Channel Letter Signs: Does Your Business Need One?

About 45 million people hike to Griffith Park just to catch a glimpse of California’s famous Hollywood sign. Not all those who visit Vegas are after winnings (although it’s an amazing holiday bonus). Some are content to catch the neon lights that line Fremont Street.

You then wonder, will channel letter signs for your business too?

But First, What Are Channel Letters?

Have you been to Westlake Center in Pine Street or the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop in Alaskan Way in Seattle? Then most probably, you’ve seen channel-letter signs.

These are embossed- and sometimes 3D-looking letters, numbers, and characters that usually spell out the name of the business or the shop. In some cases, it may feature a short quote or a slogan. They feature a variety of fonts, sizes, and colors.

While they look simple, they are made of many different parts. The three most essential ones are the face, which the consumers usually see; return, which creates the enclosed channel; and trim, which accounts for the side panel.

The face may be polycarbonate or acrylic, depending on the type of illumination it will use and the effect the business owner wants to achieve. The lighting may make the letters appear as if they’re floating or produce a halo effect. That means the edges of the letters or characters produce a glow.

The return pertains to the depth of each character or letter, which can be between 3 and 8 inches. It is also often painted white or black, but the business owner can consider other colors or shades. However, to ensure that all colors work together, the manufacturers may use a Pantone matching system (PMS).

One can then mount the channel letters at least two ways. The raceway style includes a box that houses all the other important components like the transformer and the wire. The letter or character is then attached to the box, which is then connected to the wall.

For a sleeker look, some business owners consider flush or direct mount. It uses the wall, which hides the components, and the interior ceiling.

Why Should Business Owners Opt for Channel Letters?

open signage

Channel letter signs are popular for the following reasons:

• They make the shop stand out – Channel letters allow companies or shops to be more versatile, imaginative, and creative with their signs. They can stick with classic ones if they want something elegant, or they can add other elements like a shopping cart if it’s a grocery store. The lighting only enhances the uniqueness of the design.

• Repair and maintenance is easy – Usually, when a lit boxed sign gets damaged and needs repair, you have no other option but to remove everything, leaving the shop with no sign at all. Channel letters, therefore, are easier to maintain and fix. This is because the design features individual letters or characters. If one runs out of light, the others remain on.

Note, though, that you may need professionals to help you maintain these signs. For instance, if you’re putting the letters or characters near the ceiling or the roof, you may need a roof-cleaning service. Dust and debris from the edges can reduce the illumination. This service is also essential if the letters are in a flush mount.

• They are hardy – The materials used in channel letters are often durable. Contrary to what other business owners think, they can sustain harsh outdoor elements, such as torrential rain and snow.

• Channel letters can also work well indoors – This is ideal when the shop is inside a shopping mall or an entertainment complex. While other businesses are more likely to use channel letters too, the versatility this type of sign provides users can still help shops feel and look different from the others.

Tips If You Want to Use Channel Letters

Channel letters make beautiful, appealing, and effective signs. But before a business owner starts designing one, remember these tips:

1. Check the locality’s sign code – Not all states or places may allow channel-letter signs. Others may impose restrictions as to the location and size. For those operating in Seattle, they can refer to the land-use code of the state’s department of construction and inspections.

2. Ask the landlord for permission – It is not only the state or the city laws that may affect the use of channel letters. So do the permission of the landlord. They may request a specific design, size, or height for uniformity. They may prohibit extremely large signs.

3. Think of branding – Use channel letters to promote your brand. Stick to the same design all the time.

The stories behind some of somesigns in the United States can definitely draw a crowd, but so do designs. That’s why channel letters can work for a lot of businesses.

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