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Channeling Your Clients through Channel Letters

As a consumer, we all see channel letters all the time.  However, most people outside of the sign industry don’t commonly use the words – Channel Letters.  Yet they are one of the most used type of signage for any business.

Channel letters are quite simply large individual letters used to identify a business. Most frequently channel letters are used as exterior signage on businesses, in shopping centers, and often on churches to identify their location.

Channel Letter SignHowever, there is more than on type of channel letters.  Channel letters are usually made of aluminum or plastic material shaped into letter forms.  Channel letters are mounted either individually on the wall or are mounted to a surface that is sometimes referred to as a raceway that can be mounted to the wall.

4 Types of Channel Letter Signs:


These are very common type of lettering. They are quite simply an aluminum can shaped as a letter with the open side of the letter shape is the face of the sign and has neon tubing exposed. However, sign ordinances are becoming more restrictive on the types of light exposure they allow within cities.  Therefore, these types of letters are being used less frequently.

Internally LED Lit Channel letters

Are sometimes called front lit channel letters. The cans have the open side facing the viewer as does the open-face channel letter but the face has a colored acrylic face so none of the electrical workings show. The lighting inside the can is diffused and lights up the face of each letter evenly.

Types of Channel Letters
Types of Channel Letters

Reverse lit channel letters

Refers to the fact that the open side of the can faces the wall. The viewer sees a solid face which can be any color. Reverse channels can be used without any illumination. Reverse lit, back lit, and halo lit refer to the illumination coming from behind the letter rather than from the face of the letter. The channel letters are mounted off the wall with studs or a raceway so the lights inside the can cast a glow around each letter from the back.

Front / Back LED lit channel letters

Are a combination of internally lit with back lit illumination channel letter signs. They create a very striking illuminated sign.Channel Letters Building Signs

If you are considering a new business sign for your brick and mortar location, it will help to drive around at night and look at the different types of channel letters. Ask yourself questions like do you need a lighted sign?  Is it worth going for the extra expense of a front/lit sign because much of your business is done during dark hours? A retail store that may only need a few hours of illumination in the winter would go with something simpler. A manufacturer who is not drawing in passersby may opt for no illumination at all.

Regardless of the type of sign you choose, it is a good ideal to work with a professional to create the best design and install for your channel letters.  Depending on sign codes for your property, different elements may be required for your install.  We offer free estimates for your project and would be more than happy to help.