Have a question about a nameplate or badge?
The Nameplate FAQ page covers common questions in the following areas.
In this post, a collection of samples from popular boating industry brands has been collected for your inspiration.
Due to the harsh marine environment, a common substrate choice is aluminum, as seen here in the form of nameplates and trim pieces. Polycarbonate is another option (not shown) commonly utilized with in-molded parts when flexibility and back lighting is important. A series of topcoats and adhesive options make either choice applicable and allow for enhanced durability.
The high performance and aggressive styling of the boating industry give way to many creative designs. From aluminum trim to plastic in-mold parts, all of the examples offer effective product branding and stylization.
Request samples of nameplates used in harsh environments to review the materials and processes available to create durable and attractive nameplates.
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When Navico introduced the HDS-12 multifunction fish finder/chart plotter under the Lowrance brand name they wanted to be sure it had a nameplate that reflected the quality of the product but yet fit the overall look.
Northern Engraving worked closely with Navico’s designer and project manager to get just the right look. Early in the process, Navico was certain they wanted a nameplate cut in the shape of the letters with a metallic background. As it turned out, the finish on the metallic background was a harder decision. Concept drawings were created and swatches were made available to review the different finish options available. Numerous finishes were considered such as engine stripe, brushed aluminum and a fine silver metallic background. In the end, it was decided that the fine silver metallic background was the best choice for them on this project.
Utilizing concept drawings along with swatches and samples is very helpful in the process of creating the perfect look for your custom badge or nameplate.
Request a Nameplate Materials and Processes Guide to begin exploring the options available to you in creating your product branding. Custom color matches, texture and assembly are only some of the options in creating your nameplate.
Ranger boats designed this aluminum overlay to stand out using a multi-level emboss to add dimension and detail. The Ranger logo is integrated into the panel giving the illusion of being a separate nameplate attached to the overlay. Combining nameplates into metal trim maximizes impact while minimizing the number of parts and cost. The heavy duty overlay is manufactured on .060" thick aluminum using inks and coatings that will stand up to a marine environment. The eye-catching design uses matte and bright aluminum borders and accents to highlight a printed background pattern. The pattern is a precise geometric finish using a low gloss texture contrasted against a high gloss black base.
Now that the tool is built, how would you change the look of this overlay? What patterns would you incorporate into the design for a refresh or update?
Request a sample of this overlay or other metal panels to begin exploring the options in overlay and panel design.
In-Mold or Insert-Mold Decoration (IMD) or Film Insert Molding (FIM) refers to the insertion of a printed graphic overlay into an injection mold. The molding process encapsulates the film or overlay in plastic. It combines the advantages of decorative and functional graphics with a plastic molded component or assembly. Integrated components eliminate application costs for overlays or labels.
In-Mold Decorating offers design flexibility and productivity advantages over traditional post-molding decorating techniques. Durable graphics are integrated into plastic components using multiple colors. Since the part graphics are encapsulated in resin, the graphics cannot be removed without destroying the part. Graphics will not fade and remain vibrant. No secondary operation is required after molding. The part is complete. Graphics are updated by modifying the printed overlay. The mold does not need to be modified. The Nautique boat lens shown here is manufactured using the in-mold decoration process to combine graphics and clear windows into a single component with attachment features.
The in-mold process typically uses a polycarbonate film. Graphics are printed on the second or inner surface of the film. Selective gloss or texture is printed on the first or outer surface of the film. Printing on the second surface offers additional protection in the end application. The film is formed after decorating. It is then trimmed and placed in the mold. The final step is injection molding.
Design considerations include locating graphics in relatively flat areas away from sharp edges to minimize distortion and registration issues. Inks are selected to help eliminate washout in the gate area of components. Gates are positioned as far away from graphics as possible. They are designed to minimize the turbulent flow of material during the molding cycle.
What applications come to mind for integrating graphics into plastic components using the in-mold decorating process? Why is this process a good fit for the application?
Request in-mold decorated samples to begin exploring the options available to you in product trim and identification.
Domed emblems are a durable attention getting option for product branding. The Ranger Boat emblem layers a flexible urethane dome on chrome polyester for a dimensional label which stands up to harsh weather elements. The logo and graphics are embossed in the reflective material creating natural highlights. The highlights are magnified by the three dimensional urethane dome. Domed labels and emblems are self adhesive applied to products in markets ranging from appliance and automotive to sporting equipment and cosmetic packaging.
Combining flexible substrates with a flexible urethane dome process results in a versatile nameplate. Advantages and options in flexible domed decals, labels and emblems include:
A variety of flexible plastic substrates are available to be integrated into domed emblems. Some of the material options available to you in 3D labels are:
What ideas do you have for creating an attractive domed emblem? Get creative. Any size, shape or color. Request samples of domed emblems to explore the possibilities available to you.
This aluminum nameplate combines a multi-dimensional emboss and screen printed texture to create a premium badge which stands up to the marine environment. The Sunesta graphic is debossed while the border is embossed in a multi-dimensional facet.
The marine environment is one of the harshest outdoor environments with high temperatures, humidity and salt water. Understanding the environment your nameplate will be exposed to helps in making decisions about appropriate materials and processes to meet your product needs. A number of protective topcoats are available to fit various environmental demands.
Considering the environment your nameplate will be used is an important consideration when determining the method of attachment. Other considerations when choosing a nameplate adhesive include the type of substrate the nameplate is applied to and the specs the bond needs to meet. The Sunesta nameplate uses a foam adhesive for assembly to the boat.
What other outdoor applications come to mind for a nameplate? What are the environmental considerations for those applications?
The mixed material Chaparral boat gauges integrate a decorated aluminum overlay with a backlit polycarbonate dial. The series of dials takes inspiration from the Harley-Davidson mixed material gauges changing the design up for a unique premium look.
The aluminum overlay is spun with bright accents. Embossing is used to add emphasis to the major grads. Metallic silver accents the tone on tone silver design. A matte black finish ties the metal and plastic materials together. It frames the gauge and is used as a background for the backlit graphics.
The mixed material design opens the possibilities for gauge design. Technical and mechanical finishes can be incorporated into the metal overlay. The metal can be embossed and formed creating further design options for product differentiation.
The marine gauge is an example of taking inspiration from other products. Innovation in a market can often be reinterpreted across another application. We see it happen often between our automotive and nameplate customers. How would you apply the laminated metal and plastic option in a gauge or other trim to your product?
Request samples of mixed material gauges to see the detail in the parts and begin exploring options for your project.
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