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Factors For Changeable Letter Signs

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There are a few questions I am commonly asked about changeable letters.

  1. What thickness are my letters? The most common thickness is 030. Most signs you buy come with these thickness of letters. If you are able to put your letter in the top track and bow the letter and drop the changeable letter in the bottom track, it is 030 thickness. If your letters are 060 or 080 thickness, you are sliding your letters in from the side. If you have a flourescent letter black sign, the letter thickness is 4 mil. These letters are on a plastic cardboard material.
  2. What size letters do I need? The sign letter panels are often an inch or so longer than the actual letter on the panel. For instance in my experience, the most common size is "8 on 9". This mean an 8 inch letter on a 9 inch panel. (The panel is really closer to 8 15/16 inches in length.) If you are using a Swinger style sign, the letter panels are 4 inches tall. If you are buying letters for a portable roadside sign, the letters are likely 8" letters on a 9" panel. And, if a roadside sign, they are probably condensed font.
  3. What font are my letters? As stated above, condensed is the more common. If you choose a BOLD font, the changeable letter panels are a little wider. And, depending on the overall size of the sign, the sign letter row done in bold letters may have 2-3 panels LESS than a sign letter track done with CONDENSED letters. There are other fonts to choose from, but the most common are the BOLD and CONDENSED.
  4. What letters can I get to draw attention to my sign? A couple different directions to go here: 1) Purchase letters that are double the size of your original letters. (If you have 8" on 9" letters, purchase letters that will be 18 inch tall panels. ) This allows the same sign tracks to be used, but the letter panels span over one of the tracks entirely. The individual letters are quite a bit more in cost, but they are great for putting up the words "SALE" in big letters. Of course, the whole sign can't be big letters. The other letters could be the smaller type. 2) The most common letters are black with red numbers. A variety of color options are out there. In the case of the flourescent letters, they are quite a bit more expensive. However, if they get your sign noticed they are eventually going to give you a proper return.
  5. What if the characters I want don't come in my set of letters? I don't have a great answer for this, but I do have one.....electrical tape. If you can get access to some blank sheets of acrylic (or some sets of changeable letters may have some blanks), simply create the letter you want on the acrylic using electrical tape. It may not hold up to real tight scrutiny, but it will allow you to get your message out therewithout cursing the guy who sold you the letters. ;-)