Have a question about a nameplate or badge?
The Nameplate FAQ page covers common questions in the following areas.
Mating component parts are feasible in any industry, from cosmetic and computers to medical equipment and automotive interiors. The XV1 Oroscoptic dental loupe and headlight uses a subtle black dot pattern on black background carried across both sides of the bow as well as serial number label. The result is a set of family parts which work together to complement and enhance the brand across different product base colors.
A library of thousands of pattern and finish options is at your disposal. Browse through the gallery to find a structure that fits your application. Any of the patterns can be customized in scale or color. Many of them can also be translated onto plastic substrates like polycarbonate or polyester to give even more options if your product requires an overlay with windows or any backlit elements.
Once a finish is selected, take into consideration the shape and size of the component part. Emboss or deboss elements and any forming will affect the final look as the substrate is manipulated and stretched during tooling. Registration for printed, embossed or debossed graphics is accomplished through print development.
Consistency in decoration between component parts of a product or product line is an important consideration in the overall design. This helps to reinforce the look across the final product. Where do you begin? Many times it starts with the finish.
Is there opportunity for your next project to carry decoration across multiple parts? Where will you use this?
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Aluminum trim can be used to decorate and add interest to consumer products. Integrating the nameplate into the trim is an economical and efficient use of the material. The combination makes the most of manufacturing efficiency and keeps tooling operations and investment as minimal as possible.
For the functional computer tower trim shown below, the customer called out a raised character custom pattern design using the model name repeating across the background which coordinates with the rest of the housing. Contoured tooling with debossed bright aluminum graphics makes the nameplate appear like a separate inlaid component. The aluminum wraps around a plastic backing which allows snap-in attachment to the housing. The result is a recognizable trim piece for the brand with high perceived value.
Do you have a project to review for potential to combine functionality of a nameplate with mating aluminum trim? Let's talk!
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Under-the-hood automotive badging is exposed to harsh elements including temperature extremes, grease, oil, dirt and grime. When designing the badge or emblem these things should be taken into consideration to create a part that looks as good after several years as the day the vehicle was purchased. Decorating processes, protective topcoats and attachment are key in the manufacturing of a part to meet these requirements.
Standard processes such as lithography and screen printing can be used by themselves or enhanced with mechanical finishes including brushing and spinning. The design can be as simple as one-dimensional printing or as complex as registering graphics for a multi-level emboss. It is important to stay away from processes which expose the aluminum such as diamond cut. Doming is not a good fit for under the hood requirements due to the heat of the engine.
Clear coats are applied by passing the aluminum sheets through a roll coater. Options with a range of glosses from low to high create the exact look your design demands. This step of the decoration process ensures resistance to the harsh enviroments the engine is exposed to.
A secure bond between the badge and engine cover is needed. A robust option is an open cell foam adhesive. This type of adhesive facilitates application to the uneven surface of the engine while standing up to the temperature extremes as well as grease, oil and dirt that are likely to be found. Another option is to rivet the label to the engine.
Does your nameplate or label need to be able to stand up to harsh elements? Keep these considerations in mind and feel free to contact us for more discussion on your specific project.
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Your name is your mark for your product. Likely you want that mark to be recognizable and distinguishable from other competing products on the shelf or in the marketplace. When you have multiple product lines, consistency in your labeling helps to reinforce your brand, your name, your mark.
Two areas to keep in mind for consistency is your artwork and tooling. These elements carry your name and look across your product lines. Keeping them similar reinforces your brand. Differentiate between the products and simplify your inventory control by assigning unique part numbers to each design.
Once a tool is identified, take advantage of the geometry and use it across your product lines. Many customers use this as the avenue to have a recognizable shape for their logo, or to carry the brand across similar types of products, targeted to different demographics. Only the initial cost of building the tool is needed - sharing it has no up front tooling cost for the next part.
Artwork and tooling are two areas that can be controlled to ensure consistency for your brand. These considerations allow you the flexibility to have different looks for various product lines or demographics in your target market.
Now that you have reviewed the options available in artwork and tooling to keep your brand consistent across multiple products and product lines, how do you plan to use them?
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Sonya Stone Customer Service RepresentativeSonya is part of the Nameplate Customer Service team who works closely with key accounts and the Sales group to ensure timely processing of quotes and orders.
In 2012 our aluminum 3-D stock die collection was introduced. The latest addition is a fabulous rectangle shape, 1" x 3.55". The formed edge allows the badge to stand up from the surface of the product. Pressure senstive adhesive is used for attachment.
Decoration is clean and provides interest using selective metallic ink coupled with a gun metal transparent gray tint. Bright graphics bring attention to the 3D Emblem logo. Options to customize this for your project are wide open.
3-D stock dies are custom designed nameplates available in any color and finish. A stock die enables cost-effective product identification without needing to consider tool build lead time for product launch. The sizes and shapes can be used in any industry including appliance trim, consumer electronics or furniture.
Advantages in choosing a 3-D nameplate include:
Other Options in 3-D Stock Dies:
What sizes of 3-D stock dies would be useful for your projects?
Sometimes the packaging or housing surface for the end product is not friendly for a dimensional look. Your design calls for graphics which are set down into the label or appliqué. How can this be achieved without causing attachment concerns? Coined graphics on aluminum provide an elegant option.
Coining aluminum is part of the tooling process which involves a custom stamping tool made to match graphic elements of the design. The coined tool causes a slight depression into the surface of the decorated aluminum, without major disruption to the backside (shown in the image to the right with the "HILFIGER" graphic). This allows for a smooth surface and maximum contact area for adhesive bonding to the mating surface. The coined area can be registered to colored graphics for further detail and distinction. This refinement is developed and perfected during the tool build so that when it is time to put decorated stock through the tool, quality parts are produced. Without colored graphics, a subtle two-tone image results within the coined area. Either option enhances the brand with elegance and a precise look.
The images above show examples using coined graphics from the cosmetic and packaging industries. This type of tooling can be used in any market when subtle dimension for graphics is needed.
• Precise registration of graphics is achieved with standard tolerances ± .010”.• Contrasting or complementary colors for detail and brand recognition are retained within the coined areas.• Coordinates well with other tooling operations including emboss and form.• Seamless attachment and bond to mating surface with heat activated or pressure sensitive adhesive.
Now that you are aware of the option to add dimension through coined graphics, is there opportunity to use this for your next design?
Every Harley-Davidson V-Twin motor since 1970 features an aluminum timer cover manufactured right here in Sparta, Wisconsin. It is a source of pride to our employees when traveling throughout the US or around the world to see motorcycles featuring nameplates made by Northern Engraving.
The trained eye can differentiate the era of the motor by the design of these timer covers. Many use common tooling with unique combinations of brushed, spun and printed designs to differentiate the specific models.
• Common shape and size• Thick 0.060" aluminum • Multi-level embossing• Diamond cut graphics • Model specific decoration
The timer cover was originally created to serve a functional purpose: protecting the moving parts that were part of the ignition system. Today, with the introduction of solid state electronics, the part is purely decorative.
Many of Harley-Davidson’s evolutionary milestones have been featured on timer covers. Some of these include the famous V2 design emphasizing the twin cylinder motor, introduction of the five speed transmission, and the Evolution series motors and Twin Cam’s. All of the mechanical advancements were marked by graphics on the timer cover. Since its introduction on the 1970 Shovelhead, the timer cover has had a constant presence on each and every Harley-Davidson motor produced.
What a ride it has been! The timer covers are excellent examples of how common tooling can be relevant and carry a brand over many style changes, coming to be an expected component with new launches.
Do your product lines have common attributes that can be enhanced with a badge or label?
Alignment of product branding is a critical consideration in your design. Round dials pose the challenge of not having a flat edge and can easily become off-center. The 2013 Avalanche Black Diamond Badge illustrates one option among the many available for locating your badge on the product.
The attractive metal badge relies on sharp graphics aligned with a crisp emboss. The surface of the emblem has a slight dome and formed edge to add depth to the overall appearance. Further dimension is achieved with selective brush for a bevel-look depicting mountain peaks.
The molded backplate has keying features to help align the badge with its adhesive through the use of an assembly fixture. The aluminum in-mold process also provides increased dent resistance for the exterior application.
A challenge in the design of this part was assuring the alignment of the nameplate to the vehicle. This was done with an adhesive tab extending beyond the part which features the same holes as a foam carrier which lines up in the assembly fixture. The foam carrier surrounds the nameplate and registers the exact placement on the vehicle. The badge is held in place with the foam carrier via a plastic mask. The keying features of the backplate are used again to ensure the precise alignment onto the exterior of the vehicle. The plastic mask and foam carrier are easily removed and discarded during installation, requiring little fuss.
Does your next project need help with alignment? Let's talk!
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