Sign & Digital Graphics

December '19

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26 • December 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL Do your Homework Know your products and conduct a quick survey to better understand the conditions of the installation site, the sign code, the landlord's restrictions (if any) and do this before you meet with the owner to discuss options. In this way you can begin to build rapport with your client, and hopefully trust when they see that you have done your homework. Only in this way can you recommend the right type of letters for the business' advertising or brand enforcement. Be the hero… not the zero. SDG Visual attributes Material Description Uses and Benefits Flat, one dimensional Paint Hand lettered with paint on a surface Painted lettering with a cut-mask stencil Flat surfaces, smoother the better, firmer the better Wind, rain and UV stable for many years—absolute for dark substrates in hot climates. Vinyl Cut vinyl lettering Cut reflective vinyl lettering Cut translucent vinyl lettering Contour cut vinyl letters with digital print and UV laminate Fast, easy, hundreds of color options by many manufacturers. Sticks to most flat smooth surfaces. Avoid dark surfaces in hot climates. Easy to produce and install. Vinyl is available in several grades and quality levels depending on how long it needs to last. When custom colors are needed, the digital print option works well. Dimensional with depth Plastic Routed acrylic letters (FCO Plastic Letters) Formed plastic letters (injection molded, hollow, no illumina- tion) Formed plastic letters with internal illumination (entire letter glows) Plastic offers depth. Routed, formed or injected, they all have depth that adds visual interest over cut vinyl. Letters are typically lightweight, so tapes and glues can sometimes be used. Beware of extreme temperature shifts that can make letters pop off. Studs are always wise. Solid Core Cast or poured solid core letters (Fiberglass, Concrete) Specialty applications for use in areas like grave- yards, memorials, historical sites and universities. Metal Cut aluminum letters (FCO = Flat Cut Out) routed, plasma, jet Cast aluminum letters Metal typically means aluminum or stainless steel. Weatherproof, dimensional, paintable, acid etchable, skinnable, dippable... lots of possibilities. Most of the time threaded studs are required for installation. A minimum stroke width is needed for studs to be installed. Dimensional with 5" depth and they might illuminate Fabricated Metal Fabricated aluminum letters (non-electrical channel letter) Fabricated face lit channel letter (acrylic faces, flex faces on larger letters) Fabricated halo lit channel letter (with or without a halo backer) Fabricated face and halo lit channel letter Fabricated face lit trim-cap-free channel letter Fabricated stainless steel channel letters (non illuminated) Channel letters—being familiar with the basics of UL/NEC as to what is necessary for any channel letter to have in order to pass UL. Sorry, this one is unbendable. You need a basic grasp of what UL is, what it means, what it prevents and why it requires certain things to be in certain places on the letters in order for the letters to pass UL inspection. It can be summed up into one sentence—and once you understand it, that sentence will be clear as a bell for you to remember, and it will save your butt 1,000 times in the future. Depth, illumination, wow factor! Neon Mercury argon glass tubing, bent to a variety of letter shapes Lettering made with glass tubes, called neon, is really only applicable in a few scenarios due to its cost, energy requirements, safety concerns, hail damage, etc. It's a very viable option for the right applications, and can be a game changer for creating the right image or mood. However, do your homework on installation, UL, maintenance and cost of operation before suggesting it. Outdoor Letters Chart

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