How do 3D letters work? What type of material do you use, what color should the letters be, what are my options?
3 Main options when making dimensional signs:
1. Depth / Thickness
Flat cut materials normally range in depth between 1/8” to 1”. It’s best to choose your lettering depth based on the size of the lettering and how they’re going to be used.
For example, thinner letters mounted flush with the wall work better for high traffic areas like desks and hallways. Thinner letters have a lower profile and don’t get in the way.
On the other hand, less frequented areas like walls behind reception desks are more protected and can allow for individually cut lettering raised off the wall on pegs for an additional floating effect.
Most common flat cut material depths along with their best use case:
- 1/8” (One Eighth Inch) — Good for very small letters (under 1” high) mounted flat on the wall. We usually cut this depth with an adhesive backing to simplify installation. This thickness can also be used to bring out fine details on symbols.
- 1/4” (Quarter Inch) — Ideal for subheadings and secondary information. Also a great option if you are on a budget. We usually cut this depth with an adhesive sticky back.
- 1/2” (Half Inch) — Our most popular depth for 3D raised letters. This Depth can be raised on spacers (small peg mounts) for an additional floating effect or directly to the wall on double sided tape. Provides a substantial look and feel.
- 3/4” (Three Quarter Inch) — Excellent for when you need a beefier, bolder look.
- 1” (One Inch) — Perfect for a very bold look. Usually the max depth for flat cut materials.
How far are they raised off the wall?
Another question related to material depth is how far the letters stick off the wall. Meaning how far are the dimensional letters spaced off the wall on mounts, pegs, rods, or spacers.
In most cases, we raise our signs off the wall on 1/2” spacers. This gives the individually cut letters an added floating effect that makes them appear more 3 dimensional.
Depending on your lighting, raising your sign on 1/2” mounts will also cast a shadow. The shadow effect can be increased or decreased by adjusting your lighting.
Although the average spacer depth is 1/2”, we can also accommodate requests for custom spacer depths such as 1/4”, 3/4”, 2”, 5” or any other depth.
Certain wall types, such as ledge stone or irregular patterned walls may require the dimensional letters to be raised at various depths. In this case we usually include threaded rods with no set spacer depth and the height of the letters off the wall can be adjusted manually, ensuring the letters are level.
When dimensional letters are flush mounted with sticky back or double sided tape, then they will only raise off the wall by the depth of the letters themselves because the tape itself does not have much thickness to it.