Below are some basic channel letter guidelines.
1. What size letters should be used? The landlord may provide general guidelines for signage in the sign addendum portion of the lease. The specifics for signs are dictated by the sign code of the local municipality.
2. What font style should be used? The most commonly used font is a standard block style, such as Times Roman, Avant Garde, or Futura. Since you want your location to be easily seen and easily found, the key is “readability”. While a script font might look great on a business card, it is usually more difficult to read when used on exterior channel letters.
Block letters are recommended because the fonts have a larger stroke allowing the LED to be inserted into the entire letter. The example to the left shows two different fonts for the letter “S” measuring 14″ tall. It is impossible to put LED lighting into the letter with the .25″ stroke. The font type that you choose can also impact the visibility of your text. Very thin fonts and script fonts can potentially decrease visibility. When choosing fonts type your message in a computer program using different font styles, colors, and sizes. Print the document out and post it against a wall. Stand back and view the message at different distances to see how font choice comes into play when choosing the proper lettering for your sign.
3. Neon vs. LED? Neon was the lighting of choice for many years in channel letters, but LED has overcome that lead in the last several years. The cost of electricity to power an LED sign and big improvements in LED reliability and life expectancy have all contributed to more and more sign companies recommending LED.
4. What face color? White and red are the most popular choices. You can customize and “dress up” the sign by applying translucent vinyl in a variety of colors.
6. What color trim cap? The trim cap is used to fasten and hold the sign to the shaped letter. The trim cap can add contrast so the sign will have greater visibility. The trim cap is aluminum coated with plastic or anodize, which allows it to be firm, elastic and seamless.
7. How to attach the sign to the wall? Channel letters can be installed using a raceway or direct mount.
The other method is direct mount or flush mount. Using this method, each letter is attached to the wall individually, and the wiring and the transformer are installed behind the wall and above the interior ceiling. Direct mount is a cleaner appearance, but the sign must be above the height of the interior ceiling. Often times the landlord or property management company dictates how the sign will be installed.
There is no need to try and figure out what your best option is! A Star Neon representative will be delighted to meet with you to discuss your channel letter and general signage needs. Call 410.733.7077.