Tips to Design an Illuminated Cabinet Sign

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We at Signarama Troy have created many different types of exterior building signs. Whether you are looking for channel letters, dimensional letters, an exterior Dibond sign or an illuminated cabinet sign, we can help your vision become reality.

Recently, we’ve had the opportunity to create a few illuminated cabinet signs, and have determined that we should give some tips to people who are looking at potentially getting a new illuminated cabinet sign.

Remember that All Cabinet Signs have a Retainer

This is essentially the box that holds your sign face and lights together. What does this mean for your sign design? There will always be a 1″ – 2″ border around your sign, so if you want to have a designed border around your sign, keep in mind that there already will be one unless you have your cabinet painted to match your sign’s background color.

Our advice: Avoid borders

Subtle Gradients Don’t Look Good

We’ve had customers ask about putting a subtle gradient behind their sign, and we have to let them know that it doesn’t look very good. The reason for this is that we need to print what is known as a “double pass”. This means we will lay twice as much ink on the acrylic to prevent the sign from looking washed out when the backlight is turned on. Because of this we have two options: The first is to make the gradient really harsh, which usually doesn’t look the best. The second option is to go with the current gradient, which will end up looking more like a printing mistake than a nice, clean gradient.

Our advice: Use flat color backgrounds instead of gradients.

Know Your Illuminated Cabinet Sign Size

There are many times where we will design a sign for someone based off their measurements only to realize that the sizing was an estimate. This will usually give an end result you weren’t expecting. If the size is correct, then the sign will look the same as you expect.

Our advice: Measure your sign or get a site survey done.

Understand Printing Limitations

Finally, it’s always important to ask your sign company what their printing limitations are. We are fortunate enough to have a flatbed printer where we can print up to a max of 60 inches wide without needing to seam the sign, but many other companies may only allow 50″. If your sign is larger than the company’s max printing width, you will need to realize there will be a seam, and if your sign’s design doesn’t give an easy place to seam the image, the end result could look less than ideal.

Our advice: If you have a large sign, make sure you have a place where it can be unobtrusively seamed.

We are always willing to help you get the perfect sign, and by understanding these tips, it can save you from unexpected results. Stop by our Troy, MI showroom to get your building “signed” up with an illuminated cabinet sign!

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