Awards & Engraving

August '19

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A&E AUGUST 2019 • 17 Laser Engraving Setup Basics Each frame has four engravable areas. The top and bottom read across the frame. The two side panels create a reading challenge. You can either place one or two words running crosswise or place a word running down the panel. However, side panels are a good place for graphics, especially round shapes like a college or government seal. The most common issue I have in setting up a photo frame is the customer requesting too much text and graphics to be included. Another issue is working with requests for specific information to be lasered in specific areas of the frame. Too much text reduces the text size or jams too much in an area, making it difficult to read. I always prefer to receive the job with the complete information and an idea of what the customer is trying to communicate. Frames come in sizes based on common photo print sizes. Common photo sizes are 4 by 6, 5 by 7, and 8 by 10; you will see 11 by 14 inches though it's difficult to find a frame in that size. Certificate frames are made for 8 1/2-by-11-inch certificates. The actual frame width and height varies providing more or less engravable area. Discussing the information to go on the frame first is useful before selecting the frame. Engraving Area Measure the height and width of the frame in the orientation it will be used. I also measure the opening left for the photo. I then set up a page the size of the frame in my graphic software I use to engrave. I include a rectangle the size of the photo opening. The purpose of including this is for the customer proof. Decide if you feel comfortable engraving all the panels you intend to engrave at once, or if you will engrave each panel separately. If you have little experience lasering, it may be best to engrave one panel at a time. This is especially true if you have text and graphics near the top and/or bottom of the panel. Often the outside edges of the frame Thin lines may not be very readable on deeply etched materials or low contrast material color combinations. Vertical script does not work. Vertical words work best when words are short. Five letters may be the longest you want to consider. Graphics, especially tall, round, or square ones, work well on side panels. Very thin lines of text do not work well as they can be difficult to read, especially if the text requires color-fill.

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