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3 Engraving Methods to Finish Your Custom Award Design

One of the last things you have to do to finalize your custom award design is to chose the engraving, including the method, style, and content. The overall award design is the arguably the most important component, but you can’t forget the text-based information you want to convey on the award, like date of the ceremony, name of the recipient, name of your organization, company logo, and such. These pieces of information can be engraved into your award in a variety of ways. The engraving method you can use is often determined by the kind of base you’re using and how much information you want to include.

Here are the three primary engraving methods you can use to finish you custom award:

Engraved Etchings in the Award’s Base

With this engraving method, the information is laser-etched directly into the base of the award. This style of engraving works best when the base is made of marble or granite (or another stone material) because the stone is strong enough to withstand the laser-etching. In many award designs, the text engraved into the marble is filled with gold or silver paint to make it visually “pop” from the darker base. Gold fill is usually used for gold-plated awards, while silver fill is typically used for silver-plated and brushed pewter awards. Many consider this the most “elegant” engraving method, although there are some limitations. For example, different colors can’t really be utilized (so you couldn’t have red etching to match a red colored glass or metal-cut award). Also, there is a limit to the number of characters that can be used, and very small, detailed images are hard to capture. If you were looking to have a multi-colored image on your base this would not be the best option for your award.

Engraved Plates Affixed to the Award’s Base

With this engraving method, metal plates have the award information (such as date of event, name of recipient, company logo, etc) sublimated (a printing method) directly onto their surface. These plates are then attached to the base of the award. Generally, these plates are silver- or gold-plated, although other colors (black, for example) are used as well. Unlike engraved bases, engraved plates can support multi-colored images and logos, more text, and can incorporate smaller or finer text, and images (including, even, those based on photographic images). Engraved plates are almost always used for hardwood bases, but this engraving method works well with marble and crystal bases as well.

Engraving Directly Into the Award

Some award designs, typically crystal and glass awards, support engraving directly into the award body itself. For these awards, the engraving can take the form of a 2D image engraved on the surface of the award, a 3D image engraved inside the award (sub-surface engraving), or even a combination of the two. For instance, the custom designed New York AIR Society crystal award features opaque crystal 3D images of floating balloons, as well as engravings of the award name, recipient name, date of presentation, and the AIR Society’s logo.