Engraving and Laser Etching

While we do not do any engraving or laser-etching in-house, we have partnered with a Chicago engraver who has been doing our engraving for over 35 years. He is an expert at engraving and does all our metal plates. When a logo is required on the plate, he can do 1 color laser etching from camera ready art or pdf's. We are called upon, quite often, to incorporate plates into presentation framng and can handle just about any project design. You can see some of our engraver's handiwork in the section of our site called "The Idea Wall."

Here are some FAQ's about engraved plates:

How do I order a plate for my framing project?

We will ask you to bring in a typed /laserprinted  copy of what you want on the plate, or you can email it to us as a Word or .pdf document. If you have a logo that is available in the form of a .pdf or camera-ready line art, you can provide us with that in your email or when you stop in to our store. We have been editing copy for plates for decades and know what looks good, what to capitalize, what type sizes and styles work best, etc.

How much do engraved plates cost?

Currently, we charge $1 per character (spaces are not included) plus $5 for the metal plate.  This is only a slight markup over our cost, since we are incorporating this item into the picture framing project you brought in. If you just need plates, we can put you directly in touch with our engraver to get the best pricing and turnaround.

What type styles are available?

Generally, our engraver has told us that any font available in Microsoft Word is a usable font for him.

How does the engraver put the letters onto the plate?

Our engraver uses two different methods to make your plate. One way is the old fashioned way: With a pantograph-style machine that cuts the letter into the metal while tracing a template. The other method is to use a laser-etching machine that burns the image into the face of the plate. The former is nice for very formal plates, but the laser etching method is more versatile for such things as adding logos to your plate. Tell us what you need done and we will decide which way it should be done.

How do you attach the plates to the framing?

That depends upon where it needs to go. If it is being attached to the outside of the frame, itself, we will usually ask that nail holes be punched into the plate so that we can attach the plate to the frame with small brass brads or nails. If that is not practical, we may use epoxy or silicone adhesive. More often, we try to incorporate the plate into the mat design, so that the plate is under glass and integrated into the matting design. We will cut, what is known as, a "keyhole opening" in the mat, either 1/8 to 1/4" llarger than the plate all around. The plate will, then, be inlaid into that opening and glued to another piece of mat board behind the top or main matting, either the same color or a contrasting color.