Built-Up Letters by JMF Group: The Commercial Signage Experts

According to a recent consumer survey, business signage is a significant factor in determining the likelihood of a customer visiting brick-and-mortar premises. Of those surveyed, 76% reported visiting a store or business based solely on the quality of their signage, while 77% claimed to have had trouble finding a location due to poor or no visible exterior signs. As you can see, good signage is critical!

At JMF Group, we have over 40 years’ experience in designing, manufacturing, and installing the highest quality built-up lettering for businesses of all shapes and sizes. No matter its size or its location, our UK-wide team is on-hand to help your company create truly impactful signage that will help to increase footfall, improve brand perception, and drive sales.

To learn more about our signage services, contact our team today. Alternatively, keep reading for our guide to all things related to built-up letter signs.

Built-Up Letters: The What…

Whether realising it or not, you’ve undoubtedly seen countless examples of built-up letters.

Also known as 3D letters or channel letters, built-up lettering is fabricated from durable materials that can be displayed at both external and internal sites. Their 3D nature provides classy, striking visuals, while also allowing for a wide range of thickness and illumination options.

From a design perspective, they are extremely versatile, allowing for font or logo shaping, as well as any number of colour and polish finishes.

Built-Up Letters: The How…

There are many ways to manufacture custom built-up letters, but at JMF Group we hand-fabricate all our items in-house. Our time-served skilled craftsman use grade C blowpipe solder, MIG and TIG welding, structural adhesives, and mechanical fixing methods, all of which are designed to leave the best finish, no matter which surface or material options you choose to use.

Built-Up Letters vs. Flat-Cut Letters

Though often used interchangeably, built-up and flat-cut letters are notably different.

As mentioned, built-up letters are manufactured by hand, with body shaping and fabrication carried out as a manual process.

Flat-cut letters, on the other hand, are created from a flat sheet of material that is laser-cut using a high-power CNC laser. Whilst leaving an ultra-sharp finish, flat-cut letters do not have the same 3D profile as their built-up counterparts.

Despite their differences, flat-cut and built-up letters can be used in conjunction; speak to our team to learn more, or take a look at our dedicated flat-cut lettering page.

Built-Up Lettering Material Options

As mentioned, built-up letters can be manufactured from a wide range of materials. Take a look below for some of the most popular:

Acrylic Letters

Acrylic letters are an excellent choice for those wanting to create a modern look and feel.

Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, they can be supplied as raw materials, or painted to a specific Pantone colour or RAL colour, with a matt, satin or gloss finish.

Stainless Steel Letters

For those looking to employ metal letters in their signs, it’s difficult to beat stainless steel.

Stainless steel letters are extremely versatile, and, thanks to their anti-corrosive properties, are perfect for external use. With a flat face, welded returns, and available with a mirrored, polished, brushed, or descaled finish, they’re sure to make a lasting impression.

Aluminium Letters

Aluminium letters are a popular choice for those wanting to create built-up signs on a budget.

Lightweight yet durable, they’re perfect for both indoor and outdoor use, benefiting from an installation process which is quick, simple, and non-disruptive.

Metal Letters (Mild Steel, Brass, and Copper)

For those wishing to nurture a vintage or industrial look with their metal letters, mild steel, brass, and copper can all be used to create truly stunning results.

These materials can be powder-coated from customised colouring, with anodising and Patination processes available for even more creative scope.

Built-Up Lettering Illumination Options

Whether your signs are destined to internal or external use, if you want a truly striking finish, you should consider the illuminated route.

From stainless steel letters to acrylic letters to aluminium letters or other metal letters, LED illumination can be an excellent way to project a powerful message. Take a look below for info on the most popular illumination methods.

Face Illuminated

Face illuminated built-up letters are lit from the front, with an LED light source fitted to the perimeter of each letter. This is achieved either by bonding or recessing the LEDs into the letter face.

Halo Illuminated

Halo illumination involves fixing an LED light source aroundthe rim of each letter, with the light shining through the material. For halo illumination, a rebate is routed into the letter face, which directs light through the letter material, creating an attractive ‘halo’ effect around each character.

Fully Illuminated

Fully illuminated built-up letters are lit from the front and the rear. For fully illuminated letters, LEDs are fitted to both the perimeter of the letter face and the perimeter of the letter returns. This ensures maximum brightness, no matter the viewing angle.

JMF Group: From Acrylic to Metal, Letters to Suit Your Business

When it comes to commercial signs, you want to work with a company that can cover all bases—you want a one-stop shop that can take care of everything, helping you to save precious time and money.

At JMF Group, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with a comprehensive service. Take a look below at our one-stop shop service:

Site Survey

The first step of any signage project is to conduct a site survey. This allows us to get an accurate understanding of your specific needs and requirements.

We provide all essential site surveys and drawings free of charge across the UK, taking into account the shape and size of your wall or facade, ensuring that your signs will be both compliant and impactful.


Our in-house design time have the creative skills and technical know-how to ensure your letters look great and stay looking great for years to come.

We’ll examine the details of your brand and marketing materials, including your logos, fonts, and colours. We’ll develop a proof-of-concept that accounts for all these factors, and send it to you for review before we go any further.


Once you’re happy with the design, our manufacturing team will make sure your sign is produced to your exact specifications.

We use industry-leading machinery, meaning we never need to farm out our orders to another manufacturer. From acrylic letters to stainless steel letters, everything will be done by our team and carry the JMF guarantee.


Our fitting engineers work across the UK, and comply fully with PASMA, IPAF and CSCS accreditations. They use only the finest fixings and techniques, so you can be assured your signs will go up safely and with minimal disruption to your staff and customers.


Our maintenance contract is designed to assist in preserving and enhancing the life of your display, ensuring that it stays looking and performing as good as new.

The service includes scheduled appointments with professional engineers who will clean and check all electrical components, replacing anything that requires repair.

What Are You Waiting For?

Your search for new built-up letters is over—JMF is here! Offering the perfect combination of price, service, and quality, we’re confident that we can cater to all your commercial signage needs.

Contact us today to get started on your first order. We can’t wait to help!

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