Channel Letters 101 – What You Need to Know to Select Yours
Channel Letter signs are an impactful type of sign that has been around since the 1920s. Since then, they’ve functioned as an excellent way to advertise your business and generate more revenue. Additionally, you can see them from a long distance, which is perfect for businesses with large signage. If you are looking to increase the visibility of your business, Channel Letters might be the best option for you! Therefore, if you are shopping for Channel Letter Signage, this article will give you some insight into how to choose them for your building facade.
What are Channel Letters?
Channel letters are a type of commercial signage that adorns the exterior of many businesses. They consist of a graphic element with an individual structure and bold letters that are mounted in a way that gives them a striking, three-dimensional effect. Also, there are four main pieces to channel letters: The face, the return, the backing and the lighting element(s) if the sign has illumination.
They can be made from aluminum, steel or acrylic which typically means they’re rugged and affordable. Channel letters can either be illuminated or non-illuminated, but the bold lettering is striking either way. They can be illuminated by lights either internally (LEDs) or externally with LED lighting fixtures mounted to the back of the letters. Dave Signs also illuminates Channel Letters this way with neon lighting.
Where You Typically See Channel Letter Signs
Channel Letter signs for GANAS Auto in Oxnard, CA.Channel letters are typically installed on the front of a building, or high up on buildings that don’t have convenient space for them. For example, pole-mounted channel letter signs stand tall in retail locations where there is not much room for installation.
We created the two Channel Letter Signs for GANAS Auto above. Their storefront sign can attract people passing nearby, and the pole sign can attract motorists from far away.
Other places you can commonly see Channel Letters are on Monument Signs…
…and on Indoor Signs.
Why Channel Letters?
Building awareness for your brand is important for your business’s success. Likewise, 59% of consumers say that they would rather buy new products from brands that are familiar to them.
In addition, Channel Letters are a popular choice among many grocery stores, retailers and restaurants wanting to enhance their brand recognition. You can see Channel Letter Signs used by chains and national brands since they are often a very effective part of promoting brand awareness.
The Four Basic Types of Channel Letters
The main difference between channel letters is the type of illumination they use. Of course, you are free to choose letters with or without lighting, as well as which kind of lighting element you want. There are four basic types of channel letters you need to familiarize yourself with as a CEO, solopreneur or decision-maker: Front-lit, Halo-lit, Front/Back-lit and Open Face.
Let’s look closely at the four basic types of channel letters:
1. Front-Lit: This type is the most common. LED bulbs or neon lights light the face of each channel letter. Because of the materials used, this option is extremely customizable.
2. Halo-Lit: For sign projects that require a unique and distinguished look or brand image, you can’t beat Halo-Lit. Illumination for halo-lit channel letters comes from behind the letter. However, they do not have a face and cast halos of light around each letter.
3. Front/Back-Lit: This type of signage combines front-lit letter channel letter with halo-lit. The result looks pretty fancy, too. For instance, if you are considering a sign with a red illuminated face and white halo effect, this option really pops.
4. Open Face: The back and sides of the pen-lit channel letters are aluminum. Neon lights versus LEDs typically illuminate these signs, too. Additionally, the sign face either has no sign face or is clear so that the exposed neon light inside can shine through.
Mounting Options for Channel Letter Signs
When purchasing a channel letter signage, you decide the type of mount you need. Channel letters have three main mounting options: the raceway mount, flush mount and backer mount.
- Raceway Mount: Many property managers often request that channel letters be mounted atop a raceway. Raceways are containers that neatly and safely holds the electrical components (wires, power supply, etc.) for the individual letters. A raceway also alleviates the # of holes drilled, too. We typically paint raceways so they match the hue of the sign band or storefront. This technique also ensures that it blends well with brand guidelines and the surrounding architecture.
- Direct Mount: This mount is the most common. And it gets its name because the letters mount directly to the building’s face. Housing for the power source and electrical wiring is behind the bulkhead wall with this option. For Back-Lit letters, separation from the surface comes from standoff spacers.
- Backer Mount: This mount is more common for illuminated channel letters. This option sees the channel letters attached through a pre-made opening in the building’s frontage or mounted atop the backer board. The electrical hardware and power supply are contained within the backer cabinet or situated behind the facade or bulkhead wall.
Next Steps for Getting Your Channel Letter Signage
There you go! Now you know the basics of channel letter signage. The next step we recommend is consulting with a custom sign professional like Dave’s Signs. We have experts on staff who can create commercial signage for your business that will help you stand out from the rest of the clutter. With 20+ years of being the top choice for the design, fabrication, and installation of distinctive signs and graphics, you can trust our suggestions!
Why Choose Dave’s Signs for Your Channel Letter Signs?
Dave Signs services clients here in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles Counties; and Nationwide. We know the local zoning ordinances that regulate the size, illumination and projection of Channel Letter Signs. Also, we have extensive experience meeting landlord’s and property management requirements for signage.
If you would like to know more about our Channel Letter Signs or other high-quality products and services we offer, please get in touch with us at (805) 641-1387. Alternatively, you can fill out our online form for a quick quote.