Have a question about a nameplate or badge?
The Nameplate FAQ page covers common questions in the following areas.
This short video illustrates some of your options in designing trim and nameplates. Our customer service group is available to further explain the choices available to you in your next project. Samples are available to help clarify your choices. We can help guide you through the process from initial concept to final manufacturing of your custom nameplate or decorative trim piece.
Northern Engraving provides product identification on metal and flexible substrates. Standard substrates available include: aluminum, stainless steel, brass, polycarbonate, polyester and vinyl. The nameplates are used in interior and exterior applications in a wide variety of markets including: appliance, cosmetic, electronics, sporting equipment and automotive.
Many of the same processes and finishes used in product identification are available to be integrated into decorative trim. Brush, engine turn, spin and printing are combined to create your unique trim piece. In addition, your branding may be added to the trim. Nameplates integrated into trim minimize assembly and the number of components in the final product.
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.
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This simple design for Coach is an elegant example of using a metal nameplate as a cap insert. It illustrates the fact that more isn't always better. The beauty of this design is its simplicity. Coach is embossed in bright aluminum. The part is then stamped out. The design fits into a slight recess in the cap.
Pure Turquoise Custom NameplateTortoise Shell Plaques for Cosmetic Packaging
Request a Nameplate Materials and Processes Guide to begin exploring the options available to you in creating your product branding.
This use of mechanical processes on this aluminum nameplate caught my attention. The background is high gloss brushed aluminum applied selectively to the part. The embossed logo features two additional mechanical finishes, engine turn and engine stripe. A printed mask was used to protect areas of the metal during the various mechanical processes. This combination of processes creates a nameplate with depth and movement. Layers of transparent color are printed on the logo to add further detail and catch your attention.
This nameplate has a rolled edge creating natural highlights and shadows on the metal surface. The formed edge gives the product branding a finished look and creates visual weight. It also means the back of the nameplate is not flat. Application of a foam adhesive creates a flat surface and the maximum area for bonding to the final product. The adhesive liner includes a tab for easy removal of the liner during assembly. Assembly options are an important consideration in the design of a nameplate. We can help walk you through the process providing samples to illustrate options.
Request a Nameplate Materials and Processes Guide to begin exploring the options available to you in creating your product branding. Engine stripe, engine turn and brush are only some of the options in creating your nameplate.
Intensive Use Chairs by Concept Seating represent a committment to providing sophisticated seating with unparalleled durability. The aluminum nameplate used in their product identification reflects this committment.
The etch and fill process is often used in utilitarian applications such as product ID tags where labels are exposed to harsh environments. This utilitarian process is used here to create sophisticated product identification for furniture. Black graphics stand out in high contrast against a brushed aluminum background. The nameplate is manufactured with an adhesive back. Just peel off the top layer and stick to your product.
What other non-utilitarian applications come to mind for the etch and fill process? What other processes would you use to create an attractive nameplate for furniture?
Request samples of nameplates to begin exploring the options available to you in product identification.
This article is an excerpt from Northern Engraving's presentation at the IDSA Midwest District Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The presentation was part of the IDSA Materials and Processes Section's efforts to share information on materials and processes used in product design.
Paul Wuensch Account ManagerPaul is responsible for bringing tank badges, trim and emblems to life on aluminum. His background in graphic design and manufacturing bring a unique perspective to the table when discussing options and considerations in part design.
Traditionally a nameplate is used to identify or brand a product. We can tell one brand from another this way and depend on this branding for distinction. Another use for a nameplate is differentiation between models of a specific brand.
An example of this differentiation is illustrated well at Harley-Davidson. While the Harley-Davidson brand is recognizable around the world, the different models of motorcycles they produce are distinguished by the nameplates that are used to embellish them. All Harleys have the iconic V-twin motor. The motor has always been the heart and soul of the company’s brand. We know a Harley-Davidson when we see one. But what style of Harley is it?
To differentiate one model from another the designers at Harley-Davidson have used air cleaner inserts with a variety of finishes, colors and text. This way a Fatboy is set apart from a Softail. A limited edition 103 Cubic Inch motor that looks the same on the outside is distinguishable from the standard V-twin.
The idea behind this simple yet effective format is to standardize tooling and minimize the capital investment while providing a unique look for individual models. They use one common set of stamping dies, but by changing up the look and finish the models appear unique from one another. Often times the design of the air cleaner insert is tied to other finishes on the motorcycle. The concentric spin, a color or a pattern on the insert is carried over to other parts of the motorcycle.
In 2008 Harley-Davidson celebrated its 105th Anniversary. In honor of this milestone all of the anniversary edition motorcycles sported an anniversary copper color in the paint scheme. This copper color was carried over to the air cleaner inserts as well. The individual models were distinguished by the text on the insert, but all of the anniversary motorcycles carried the copper colored inserts.
Decorating aluminum is what Northern Engraving does best. Working closely with our customers and designers is one way we can provide one of a kind products while minimizing burdensome one-time expenses in order to create a unique brand solution.
This article is part of a series of articles from my co-workers on their favorite nameplates. Judy Webber, our guest blogger this week, is very familiar with the wide variety of nameplates manufactured by Northern Engraving. She turns nameplates into works of art when she assembles them into our nameplate display boards. See some of her work in our nameplate stop motion video featuring nameplates on metal and plastic.
Being in the sample department I see hundreds of nameplates everyday. When asked to pick a favorite several come to mind, but the silver Mustang engine cover nameplate gets my vote. The size of this nameplate will catch your eye, but this unique high end piece exhibits a very deep emboss that will get your attention above the others. I try to include this nameplate on most of our display boards as it adds to the wow factor. The only decoration is a soft silver metallic background. No graphics are needed to recognize this galloping horse and what it stands for.
This article covers the tooling and processes used to create prototype nameplate samples on metal. Prototypes cover everything from hand-filed and hand-formed one-off samples to 500 samples using pre-production tooling. Parts produced at this level are to be used for conceptual purposes only. The information here is offered as a general guideline. Each application is unique. Our customer service representatives and engineers are available to answer questions specific to your project.
Types of prototype tools:
1. Throw-away tooling 2. Semi-production tooling 3. Pre-production tooling
Throw-away tooling for prototypes involves a combination of processes such as hand filing, wire cutting and hand forming. A limited number of prototypes are available in this manner. It is the quickest and most affordable type of prototype tooling Northern Engraving offers.
This type of prototyping involves a combination of processes such as hand filing, wire cutting and hand forming but includes hard tooling.
Pre-production prototype tooling involves a combination of processes generally using tooling very similar to production. The tooling is 75% production ready.
Contact us to discuss your specific requirements in nameplate and label prototyping. Our engineers are available to discuss your specific needs whether on plastic or metal.
Blanking, embossing and forming are only part of the equation when designing a nameplate. Request nameplate samples to begin exploring all the options available to you in product identification.
Mack Trucks aluminum horn button features a spun background in the circular dial creating natural highlights and movement in metal. A transparent tint of color is printed on the spun surface contrasting with the bright aluminum logo which is debossed or recessed. A pressure sensitive adhesive is used for assembly to the vehicle.
Standard nameplate manufacturing processes are used to create the clean look in this horn dial. Screen printed resist or mask protects bright areas of aluminum during the spin process. Addition of color helps to further differentiate the spun and bright aluminum. All decoration is applied in the flat sheet. The forming and debossing operations occur after the aluminum is decorated adding dimension and defining the graphics.
Request samples of nameplates and dials to begin exploring the options available to you on metal and plastic.
The distinctive look of handcrafted hammered metal is an age-old technique translated into aluminum nameplates. The dramatic texture is popular in furniture, home accessories and jewelry. It can be found on copper, brass, steel and aluminum.
This traditional metal surface can also be found in metal emblems and appliqués. The texture is created through the embossing process. The dimpled effect is pressed into the surface of the metal using hard tooling. Printing transparent tints of color on the aluminum is used to mimic the appearance of other metals such as copper, steel or brass. Integrating the hammered surface into a nameplate with embossed graphics or a bright border adds to the perceived value of the piece creating a jewel-like appearance. Because the process is an embossing operation, it can be combined with the full range of nameplate processes.
This Harley-Davidson metal insert features a hammered surface as the background texture. Harley-Davidson designers challenged Northern Engraving with duplicating the look of hammered metal on aluminum trim. Our engineers used the Nova Trim process to achieve the effect. The Nova Trim process integrates texture into aluminum mechanically creating dimensional effects.
The same process is used on this Estée Lauder DKNY appliqué with very different results. In this case the hammered finish is combined with a pretty gold tone and formed into a soft dome shape.
The examples illustrate two very different results and uses for the hammered metal look. One is a classic insert at home on a motorcycle supporting the Harley brand image of strength. The second is an elegant addition to Donna Karan fragrance packaging supporting the image of luxury.
What ideas do you have for using a hammered metal finish in a nameplate or trim piece? How would the overall appearance support the brand image of your product?
Request samples of hammered metal surfaces to begin exploring the options available to you in adding this distinctive finish to your nameplate or trim design.
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