Sign & Digital Graphics

August '18

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16 • August 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE C hildren have an innate fascination with the alphabet. They learn to craft words—spelling, enunciating, writ- ing—and develop a familiarity with dic- tion. Though these skills may be labeled as basic, work with letters is certainly not child's play. Just ask the channel letter experts in the sign market. "We build multiple lit signs every day," says Dan Wett, senior technical spe- cialist, Gemini Sign Products. Channel letters "come in many types, shapes and forms—especially now that LEDs have been introduced to lighting." No matter the level of capability, one must start somewhere; whether it's in a classroom learning or on a shop floor handling product. Once the proper skills are developed, letters can be used to make the plainest of contexts come to life. Letter Types In simplistic terms, there are a few dif- ferent ways a sign maker can configure a channel letter. In most instances, this is determined by how the light is displayed within the letter. Let's take a look at each of these types to get a better understand- ing of the arrangements. Front-lit (face-lit)—"Front-lit channel letters are pretty much what the term implies," says Ron Eppert, vice president of operations for US Sign and Fabrication. "Illumination is projecting through an acrylic lens onto the face of the letter." With these applications, an acrylic face is used most predominantly— though polycarbonates and flex faces are also options—but there can also be challenges when colored acrylics are introduced. Some LEDs may have a dif- ferent appearance than intended. For example, "a blue acrylic illuminate with C H A N N E L L E T T E R S Channel letter types and manufacturing tips B Y R Y A N F U G L E R Ryan Fugler is a free- lance writer and for- mer editor of Wraps magazine. He can be reached at rnfugler@ gmail.com with ques- tions or comments. OF CHANNEL LETTERS S THE Principal LED's Fusion Freedom lighting modules introduce color customization and variable depth to back-lit channel let- ters. (Images courtesy of BDB Enterprises, Inc.)

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