A standard channel letter is a 3 dimensional graphic sign element. Its channel is fabricated from aluminum, which will not rust.
A flat sheet of aluminum is typically cut on a table by a computer-controlled router. This creates the back of the channel and is the basis for the letter shape. The sides of the channel letter are then formed by bending a 3 to 6-inch-wide strip of aluminum sheet around the aluminum back. This in return can be welded at the seam or flanged and riveted to the back to create a solid can in the shape of the letter.
The letter can is painted and fitted with any lighting components necessary such as neon gas tubes or light-emitting diode (LED) modules. A translucent acrylic fiber is cut to fit the open face of the letter can. A trim cap border is applied to its edges which gives the letter face a finished appearance and creates a fastening surface to attach it to the letter can. When illuminated at night, channel letters draw the eye of passers-by.