September 5th, 2014 by Dan Marquis
When it comes to giving the look of strength, success, or class, it’s hard to beat shiny metal. It can really give the feel of confidence and the look of importance. This is particularly true for letters and signs inside that are viewed up close. However, there is one drawback; metal letters can tend to be costly, especially if you want them thick enough to really show off their dimension..That’s where laminates come into play. The letters seen here look like metal, but they are not. They were cut from 3/8″ thick acrylic with a brushed aluminum laminate applied to the face. The acrylic is gray, so even the edges of the letters look like metal. Had this job been done in actual 3/8″ aluminum the price would have been 2-3 times the cost. Another advantage to the acrylic/laminate letters is they are very light weight. This means that installation is easier and less expensive, as they can be installed with VHB mounting tape rather than studs drilled into the wall. Keep in mind that these letters are only suitable for interior use.
This effect can also be used for bigger signs, as seen here. This sign is cut from a simple 1/8″ white aluminum composite panel. It was then covered with a brushed aluminum vinyl film. The black and purple lettering and logo was then applied in vinyl. Now we have a sign that looks like it was cut from a piece of heavy steel or aluminum for a fraction of the price and weight. This particular sign was used to cover an electrical panel that was slightly protruding from the wall. For this reason we installed it using 1″ stand-offs in order to get it away from the panel, as well as make it easy to remove when access to the panel is needed.