Have a question about a nameplate or badge?
The Nameplate FAQ page covers common questions in the following areas.
The 2009 pro football schedules are complete. The metal schedule lists the season and playoff games for the National and American Conferences. The giveaways are aluminum which is screen printed on front and back. Northern Engraving has been offering the schedules for several years as a giveaway for our customers. It is popular piece.
What other type of schedule might be printed on aluminum as a giveaway? What other ideas do you have for types of promotional products to be made using decorated aluminum?
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Soft touch is used on the Samsonite label creating an attractive nameplate with a rubberized feel. The straight forward design of the nameplate allows it to be used on a variety of colors of luggage. A clear soft touch is applied using a roll coating process giving the aluminum an almost anodized effect. A slight form to the edge of the part gives it depth. A pressure sensitive adhesive is laminated to the back for easy application to the bags.
When soft touch is applied selectively using a screen printing process it provides contrast with the aluminum background and can be integrated into patterns and textures. Adding color to soft touch further enhances the contrast.
What other nameplate or badge applications would be a good use of the soft touch process? Request samples to see and feel the rubberized surface on the nameplates.
Process color uses four colors, CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) to create multiple colors. Combined with aluminum and process options such as: brushing, embossing and doming; process color provides a wide variety of possibilities for building your brand image. Typical uses of four color process include:
The Digital Lightwave logo shown here has five bars of color which overlap each other creating an additional four colors. CMYK was used to print all nine color using only four litho passes. The Herff Jones yearbook plate also used process color to create a rainbow of colors. Printing over a selective white and a mill finish aluminum allowed the reflective metal surface to interact with process color creating an almost anodized effect.
A mother of pearl finish is integrated in to the Callaway X-18 ladies medallion. Movement is created in the finish through the layering of printing processes. Wilsonart made efficient use of process color to reproduce two granite surfaces on their label.
The modern vintage illustrations used by Body and Soul on the large and small plaques both use four color process to capture the pastel colors and subtle variations in color. The large plaque uses process across the entire piece. The small plaque compliments the selective use of process color with a matte black finish.
Metal trading cards take advantage of process color to feature the photos of professional athletes on aluminum. The same process is used on aluminum journal plates or labels to reproduce a series of photos on metal. The finished plaques were applied to journals creating a focal point.
Additional Process Options
Process color can be combined with a wide variety of decorative metal processes. The finished decorated aluminum can be embossed and formed to add dimension. Norlens or a urethane dome is applied to create further dimension. The MacBeth nameplate is an example of a flat domed nameplate with process color. The eScreen domed nameplate is embossed and formed.
Process color is a versatile option in nameplate manufacturing. What applications do you see for process color in product identification?
When it's your 25th anniversary... you celebrate it with style. This is exactly how Hewlett Packard commemorated the anniversary of the laserjet printer with an anniversary edition badge designed for the printers.
The first step in the process was the design of the logo and graphics. Once the graphic design was complete the next step was to choose an overall color scheme for the nameplate. HP wanted a high-end look, selecting silver and black for the badge. A visit to Northern Engraving along with creation of concept drawings and prototypes helped to facilitate further discussion on the many options available. The variety of elements in the 25th anniversary graphic allowed HP to integrate several processes into the nameplate creating an eye-catching jewel. The many silver finishes in the aluminum nameplate create an elegant tone on tone look with the use of a printed matte black accent. The manufacturing processes used to create the high-end badge include:
Spin: selectively applied with a maskDiamond cut: fine zebra cutLitho printing: halftones and graphicsBrush: selective diagonalEmboss: multi-levelAdhesive: selective foam with tab
The final aluminum badge conveys a premium brand image. Multiple graphics and processes are combined to compliment rather than compete with each other. The short skirt on the perimeter of the nameplate finishes the part, hiding the raw aluminum edge. A tab on the adhesive facilitates assembly to the final product.
What processes would you use to create an anniversary edition badge?
Mixed metal surfaces are a popular trend which have been seen in nameplate design. Aluminum can be printed with various transparent color to simulate stainless steel, brass, copper and gold. The metal surfaces come together creating refined product identification.
The 2009 yearbook nameplate illustrates the use of a mixed metal finish. Selective mechanical finishes are layered with a transparent gold tint of color. The gold combines with a silver finish for a label which will coordinate across a variety background colors.
The mixed metal theme is further explored in the series of yearbook nameplates. Printed texture adds detailed pattern while selective brushing adds movement to many of the yearbook labels. Anodizing and engine turn add options in authentic metal surfaces for the nameplates.
How would you integrate mixed metal surfaces into product identification? Request samples of the yearbook nameplates to see some of the possibilities.
Two of my favorite parts in our display celebrating our hundredth anniversary are the Oster metal overlays. Their design is characteristic of the colors and graphics of the mid-twentieth century. One glance and the eye-catching retro style has your attention.
You can follow changes in our culture and product design by looking at the nameplates and overlays of that time period. Products make their entrance on the market as new technologies become available. Brands grow, evolve and fade away. It is interesting to look back over the years at the product identification for various markets and brands.
Contemporary Classic Beehive Blender Escutcheon
This metal escutcheon was one of the very first nameplates that I worked on when I started my career many years ago at Northern Engraving. The simple clean aluminum design is still in use today on the classic beehive blender.
Blender and Food Processor Overlays
The polycarbonate overlays for blenders and food processors are another example of a functional overlay.
Metal and Plastic Trim
The two escutcheons featured here are unique in that one is manufactured on aluminum and the other on chrome polyester. Both feature a printed metallic silver background with a chrome accent bead. The metal nameplate is formed and applied with a pressure sensitive adhesive. The plastic label is flexible and also applied with a pressure sensitive adhesive.
Do you have any nameplates that bring back memories from a first project or of a shiny new technology?
Norlens domed nameplates and labels are durable and attractive options for your brand. Doming adds dimension to aluminum, brass, polycarbonate and polyester nameplates. Embossed graphics create further emphasis for a brand. Options in domed labels include full color graphics with transparent tints of color or metallic effects. Explore additional possibilities in your domed nameplate design here:
Rigid and flexible domed labels are used on appliances, sporting equipment, cosmetic packaging, electronics and point of purchase displays. They are abrasion and chemical resistant nameplates appropriate for interior and exterior applications. The lens can be applied selectively or formed for eye-catching results.
What options would you like to explore in domed labels? What patterns would be enhanced with doming?
Aluminum decorative trim is featured on the Grateful Dead's The Golden Road 12 CD boxed set. The aluminum insert is decorated using a combination of spot color and four color process printing. Transparent tints of color highlight the reflective surface of the metal. The metal insert glows as if it is lit from behind. Screen printed texture adds to the detail in the gold border.
The attention to detail in the design of the packaging for the boxed set is an indicator of what is inside. In addition to the 12 CDs, the set includes an 80-page book chronicling the early history of the Grateful Dead and includes rare photos and full-color reproductions of vintage memorabilia.
Over the years we have manufactured other Dead Head memorabilia on metal and plastic. One aluminum label features the Grateful Dead logo embossed with transparent gold tint while a polycarbonate stickers are screen printed with opaque colors.
The Grateful Dead inserts and labels always stand out on our sample boards with nameplates ranging from KitchenAid and Callaway to HP and Estée Lauder. They are one more example of the possibilities available to desginers when working with metal and plastic substrates.
Nameplates, labels and badges are custom manufactured to meet your design and product specifications. Standard processes are combined in an endless number of ways to create durable attractive product identification. Aluminum is decorated in a flat sheet. Embossing and stamping are the final operations in the manufacturing process. Typical processes involved in manufacturing an aluminum nameplate include:
•sheet prep - uncoil, level, wash and shear•brush - selective or overall•litho - opaque or transparent color, (used for critical registration)•screen - opaque, transparent or metallic colors and texture•coat - protective barrier against the environment•punch press - emboss, form, blank•inspect & pack - layer pack, cell pack, blank on tape, pack in strip
Additional nameplate and label process options include spin, diamond cut, dome and aluminum in-mold. Our designers are available to help guide you through the manufacturing options and processes for your nameplate. We offer concept drawings and samples to help you explore the possibilities for your brand.
Nameplates are used on appliances, electronics, cosmetics, sporting equipment, medical devices and on many other products. Size ranges from very small to very large. All are custom manufactured whether an order for two-hundred or two-million. Other metal substrate options include steel and brass. Flexible plastic label options include polycarbonate, polyester and vinyl.
What will you do? How would you build your brand image with a nameplate?
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