Channel letters are a type of commercial signage that are often used on the outside of buildings. They are made up of several parts that give them a three-dimensional effect and bold lettering. What makes up a channel letter? Glad you asked!

What is a channel letter?

A channel letter is a three-dimensional letter or number made up of a back a return and a face and can have an illumination component to it if you wish to have it emit light.

The back and face are usually routed out on a CNC router and the face is usually a tab bit larger than the back so that it can fit like a shoebox lid over the return.

The back can be made from aluminum but most commonly is routed from flame retarded max metal or Dibond aluminum composite.

How are they made?

The face is routed from acrylic and prepared by adding trim cap to the face with a specialized glue. If the face of the letter is oversized – you would use polycarbonate instead and continue with the trim cap and glue.

The color of the trim cap depends on the client specifications for the style of channel letter you are doing but a typical color and size is black one inch trip cap. Once dry, the trim cap allows the face to attach to the return seamlessly.

Once the back and return are riveted or stapled together you would use white caulk around the inner bottom seam to waterproof the letter add LED lights and ta-da you’ve made your first channel letters.

Stay tuned for ways to mount channel letters to a building.