All About Channel Letters

You know how you drive past just about any store and they have a giant sign above their building? Those are called channel letters, and there are so many options available. In this article, we will talk about what a channel letter is and the different types that are available to you.

What is a Channel Letter?

A channel letter is the giant 3D sign that you see above almost every single business these days. Usually, each letter will be an individual structure and separate from the other elements. A channel letter can be any letter, number, or character that makes up a whole sign.

Channel letters are most commonly made from aluminum sheeting and acrylic, making them highly flexible. This also makes it possible for them to be made in different sizes, colors, and fonts.

What are the Parts of a Channel Letter?

Channel letters consist of five different parts. The first part is called the face and is the front of the letter. The material for the face is usually an acrylic sheeting and can be made in just about any color you could dream of.

The next part is called the trim cap and is what connects the letter face to the body. The plastic used to make this part is earth-friendly, durable, and UV-safe.

The side of the channel letter is called the return. The depth of the return is between 3 and five inches and is shaped to form the letter, number, or other character for the sign. This part is made with aluminum sheeting.

Next is the back of the channel letter. This part is made of aluminum sheeting as well and comes in a variety of thicknesses depending on how big your letters are going to be.

The final part is called the light source. Channel letters are made so they can either be illuminated or not illuminated. It is typical for channel letters to be lit from the inside of the letter with the use of LED illumination. This is more costly than the neon illumination that was used in the past.

Types of Channel Letters

The first type of channel letter is known as the front-lit letter. This is also the most common type of channel letter. The second type is called the reverse channel letter. These letters are usually smaller and put off a “halo” effect when lit. Finally, there is a combination-lit letter. This combines the two previous types into one letter for the best-looking sign possible.