Applying Graphics to Nameplates: Learn Which Way is Best for You

You want to make sure your nameplates last long and make your company look good. There are several factors that go onto this, such as where your nameplate will hang—will it need to shine in a spotless factory or endure the elements on a deep water drill? Some metals will work better with certain application processes, which is another component to consider when weighing your options.


Below you will find some informational pros and cons for the processes of engraving, debossing, embossing, and screen printing:

1. Engraving is the method of making small cuts into nameplates to create the desired design. This is one of the best options for durability and preciseness. In fact, engraving methods date all the way back to the fifteenth century. Fortunately, engraving is now done with a machine rather than by hand. Modern methods include mechanical and laser engraving, which transfer a digital image onto the nameplate.

2. Debossing will create a depressed imprint on your metal tags. Requiring less machinery than engraving methods, debossing pushes the image into the nameplate. The process involves ‘male’ and ‘female’ die, which press the graphic or text and resulting in the indented metal image. Debossing is a good solution for adding intricacies but can be delicate against rough conditions.

3. Embossing has a similar process but a completely different look than debossing. Rather than a depressed image, embossing produces a raised image on the nameplate. Akin to debossing, embossing should be used on more flexible metals and is not a great option for harsh environments.

4. Screen printing is a flexible option that offers a variety of colors and is cost-efficient. The graphic is simply printed onto the metal, so it is a less intensive procedure. While this makes it a more economical option, it also makes it a less durable application. Screen printing is most appropriate if the nameplate will be under mild conditions.

Graphic application processes are advancing and changing, but these reliable methods are tried and true. Collaborate with your nameplate supplier and decide which is appropriate for your company and specific product. There are more than these four options, so researching all the available methods will help you to decide. In the meantime, learn about Yeuell’s mechanical and laser engraving capabilities.