Awards & Engraving

August '19

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A&E AUGUST 2019 • 19 Laser Engraving Text Orientation, Font Choices, and Graphics As previously mentioned, for your top and bottom panels, the text reads across. There will be projects where using vertical text on the side panels works well. Vertical text orientation works great for decorative purposes or a single word of significance like an acronym. My preference when laying out an acronym vertically is not to use periods after each letter. It looks odd. Make sure you get permission from your customer to leave out the periods. Personalized baby birth frames are another great use of the side panels. A nice layout might have the name on the top frame panel, the date of birth on the bottom panel, the weight on the left side panel, and the height on the right side panel. Numbers and words can be stacked or run vertically. Fonts should be selected based on the use of the photo frame. Keep in mind the material the frame is made from. Metal may allow thin lines to be easily read; however, thicker fonts are needed for glass. Lightly etched wood with high contrast works well with modestly thin fonts. If the etch will be deep or light in color on a light-color wood, color-fill or a thicker font may be needed. Avoid using fonts with very thin lines in the body of the letter or serifs. Simple graphics work well on photo frames. Complex and detailed graphics where the detail is important should be avoided. There are some situations when details can't be avoided. For example, some government and college seals may contain lots of small detail that can be important to include. I tend to laser these projects with a resolution setting over 600 DPI. Remember, your engraving area is lim- ited in height and will limit the size most graphics can be engraved at. Wide rectangular graphics work the best as the overall size can be larger. Tall graphics are reduced down to a size that might not be recognizable on the top and bottom panel. Consider engraving tall graphics on the side panels. As graphics are often placed to the sides of text, make sure none of your graphics will be engraved over a frame seam. Engraving – All or in Sections Given the engraving areas are fairly short, measuring the actual size of each frame is important. Text and graphics that are off- center either top to bottom or left to right will be noticeable. There are two ways to laser the frame: all at once or in sections. Engraving the whole frame requires more preciseness with your measurements and setting up your layout. If you laser each panel separately, I find it best to laser from the center of the panel as the home point (center-center). Personalized picture frames are often dis- played for many years and can take center stage in a room. Our job is to help them shine! A&E

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