Built Up Lettering - November 2012

Illuminated Built up Lettering by Sygnet Signs

Sygnet Signs have been established since 1974 and manufacture all of their Built up Letters in-house by their skilled fabricators, who have at least 10 years experience in the sign trade.


One of Sygnet Signs specialities are 'Illuminated Built Up Letters' as they not only have their own in-house letter shop dedicated to the manufacture of Built Up Letters but they also have an in-house LED company available too. LED Solutions are a trading division of Sygnet Signs and have shared the same Leicester based premises with Sygnet since they started trading back in 2005. LED Solutions are the UK Distributor for Daehan LED who use Samsung LED chips and specialise in LED modules designed for the illumination of signage. The Daehan LED modules are IP Rated and come available in a variety of profiles and colours all with a comforting 5 year warranty.

Sygnet signs work very closely with LED Solutions in making sure that every Illuminated Built up Letter they manufacture has a bright and consistent illumination with no LED board spotting. This has allowed Sygnet to recommend and advice their clients on how best to illuminate their letters in terms of return depth or stroke width at the early stage of the quotation process.

Sales estimator at Sygnet Signs Darren Jones comments: "Here at Sygnet we always advice our clients on how best to illuminate their signs as soon as we receive the enquiry. We work together with LED Solutions and always offer an honest opinion on how we would illuminate their signs without any illumination problems."

Sygnet manufacture their built up letters to suit the type of illumination required for instance Face illuminated letters may require Rimless or Rim and Return Built Up Letters whereas Halo illuminated letters may require flat faced built up letters. On the other hand if a more complete illumination effect is required then acrylic letters can be used were the face of the letter and the returns can be fully illuminated.

Sygnet signs are starting to receive more bespoke requests for their built up letters such as open faced trough letters with LED Neon flex placed inside to create a Neon like illumination effect around the border of the letter.

Another trend seems to be for built up letters to be manufactured with a perforated face with push through LED modules placed inside to create an array of miniature bulbs illuminating the whole face of the letter.

The sales team at Sygnet have noticed over the past 6 months that the requirement for a more retro themed built up letter has been created with LED Bulbs embedded into the face of the letter in popular demand. Darren Jones again adds: "We have noticed the trend for a more retro-like built up letter to be required at the moment. The specifications we receive are for Built Up trough letters with LED Bulbs inserted inside to give a 50's theatre like design. Sygnet feel confident that their in-house expertise will allow them to offer a solution to all of their clients built up letter specifications."

To view Sygnet signs Built up Lettering solutions please visit www.sygnetsigns.com or call 0116 262 6288.


In Focus: Built Up Lettering

Applelec fuse the latest technology in letter construction with the traditional skills of the company's letter fabrication team.

From a letter making machine which creates returns for built-up letters in seconds to the time honoured practices of metal letter workers hand finishing each letter individually, Applelec have a variety of systems in -place to maximise speed whilst delivering exceptional quality.


This combination of established and innovative techniques creates an adaptable and efficient letter making environment to suit the needs of Applelec's customers who may require fully fabricated signage solutions featuring built-up letters or simply the raw letter parts to finish in their own workshops. Indeed this part production of letters is proving to be a significant asset to a growing number of the UK's sign makers.

Andy Armitage, Applelec's Business Development Manager, explains: 'As our relationships with medium to large sign makers strengthen, we have found that in some cases we are only making the mill finish built-up letter for our customers to finish and assemble in-house. As built-up letters are labour intensive this can often allow our customers to free up the time of their letter making team or prevent a bottle neck in their own plant or factory.' With their production staff free to concentrate on in-house production specialities, sign makers are then able to take on additional work, knowing elements of the letter construction can be accommodated at Applelec. Andy Armitage continues: "Of course our core offering is still needs of customers, each with their own unique set of requirements."

A key piece of machinery at the heart of Applelec's built-up letter production is an automated return shaper, a specialised piece of equipment which is located at the company's Leeds factory. The machine is programmed using vector artwork and can produce letters with a variety of return sizes ranging from 20mm to 120mm.

Requiring a single technician to operate it, the machine is fed with coiled metal in stainless steel and aluminium. Andy Armitage says: "Unlike a digital printer or plotter you cannot simply press go and wait for the finished product. The operator needs to be fully conversant with the letter building techniques. The time savings however are well worth the investment as returns are shaped with precision and accuracy in a fraction of the time"


The machine is particularly efficient when multiple letter sizes are required for a cohesive project or roll out. Indeed, the automated machinery is already utilised in several national roll outs with internationally known brands. Once the returns have been shaped, they are hand assembled with a metal letter face and can be delivered at this stage or finished according to specification with paint processes or the addition of LED illumination.

Of course not all letters are created in-house at Applelec with premium finish letters an example of the diverse range of lettering products available from the company. The premium range letters can be produced to sizes as small as 50mm in height with 6mm returns and with small stroke widths. The fully blended edges eliminate all sharp points to create a touchable smooth finish which typifies the superior quality of these letters. Along with the standardised metals routinely selected for built-up letters, the premium range can be created in unusual materials including brass, copper and black titanium or with distinct effects such as verdigris. For exterior applications, titanium letters offer a striking alternative to brass.

Andy Armitage states: "The premium range of letters has to be seen to be believed, the quality and craftsmanship exceeds anything that can be manufactured in the UK. The letters are particularly effective when used for eye level signage as seen in the receptions of law firms and architectural practices where the detailing of the letters can be appreciated." As Applelec approaches its 15 year anniversary in 2013, it is hoped that by continuing to improve procedures and by bringing exciting new products to market, the company will continue to offer customers a valued service as a confidential trade supplier to the thriving UK sign industry.

For more information about Applelec's Built Up Lettering services please visit www.applelecsign.co.uk or call 01274 774 477/ 01442 500 050.

Design by Hinchliffeart.co.uk