Channel letters are among the most popular and efficient building signs for businesses in the area. They capitalize on their three-dimensional designs and illumination options for high visibility. Your font and corporate color palette provide the branding information that your sign displays. But work with an expert before ordering channel letters. DFW metropolitan area entrepreneurs are now learning that there are design differences that matter.
Bigger is Better (until it isn’t)
Most anyone would agree that a larger set of channel letters is far superior to a smaller one. After all, when you maximize the size of the display, you get more people to see it from farther away. Moreover, if it protrudes more, its 3D appearance catches the eye better. Manufacturers eagerly accommodate this thought process by creating products with returns measuring up to eight inches. (The return is the width or side of the letter.)
However, some sign pros are warning business customers not to fall for this Siren’s song. Although it is true that bigger can be better, there are distinct situations when it doesn’t make sense.
- Façade dimensions. If your façade’s overall makeup looks dwarfed by a set of overly large letters, the proportions are off. If this happens, you find that while the sign sticks out, it does so in all the wrong ways. Missing aesthetics do not appeal to shoppers.
- Viewing angle. A store that stands alone can do fine with wide returns. But when you are sandwiched between two other retailers who also display channel letters, a customer who walks up to you from the side will have a difficult time making out the information.
- Zoning rules. The zoning department has the final say about how big and deep you can go with a sign. Although it is possible to apply for a variance, you need to show good reasons why the officials should grant it to you.
Why Are Channel Letter Viewing Angles Important?
Some believe that the viewing angle is all about illumination. This assertion is not wholly accurate. Modern LED technology does not operate like flashlights with a lighting zone that leaves the sides of the lettering dark. Instead, it is all about the depth of the returns and the ability of the consumer to make out the information when walking up to a location.
A business that operates without immediate neighbors typically has a parking area in front and toward the side. It also features additional outdoor signage such as a monument sign, flags, banners, or window graphics that identify its name and brand message. As a result, the person walking up to the company typically already knows whom s/he is approaching.
This setup is not identical for the consumer who walks up or down the sidewalk of a shopping street or mall hallway. Channel letter signs might line the facades of buildings. Protruding letters that look great from the front do not offer as much advantage here. Smaller returns, however, make it easier for side view readability. For this reason, we recommend holding off with specifying your sizing until our experts had a chance to visit your venue for a site survey.
Do You Need Channel Letters in the DFW Metropolitan Area?
Although we gladly put together a sign design based on specifications you give us, we provide the site survey as a service that addresses such topics as sizing, zoning, and viewing angles. At that time, we measure your façade, look for design elements that influence the sizing, and gauge the needs of side-to-side traffic and the viewing angle.
Doing so gives us the opportunity to discuss the various illumination options as well as the best practice for designs. Call us today to learn more about your options!
Don’t forget to download our guide to channel letters below!