What are Dimensional Letters?
Dimensional letters are 3D letters made from a variety of materials that are mounted individually to the wall or substrate either on spacers or flush to the surface. These letters are a popular way to brand the inside of your businesses lobby but can also be utilized throughout a business as well as on exterior walls!
Dimensional letters are made using several different processes to produce different looks. They can be cut with a CNC machine which creates the outer shapes with a cutting tool, cut with a laser, fabricated metal or formed plastic shapes as well as cast shapes.
Flat cut letters: are CNC (Computer Numerical Control) cut using a computer controlled machine with a laser, water jet or router bit attachment.
Fabricated Metal Letters: Channel letters are metal or plastic signs made of bent channels that are glued or welded into custom shaped letters or symbols.
Formed Plastic Letters: plastic sheets are heated to a temperature that allows the plastic to be formed over a mold and vacuum applied to pull the plastic into the mold to create it’s shape.
Cast Letters: where the metal, aluminum, brass and other metals are molten to a liquid state and poured into a mold until it solidifies.
What should you consider when ordering dimensional letters.
3 Main options when making dimensional signs:
Depth / Thickness
Flat cut materials normally range in depth between 1/8” to 1”. Lettering depth will depend on height of the lettering and how they’re going to be used.
Standoffs are a means to set the letters off the wall for a more dimensional look. In most cases, we raise our signs off the wall on 1/2” spacers but there are many options here depending on the size of the sign. This gives the individually cut letters an added floating effect that makes them appear more 3 dimensional. Depending on your lighting, raising your sign on 1/2” mounts will also cast a shadow. The shadow effect can be increased or decreased by adjusting your lighting.
Acrylic: Acrylic is a type of high grade plastic. It’s a material that can be clear, frosted, pigmented, or used with films and laminates to produce endless finish options. Acrylic is one of the most common materials used for dimensional letters because it is versatile, high quality, and very durable. Acrylic can be laminated with complex prints, custom films, brushed metal and mirrored or chrome finishes to make very high end and highly customizable 3D logos.
Metal: Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Brass, Bronze and Copper are types of metal used for dimensional letters. There are acrylic based, “brushed metal substitutes” for all metal options. These acrylic based metallic finishes are commonly preferred because they are more cost effective, involve more precise laser cut manufacturing techniques and often produce a cleaner, sharper logo. Traditional flat cut metal is often used for dimensional letters and signs in cases where more cost effect acrylic based, brushed metal substitutes cannot be used such as outdoors or in specific environments requiring a certain metal finish.
Wood: Not as commonly used today because it requires more maintenance if you want your sign to last, but there are a number of wood finishes for dimensional letters and signs:
- Raw wood
- Stained wood
- Raw MDF
- Painted MDF
Wood is routed or laser cut to make wooden dimensional letters and logos. Any part of the wood that is laser cut will have a dark burnt edge. This edge can either be left naturally dark or additionally it can be stained or painted a custom color. Wood can also be laser engraved or etched. Details that are laser etched will naturally come out dark and burnt. Wood is a very cost effective option for large orders of dimensional letters.
There are many options in regards to finishes. For acrylic letters we can use the base color of the acrylic as it is available in a range of base colors. Paint is also an option utilizing epoxy paints today creates a durable finish in almost any color you can imagine. Brushed metal finishes in aluminum, gold, bronze, brass and more can create that custom look to fit your style. Polished metal finishes are also available for that high end look.
Complex gradients and graphics can be digitally printed onto the material and cut to shape. The edges of the material can then be painted to match the gradients on the faces of the letters.
No matter what your style, material, shape or size, we can help you create the look you need to boost your business. If you are considering dimensional letters for your business, give the experts a call at Paramount Signs for a free consultation.
Remember, “getting you noticed is Paramount”