What goes into making a 3D sign

What goes into making a 3D sign

There are two basic models of 3D sign


The first, and most common 3D sign, is referred to as a 3D fabricated sign or a pan fabricated sign or a revere pan fabricated sign or pan sign. The 3D sign is a sign that has a face with solid sides to give the sign depth (referred to as a RETURN in the trade). This makes the sign look almost like a BOX. This is great because the 3D elements can accommodate lighting or if there is no lighting it ban make the sign stand out and look powerful.

3D signs can be manufactured using a number of materials, with the most common being metal (Aluminum) or Acrylic.

3D signs have the advantage of being able to be illuminated THROUGH the face – in which case the face must be a material that allows for light to flow through it, as well as being able to be HALO illuminated – where the light will either shine out the sides (returns) or from behind.

The benefits of light coming through the face is that the sign can illuminate in COLOR and when the sign is being viewed at a distance, the illuminated text (sign) is more legible than when the sign is halo illuminated.


The second type of 3D sign is what we at SignForce refer to as PARTIAL 3D. In the case of partial 3D signs, the 3D element is not created by a return (solid side) but rather by ‘pins’ that hold the face of the sign away from the backing structure. The 3D element can be enhanced using lighting where shadows will add depth and character to the sign.

Partial 3D signs can be illuminated with HALO illumination where the light is BEHIND the sign and the light is reflected off the backing structure.

Disadvantages of halo illumination include the color of the face being lost (not always as it depends of the face color, the depth of the 3D, the color of the lighting and the distance from which the sign is being viewed.

If you or your business are looking for 3D signs SignForce is the partner you want

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce at http://www.signforce.co.za