We made a new front-lit channel letter sign for a Supercuts in Port Hueneme, California. Channel letters are formed metal letters that have a channel inside of them for LEDs. Front-lit channel letters have the light coming out of the front. Before we started on any production, we went out to the location for a site survey to get measurements and understand how the sign was going to be installed. Then, we create a mockup with all of the specifications and details and submit it to the city for a sign permit. Many new business owners may not be aware that exterior signs require a sign permit. In order to secure a permit, you need approval on the sign from the client, the landlord, and the city. We do not start on production before a permit is secured in case the city or landlord requests any changes.
To make the channel letters, we start by routing the back of the letters from .063 aluminum for this sign we used white aluminum to help with the internal illumination. Then, we form the returns using aluminum coil. We typically use black aluminum unless another color is specifically requested because it is a nice neutral color that works for most logos. The returns are formed based on the back of the letters to assure accuracy, and then they are welded together. Once the can is completed, we install the LEDs. We used red LEDs to intensify the red color that would be illuminated at nighttime. Lastly, the faces are routed from 3/16″ red acrylic and attached to the cans with black trim cap.
Depending on the company, you may need to include a trademark symbol on the sign. As the registered trademark symbol was too small to make into a channel letters, we made it by attaching the red “R” and circle made from 3/16″ red acrylic onto a circle made from 1/2″ thick white acrylic.