Have a question about a nameplate or badge?
The Nameplate FAQ page covers common questions in the following areas.
The Inter-Tel phone overlay is a fusion of injection molding and a screen printed overlay. The molded display is decorated with all printing sealed between film and resin. The large clear window demands optical clarity which manufacturing and quality control work together to achieve.
Overlay decoration can combine LCD display areas whether colored or clear, LED areas including light diffusing treatment, text and graphics. This overlay features a selective texture. Careful alignment of the graphics is key to the success of an overlay project. Printing developments are used to compensate for distortion occurring during the molding of the part. Basically some of the graphics are printed on an angle and during the forming process pulled into alignment.
How would you integrate an injection molded overlay into a product? What details need to be taken into consideration? Would you add a pattern or texture?
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The Indian motorcycle metal case shown here was an accesory for the bike designed to hold two keys. The aluminum box features an engine stripe finish in the background creating a holographic effect and visual depth. The graphics are screen printed on the metal in the flat sheet before it is formed. A protective overlay or mask is also applied in the flat sheet. This protects the aluminum decoration during the tooling operations and shipping. The overlay is removed by the final customer. A formed aluminum tray completes the key case.
The graphics on this case are an excellent example of creating an eye-catching piece without the addition of embossing. Even though the logo is flat, there is no doubt this is a premium piece.
The key box design takes advantage of an existing match box cover tool. This tool was used to blank and form the aluminum cover and tray. The stock was custom decorated with the Indian motorcycle design. This is an example of creative use of a stock die. What ideas do you have for using the match box cover tooling for a custom aluminum box?
A cost effective option for modifying trim to be used on new models or refreshing an existing program is using the same tooling updating the look with new graphics. This can be taken a step further when an emboss is added. Harley Davidson has used this approach to create dramatically different parts using the same tooling. Once you have invested in tooling, the options are endless for altering the look to meet the needs of multiple programs.
The Harley Davidson dash insert on the right features a custom pattern using transparent grey tint on brushed aluminum contrasting with high gloss black. The insert on the left uses a low gloss black screen printed with a low gloss texture. Emboss has been added to the insert further distinguishing the part. Bright aluminum is used for the embossed skull graphic and the Harley Davidson shield.
The same process is used on the upper insert shown here. The lower insert changes out the emboss and background pattern. The embossed skull is replaced by an embossed ring with a printed skull. Engine turn is applied selectively and printed with a transparent grey tint of color. Bright borders and gloss black compliment the mechanical finish.
These are only two examples of the possibilities for updating Harley Davidson trim. Both use interchangeable emboss to further distinguish the parts from other parts using the same tool. Can you think of an application where this would help to minimize cost while increasing flexibility?
Request samples of the trim shown here to see the detail in the emboss and printing.
The versatility of aluminum is illustrated in metal match box covers. The processes used to make a logo or brand come to life on a nameplate are the same processes brought together in metal match boxes.
The intricate Thai metalwork design on this match box has movement and visual depth built into the design. Selective brushing is used to add flip. The mechanical finishes are layered with printed halftones and textures to complete the design.
The metal match box designs are offered in the standard size shown and two larger options appropriate for lighting candles and fireplaces. A wide variety of designs are available ranging from holiday to vintage travel poster designs. The aluminum match box covers or grips can also be customized for use as a promotional product or giveaway.
How would you integrate these processes into your own metal finish or nameplate? What design would you like to see on an aluminum match box cover?
Recessed graphics add visual appeal and depth to your nameplate. Recessed or debossed graphics are an alternative to raised or embossed graphics. The process used to create recessed graphics is an embossing process requiring tooling. Deboss refers to tooling which results in graphics that are recessed. Multiple levels of embossing and debossing are possible. Aluminum is most commonly used due to it's formability and flexibility in decorating. Stainless steel and brass are also options.
Debossing graphics in metal results in a nameplate with raised graphics on the back surface. This requires careful consideration when determining the method of attachment to your product. Considerations when determining the attachment method for a nameplate with debossed graphics include:
Is the mating surface flat or contoured?What is the mating surface made of?Is the mating surface contoured to match the nameplate profile?Will there be a formed edge on the nameplate?How much bonding area is available on the nameplate?
Formed edges are popular, giving a badge depth and visual substance. Forming gives an illusion the nameplate is made from thick metal. The Frigidaire nameplate features a beveled edge and a formed edge or skirt. The Raynor nameplate has a slightly rolled edge and a shorter skirt. A solution for attaching nameplates with a formed edge is to assemble a foam adhesive to the back.
Embossing the entire background of a nameplate, leaving graphics at original height, results in debossed graphics. The JBL logo is manufactured this way and appears to be etched in metal. This type of emboss requires a thin edge around the part where the metal returns to original height. Consideration needs to be made for the amount of surface area available on the back side of the nameplate for attachment. Laminating adhesive after embossing generally increases the surface area available for attachment.
Applying adhesive after embossing maintains a crisper emboss. Costs are minimized when adhesive is laminated to strips or sheets of nameplates rather than assembled in the part. This maximizes the surface area for bonding and results in adhesive across the entire part. The Sunesta nameplate utilizes this process with a foam adhesive.
Heat activated adhesive is an option when the mating surface is contoured to match the profile of the nameplate. The adhesive is laminated to the nameplates in the sheet. The Whirlpool badge is applied to appliances using a heat activated adhesive.
The Beautiful plaque features debossed graphics and an overall low gloss transparent gold tint resulting in a subtle elegant look. This part is supplied without adhesive. Liquid adhesive is used for assembly to the Beautiful body lotion package.
The Infinity label uses a multi-level emboss to create an attractive nameplate. Both the logo and graphics are debossed. A hot melt adhesive is used to assemble the nameplate to a molded backplate which includes attachment features.
What ideas do you have for integrating recessed graphics into a badge? Request samples of debossed nameplates to begin exploring your options.
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?
The automotive industry demands appealing, lightweight and durable vehicle graphics. Aluminum nameplates are an attractive option meeting the demands of interior and exterior automotive applications. Typical applications for aluminum emblems and badges in an automobile include:
•Steering Wheel Badges •Engine Cover Nameplates •VIN Plates •Wheel Inserts •Sill Plates
A wide range of options in decorating and forming aluminum allow you to design eye-catching emblems for your brand image. Protective coating on the nameplate provides a barrier of protection from the environment. Options in emblem design include:
•Aluminum finish - bright, brushed, spun •Multi-color printing •Transparent and metallic colors •Embossed 2D or 3D graphics •Coined textures •Rolled or formed edge •Application - adhesive or tabs
How would you translate your brand on to an aluminum badge?
Promotional and point of purchase (POP) labels are designed to attract attention. Aluminum nameplates utilize mechanical finishing, process color, metallic inks, patterns and textures to create point of purchase nameplates that generate interest.
Wilsonart Solid Surface nameplates rely on four color process to match and integrate finishes into their three dimensional POP label. A multi-level emboss adds crisp detail to the graphics while a foam adhesive allows easy application to the display.
POP nameplates and labels on metal or plastic offer a myriad of possibilities for graphics and displays. Our designers are available to work with you in the development of a nameplate to meet your point of purchase needs. Request a free concept drawing to begin exploring the options available an aluminum, steel, polycarbonate and vinyl substrates.
The options for decorating metal trim used in inductive touch technology are limited only by imagination. Inductive technology offers a clean smooth surface uninterrupted by protruding buttons. This is because the technology allows sensing through most materials including aluminum.
Aluminum trim is an authentic material which can be decorated using any combination of brushing, printing, texture and forming. An extensive library of patterns is available to be integrated into the trim. Logos can be included two dimensionally or embossed for a 3-D effect. An aluminum touch control for products ranging from refrigerators to laptops and automotive to electronics is now a reality. Explore the possibilities of aluminum trim.
Inductive touch sensors require a layered construction. The front panel or overlay is the top layer of the construction. Aluminum is the most versatile option for this layer since it offers a wide variety of decorative and functional options. It is an excellent candidate for inductive touch because it has a low resistivity and does not increase the inductance. It allows deflection relative to the underlying coil. A spacer is required between the front panel and printed circuit board. This layer is typically polycarbonate with adhesive on both sides for bonding to the front panel and circuit board.
Front PanelConductive SubstratesAluminum or Stainless SteelNon-conductive SubstratesPolycarbonate
Conductive Target LayerThis layer is only required if a non-conductive substrate is used as the front panel. Typically this layer will be aluminum laminated with adhesive.
SpacerThe spacer provides a separation between the conductive target and coil windings allowing for deflection. Holes are located in the spacer above each coil on the printed circuit board. The holes are pierced for both metal and plastic options and adhesive is used to apply the spacer to the front panel. Alternatively, the use of in-mold creates the required holes during the molding process in addition to attachment features.
PlasticABS, Acrylic, Polycarbonate, Polyester, VinylMetalAluminum, Stainless Steel, Cold Rolled SteelIn-Molded PlasticAcrylic, Glass Filled Nylon, Polycarbonate
AdhesiveA wide range of adhesives are available to meet specific environmental and bonding requirements.
Pressure SensitiveHeat Activated
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