Have a question about a nameplate or badge?
The Nameplate FAQ page covers common questions in the following areas.
Once again Northern Engraving has been busy designing and printing our holiday card. Many look forward to seeing the new design each year. This year's card features aluminum finishes from our pattern library brought together into a modern holiday design. The library is a resource available to customers for integration into their product branding and decorative trim. This year we chose to highlight the versatility of aluminum with a card that layers finishes from our pattern library next to each other in a festive design.
This unique pattern was created using a large scale rendition of a familiar shape: a music note. The organic graphic involves a two-direction brush with a selective red tint, giving an overall tone-on-tone look.
Atop this tree sits a silver star. This pattern is created using a selective brush pattern over bright aluminum. Within the overall pattern are alternating selective gloss and selective dull areas, giving the pattern more dimension and visual appeal.
On this particular pattern, a clear texture is applied over brushed aluminum, creating the subtle diamond pattern. A green tint is applied to enhance the overall look.
The subtle patterns incorporated into the white background are enlarged versions of the graphics used on the holiday tree. The possibilities are endless in customizing aluminum patterns whether for a holiday card or your custom project. Change the color, scale or gloss to make it your own. Request a disc collection to begin exploring the options available to you in pattern development.
Request a disc collection to begin exploring the variety of finishes available for panels, overlays and decorative trim.
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Another way to achieve an embossed look on aluminum is to add a printed texture with gloss. The ink builds up and creates a texture that you can see and feel. This technique is often used on cosmetic nameplates. Screen printed texture is available in high or low gloss for a subtle background surface. A colored texture creates a more dramatic contrast in a pattern. Pinstripes and grids are popular patterns in product identification as well as subtle grains.In the Bronze Goddess nameplate above, printed texture is combined with a transparent gold tint which brings the nameplate to life.
Below is a recent nameplate that we produced for Kirra.
Kirra's New Blue Perfume's packaging is modern and sophisticated. The brand name on the namplate reflects the same sophisitcation by adding a printed low gloss texture over a low gloss aluminum surface.
Click here to see more cosmetic nameplate examples and to request your samples today.
Diamond T’s were manufactured in Chicago beginning in the 1905 and eventually merged with Reo and became Diamond Reo’s. During their time of manufacture, they were considered to be the “Cadillac of Trucks” and had many features not available on standard working vehicles including roll out front windows and vents. The most distinctive element of the Diamond T is its stainless steel front grille with several horizontal “teeth”. Looking much like a modern semi-tractor, their pickup trucks are the most rare and highly prized by collectors.
Diamond T pickups sported a “nose piece” that included a black cloisonné emblem with a gold “T” in the center and framed by gold in a diamond pattern. These emblems are often lost or damaged and are not available as parts or replacements since the company is no longer in business.
Pictured above is the recreated nameplate for the Diamond T Truck. Clear ink is screened to create a filigree texture that you can see and feel.
Northern Engraving has been an instrumental part of automobile manufacturing for over a century and many of the early medallions were developed by previous leaders of the company. As I work with restoration specialists, they are quick to mention Northern Engraving as the maker of ornamental pieces on collector cars and trucks.
Knowing the history and having personal experience and relationships with many at Northern Engraving, it was only logical for me to choose Northern Engraving to make the reproduction pieces for America’s finest trucks. The results of the manufacturing efforts are a beautiful representation of Diamond T history.
Pattern or texture added to nameplates creates detail and interest. Our library of aluminum finishes features thousands of patterns to be integrated into nameplates. Finishes can be customized in color, scale or process to meet the design intent of the product identification. It is interesting to note that even with the myriad of finish choices available there are a few patterns which stand out as favorites. One in particular has been used on multiple automotive trim and nameplate applications. The finish is featured here in nameplates, labels and badges.
The pattern takes on a unique character in each of the applications due to the processes and color used in addition to the graphic elements which compliment the finish. The overall look of the pattern can be shifted slightly by adjusting the gloss level of the printed texture. A subtle pattern is created when a high gloss texture is printed on a low gloss background. Adding color to the texture creates a pattern with higher contrast. Using brushed or bright aluminum for the background surface of the pattern allows the metal character to shine through. Opaque background colors contrast nicely with bright graphics and borders.
Embossed graphics combine with the geometric texture to create an attractive brand image for the products. Nameplates featuring patterns can be combined with the full range of decorative process options including: diamond cutting, brushing and spinning.
What is it about this finish that has caught the attention of so many? How would you incorporate it into a nameplate or badge?
Patterns add detail and depth to metal nameplates. Technical and precise finishes create a feeling of detailed precision and engineering in product identification. Marble, mother of pearl, carbon fiber and tortoise shell are a few of the faux finishes which combine with graphics to create a refined and premium look for your brand. Custom finishes or patterns from a library of thousands of aluminum finishes are integrated into nameplates using one of four primary process options for creating patterns on aluminum.
1. Four Color Process: reproduce virtually any surface on metal2. Mechanical Finishes: add movement and flip to the nameplate3. Printed Texture: offered in various colors and gloss levels4. Tooled Texture: creates a crisp visual and tactile pattern
Process color uses four colors to print a wide spectrum of colors. Images which can be photographed, such as marble, granite and mother of pearl, are good candidates for four color process on aluminum.
Selective brushing is used to create precise technical finishes or organic structures. A combination of bright aluminum and brushing catches the light creating interactive surfaces which can be layered with transparent color.
Screen printed texture is available in high or low gloss for a subtle background surface. A colored texture creates a more dramatic contrast in a pattern. Pinstripes and grids are popular patterns in product identification as well as subtle grains.
Embossing and coining are used when the design calls for a surface with added relief or a very crisp detail. Color can be applied selectively to the metal and aligned with the embossing to add to the visual depth.
The metal processes featured here can be used independently or combined into unique surfaces for product identification. Selective brushing layered with color and texture come together to create aluminum finishes with depth and texture.
The finishes can be further enhance with doming or norlens as shown in this tortoise shell insert for a cosmetic compact and the carbon fiber nameplate. The dome is applied over transparent tints of color and acts as a lens magnifying the reflective quality of the aluminum.
How would you integrate pattern into a nameplate?
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