March '21

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2 8 G R A P H I C S P R O M A R C H 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G Adjusting the Cap THE PROS AND CONS OF TRIM CAP-FREE CHANNEL LETTERS B Y M A T T D I X O N "Channel letters without trim cap provide a much cleaner, more fin- ished look, which opens the doors to channel letters that are viewed at a closer distance," says Matt Char- boneau, Storm Mountain Signs. (Image courtesy Brazz Specialties) recent advancement in channel letter construction is the ability to use a spe- cially manufactured coil to fabricate let- ters that don't require traditional plastic trim cap. Trim cap is the notoriously unattractive element that is used to at- tach the acrylic face to the letter return. The main reason a trim cap-free letter is sought after by customers is simply because it looks great. A trim capless channel letter de- livers a clean, contemporary, high-end appear- ance as well as sturdy construction. In fact, several major commercial real estate compa- nies, like Simon Property Group, do not al- low trim capped channel letters on any of their properties. But like everything else in life, that beauty comes with a cost. Trim cap-free channel let- ters can be more costly to produce and therefore may prove cost prohibitive to some clients. Sign companies, however, can benefit by offering a premium letter solution that commands a pre- mium price because there is a lot less competi- tion in that segment of the market. INSIDE LOOK Dave Brazzell of Brazz Specialties in Commerce City, Colorado, has been producing channel letters in his shop since 1996. His first foray into trim cap-free letters came after he made the decision to upgrade his channel letter bender and purchase a ChannelBender brand letter- forming machine from SDS Automation. "We traded in our old machine and got the newest version. One of several upgrades on the Super ChannelBender is its ability to pro- duce Trimless letters. So, we started building Trimless letters using the Trimless LetterForm coil that SDS Automation developed in 2015," Brazzell says. "They're real high-end channel letters, and we built beautiful sets." Trimless is a trademarked name that refers to letters produced using LetterForm, a propri- etary, UL recognized channel letter coil from SDS Automation. LetterForm is compatible only with ChannelBender brand machines. This method of trim cap-free channel letter production worked well for Brazz Specialties for some time, but when a non-work-related event

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