Understanding Signs
By: Tony Ozelis
Part 3

Internally Illuminated Signs

It seems only a few years ago, that the your only choices for an internally illuminated sign was limited to either Can (or Box) signs and/or Channel Letters. Both remain industry standards to this day and for good reasons, they're cost effective and they work.

sign box

Box or Can Signs are really nothing more than just that, a box in which a light source is placed inside and the sign copy slides in on top. As the light shines through, your message is illuminated.

Although costing a bit more than a painted or letter sign, Can Signs are still pretty cost effective. If you’re taking over an existing space, you can save money by using the existing sign box and replacing the plastic insert with your own message.

What would that cost? Well, according to Ed Szjana of J.P. Morgan Chase; “Today, I would figure approximately $150 for a simple 2’X8’ insert with standard letters. But for something a bit more elaborate, I would probably double that figure”.

Want to save even more money and help the planet at the same time? Add a run of LED lights instead of the fluorescent tubes and you’ll not only double the effective life of the illumination (to over 100,000 hours) but two of these signs can be lit for less energy than required by a 100 watt incandescent light bulb. Talk about savin' the green! So, you can see, Can Signs can be a cost-effective method of showing your companies face.

channel letters

Channel Letters are another readily available product that can really make your storefront design stand out. Because there is no “white space” behind the letters (and most sign codes limit the total area of the sign, with Channel Letters, only your copy counts in the calculations, giving you a somewhat larger sign). Think of channel letters as little individual Can Signs but in the shape of a letter. What's not there, they can't make you accountable for!

Also an industry standard, Channel Letters are fairly inexpensive to manufacture. With the somewhat recent addition of injection molded polymers and LED’s (Light Emitting Diodes), Channel Letters can be as close to maintenance free as you can get.


Next: Hybrids and Variations


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About the Author: Tony Ozelis is a real estate development consultant and frequent contributor to LocationIsland.com.  Mr. Ozelis' 23 year career has primarily been focused on restaurant and retail development throughout the United States where he has served as a Director of Real Estate for companies such as Pizza Hut, Inc., Boston Chicken, 7-Eleven and Wendy's International.

With well over 700 successful projects completed to date; he has been at the forefront of incorporating new technologies into corporate real estate development and regularly teaches on subjects such as; Strategic Market Development Planning, Contract Negotiations and incorporating Green Technologies into site design.

Mr. Ozelis is a member of both the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

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