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What are illuminated channel letters?

Illuminated channel letters are usually made from aluminum or stainless steel, and have vinyl facing so light permeates their surface and projects the colour of their facing. Illuminated letters can be used to complement other types of outdoor business signs, like a company logo, or stand alone as a storefront’s primary signage. They can also be used inside, though they are more commonly used on the exterior of buildings to attract customers.

Illuminated Channel letters are three-dimensional text, usually 3-6 inches deep, that can be customized into a variety of fonts, colours, and sizes. They are often used as a building’s primary outdoor signage, adorning the storefront or haling bypassers out near the road. Because of their depth, channel letters really stand out – literally.

This is especially true of the illuminated versions, which are either front or backlit with LED lights to make them clear and distinct in any visibility.


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About Signs proudly provides custom channel letter signs to businesses in and around the GTA.

If you’re looking for a business sign to showcase your company name in bold, striking style, get in touch with About Signs. We’ll assess your needs and provide a quote for your project.

Types of channel letter signs

Channel letters can be customized using an array of colours and fonts, and offer an additional level of customization that few other types of signs can match. This is because they can be lit in a variety of ways, using different positioning and sources of illumination.

Below, you’ll see a number of channel letter styles, both illuminated and non-illuminated.

Front Lit Channel Letters

More common than halo lit channel letters are front lit channel letters. These letters have translucent facing, which allows the LED lights contained within to shine through the front of the letters, illuminating their facing.

So whereas halo lit letters are bordered by light, the entire face of front lit letters are illuminated. Depending on the colour and opaqueness of the letters, the light can appear in a variety of hues and brightnesses.

Take a look at some examples of front lit channel letters, and note how these custom signs can create a variety of visual effects.

Reverse Channel Letters / Halo Lit business signs

Reverse Channel letters or Halo lit channel letters are so named because they are ringed by light. This effect is created using backlighting, which spills out from the edge of each letter, but not the front of the letters themselves.

Examples of halo lit channel letter signs can be viewed here.

Front and Back lit Channel letters

Some channel letters are both front and backlit, having both illuminated faces and edges. Typically, these hybrid letters use different colours of vinyl so that the inner and outer parts of each letter contrast one another.

The use of multiple colours presents numerous opportunities to customize appearance and creates a striking visual impact for viewers. See for yourself.

Marquee Channel letters

Channel letters don’t need to be illuminated; they can be created without the use of internal lighting.

While this will help save on the use of electricity (though LED-lit channel letters are inexpensive to maintain), it will of course mean the storefront letters are difficult to see at night.

Still, non-illuminated channel letters make for effective custom signs, especially when designed in a way that garners attention.

Non Illuminated Channel letters

Channel letters don’t need to be illuminated; they can be created without the use of internal lighting.

While this will help save on the use of electricity (though LED-lit channel letters are inexpensive to maintain), it will of course mean the storefront letters are difficult to see at night.

Still, non-illuminated channel letters make for effective custom signs, especially when designed in a way that garners attention.

The benefits

Illuminated channel letters are highly customizable signage that can be used to create a wide variety of looks. They lend themselves to eye-catching storefronts that stand out in both the light and dark. Whether you’re looking for something that captures attention from afar or highlights an understated storefront, they can beautify any building.

One of the most appealing things about illuminated channel letters is that they are internally lit with LED lights, which are inexpensive, long-lasting and economical. They represent a large step forward from older forms of illuminated outdoor signs, like neon, which have issues with breaking and burning out. Illuminated channel letters combine eye-catching aesthetics with economy, and give your store or office a distinguished look while saving you money over the long-term.

Who uses illuminated channel lights?

They can be used indoors for decorative or instructional purposes. They can be used to beautify a retail or service establishment, or indicate locations within a building – e.g. certain sections of a department store.

However, illuminated channel letters are most often used outdoors, where they garner the attention of passers-by. This makes them especially useful for retail and service locations, including stores, bars, and restaurants. However they’re deployed, illuminated channel letters always add an attractive, unique flare to a building’s appearance.

Channel Letter Signs Can Help Your Business to Stand Out

No matter how good your product, service, or team is, making an impact on your market can be a challenge. Your physical location is one of your most significant business assets. With channel letter signs, you can leverage your premises and attract customers.

Before LED lights became common, individual lit letters were done with neon lights which were expensive, heavy, and used lots of power. Now with LED lights inside the letters, they are cheaper, lighter, and last much longer than Neon sign letters of old.

Choose the Best Advertising Signs Company for Channel Letter Signs and Channel Lit Signs

When you make an investment in custom letters or a channel lit sign, you need to have confidence knowing that you are working with trusted professionals. About Signs is an industry leader when it comes to custom letters and channel letter signs.

We work with businesses of all sizes in Oakville and throughout Southwestern Ontario. From Toronto to Hamilton and beyond, we are known as the channel lit sign experts. Our attention to detail and defect-free signs can get you ahead in your market. Custom letters are more visually impressive than flat signs, especially when you add halo or front lighting.

Our rates are competitive, and our customization services are extensive. With custom letters and channel lit signs, we are always focused on your needs. We’ll never push designs or solutions that don’t work for you. After all, your channel letter signs should reflect your brand and image. For the most effective channel letters, contact About Signs today. We are standing by for an obligation-free estimate and your initial consultation. Now’s the perfect time to make your business stand out.

The Depth of Custom Letters Attracts Attention

Channel letters are more appealing than flat lettering. The difference is clear to see, thanks to a three-dimensional profile created by an extend return that pushes the face out from a wall or sign base. Depths are fully customizable to get the impact you are looking for. Most custom letters range from three to five inches in depth.

Channel letter signs are more than just essential branding tools. They raise engagement and awareness and can make the difference between business growth and stagnation. Channel letters can boost walk-in traffic and improve your bottom line. For the best custom letters and channel lit signs, it’s time to talk to About Signs.

Channel letter signs are comprised of several key elements, all of which are customizable.

  • The face and rear of each channel letter (typically made from acrylic or metal).
  • The return (side) of each letter.
  • The interior lighting element (LED is the most efficient lighting solution).
    Channel letters can aid your business in several ways…
  • It will be easier to identify your business from the roadside or a parking lot.
  • New customers will be attracted to your business when you have impactful channel letter signs.
  • Custom letters can help your business to stand out from similar businesses within the same commercial space.
  • Channel letters can be lit internally to create a glowing effect that is highly visible at night or in low light conditions.

Channel Letters Video

About Signs Service Areas

We work with organizations around the GTA, including Toronto, Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Halton Hills, Markham, Scarborough, Caledon, Erin, Ajax, and Oshawa.

We also provide custom channel letters, both illuminated and not, to other nearby cities, including Hamilton, Grimsby, Vaughan, Cambridge, Brantford, Guelph, Newmarket, Stouffville, Aurora, Orangeville, Kitchener, and Niagara Falls. If you’re looking to have channel letters installed at a nearby location, contact us.