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Plastic Sign Letters Explained


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Plastic, acrylic lettering is a popular alternative to metal lettering. Not only are plastic letters usually lower in cost and lighter in weight for the ease of installation, they also offer the ability to create custom designs and logos versus their metal counterparts.

There are three widely accepted styles of plastic lettering - formed plastic, injection molded and flat cut. All three categories are made with a non-oil based material known as Cellulose Acetate Butyrate (CAB).

Formed plastic letters are created with inexpensive molds and it's easier to customize any letter style or logo. The product can be molded with flat, round and sculpted faces. Formed letters offer the deepest dimension for the money. Since this style usually delivers the lowest cost and lightest weight in the plastics category, it is not uncommon to utilize up to 48" letters. Outside applications are the primary use. Paint matching is not a problem and their light weight makes it easy to install to any mounting surface.

The second type of plastic lettering is called injection molded and is commonly known as Minnesota lettering. These types of letters are molded to create sharp, clean edges with precise uniform consistency. Since this style offers a greater thickness for a very stable and sturdy letter, it gives the clean look of cast metal. Injection molded lettering is an excellent choice of signage for any business or organization - interior or exterior. They are especially suitable for close up applications - particularly smaller sizes. Minnesota type lettering is much desired if a non-stud mount is required. Even though they are lightweight, injection molded lettering is durable and impact resistant with metallic finishes available.

The third type of plastic lettering is called flat cut. This style of dimensional lettering is used when an intricate letter style or logo is required. It is especially desirable with indoor signage that falls under the closest scrutiny. The colors are through the entire plastic assuring no unsightly scratches, chips or blemishes that can occur to a painted finish. They are created with a laser cutting process which is more precise in sharpness compared to router cutting. Intricate logos and symbols are enhanced with laser cutting tech styles. Thickness of the plastic can vary from 1/8" to 1". However, 1/8" to ΒΌ" is most popular - especially when multiple layers and colors are desired within one design.

When ordering plastic sign letters or logos it is important that a qualified sales representative is capable of gauging the layout for the total length and height needed. Always make sure that your requested sign lettering specs are tailored to the surface area available. It's better yet to have the company representative create an artist's rendition with your size, color and font request displayed to the actual mounting surface.

A reputable sign letters supplier should offer a lifetime warranty on all plastic lettering-guaranteed not to chip, crack or fade.

About the author: James Thaxter is a representative of Sign Wire, a company specializing in all types of signs. Learn more about sign letters and plastic letters from this author.

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