Channel letters are probably the most popular sign type for retail stores. Channel letters are fabricated metal letters that are internally illuminated. There are two main types which are front-lit and reverse-lit. Front-lit channel letters have translucent faces so the faces light up, and reverse-lit channel letters have clear backs so the light comes out the back. Crate & Barrel was moving their Design Studio location in Pasadena and so they needed a new storefront sign made. The sign we made for them is a reverse-lit channel letter sign that was painted satin black.
Our channel letters are made from aluminum. We use aluminum for many of our signs because it is lightweight, yet durable. Aluminum can have different finishes, be painted different colors, and even anodized different colors so there is a lot of versatility. We start by routing out the faces of the letters and then bend aluminum coil to create the returns. These returns were 2″ which makes the letters 2″ deep. The returns are welded to the faces and sanded down so the edges are smooth. When the letters are painted, it just looks like one piece. The backs are made with clear polycarbonate and the letters were mounted with 1″ spacers so the LEDs inside illuminate through the clear backs and shine onto the wall behind the sign. This creates a halo effect around the letters which is why reverse-lit channel letters can also be called halo-lit channel letters. There was electricity access so we were able to mount the letters directly on the fascia. With some storefronts, we have to create a raceway backer panel for the electricals which is why you will sometimes see a channel letter sign that has a metal box behind it.
The channel letters look great with the storefront and will be sure to help customers find the new location.