Have a question about a nameplate or badge?
The Nameplate FAQ page covers common questions in the following areas.
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.
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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!
Woodgrain finishes on aluminum have come a long way since their start in the mid 1900's. The patterns and colorations had a dull, almost faded look due to a lack of technology and color development at the time. Woodgrain patterns were especially popular in vehicles during this time and were featured in almost every vehicle dash panel, speedometer or clock-face. Starting in the 1950's the woodgrain began appearing on the exterior of the vehicle, which soon became known as the Woodie.
Variations in woodgrains are based on characteristics of grain, texture and color. The most recent developments in woodgrain printing on aluminum offer the depth and movement seen in real wood. This is possible through the layering of mechanical finishes to create movement. Faux woodgraining is cost-effective and an environmentally sustainable alternative to using native and exotic hardwoods.
There are several options when utilizing aluminum as a substrate for a woodgrain effect. Custom woodgrain finishes can be matched based on real wood structures and surfaces such as ash, pine, or eucalyptus. Once a structure or grain is chosen, the overall color of a woodgrain can be adjusted to meet your final design intent. The pattern can be printed selectively and complemented with a bright accent bead or brushed aluminum. Doming can add further dimension and interest as well.
Does your next nameplate or trim project require incorporating a faux finish like woodgrain? Now you know this doesn't have to limit your options.
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The metal accents on the WCW Nitro Cologne bottle are a truly unique approach to fragrance packaging design. The aluminum side panels are decorated with a brushed finish and transparent tint of color. Embossed details are designed to mimic the studded leather costumes often worn by pro-wrestlers, creating a signature look.
Both side panels are formed to wrap the sides of the bottle in metal creating a unique combination of metal and glass. Heat activated adhesive is used to assemble the parts to the glass bottles and ensure a good bond.
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Zero Motorcycles chose NECODome emblems as a timely and cost-effective alternative to die cast emblems when designing their next generation of advanced battery-powered bikes. The motorcycles have a modern aesthetic supported by the attractive dimensional emblems.
ZERO emblems utilize the NECODome process to create a dimensional look. This process offers the ability to replicate the brushed and bright look of metals such as aluminum, chrome, and pewter. The individual letters give the appearance of a die cast metal badge with a shortened lead time and lower piece price. High gloss black and pewter looks are featured on the tank badges.
The NECODome process is also used to create labels representing the various models. Uniquely shaped letters offer differentiation while maintaining the the die cast look to coordinate with the tank badges. Custom color development for the "S-Model" ensures consistency with aluminum labels.
Respect and homage to Old Glory are shown with jewel-like dimension achieved through doming. A bright border allows a bit of glitz to be shown without taking over the design.
Could you use either of these processes to add dimension to your next project?
When designing your nameplate or label, of course the logo or name is the highlight. Maybe you want to add some interest and perceived value for the brand. Perhaps there is a need to differentiate one series from another within the product line. Have you thought about adding a pattern to your design?
Patterns in nameplates and labels can be found in any market from consumer electronics and recreational equipment to POP/Promotional and Packaging. While patterns in our library are developed on aluminum, many of them can be translated to plastic substrates.
Here are some examples of nameplates, labels and trim which utilize patterns in various ways.
The possibilities are endless when considering pattern in your design. Choose from finishes ranging from technical and brushed to marble and carbon fiber. Build your own or pick one from our diverse selection of surfaces. Mechanical finishes, printing and screening processes are used to build patterns. All are easily integrated into the background of a nameplate to add interest and make your brand name stand out. Once designed, changes in pattern can be used to differentiate between models in a product line. The possibilities are as diverse as the brands that use them.
A library of thousands of patterns and options is at your finger tips. The ability to customize color, scale and substrate is wide open. Can you use any of these in your next design?
Case Study: Cobra Radar Detectors Case Study: Ford Mustang Concept Car 4 Options for Adding Patterns to Your Nameplate 5 Reasons to Add Finish or Pattern to your Nameplate Design
Trim decoration and brand identity are sometimes thought to be separate design considerations. It is possible to integrate these items so that the nameplate and trim become one piece. How is this done? Selectively applied doming is one option.
Norlens, a doming process, is a urethane-based material which provides durability and added dimension to the decoration. It pairs nicely with a brushed aluminum background. When applied over a transparent tint, doming helps the logo take on a jewel-like appearance which then increases perceived value.
This aluminum panel made for Crown International is a great example. The end result is an overlay which provides the functional label information as well as consistent corporate branding.
• Brushed aluminum finish for the background provides the main surface of the trim piece.• Transparent blue ink along with black embossed letters shows the corporate logo. • Selective doming creates another dimensional level and draws attention from the consumer to enhance brand awareness. • One part number for inventory and assembly instructions with no worries for alignment.
Can your trim benefit by incorporating your logo into the design? Need help to identify the options? Request samples and explore the possibilities.
There are many options to explore when designing an aluminum nameplate. Samples are a great way to explore and better understand the options available. Northern engraving offers a Nameplate Materials and Processes Guide with numerous samples on metal and plastic substrates to assist you in the process.
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