Expert Round up: Letter Making and Artwork

This week’s #expert round-up focuses on giving some artwork pointers ensuring your design (or your clients design) is actually use-able.

Adam, our CAD supervisor works closely with his team of 8 CAD operators to ensure your artwork meets the criteria to ensure we can physically fabricate. We know from our #experience and #knowledge that the two main hang-ups when it comes to artwork are concerned are #fixings, and #stroke-widths.

Flat cut letters, with studs on the rear pose a problem for our CAD team, and indeed our fabricators when the actual letter stroke width is below 5mm thick, as the equipment we use to apply the stud requires a thickness of above 5mm. When this does occur, our CAD team liaise closely with your dedicated Account manager to communicate with you the options for you. This could be either to change the material, or to consider a different approach such as achieving the same detailed effect by using double sided VHB tape or even vinyl. If in doubt of you have any questions, please ask at

Similar to flat cut letters, very small built-up letters with a return need to be carefully considered. The biggest issue we face with this particular construction is ensuring our team of letter makers can physically get inside the letter to build and then solder the return to the face. Let’s take a look at the letter making provision at SignFab (UK) Ltd

Our letter department is the largest in the UK, with the capacity for 12 letter makers to be working at once, creating indivually hand crafted letters. Steve, our Production Director states that we can create built up letters from as small as 50mm to a recent project that had letters over 5.7m in height. We pride ourselves on not using automatic letter benders, or other automated solutions, instead we steadfastly believe our #bespoke is best mantra.

We specialise in creating a product that fits your needs, never presenting you with a catalogue of what we can do, but producing what you need to win the job.

Here are just a few of the different types of letters we manufacture in house:

  • Flat Cut letters are traditionally the most cost effective way to promote a company’s name or brand. Available with a very broad range of colours and materials, from foamex to acrylics, aluminium composite, aluminium, stainless or even mild steel and many more.
  • Built up flat face, an alternative to the above which gives that more impressive 3D look to your lettering.
  • Halo illuminated, is achieved by directing the light to the rear of the built up letters giving  the effect of a ‘glow’ around the outside edge of the letter, leaving the face is dark by comparison.
  •  Trough letters have a built up return with either a full or alternatively partially recessed face. They can be non-illuminated or lit in a variety of ways including our latest method, cabochon bulbs.
  • Rim and Return Built-Up letters are historically the preferred route of all face illuminated letters. Combining a feature finished face bead & full depth return allows for a visually effective contrast of an illuminated acrylic face, combined with the coated or natural stainless steel element of the letter casing.
  • Rimless Built-Up letters are becoming increasingly popular, they enable us to supply letters that can incorporate a totally full face illumination. A good alternative to Rim and Return.
  • Bevelled Edge Built-Up letters are predominantly thought of as the most prestigious letters produced within the sign industry. We can use either the traditional method of manufacture or utilise our latest 3D software, dependent on the size and type of lettering involved.

We took a quick straw poll in our #production office; Our Production Manager, Ashley particularly likes the vast variety but simplicity of built-up flat face letters whilst Alan, our Installation Manager is a big fan of the ever impressive bevelled edge letters. Lastly Adam, our Production Support Manager prefers the subtle but eye catching halo illuminated. How do you like yours?


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