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Earlier this year we went out to a Supercuts in La Canada Flintridge, California to convert their reverse-lit channel letter sign to LEDs. There are many reasons why business owners are converting their existing lighted sign from neon or fluorescent to LEDs. Check out our blog, Why Business Owners are Converting Their Commercial Signs to LEDs to learn more.

While we were performing the service, the owner of X-treme Pilates next door took notice and asked one of our installers about updating her sign also. However, instead of just an LED conversion, she was looking to get a brand new sign made because she had a new logo. She had put the new logo in a few places indoors and on the front door but had yet to take the big jump to replace the illuminated storefront sign until she saw us working on her neighbor’s channel letter sign.

The logo color was very important so we wanted to make sure to get it right. We decided to go with compound channel letters and a compound channel letter box. Since the sign was going to be both front-lit and reverse-lit, the logo color was digitally printed for the channel letters and the logo itself was digitally printed for the face of the logo box. This way, the logo colors would be seen at night time. For the back LEDs, we went with white.

Like any exterior sign, we needed to get a permit before installation. For this location, we needed to go through a design review board. When we submitted the information for the sign, it did not get approved because of how we were planning to make the logo box. The previous sign didn’t have a logo box and the other signs in the plaza only had letters and no logo, much less a logo box that lit up.

After figuring out what the city would accept and speaking with the owner of X-treme Pilates regarding what she would be happy with, we decided to redesign the logo box into a plaque that would still be compound lit. A channel letter plaque or channel letter capsule is very similar to a front-lit channel letter, but instead of just a translucent acrylic face, we used an aluminum face backed with white acrylic. We routed the white part of the logo out of the aluminum so the acrylic could be seen for that portion and it would illuminate at night time. The aluminum itself and the sides were painted the logo color, however, we couldn’t have the whole thing light up so only “XTP” is seen on the square at night time.

Normally we use channel letter plaques for taglines below channel letters. Many restaurants will have a tagline that goes with their business name and a channel letter plaque or capsule works perfectly for the smaller letters.

After the design review board approved the new design, we were able to start manufacturing and the sign was finally installed. Although we weren’t able to make the whole sign illuminated at night time, we were able to find a good compromise for her that met city codes and represented her business.