Different Types of Letter Signs
Channel Letters, Injection Molded Letters, Vinyl Decal Letter, Interchangeable Directory & Name Plates
Business, Schools & Universities, Hospitals & Medical Facilities, Restaurants, Retail, Commercial Buildings & Plazas, Municipal and Government Buildings
There are only twenty-six letters in the alphabet, singly just a letter, but when combined, can create Magic.
We take for granted just how powerful letters can be. By themselves, they can still represent someone’s initials, create an art piece, or get strung together to form a word or sentence. Throughout history, important documents were made by writing letters on a page. Think of the constitution, bill of rights, other contracts, brochures, and business names. They are all a combination of “letters.”
Letters become Signs. Very important. What would we do without them? Below are some of the popular ways you can use letters to create signs that inform, describe, attract and bring your business a custom look.
4 Letter Signs to Consider
1. Channel Letters:
Channel letters are three-dimensional graphic pieces and can often have types of illumination within or be backlit. Channel letters can also include numbers and character combinations to create an overall branded statement.
The most widely used channel letter font is Helvetica. It offers more than eighty font faces, including North Face, Microsoft, and Caterpillar.
Futura is the channel letter font that follows Helvetica in popularity. Futura was created at the beginning of the twentieth century. It has been in continuous use by graphic designers without losing its appeal.
Channel letters are 3D signage composed of individually crafted acrylic plastic or metallic aluminum sheeting in many colors, fonts, and sizes. Typically applied for exterior usage on commercial buildings, they can be face illuminated, reverse illuminated, and sometimes not illuminated.
Illuminated channel letter signs are built to ensure that light comes through an acrylic piece in the letters that is translucent. They can easily attract attention as they are large and simple to read at any time of day. They enhance a building and make your business or brand stand out. Visible by day and radiant by night, these building signs provide lasting appeal and add tremendous depth to the facade.
Channel letters may be flush mounted (attached directly to the building facade) or mounted on a raceway or wireway. A raceway is a rectangular mounting structure that serves as a container for the sign’s electrical components (such as a power supply) and a mounting structure.
A wireway also serves as a mounting structure but typically contains only wiring. It is thinner and broader than a raceway and may be used as a backer panel for the channel letter set.
Face-lit letters may also be mounted, so they rest on the top of the building surface with a bottom and top rail supported by metal arms. When A&I takes on a channel letter sign project, we recommend and provide professional installation for all our sign services.
2. Injection Molded Letters:
Injection molding is a manufacturing process used to produce single parts and products using various materials, most commonly thermosetting and thermoplastic polymers. Thermoplastics are usually the preferred material for injection molding due to their desirable properties. Thermoplastics are recyclable, extremely versatile, and will easily soften when heated. Thermosets and elastomers can also be used for injection molding, although they are not as widely used.
Today, injection molding is the most popular method of manufacturing parts. It is used to produce a variety of everyday plastic products, including packaging, toys, telephones, bottle lids, chairs, letter signs, and much more.
So, what is injection molding, you ask? It’s the process of melted materials, typically rigid or flexible plastics, being inserted into a mold, cooling off, and becoming a finished product when removed from the mold.
But, before getting too technical here, let’s compare baking to manufacturing. Have you ever wondered how professional bakers can make their treats look exactly like specific shapes? Their secret is molds – containers that give liquids, like batter, a shape when it cools. Manufacturers can also use molds to make their products.
Injection molding is a forming process using molds. Materials such as synthetic resins (plastics) are heated and melted and then sent to the mold, where they are cooled to form the designed shape. Due to the resemblance to the process of injecting fluids using a syringe, this process is called injection molding.
With injection molding, diversely shaped parts, including those with complex shapes, can be continuously and quickly manufactured in large volumes. Therefore, injection molding is used to manufacture commodities and products in a wide range of industries.
One of the most popular and always in demand is letters. All sizes, intricate fonts, block letters, an array of colors, and these hard plastic letters are durable and weather resistant too. Injection molded letters are popular as exterior letter signs as building identifiers. If you have been on a school campus, you will have likely seen these types of lettering used. They are typically installed on a prominent wall of the building.
A crucial benefit of injection molding is its ability to produce a lot of products in a short amount of time. This process also allows for incredible detail. No chisels are required here – just imagine what Michelangelo could have created with injection molding! Lastly, this process is automated with the help of machinery and computer programs like CAD (computer-aided design).
3. Vinyl Decal Letters:
Don’t have room or a budget for a big elaborate sign? Then vinyl lettering signs are for you. These stick-on windows, glass, walls, and basically any surface you can think of! Custom cut to fit whatever style you may want for your business. In addition to the popularity of making letters, A&I can cut vinyl to make logos and graphics. Vinyl comes in an array of colors, sizes, and fonts. In one project we did, the customer wrapped text around six walls throughout an office! It made a grand statement and an impact on everyone who saw it.
Personalize your business space with vinyl and make a visual impact. You might have seen where vinyl letters are used to create a wall quote or word collage for artistic reasons or inspiration. A&I has installed custom large vinyl quotes for school, business, and hospital clients. We also can create custom signs, wall coverings and murals, door plaques and graphics for exam rooms, employee safety, COVID and directional signage, address numbers, and letters, all in vinyl meant for interior use.
Another prevalent use of vinyl lettering is over frosted acrylic ID plaque. They have a modern, clean look that can be used to identify different rooms within a building or as wall name plaques. These are becoming a must-have for school district offices and municipalities.
Vinyl letters adhere to the acrylic, and the plaques are mounted to the wall next to the room or office door using stainless steel stand-offs. The frosted acrylic gives the plaque a professional flair, and the vinyl lettering is economical and budget-friendly, which is undoubtedly a win.
Vinyl window lettering and graphics are ideal for a temporary storefront business display. They are perfect for showcasing a new product, a sale, or an event. You can easily remove the letters once they have served their purpose. These custom-made window graphics install quickly and easily, perfectly adhering while you want to keep them up. They are temporary but look much more professional than a paper sign!
Window lettering vinyl that is rated as permanent can be used for a much more extended time. These graphics transform your empty window into something that aligns and promotes your brand. Reinforce your brand with text, images, logos, and other art elements.
You can decorate windows with graphics in your company colors, post your contact information and hours of operation for customers and visitors or show off images of your top products. Whatever you can imagine, we can make it happen. We can provide the ideal solution for promoting your brand or communicating a specific message to anyone who sets foot inside your space.
Long-lasting letters and vinyl decals attach to a variety of surfaces, including windows, walls, floors, products, pavement, and packaging. Vinyl letters and decals can be made from vinyl, static cling, and adhesive or pressure-sensitive materials, in virtually any size, shape, and quantity. Are you thinking of a place you might use some letters to convey your message? A&I can help!
A few examples of locations where vinyl lettering can be used for visual impact:
- Offices – inspire and encourage employees and guests with positive messaging
- Hospitals – communicate core values to patients and visitors, wayfinding, safety
- Restaurants and Coffee Shops – share specials on foods you provide, hours
- Manufacturing – highlight company mantras or processes, safety, team inspiring
- Businesses – add logos and taglines and advertise business hours of operation
- Campuses – show spirit by highlighting the school mascot, inspiring quotes
4. Office and Building Sign Directories & Name Plates
Our work environment has experienced many changes during and post-pandemic, from WFO (work from home) to the Great Resignation. Information changes, and no one wants to keep printing directories every time that happens. It’s time to look into a professional-looking office wall directory with removable name plates!
These are ideal for any environment that requires information to be changed regularly. Directories are wayfinding signage used in medical facilities and hospitals to help locate doctors and specialty areas for visitors. They are used to display the businesses’ names in each commercial building suite or to list employees in each office. Schools can take advantage of an ever-changing faculty directory, and municipalities and government offices would benefit similarly.
Directories can be produced of aluminum composite material for a lasting durable, weather-resistant finish and yet professionally stunning. The nameplates are changeable without changing out the entire directory. These interchangeable directory signs give a professional look that is great for any hospital, clinic, office space, government building, or school.
Customize the header with any text you need and send us your company logo or custom design. Personalize the inserts as needed and order more in the future when a change arises.
Save time and money and consider one of these projects for your office today. You’re just “letters” away from saying something important!