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Can I Get a Letter Board Without a Frame?

Letter board panels can bring an old, dull cabinet back to life. These open face panels might be hard to find locally or online, but Alphabet Signs will do any size from 12 inches by 8 inches to 96 inches by 48 inches in felt or vinyl material. The panel is cut to the quarter inch increment, so it’s no problem to make a custom cut panel that is 55 1/2 inches by 25 3/4 inches, for example.

Coppa Sandwiches

To answer the question “Can I get a letter board without a frame?”
…keep reading…

Short answer: grooved felt or vinyl can not be sold without the fiberboard backing and aluminum frame.

Long answer: many customers want to get creative with their signs and just order the material, like grooved felt or vinyl. The process of making the felt or vinyl have grooves is a little more complicated than just pulling it off a roll. First, a 1/2 inch piece of fiberboard is cut to your specific size. Next, the felt or vinyl in your color choice is laid on top. Then, a saw that has blades every 1/4 inch rolls the felt or vinyl into the fiberboard to create the grooves for directory letters. Finally, an aluminum band is placed around the fiberboard and felt or vinyl top to give the board a finished look.

Alphabet Signs can typically produce these custom cut boards in about 5 business days plus 2-4 days in transit. We offer several colors, and you can even get an unfinished oak wooden frame, if you prefer.



The “New” New York Handicap Stencil Makes its debut

Handicap Stencils used to be uniform for all states. There were some variations for different municipalities or other special circumstances, but for the most part, Handicap Stencils were all  39″ international standard across the board.

New York recently released their new version of the popular parking spot stencil.

The new symbol depicts the head moving forward and the arms pointing backwards. This is to indicate the person using that spot still has an “active status of navigating the world.” The leg was also moved forward, away from the wheel. This allows for a more crisp image and easy visibility for drivers.

The shape of the person in the wheelchair is consistent with the old logo, as well as other states’ markings, as to not create confusion amongst drivers. The wheel has two knockouts, or bridges, which allows for easier paint spraying of the stencil on pavement.

Alphabet Signs carries this stencil, as well as other states’ handicap stencils. These stencils are typically turned around the same day before 2pm.

Where do I get Vinyl Logos Made?

Alphabet Signs can make letters, numbers and punctuation in several colors, fonts and sizes. We are not setup to handle logos or graphics, however. To get these made, you will need to try a local sign shop. Some common chains are Signs by Tomorrow, Signarama or FastSigns.  Any of those companies should be able to help with larger graphics, too, as we are only set up to handle vinyl lettering up to 12 inches tall.

The picture below shows some vinyl sign lettering with a logo. We cut this customer’s lettering at a very affordable cost, and she was able to get her logo done locally.

Vinyl lettering with logo

On our website, you will want to check out the online vinyl lettering designer. Here, you’ll be able to type in your vinyl sign lettering and see what each font looks like before you order. The sign designer will show approximate dimensions, but if you have special needs regarding layout or sizing, let us know when you order.

Additionally, the vinyl sign lettering will be made to stick on the outside of a window, car, boat or any other smooth, non-porous surface. We can make your letters mirror cut, if you would prefer, so the sticker is on the inside of the window facing out; let us know when you order, and we’ll be will be happy to meet any of those needs.

We offer Standard, Premium or Reflective Vinyl Lettering.  Standard Vinyl is great for smooth surfaces, like business windows, store front doors or smooth homemade plywood signs. Premium Vinyl is a little thinner, so it wraps around curved surfaces well, like cars, boats or cement light poles. Reflective Vinyl is great for mailboxes or company vehicles that work night shift.

Alphabet Signs can typically turn vinyl sign letters around in 1 business day.

Where do I Find Banner Board Letters?

Banner Board letters from yesteryear are getting harder and harder to find. The letters below are plastic and have plastic clips on the back to attach to the metal board. The boards look similar to the inner copy boards used with metal church letters, but the letters are much different.

Banner Board Letters

The letters were made from an injection molded plastic then had plastic J-Clips glued onto its back. The J-Clips would hang over the rails of the Banner Board. The J-Clips fit snugly and made them very wind resistant which made the Banner Boards very popular.

I think the letters were made from an outfit out of Broward County FL but their phone had been disconnected and I lost touch of them. There is also a similar style sign letter but is made from stamped steel from an outfit named Commander Board that was originally out of St. Louis, MO.

Alphabet Signs offers several other options for letters, if you need to change your letter system away from Banner Board style letters.

Pronto letters are thick, high-quality letters that go into clear acrylic tracks; they come with a lifetime guarantee and are available in many different colors, sizes and assortments. If a whole new sign works better for your business’s specific needs, Alphabet Signs also offers Portable Marquee Signs; these signs have frames, back panels, tracks and letters that are easy to assemble.

The possibilities are endless for making a sign on your own or buying a pre-made sign. If you aren’t sure what letter system will work best for you, contact Alphabet Signs. Our customer service reps are knowledgeable, friendly and ready to help!


Combining Lettering Types to Meet Specific Needs


“I have different surfaces where my letters will be mounted. How can I still use your letters?”

This happens often. Not all buildings, or sidings, are created equally, but there is a solution: combining lettering types and styles to meet your specific needs.

The picture below shows formed plastic letters with vinyl letters. The customer used 15 inch and 6 inch Formed Plastic Building Letters and 12 inch Vinyl Lettering to achieve a professional look.

Formed plastic letters come with a lifetime guarantee against cracking, fading, peeling, etc. Vinyl lettering should last about 7 years under the manufacturer’s guarantee.

Both are easy to install. Formed plastic comes with four mounting options, and vinyl is a simple peel and stick application. Many colors, fonts and sizes are available for both types of lettering.

It is not always possible but when installing sign letters of different types you would want the sign letters to have a flush reveal. That is, the face of the sign letters are on the same plane.

Most different lettering types have different depths, some letters will stand off the wall more than the other. For example, the 6 inch letter will stand off the wall 1/2 inch and the 15 inch will stand off the wall 1-1/2 inch.

A trick of the trade is to add spacers to the back of the sign letters to give them more depth.


What’s that marquee board called for my metal church letters?

metal copy board replacement panel


We are often called by churches all over the United States looking for a replacement board that works with their metal letters from many moons ago. Often times, the person in charge of changing the church marquee sign is left with the task of finding new sign letters and refurbishing the sign board.  But because it an existing marquee sign, the previous church committee person had not left information as to where you can buy sign letters.

There are so many different styles and manufactures of church marquee signs over the years that it is difficult to know what to call the marquee boards when you are trying to describe to a professional signmaker the type of letter you need. You may end up with the wrong style of sign letters for your church board if you incorrectly describe  the letterboard. Or you may not be able to find the church marquee letters at all.

We like to start with the type of material the sign letter is made from. Is it metal or plastic? From there, we like to get a description as to how the church marquee letter attaches to the changeable marquee sign. Does it fit between sign letter tracks, does it have tabs on the back of the letters that push into grooves, or does it hang over a slotted track? Then we like to get specific information about the sign letter such as its size, color or gauge. With that type of information we can show you the type of sign letters that will work on your church marquee sign. Occasionally, we may ask you to email a picture of your reader board and letters just to be certain.

Many times the church letters are not named magnetic letters. Sometimes people will call them magnetic meaning that they stick to a readerboard. But magnetic letters are a ferrous based material and will rust outdoors.

The most difficult church readerboard to describe is the custom boards, called Metal Copy Board Replacement Panels or Inner Copy Boards, that are specific to Metal Church Letters. They are made from aluminum slatz that are stacked upon each other and welded to a perimeter frame. The metal church letters have a lip along its top and hang from the aluminum slatz.

These metal boards are grooved to hold any of the metal church letters we sell from sizes 1.5 to 4.125 inches. The grooves will hold Traditional Style Letters or  Sure Grip Letters.

Metal Copy Boards are made from aluminum and powder coated in matte white or black, and there’s a one inch aluminum band around the panel. These panels are meant for outdoor or indoor use and look great in a cabinet.

If you have a traditional marquee from 50 years ago in your quaint country church but the board is in rough shape, this is the perfect solution.



Swinger Sidewalk Signs Draw Potential Customers

Swinger sidewalk sign black message board with Deluxifier header panel
Swinger sidewalk sign black message board with Deluxifier header panel


What sign do you carry that’s easy to see and quick to change the message?

Businesses are always looking for new ways to advertise. Sidewalk signs are a popular choice, but there’s a whole host of signs out there. Do you want an a-frame? Something that swings? Plastic or metal? Letters, write on/wipe off or a poster?

The Swinger Sidewalk Sign is a great option for versatility and weather. The sign is made of steel and coated in plastic, so it will endure rain, snow or sleet. It has a ballast that can be filled with sand or water, so it will deflect wind up to 25 mph.

The Standard Swinger comes with changeable letters and a tracked board, but if you want to use a poster down the road or even a marker board, this sign is a great choice. You simply take the panel off the center crossbar, and put on your printed coroplast sign or marker face in its place.

Alphabet Signs carries the tracked message faces, sidewalk sign letters and markers for these signs.


Mugshot Letter Board Used for Entertainment

The mugshot letter board is great entrainment for parties
The mugshot letter board is great entrainment for parties


Mugshot letter boards!

These small boards are 12 inches wide by 8 inches high and are great for fun events like photo booths, weddings or parties, but they can always serve serious purposes for correctional facilities or prisons.

The popular Mugshot Letter Board was reintroduced by Alphabet Signs a couple years ago, and its popularity is off the charts. Customers love the portability and classic look.

Letters are available in not only white but red, blue, green, silver and gold, if you need a fun change of pace. The most popular letter set for this sign is the Tabbee kit. The Tabbee kit comes with letters, numbers and punctuation and is affordable. The board is grooved every 1/4 inch, so any of the tabbed letters we sell will fit. We offer 1/2 inch to 3 inch tabbed letters.

The frames are made of sturdy aluminum, so they are durable enough to pass around at a wedding’s photo booth or themed birthday party.

Alphabet Signs can make many sizes of these style boards, so if that size doesn’t strike your fancy, let us know what size you’re looking for. Mugshot boards are always in stock and ready to ship, and custom boards can be made in less than a week.

Best way to raise revenue in PA is through growth


The Marketplace Fairness Act is an outdated proposal to raise taxes on Internet businesses that have, and continue, to rapidly change. Pennsylvania is already collecting sales tax from the largest Internet retailers and the proposed legislation does nothing to help main street businesses compete against those large retailers.

Most main street businesses now have web sites and will be further burdened with red tape and paper work. Each product will have to be assigned a tax category. Each customer’s address will have to be validated. Existing technology is neither simple nor proven. It is difficult for main street merchants to install and learn, train employees, log-in and run reports, remit taxes, provide accounting reports and withstand an audit.

The sales tax technology is prone to network timeouts and security risks. The technologies can actually hurt main street businesses ability to grow and make more sales. A local Internet retailer is expanding in Gap providing 300 construction jobs and 500 employees. Another Lititz based retailer is expanding operations and will employ 380 people. The best way to raise revenue is called growth.

Custom Logo Stencils Leave a Lasting Imprint

custom pavement stencil
Radio station 92.5 Maxima sent us this easy-to-use file which we converted to create a custom stencil of their logo.


Custom stencils can be used on many surfaces, for many applications. Alphabet Signs can take your file and turn it into a sturdy, re-usable stencil that’s great for businesses, schools or advertising. Many businesses will power wash the custom logo stencil over a dirty sidewalk to leave an imprint for all pedestrians to view. The possibilities are endless.

How do I send my custom stencil file to your company for a quote?

Getting a quote on a custom stencil is easy. Just email us your clean file, preferably a .pdf, .jpg., .ai, etc. Let us know what size you would like the stencil, and we will get a quote back to you. Typically, we can quote stencils the same day and ship the customized product the next day, if the file is ready and easy to open and read.

Stencils typically need to be at least 12 inches by 12 inches because the bit on the cutting machine cannot handle smaller stencils in a custom format. We can do stencils in many sizes, typically up to 12 feet or more. Larger stencils will usually come in pieces because of the raw material’s size.

Our stencils are made from 1/10 inch thick maxi-tuff plastic material, so they are industrial strength and made to use over and over again. Paint will dry on the stencil, so you can easily crack it off; if you are doing a bigger job and cannot wait, you can wash the paint off, as well. In most cases, we recommend a water based paint.

These stencils come with a one year guarantee against tears or rips. Stencils will come rolled and will usually lose their “curl” in a warmer temp after a day or so.

Contact us to get a custom stencil quote, and you will not be disappointed with the high quality and quick turn around.