etched nameplate

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Cynthia Schulte, GMN
By Cynthia Schulte | Oct 3, 2014
Metal automotive sill plate

Most businesses have their various logos and trademarks in a cycle of design, use and redevelopment. This holds true for companies large and small, although the truly iconic symbols are more resistant to updates. For example, while Coca-Cola's script logo likely won't see any changes, Pepsi recently updated its globe symbol to a more streamlined design.

Many logos follow design trends, which impact the best ways to reproduce the marks, whether it's a three-dimensional, machined nameplate attached to an object or simply printed on the box. Design news website Logo Lounge has published its 2014 trends report, noting the commonalities in the logos and symbols developed by new companies and those looking for a change.

Scalability, a concern when it comes to faithful reproduction on products and packaging, is becoming more of a focus due to the prevalence of mobile devices, the report said. As far as individual design components, mono-weight line work is continuing to hold a high level of popularity for businesses, who are using it for text, graphical elements and more abstract components. Logos with type resembling stylized handwriting, whether elegant and sophisticated or more scratchy and raw, are another popular concept. Flat facets on logos, such as diamonds and more abstract structures, are popular as well, taking the place of more detailed, and less concise, reproductions.

Reproducing a logo
The style and layout of a business logo should influence how these companies decide to add it to their products. For example, a logo featuring a significant amount of mono-weight work may have trouble standing out and attracting attention when reproduced in certain formats. At GMN we frequently work with companies to develop branded nameplates that not only appropriately display the brand name, but also communicate the brand essence. 

When developing a branded nameplate there are a number of strategies to highlight a logo with mono-weight.  A good approach would be to a three-dimensional effect that can be achieved through a number of manufacturing techniques such as embossing, debossing, 3D electroform, electroform and more.  When combined with a textured or patterned treatments, it creates a compelling, unique look that is hard to match.

Logos using a handwritten style may benefit from applying the unique signature form to an etched nameplate, often used for sleek and polished branding. By using this approach, it can look as if the text or image was drawn into the metal by hand or using the inverse, as shown here, it can give a stylized look creating the inverse. A wide variety of colors can be used to fill the metal base, combining the look of metal with full color.