Polished brass letters – in the right situation this material looks great.
These polished brass letters scream of old school elegance and quality. This assignment for the new Airedale Suites by Scenic Hotels in Auckland was the perfect opportunity to show brass lettering at its best.
We actually completed this project at the beginning of 2020 but I have just rediscovered some photos of the production process. It was quite an event to get these all perfectly positioned on the backing panel without scratches.
Literally and figuratively these letters carry quite a bit of weight and assembly was a slow and steady process – I hope you agree it was well worth it! The mounting holes are computer drilled into the backing panel so that the letters are located perfectly relative to each other. This produces a much more accurate result than using traditional paper patterns.
When contemplating polished brass letters, a key consideration is how the material will develop over time. Brass develops a patina if it is not polished regularly. Maintenance is not complicated but, in particular, the letters need to be accessible. If your lettering is not easily accessible then polishing can become difficult. Once the patina builds up it becomes harder to remove.
If you don’t like the aged look of unpolished brass, one option is to apply a clear coat over the top of the brass. This will buy some time but, for letters installed in the weather, this clear coat will also potentially break down and when that happens the letters will need to be removed and refinished.
Brass is also relatively expensive as a raw material and needs expert finishing – so it is not a cheap form of 3D lettering!
Polished Brass Letters – Alternatives
We can produce “brass-look” 3D letters as an alternative. These work really well when they are slightly removed from the viewer. A less expensive base panel (such as acrylic) can be used and then painted to look like brass using a 2-pack automotive finish with a gloss clear coat. This gives a really nice quality, long lasting brass effect, without the patina issue of natural brass.
Brass will always have its place. Particularly when viewed close up it makes for a very classy signage solution.