Tradition + Technology

Church stage displaying BOLD letters

Building out a church stage can be a daunting task. While some of the tasks can't be outsourced, creating large foam letters for your church event can be. WhiteClouds can make the task as simple as placing your order. Using letters and numbers can really help in boldly emphasizing your message. We work with your group to create that unique and memorable setting. We have large foam cutters, 3D Printers, CNC machines, laser cutters, and many other fabrication technologies to make a huge impression at your special event. With today's fabrication technologies, simple letters can be turned into peices of art with vibrant colors, airbrushing, and special painting techniques. Combining structrual elements with the letters can bring some interesting focus on the letters and the associated message. For example, building a seat somewhere inside the letter can make a great place for that special selfie. You are only limited by your imagination.

Features and Benefits

Whatever It Takes Church stage letters display

Fonts: Letters can be created in almost any font. Wide fonts do cost significantly more. Selecting a condensed font can save you a lot on the price of the letters. Here are a few of the more condensed fonts:

Condensed fonts

Colors: Letters can be painted or non-painted. Typically, our letters are painted with a semi-gloss paint. This paint can be used outside. For special orders, we can also use automotive paints and even airbrushing. We can match specific colors using the Pantone codes.

Flat Bottoms: Some letters will not stand on their own, such as a "P" - it will fall over to the right. To work around this, we can cut the letters with flat bottoms. Another method is to use double-sided tape on the floor to hold the letters in place. They can also be attached to a pre-built base.

GROW church stage letters display

Long Letters: For lowercase letters with descenders ("g", "j", "p", "q", "y") we can build them by placing the other letters on a base so that everything aligns correctly. Another solution is to just go with all UPPERCASE letters.

Size of Letter: Height - Most of our stage letters are between 2' and 4' tall with 30"-36" being the most common height. Much of this is dependent on the stage and how far away the participants are sitting. Occasionally, we will recieve an order for letters being 5' and 6' tall - these are for very large stages. The word "FOLLOW" at 3' tall would equate to approximately 10' to 20' in length (based on the font). The same 4' letters would be about 13' to 28' in length (based on font). Pricing is greatly impacted by the size of the letters.

Width - This is an automatic calculation because the font dictates the width, based on the height of the letter. For example, on average Helvetica has a width to height ratio of 75%, but this varies from letter to letter - for example, if the letter is 4' tall, the width will automatcially be 3' fall (75%).

Depth - Generally, most 3' to 4' tall letters are 12" deep, which is a good depth to keep letters from falling over or being accidentally knocked over. Depending on the desired look, they could be anywhere from 6" to 36" deep. The depth of the letters also greatly impacts price.

Size/pricing - A 48" tall letter by 12" deep letter can be over twice as expensive as a 30" x 12" letter.

LOVE WORKS church stage letters display

Coatings: Most of our letters are ordered without any smooth finish or without any special strength coatings. Occasionally an order will occur where someone wants a very smooth finish - this may be to accommodate the group signing their names on the front of the letters. Sometimes we will have special strength coatings applied, especially if the letters are to be used over and over.

Bases: Bases can be built in a lot of different ways, the least expensive is with foam, but very commonly we build them with MDF, making a very solid-looking base. It is also common to build them with an acrylic or polycarbonate base and then the letters are glued in place.

Process: After the dimensions and order specifications are finalized, our hot wire foam cutters start the process. Each letter is cut individually. We use 2 pound EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) which is common for foam letters. This means that a cubic foot of foam weighs two pounds. The letters are cut thick enough so that they will stand on their own or with the help of a base. Next comes the painting of the letters.

At this point we ship the letters (all of them are individually wrapped). One of the most surpising things to our customers is how they are shipped. The normal UPS and FedEx carriers won't ship these large items, so typically they are shipped via Motor Cargo. When shipping, remember that the larger the letter, the more expensive the shipping will be and it usually means that it will take a few days longer to arrive.

Gallery

Technology and Materials

  • We use foam fabrication technologies such as CNC Cutting, Hot Wires, Laser Cutting, Hot Knifing, and Sculpting.
  • With 3D printing technology, you aren't limited to straight lines and boxes. A 3D printer can easily create detailed, complex shapes. We use six different 3D printing technologies using different materials including sandstone-like, digital plastic and UV-cured resin. The type of physical end-product determines which material will produce the best results. We can help you choose the material that is best for your project. Resolution on our printers is finer than a human hair. Our color 3D printers can print in full-color (over 750,000 variations of color) for awe-inspiring reality.
  • Our in-house spray booth gives us flexibility in different types and grades of paint and finishing capabilities.
  • Depending on requirements for durability, weather-proofing, temperature, mobility, strength, and flexibility, different finishes for our large letters can be used. These finishes may be combinations of painting, air-brushing, flat-to-glossy finishes, natural environment finishes, soft-shell and hard-shell coatings, sealers, and glassing. These can be from latex, acrylic, urethane, polyurea, epsilon, polyurethane, and many others.

Pricing

The cost of our church stage letters are based on the volume of materials (size of the letters), type of materials, the time it takes to create the 3D design, production labor, and possible installation time and materials, as well as other specific elements unique to the project. Each set of letters is bid individually and the best way to determine cost is to contact us and let us bid your project.

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Workflow

Whiteclouds church stage letters creation workflow

Common Questions

Can you use my custom artwork?

Yes. Please send us your file in a vector AI, EPS, or PDF format.

How do I know what size letters I need for viewing distance?

A general rule is that you can see a:
  • 6" letter from 125 feet
  • 1' letter from 250 feet
  • 2' letter from 500 feet
  • 4' letter from 1000 feet
To maximize marketing impact, you might consider some of these sizes:
  • 4' letters to 10' letters for capitalizing on use of social media immersion (think selfies)
  • 3' letters to 10' letters for stage presence
  • 3' letters to 12' letters for trade shows

What file type is required if I need to incorporate special fabrication into the project?

We work with all architectural CAD programs and modeling programs including AutoCAD, Revit, Chief Architect, ArchiCAD, Maya, 3DS Max Design, Zbrush, and Sketchup, just to name a few. If you design in 3D, we will start with your 3D files. If you have 2D blueprints, artist's sketches (or even napkin drawings), we can build a model from these as well.

What is the turnaround time for large stage letters?

This is totally dependent on the size of the project. Typical projects can be completed in two to six weeks. We understand that sometimes deadlines are tight and we can accommodate rush orders in shorter amounts of time.

I have to fit my letters in a certain length of space. How do I know they will fit? What is the maximum size that will fit?

Please let us know what your maximum line length should not exceed. We will then calculate what size letters can fit.

Can I use a custom font?

Yes, you can use a custom font for your large letters project. If you want them custom, you will need to send us the font in a .ttf (true type format) or .otf (open type format). If we are buying the font for you, that will be additional.

Do you have a question we didn‘t answer? Don't hesitate to contact us at 1-385-206-8700 or sales@whiteclouds.com.

Worldwide Delivery

WhiteClouds has delivered models around the world.