Channel Letters

Show off your business or event with affordable channel letters

Table of Contents

What are Channel Letters?

When you drive along the road, try to see how many different signs you can spot! Everywhere is filled with signs: metal signs, plastic signs, and acrylic signs, many of which are illuminated for greater visibility. These signs are also known as ‘channel letters’. Channel letters are essentially the ‘X’-marks-the-spot for all businesses, drawing in customers by the droves. The more unique your sign is, the more memorable your business can be. Let us help you begin your research on what you would want YOUR sign to be like for your business. We are dedicated to making your vision a reality. 

So what is the difference between our Channel Letters and our Large Letters...?

Channel Letters are most commonly used as outdoor signage of a storefront, with the explicit purpose of directing customers and serving as a recognizable symbol of the business. Our Large Letters (A.K.A. 3-Dimensional Letters) are meant to have a greater impact, used mainly as decorations, for events, or to attract crowds.

Types of Channel Letters

Plastic Letters

Compared to other materials, plastic letters often prove to be more durable and affordable than other signage options. Large plastic letters for outdoor signs can even mimic more expensive materials such as cast metal. 

Metal Letters

Our metal letter signs are made from a variety of materials including aluminum, bronze, brass, copper, steel, or stainless steel. The metals are corrosive, tarnish, and scratch resistant, making them incredibly durable for both indoor and outdoor use. 

Illuminated Letters

Brand recognition is essential for any business, and the use of illuminated letters will help your logo or business name light up in your customer’s memories. Whether you use a halo effect or a face lit letter, you will be adding a certain style to your business. 

Interior Letters

These signs are designed specifically for indoor use. Unlike plastic letters or large letters, interior letters are made of materials that are unable to withstand the outdoor weather. These letters are made using foam, acrylic, and thin sheets of aluminum. While these letters are very durable, they are best suited indoors. 

Elements of a Channel Letter

Channel letters consist of the following parts, all customizable dependent upon the material and style of letter:


The face of a channel letter can be customized to a certain shape such as flat, prismatic, or round. Customizable options can include a variety of different finishes such as laminate, vinyl, metal, and acrylic. The face can also be polished or buffed for an increased price.  


The return refers to the ‘side’ of channel letters, and can vary in widths. They can be translucent in order to let LED light shine through, or customized to be a different color from the face. Returns can also be designed as a flat return or a stepped return. 

Backs (Optional)

The back of a channel letter can be removable, which is beneficial for illuminated letters to access the can holding the lights. There are even some letters, such as fabricated stainless steel letters, which have the option of coming without a back, reducing the cost. Other options include a transparent back, allowing light to shine through creating a Halo effect.  

Light Source (Optional)

There are multiple ways you can light up a letter, ranging from a lit face, lit sides, or even an open/translucent back, creating a ‘Halo effect’. We use UL approved LED lights which are a minimal cost and long-lasting, ensuring that your sign will stay lit no matter the condition. See our page on illuminated letters for more information. 

Trim Cap (Optional):

A trim cap lines your channel letter with a plastic (Cellulose Acetate Butyrate) extruded around aluminum foil, connecting the face of the channel letter to its body. The trim can add depth, accent, or simply a cleaner look to your sign, as well as an additional layer of protection. Widths range from 3/4” to 2”, with the length dependent on the width, ranging from 100’ to 150’. You can choose amongst a variety of 31 colors to match your letter, dependent upon the width

Visibility Chart

The chart below is provided to aid in deciding the right size of channel letters for your business, depending on how visible you would like your channel letters to be from a certain distance. 

Viewing Distance Minimum Required Letter Height
100 ft. 4”
250 ft. 10”
360 ft. (city block) 16”
500 ft. 22”
750 ft 33”
1,000 ft. 43”
1,320 ft. (1/4 mile) 57”

Standardized Color Options

**If you would like a custom color, just tell us the name of the paint brand and color (or paint number) and we can match it at no extra cost! If you don’t know the name of the color, we can match based off of a sample for $200. 

Mounting Options Explained

When ordering letters, you’ll need to consider how they will need to be mounted. Will you be mounting the letters outside to brick or inside to drywall? Mounting options are available to suit any situation including outside and indoor environments. Mounting packages include required pieces such as screws, pads, plastic blocks, stand-offs, adhesives, strips, nuts, and studs.

Your consultant will help you choose which mounting option will be best for your situation and type of Channel Letter.  Mounting is an additional cost to your basic order. Keep in mind that if you do not install using an approved method, your warranty may not apply. Self-installation is surprisingly easy, with no need to hire a sign company. We will even send instructional videos on how to install the plastic letters when we ship them. We are dedicated to making the process as painless for you as we can.

***See our individual channel letter type pages for specified recommendations on which mounting option is best for your channel letter material and design. 

'Perfect Pattern'

The ‘Perfect Pattern’ can be provided to aid in the installation of new and replacement channel letters. The pattern is computer-generated onto Tyvek® (a durable, paper-like polyethylene sheet often used in construction) to serve as a guide to ensure proper spacing and alignment. The guide can be saved and reused when re-installation is required. Further instructions are included.

Center Line Alignment: Crossing lines are provided in order to properly center the letters onto its desired surface.

Stud Sizing Guide: The perpendicular marks can be used as a sizing guide for studs.

Placement/Sizing Indicators: Circular marks indicate which letters go together if they are of a different, but similar size; or if they are of the same size but have different placements (i.e., due to a bricked or blocked surface).

The letters with one circular mark goes together and the letters with two circular marks go together, etc.

Top/Bottom Orientation: The circular marks are always at the top, providing a way to distinguish between the tops and bottoms of channel letters. 

Channel Letters: FAQs

  • How durable are Channel letters?
    • Our letters will last as long as you need them to last. They are constructed of durable materials designed to last indefinitely. They can survive all weather types including intense heat and rain. In some situations such as intense UV or chemical exposure you may notice some degradation.
  • What is the difference between pigmented and painted colors?
    • Pigmented color is when the color elements are mixed into the plastic to create one cohesive product. Painted plastic is when the plastic is painted topically. We use a painting method that is as durable as pigmented plastic that is available in more colors.
  • Are logos available?
    • While we offer a long list of fonts, logos are also available. Email us to obtain a quote and to start the process of creating a custom logo product.
  • What Channel lettering colors are available?
    • We offer over 30 standard colors. But we can provide custom lettering colors if needed. 
  • Are custom letters available?
    • If you cannot find standardized channel letters that suit your intentions, we can produce custom letters utilizing 3D printing technologies. WhiteClouds can print any type of letters to match your preferred font and color.
    • If you cannot find standardized channel letters that suit your intentions, we can produce extra large custom letters. WhiteClouds can fabricate any type of letters at any size. Learn more about our custom large letters and large metal letters fabrication services.
  • Do letters come with a warranty?
    • Letters are covered if letters fail, but our warranty does not cover costs for removal, re-installation, or additional work. If you purchase the LED package, the lights are covered for up to 4 years. Standard wear and tear is also not covered. Please review our full warranty, return policy, and guarantee before installing the letters. If you have questions, please ask us.
  • What is UL Certification? 
    • UL is a global safety organization based on scientific testing that ensure the quality of products businesses provides, particularly in the testing of electric signs. In order to become UL certified, the products must go through frequent, extensive assessments to be sure they have met safety standards. Visit their official website to learn more.
  • Are channel letters suitable for inside and outside use?
    • Yes, we can help you choose the correct material for the environment you will be installing the letters in. For example, some materials are better at maintaining quality with UV exposure than others.
  • What letter sizes are available?
    • Letters are available as small as one inch and as tall as six feet. We can help you select the proper size for your intended use. Various depths or thickness of the letters are available.
  • What shipping options are available?
    • Most orders are shipped via UPS. Since you cover the freight costs, you can choose another shipping option if desired. Larger letters may need to be shipped via truck freight.
  • Do I need to pay a down deposit?
    • In most situations, you’ll need to pay 50 percent upfront.
  • How much do Channel letters weigh?
    • Weight varies greatly depending on size and materials used. You’ll want to make sure you select the best mounting options for the weight of your letters. Additionally, large letters may require specialized shipping methods.
  • How long does it take to receive my order?
    • How long an order takes to process depends on several factors including the type of project and resources available. Once orders are approved, they may begin to be produced in as soon as eight days. More complex orders may take longer.

How to Order

To place your order you’ll need to know: letters, colors, letter sizes, mounting requirements, and font. Fill out the form below, call 385-206-8700 or email [email protected] for a custom quote or if you have questions. 

Worldwide Delivery

WhiteClouds has delivered models around the world.

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