are attached, they create a solid can that forms the letter shape. The letter is painted and then fitted with neon gas tubes or LED modules.
Exposed Neon Channel Letters
These channel letters have no plastic covering, which allows people to see the neon. The neon may be covered with clear acrylic to prevent it from being damaged by weather and to keep birds from nesting in them.