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Signage Company. Cutting Edge Designs. Northern Ireland


Signage Letters

At trade made we make all sorts of signage letters from simple flat cut letters to beautiful hand craft channel & carved letters and, we use a vast range of materials some listed below, we can also apply specialist colours to any ral or pantone code if the customer requires along with a number of fixture types again most commonly used would be general sign locators but we have various options for various situations.

Materials we typically use for signage letters
  • Aluminium composite

  • Acrylic

  • Polycarbonate

  • Wood

  • Mdf ( All grades )

  • Mdf ( tricoya brilliant for signage letters)

  • Plywood

  • Real hard woods like oak

  • Foamex

  • HPL

  • Aluminium

Here is a list of typically signage letters we make at Trade Made
  • Flat cut letters (all material as above)

  • Chamfered / radius letters

  • Carved letters (pristmatic)

  • Engraved cut letters

  • Channel letter (built up letter)

  • 3D letter (machined carved)

  • Painted letters

Flat cut letters

We make flat cut letters all the time via our CNC routers we use the range of materials as shown above and below (so read on to see the different materials) anyway flat cut letters is what it says just letters machined out of the sheet material these can be supplied with locators, studs or d/side tape as fixtures but can be left blank for the customer to choose themselves, we can also supply a printed layout so the customer or fitter knows the positioning of each letter so it looks right on the wall.

So how do I get flat cut letter from us and what is the process

Well that is simply just email us your CAD file of the letters you want cut if you can supply a CAD file then give us a ring and tell us what you want we will draw the letters up for and send it back for approval once design and size of letters is approved tell us what material you would like them in , we then select that material place it onto one of our CNC routers or CNC lasers and cut them out once cut we can added the fixings and supply a layout if you want these really pretty simple if all else fails just email or best yet give us a Phone on 028 302 68623

Chamfered / radius letters

A chamfered letter has a beveled edge around the outside of the letters this adds a bit more style and helps smooth off the square edge that a typically flat cut letter would have there is 2-3 times as more cutting required to add a chamfer or radius (radius is round edge chamfer is angled edge) to the lettering so it does cost a more to add this but it does upgrade the flat cut letter to the next level depending on budget its worth doing especially on larger thicker letters, another good feature of a chamfered edge is an old school touch of gold leafing the chamfer this really makes the letter stand out.

Making a chamfered letter

Well it pretty easy all you are doing is adding another tool path to the CNC machine code, we normally do 3 cuts to make these the first cut is a clear out pass to remove material away for the area we intend to chamfer as this gives you a much cleaner bevel or radius as all it has to cut is the bevel itself, once the bevel is added we simply machine the rest of the letter out and that's the letters cut not much to it just takes more machine time and set up that's all.


Carved letters are letters which are machined out of a thick material which normally go into a point in the centre of the letter as shown below, this typically carved letter we are talking about here is also known as prismatic letter. These letters are great for gold leafing as the machined angles of the letters makes the letters pop and really stand out especially in sun light as well as this and more importantly they give a real high quality look to any shop front this is why they are very popular but they are pretty expensive especially if you use gold leaf, you know the old saying you get what you pay for well its true in this case.


Well its simply you send us your cad file again we can sort this out if you don't have a cad file once size & design of letters is agreed we take a block of normally 19 -25mm foamex pvc and place it onto the CNC machine then we set up the router to cut this type of lettering as it requires some special tool paths to create the machine code, once we have that already we send to the router and it carves the letters out, after the letters are cut they are then hand sanded to get a really smooth surface we then apply the fixture either locators or suds once that is done they either go for spraying or gold leafing, they is a lot of work in these letters hence they do cost especially the gold leaf that very time consuming but the end result are stunning and will make you shop stand out that why they are popular


An engraved cut letter can mean 2 things in this case we are talking about actual cut out flat letters with a engraving or designs actual machined into them and not a plaque where the letters are engraved out just to make that clear, these letters would not be very common we have made quite a few over the years with engraved designs in them but they are not as common as any of the other sign letter types we are talking about here you do see them more in peoples homes as personalized gifts.


Well again its pretty simple you take the letters you want as the outside shape then add the text or deigns into the letter in your CAD software once you are happy with how it looks you save the file ready to be machined, next you send the CAD file to get machined you set it up in the router software add the tools path for engraving the design you want once you machine the design you simply cut around the outside of the letter and you done as I said it pretty straight forward, they do look really good if you colour the letter face in one colour and highlight the design or engraving in a different colour just makes the engraving stand out.

Signage Company. Cutting Edge Designs. Northern Ireland


Channel letters are letters that have returns on the side of the letter they are normally illuminated (lit up) with leds or neon as a light source there are 2 main kinds and 2 main materials used in their construction.


The first type is acrylic where the entire letter or just the face is lit up, these letters are made by taken acrylic flat cut letters and building up a return on the back side of the letter face, this return is then glued to the back of letter face to create the return around the letter, there is a lot of work in doing this as the whole process is hand done by skilled craftsman, the main problem with these is the time it takes in production as any curves in the letter requires the craftsman to heat, form and cool that part of the return to that curve if not done right it makes a mess of the letter this is a very skilled and very time consuming part of their construction with many pitfalls and should only be done by skilled people who know what they are doing. Once the letters have their returns added you need a light source as I said leds are the choice now days so to keep things short you place your leds on the back plate the same size and shape of the inside of the letter return, this plate holds your leds and is mounted to the inside of the return so it not seen this will then illuminated the letter.