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Finding Numbers, Dollar Signs and Other Punctuation for Record Boards, Menus and Pricing Guides

Even though LED signs are showing up everywhere, many people still love the old school feel of a letter board with push in letters. Getting enough numbers, periods or dollar signs can sometimes be tough when you’re making a board for records or prices.

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Alphabet Signs offers some solutions to this typical predicament. We carry bags of a 100 of the same character, which means you could get a bag of a 100 A’s, periods, 1’s, or whatever characters you always seem to be short. These bags are available in white Helvetica only and in sizes 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch, 1 inch, 1 1/2 inch and 2 inch. Remember that bags of characters have a 5-7 business day lead time, and they are not returnable, as they’re a custom order.

If you just want a varied amount of punctuation, there are symbol kits, which boast a variety of characters, like periods, commas, ampersands, etc. These kits comes in white Helvetica and sizes 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch and 1 inch.

Finally, we offer a number kit. This kit has ten of each digit 0 through 9. They are available in the 1/2 to 2 inch sizes and white Helvetica.

The best way to figure out what you need is to make a rough “map” of your sign. Figure out what is going to be there all the time and what is going to change. Do you want bigger text for a “header”? Are you going to need more 1’s and 5’s for records, more zeros for times or more dollar signs and periods for prices? These are all questions you should figure out before you start putting together an order.

numbers-letters-directory boards-letter boards

Letter kits are a great place to start. They offer a variety of letters, numbers and punctuation. The kit will have more vowels and popular consonants, like R, S, T, than the lesser used letters, like Q and Z. These kits come in neatly organized hard plastic boxes; each character will have its own section in the box to help you quickly change messages on your letter boards.

People often worry about these letters melting or warping in the heat. If you buy an outdoor letter board from us, it will come with a poly carbonate window that has ultraviolet inhibitors in it. This special shatter-resistant material will help preserve the life of your letters. Changing your messages often will also help, as certain characters won’t have a chance to become more brittle than others from the hot sun.

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If white Helvetica letters aren’t quite what you had in mind, we also offer Gothic and Roman letter kits. While these fonts only come in kits and not in bags of 100, number kits or symbol kits, they are another option for font style, if block style does not suit your style.

Any of these fonts or combinations are only available in uppercase lettering. If you’re looking for lower case, we have them in our menu letters. These are available in black, red, blue and green. You will also find our Pepsi and Coca-Cola letters in that category, which is an uppercase only product.

In addition to the menu letters, we have black letters and silver or gold letters.

Theater marquee sign letters can safely be installed with a change pole arm

Theater Marquee Letters are great for old style marquees that are set up with Slotted Tracks. We offer Slotted Theater Marquee Letters, Slotted Marquee Sign Track and the Change Pole  Arms for Theater Marquee Letters. No more scary ladders!

The Slotted Change Arm can be a little confusing to use, but the pictures below show detailed images of how the contraption works and how it will save you a ton of time putting letters on your marquee.

The “mechanical hands” grip around the letters by pulling on the chain to firmly hold onto the letter. Lift the letter towards the sign; then, secure it on the marquee. To remove the letters, simply lift them off the track and to the ground.

We offer Snap Lok Letters, as well as Slotted Theater Letters. Snap Lok Letters go in Snap Lok Track only, and Slotted Theater Letters go in Slotted Track only.

Snap Lok Track is made of clear acrylic that comes in 8 foot lengths and should be attached to a flat surface using glue or fasteners. The letters hook onto this track, like pictured below.

snap-lok-trackThe Slotted Track is also made of high impact acrylic that’s clear, but Slotted Letters slide onto the tracks because it’s beveled at a 45 degree angle, like this picture.

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Another handy tool we offer is the change arm for Pronto Letters. The three sizes we offer Pronto Change Arms start at 6 foot and are all telescopic. Your choices are 6 foot to 12 foot, 6 foot to 18 foot and 6 foot to 24 foot. These come with a 3 1/4 inch suction cup and are only made to be used with thick letters, like Pronto Letters.  Flex letters cannot be used with this pole.

If you’re using Pronto letters, we also offer cabinets. They come in 4, 6, 8 and 10 inch sizes. If you’re using a 4 inch letter, it will fit in a 4 inch cabinet, even though the plastic height is 5 inches, for example.

Of course, we offer the tracks for Pronto letters, as well. These tracks are available in 4 foot or 8 foot lengths. You will need to pre-drill holes in the tracks, then rivet or screw them onto your flat, smooth surface, or you can use an acrylic cement to attach the tracks.

Any of these products, including letters, poles, cabinets or tracks come with a lifetime guarantee. The manufacturer has been making signs for over 50 years, and they stand by their product line. If your letters crack in the cold, the pole is faulty or the tracks split under normal use, just take a picture of the problem, send it over to us via email, and we’ll get it warrantied for you.

How to install building sign letters with studs?

One of the most common questions we get about mounting building letters is: how long are the studs? Stud lengths will vary depending on the size of letter.  The taller the building sign letter then the longer the stud required. For example, a 6 inch letter will probably have a 2 inch stud; whereas, a 24 inch letter might use a 4 inch stud. Alphabet Signs can provide any stud length from 1 inch to 6 inches.

A picture of a 2 inch stud is shown below. It’s a threaded aluminum rod that screws into the back of the and cannot be seen from the front. The sizes available are 1 inch, 1.5 inch, 2 inch, 3 inch, 4 inch, 5 inch and 6 inch.

studs-pads-building-letters-signsThis picture shows a stud with a pad. Pad sizes will also vary depending on the size of the letter. If you want a bigger or smaller pad, we can accommodate those needs, as well. Pad shapes can vary depending on the stroke of the letter and the size of the letter. Narrower letters with skinny strokes might have blocks that aren’t visible from the front. Large letters, like our 24 inch letters, will probably have larger round pads, like shown in the picture because they won’t be seen from the front.

When installing the building sign letter with studs you should leave a gap between the back of the letter and the face of the wall. This gap will allow any rain or sediment to run behind the letter and not collect and stain around the sign letter. The space between the back of the letter and the face of the wall is called a standoff.

You normally push the stud mounted sign letter into the predrilled holes into the  wall and stop at your fingertips. For a preset standoff we can provide spacers. Spacers are aluminum tubes cut to slide over the studs. When you push the letter into the wall with the stud sticking out of the back, the letter will stop at the spacer, creating a fixed standoff. Spacers are available from 1/4 inch to 2 inches long.

Any of these hardware options are included in the cost of the sign letters, and you just need to let us know when you order what you would like.

If you would like a combination of the two, we offer two options: combination and combination-all. Combo is a stud on the top of the back of the letter and a pad on the bottom. You would need to drill a hole for the stud, and put some silicone on the bottom pad, then push the letter into the wall. The stud will secure the letter in top of the wall, and the pad will be glued at the bottom.

For combo all, which is a popular choice among our customers, you will get studs for the tops of the letters and pads for the bottom. This gives you the freedom to swivel the pad on the stud and create standoff. You would drill a hole for the stud, put the pad on the stud, put a little silicone on the pad, put silicone in the drilled hole, then push the entire assembly into the wall. This can create a dramatic effect with even a 1/2 inch or 1 inch length of standoff.

If none of the options meet your needs, some of our letters offer no hardware, double face tape or rail mounting. Most information is available on our website, but if you have questions or need a rail mount quote, call us! Rail mounts are popular on corrugated metal buildings or very uneven surfaces. Letters mount to a clear acrylic rail then the rail is mounted on the building.

 

How much does a letter board incremental square foot cost?

record board-letter board-letters-numbers-davsonLetter board replacement panels are hard-to-find items that Alphabet Signs can turn around in about 5 business days.

There’s sometimes confusion about how pricing works on these panels because customers are charged by the incremental square foot.

An incremental square foot rounds up the nearest whole foot. If you need an 18 inch wide x 40 inch wide panel, for example, the measurements would round to 24 inches and 48 inches for the cost. You would, of course, get the correct size panel at 18×40, but the cost is calculated by 24×48.

Our felt and vinyl materials come on large sheets that need to be cut to your specified dimensions.  The reason for incremental pricing is to account for the unusable scrap portions of the sheet when cutting your custom letter board.

Alphabetsigns.com will calculate the cost of your board automatically when the size is entered on the product page. You can also take the incremental square foot multiplied by the cost, and that will also give a complete cost.

These panels are available in several colors. The largest size available is 96W x 48H. If you need a size bigger than those dimensions, you could consider putting a few smaller boards next to each other. This is a great way to save on shipping, too, as boards over 36×48 typically have to be delivered by a freight carrier.

Replacement panels are great for cabinets that are still in good shape but just need a little face lift. Measure the inside of the cabinet, so you can figure out what size panel you’ll need. Keep in mind that you’ll either need to fit the panel through the door or take the cabinet apart to put the new panel in. If you take the cabinet apart and it’s an outdoor unit, remember to also re-silicone anywhere that water might leak into the cabinet. Preventing moisture from getting to the letter panel is the best to way to preserve the life of the letter board. The boards are mounted on 1/2 inch thick fiberboard, so any amount of moisture that gets into that pressed wood will cause the board to warp. When the board warps, letters will start to fall out.

When measuring for a replacement panel, remember that there’s a 1/2 inch aluminum band that goes around the outside of the felt or vinyl and fiberboard. You want to measure the outside dimensions of the panel you need including that band. We will send you a panel that has the outside dimensions of what you enter on the website when you order.

Our friendly customer service representatives can help you with these products anytime with a phone call to 800-582-6366 during business hours Monday through Friday. You can always reach us via email at the Contact Us link. We’ll respond to you as soon as possible.

Painting Party Easels Hold Canvas Well and Ensure Fun!

Painting parties featuring food and wine are all the rage right now. Friends are gathering together to express themselves through art and just have a good time. Do you want to host a party but aren’t sure where to get easels? We offer a variety of easels. Some with trays and some without. Some tall. Some small. Black or silver. Extendable or fixed.

We have quantity pricing, too, so if you have several pals who want to paint, no worries; you can still host for an affordable cost! If you own a shop that hosts these parties often, we are here to help!

easelsThe easels shown in this picture are meant for tabletop use, but we offer easels on stands, if that fits your studio better. Some of our quality easels even start as low as $6.95 each, with a lower price for buying 5 or more.

For parties that “travel,” most of our easels are very compact and portable.

Besides the small easels for table top use, we offer Display Easels, which are great for the teachers leading the painting parties.

Easels are versatile. They can be used in the business world during meetings, by teachers in schools, in hallways to guide pedestrians where to go and more.

Dry Erase Easels are great for homeschooling families, and we offer them in many types. The easel can be brought out during school, then put away for later use. Some of the easels can even use a chalkboard, if you want an “old school” style easel. These boards wipe clean and can use standard dry erase markers or chalk, respectively.

If you’re in need of a more upscale easel, one of our Decorative Easels could be just the ticket. These are great for art shows, museums and historical events. There’s baroque style, brass plated, black and aluminum options.

Another widely used product is the Double Easel, which is just as simple as it sounds. Just flip the board over to show the other side. You could have your whole presentation ready before you even get to your meeting without worry of running out of space! Some of these easels are available with castors, too, so it can be moved easily from classroom to classroom or meeting room to meeting room.

Portable Easels are sleek, skinny and lightweight. They’re great for traveling because they aren’t bulky and hard to carry around.

These easels can ship in a few days. All of these easels are made proudly in America. You won’t be disappointed in the quality of any of the easels we sell, which is why they all come with a lifetime guarantee on workmanship and defective materials.

Portland Residents Have Fun Stencils So Can You!

stencilArtists in Portland have taken to the streets to update old, boring stenciled road markers. Super heroes and football stars are just some of the fun paintings you’ll see on the streets.

GoLocalPDX described the stencils as “happy road markers.” Residents of Portland can now have an extra smile in their day thanks to bike markings with bunny ears and woman super heroes.

Does your school parking lot, business location or town need some cheer? We can help! Alphabet Signs can make a stencil from just about any picture or file you have, and we make them in all sizes!

Send us your file, and we’ll get it quoted for you in a business day. Production time is usually only 1 business day, as well.

We have stencils for almost any application. You can customize your own stencil with lettering, or buy one of our popular pre-designed stencils, like No Parking or Stop. These stencils are available in many sizes. If the specifications of our stencils don’t meet your needs, let us know. We can change the strokes, letter width, etc. to meet your specs.

Remember that every 3 inches of letter can be seen from 50 feet away. For example, if you buy a 4 inch stencil, you can see those letters from about 70 feet away under normal conditions. If drivers are moving particularly fast, you may want to consider a larger size. Most of our stencils come in Highway Gothic, which the standard font for roads and parking lots. If you choose another font or make a custom stencil, also keep in mind that fancy fonts, cursive lettering and very narrow words can be hard to read from a distance.

The stencils we offer are a 1/10th inch thick and made for reuse over and over. They can be washed or wiped clean. You can also let the paint dry, then crack it off. We recommend using a water-based paint, as this will wash off the best. If you use an oil-based paint, be sure to put down a layer of WD-40 first, as this will ease in removing the paint from the stencil.

If you need a stencil that’s for more of a craft use, we also offer 7mm thick Mylar stencils. These stencils need to be used with care and not wiped harshly. You also can’t let these stencils dry, then crack the paint off, as they’ll just start to peel and become unusable.

Maybe you’re in the market for a handicap stencil? We have them for every state, even the newest one for New York state. The handicap stencils come in a 1/16th inch thickness or a 1/10th inch thickness. Either stencil is made to be used many times and is considered industrial strength. The 1/10th inch thick stencils will typically lay flat shortly after unrolling from the shipping box. The 1/16th inch thick stencils may need to be put in a warm room or in the sun for a few hours to lay flat. Since th 1/16th inch thick material may not lay totally flat, you will need to be careful about under spray when applying paint.

Where to start to buy a marquee sign?

Buying a marquee sign can be daunting. What size? What colors? What size letters? How does it mount? What does my township require? And on and on and on.

Alphabet Signs offers a variety of marquee signs. We have pedestal mount marquees, brick mount marquees, portable marquees, economy marquees…(do you feel like Bubba Gump with shrimp yet?).

Seriously. There are tons of choices for marquees, and our inquiry page is a great place to start. Let us know, in general or specifically, what size marquee and letters you want, colors, etc. We can send you a custom design and price in about a business day or so.

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If a brand new marquee isn’t quite in your budget, talk to us about getting high quality tracks and letters that will last a lifetime. You can mount these tracks and letters to any smooth surface and make your own marquee for a fraction of the cost!

What Does the Mounting Hardware Look Like for Bulletin or Letter Boards?

Mounting Bulletin Boards or Letter Boards can be confusing, if you aren’t sure what you’ll be receiving. The picture below shows a simple image of the hardware included when you order a board from us. This hardware is included for both indoor or outdoor units.

Hardware for Aarco boards

Basically, you will receive two cleats, which mount to the top of the board on the back, and two L brackets, which mount to the bottom of the board for support. You will receive the screws you need to attach the cleats and L brackets to the board, but you’ll need to get the hardware to fasten the hardware into your mounting surface.

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These boards mount well into cement block, brick, stone or drywall. Uneven surfaces can be challenging, and it might be helpful to mount the board to a piece of plywood first for the best support.

If mounting the sign to a wall isn’t what you had in mind, you can order posts and make the sign freestanding. These posts are 2 inches x 2 inches x 96 inches and made of the same high quality extruded aluminum as the cabinet. The hardware to attach the board to the posts will be included with your shipment, and the holes are already pre-drilled to attach the posts. We recommend that you sink the posts into the ground at least three feet. The picture below shows an example of a letter board mounted with posts.

Bulletin board with header and black powdercoat

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.

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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.

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