When opening a new business, communicating the type of business or company that will occupy the space is vital. That’s why most people would agree that storefront signs are the most critical type of signage. There’s a wide variety of storefront signs in the signage family, but we’ll mainly be covering illuminated signs, more commonly known as channel letter signs. They are incredibly beneficial to any business owner because they are highly durable and can be seen from a distance, day or night. 

What are channel letter signs?

Channel letter signs are illuminated storefront signs with an entire aluminum body and LED lights in their interior. They can be mounted directly to any surface or using a “wireway”: wire ways are troughs made of aluminum with hinged or removable covers to protect the wiring. The mounting method we use typically depends on the sign criteria the respective building owner provided, but if there aren’t any, then it’s entirely up to the client. Channel letter signs are fully customizable to display any font, logo, or shape, giving you endless possibilities to reflect your business’ image. There are four main types of channel letters in the channel letter family.

Where are channel letter signs typically used?

  • Retail Centers
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Places of worship
  • Neighborhood entrances
  • Restaurants
  • Sports Venues

What are the 4 types of channel letters? 

When discussing channel letter signs, we should first go over the similarities between the 4 main types. As previously mentioned, they are all made of a full aluminum body and use the same types of LEDs regardless of the channel letter type. The thickness of the aluminum varies depending on sign criteria and the type of channel letter being fabricated. Choosing the right type of channel letter sign for your business can be difficult, so we’ll highlight the key features of each type to hopefully make your decision a lot easier.

  1.  Front-Lit Channel Letters

Front-lit channel letters are the most common among the channel letter family. They have a whole aluminum body with acrylic faces mounted in the front. The acrylic faces can be of any color and have custom vinyl applied to them to express your brand. All the wiring and power supplies required to power the sign are hidden within it, creating a clean look for your sign.

  1. Reverse Channel Letters or Halo-Lit Letters

Reverse channel letters, or halo-lit letters, are referred to as this due to their unique properties. Halo-lit letters have an aluminum body and face with a backing made of clear acrylic. Unlike front-lit letters, halo-lit letters are “back-lit.” They work by reflecting the light of the LEDs off the back wall on which they are mounted, creating a “halo” effect. All halo-lit letters are mounted a few inches off the wall to allow maximum light reflection and can be painted any color, depending on your business’ image.

  1. Trimless Channel Letters

Trimless channel letters have all the same properties as front-lit channel letters except for one key detail. The acrylic faces of front-lit channel letters have a trim on their exterior made of plastic, while trimless channel letters have no trim allowing for a very slick finish. Although front-lit channel letters are the most common, trimless channel letters are widely popular inside malls and other shopping districts where the trim of front-lit channel letters is more visible. Trimless channel letters are also a popular option among interior illuminated signage, such as lobby signs.  


  1. Front-Lit and Back-Lit Combination 

Front and back-lit channel letters are considered the brightest option among the channel letter family. They have the same backing as reverse channel letters, but the face of the letter is the same as front-lit channel letters. This allows light to be shined from the front and backside, creating a bright and glowing effect.


Why should you should you choose channel letters signs for your business? 

Channel letter signs are a great choice for any business owner due to their visibility and durability. The aluminum body of the letters allows them to resist all weather conditions they are exposed to, making it a great investment when choosing a storefront sign. At Genius Signs, we design, manufacture, and install all our signage. We use the highest quality materials and the most advanced sign-making techniques to ensure precision, quality, and longevity. Contact us today to see what we can do for your business, or go through our various channel letter sign projects here.