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front-lit channel letter sign

Imagine your brand, front and center above your store, bright and visible for miles. You can make this idea a reality that will attract anyone who passes by creating a channel letter sign for your business. So how do you design an amazing channel letter sign, then? Here are ten design tips to help you maximize the branding effectiveness and eye-catching potential a channel letter sign can have.

List Your Adjectives

At the conception phase of your channel letter sign design, describe to others what you want it to look like subjectively. Don’t decide yet on the exact fonts or colors to use. Focus on the overall aesthetic: clean and sleek, open and friendly, cute and niche, or sturdy and reliable, for example. The better you can narrow down the adjectives you are looking for, the better the base of your concept will be as you work on the finer details. Even more specifically, describe how you want people to feel as they pass by your channel letter sign and narrow down that as well. If you can pick an emotion you’d like the sign to evoke (for example, excited, intrigued, trusting, or relieved), then the rest of your design process will go more smoothly.

Unify Your Brand

The next step is to think about your brand and how your channel letter sign will support it. The design will affect how people feel about your brand and your products. If your sign is disconnected from or contrary to the brand, it will confuse your customers! While a channel letter sign design doesn’t need to look exactly the same as other labels of your brand, it should be near indistinguishable to those who see it. If you aren’t already following the best practice of using the same designs with all your marketing ventures, now is the time to start. What you put on the face of your store is pretty permanent, and redoing it multiple times can be a waste of time and energy. Instead, take your time on the design.

Use Lighting and Color to Make Your Sign Stand Out

One aspect to consider about channel letters, of course, is the visibility throughout all of your business hours. For this reason, many store owners choose reverse (halo)-lit or front-lit channel letters, which both shine in the darker parts of the day. When picking the lighting color, choose bold, memorable shades that will fit your brand and still stand out to everyone.

Choose Your Font Carefully

Before you buy channel letters, remember: readability is king. Sometimes, fancy or very unique lettering can be nearly impossible to decipher from a distance—especially for drivers passing by. When designing custom channel letters, you want to make sure that you don’t put creativity over readability, as the latter not being present makes the former null and void. Building channel letters can be tricky. Check us for guidance on how to keep your brand legible from a distance. In general, minimize and optimize the sign so that the words are as visible as possible!

Be Intentional About Your Use of 3D Space

Another aspect where channel letters differ from most marketing signs is the chance to use 3D space to your advantage. RGB channel letters, for instance, have futuristic LED lighting embedded in the letters themselves, making the sign appear as if it is floating in the air in front of a building. You can also design custom channel letters that sit on a ledge and actually do protrude out from the wall! Consider the adjectives you picked at the beginning of the design process, then look at all the options for channel letters to decide which will align with those adjectives.

Have Fun with It

Did you know there are practically hundreds of channel letter sign designs to look through? Don’t just settle for the first thing you see without exploring all the options for illuminated channel letter signs. You may find the perfect custom channel letters to get across your brand.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Nostalgia

Many people connect with the more old-fashioned or retro designs simply because they are nostalgic. For example, open-face channel letters are very popular right now, partially because of their classic look and feel.

Your business has a lot to say but not a lot of room to say it. Your channel letter signs are an opportunity to speak to the public in an eye-catching way that communicates your brand and draws in curious customers. To make the most of your sign, be sure to really think about what feelings and messages your business wants to send. What kind of channel letter sign design is right for me, you may ask? The important thing is to be informed on the options in front of you—look at examples if you’re uncertain, and definitely get a professional consultation!