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A standard channel letter is a 3 dimensional graphic sign element. Its channel is fabricated from sheet metal, most often aluminum since it will not rust. A flat sheet of aluminum is typically cut on a table by a computer-controlled router. This creates the back of the channel and is the basis for the letter shape. The sides of the channel letter are then formed by bending a 3 to 6-inch-wide (150 mm) strip of aluminum sheet around the aluminum back to create a solid can in the shape of the letter. The letter can is painted and fitted with any lighting components such as neon gas tubes or LED lights. A sheet of thick translucent acrylic fiber or polycarbonate is cut to fit the open face of the letter can. A trim border is applied to the edges for a finished appearance and to create a fastening surface to attach it to the letter can. When illuminated at night, channel letters draw the eye of passers-by.


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