Cast Bronze Plaques Helpful Info
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Cast Bronze Plaques Info





Cast Plaques vs. Etched Plaques vs. Thin Gauge Plaques:

  • Cast Plaques: Cast plaques are the most common and traditional style of plaque. These cast plaques offer a painted background and raised letters that show the type of metal, such as bronze, brass, or aluminum. Cast Plaques come with the most restrictions, such as font size, character spacing, line spacing, and stroke width.
  • Etched Plaques: Etched plaques offer the ability to capture finer details and smaller lettering. Unlike cast plaques that have raised lettering, etched plaques have recessed lettering. Also, the background color is the color of the metal while the letters are painted. For an additional cost, etched plaques can be reversed so the letters are raised, but there are certain limitations and restrictions with this process.
  • Thin Gauge Plaques: Thin Gauge Plaques begin with a solid piece of metal and is machined - leaving letters behind and raised. This method allows for thin metal with good detail and avoids all of the costs associated with casting a plaque. Thin Gauge Plaques are just as durable as cast plaques, but due to their thinness there are some restrictions and limitations in their usage.

Design of Plaques:

  • Us or You? There are some websites that allow customers to design and layout their own products. Whether it be for a coffee mug, t-shirt, or cast bronze plaque they all come with their own drawbacks and limitations. Most of our customers have never needed a cast plaque and have had no experience in design or layout. We still believe that letting us design and layout your plaque is the best option, for we are aware of the limitations and standards. Furthermore, we design plaque and award layouts on a daily basis using advanced software that makes it much easier than the average customer can. Now, that being said we do receive a number of plaque design layouts throughout the year that were expertly created and all we do is make a few tweaks for the casting purpose. 


  • Limitations. You should be aware that the smallest font lettering is .25" if all letters are uppercase. If you require upper / lower case letters, than the smallest font size is .375". In order for logos or artwork to be cast the minimum stroke thickness of any one line is about .02", but should be no smaller than .04" consistently throughout. Also, the use of rosettes can also have an impact on your plaque since they are sized according to the overall size of the plaque and can quickly get in the way of your wording. The smallest rosette is 1/2".


  • Photographs / Images. Adding a photo or image to a cast plaque can be a nice touch, but there are some things you should be aware of. 
    • High Resolution. Your photograph needs to be of the highest quality and resolution as possible, as well as high contrast. We receive many photographs that are simply to low in quality or contrast to use. There are a number of ways that you can tell if your photo is of high quality (and how they look on your computer is not one of them). A simple method is to look at the file size of the photo. If it is 100MB or less in size than it probably is not good enough. If you are not aware of how to check the size than ask somebody for help, research how to do so online, or give us a call.
    • Contrast. This does not utilize something as easy as a number like file size; instead, contrast is all about how well your subject in the photo is clearly seen from other parts of the photo. A photo of a person who is very pale and wearing a white shirt may not be portrayed very well when placed onto a plaque. You want to make sure that the background does not blend into the main subject of the photo and that the main subject does not have a lot of similar colored items. Luckily, if your photo does not have great contrast than there are photo imaging software's available to correct contrast issues. We sometimes offer minor photo corrections at no additional cost; however, we may charge for advanced or complicated photo touch-ups.
    • Methods. How we place a photo on a plaque depends on the type and quality of photo, as well as the type of plaque and the customer's budget. Here are some of the options available:
      1. CAST ($): This is reserved for logos and vector artwork and is not suitable for most photographs. CLICK FOR SAMPLE
      2. FLAT RELIEF ($$): This is similar to CAST; however, photographs of people need to be converted into vector line art. This method does not increase the cost of the plaque by much, but the time it takes for a graphic artist to draw the person by hand can be expensive. CLICK FOR SAMPLE
      3. ETCHED LINE ART ($$): This method is best when a cast plaque is required but a logo is too detailed for casting. The logo is etched on a piece of metal that is then applied to the cast plaque. This is often seen on plaques with state seals. CLICK FOR SAMPLE
      4. ETCHED PORTRAITS ($$$): This method is the easiest way to place a photo onto a cast plaque. The photograph is converted into shades of gray and is then etched into metal. CLICK FOR SAMPLE
      5. GICLEE PRINT ($$$$): This method uses a high quality photo to print the photo onto metal in full color.CLICK FOR SAMPLE
      6. CERAMIC INSERTS ($$$$): This method is similar to Giclee, but printed onto a ceramic piece that is then mounted onto the plaque.CLICK FOR SAMPLE
      7. PHOTORELIEF ($$$$): This method looks great but can be difficult to achieve a good looking final product. This method utilizes photos for the background and then has raised text overlaying the background. Between the design cost and plaque cost the final product can be expensive.CLICK FOR SAMPLE
      8. BAS RELIEF ($$$$$): This method is the most expensive since we utilize an artist to recreate the photo into a 3D clay mold that is then transformed into a cast bust and applied to the plaque. CLICK FOR SAMPLE


  • Materials. Cast Plaques come in a variety of metal types, such as Bronze, Brass, and Aluminum. Etched Plaques come in Bronze, Brass, Aluminum, Bronze, and Stainless Steel.


  • Finishes. Our plaques can have a number of finishes applied to them, such as Oxidation, Patina, Polished and Flash Bronze.
    • FLASH BRONZE. We offer an affordable way to purchase a cast bronze plaque through the Flash Bronze method. This method is only suitable for Indoor Applications. The plaque is made out of aluminum and is then colored to look like bronze. Customers are pleased with this method; however, we do not recommend installing cast bronze and flash bronze plaques side by side since the two finishes will not match.


  • Facsimile: Most people do not have any experience with cast plaques and are also unaware of how long the process takes. Even though we offer one of the fastest cast bronze services in the country we too require between 10-12 business days. For this reason, we offer our customers who need their plaque fast for a dedication or ceremonial purpose the option to order a facsimile. These reproductions are made with the same dimensions and coloring; however, these are not to be used as full color proofs since these are printed and would never match the actual plaque. The cost associated with producing these reproductions, along with the shipping typically exceeds our flat rate of $20.00 that we charge. At one point we were providing them free of charge on a case by case basis but due to their popularity we must now charge a simple flat rate. Our original purpose for providing these facsimiles were for ceremonial or dedication purposes, but they have now become popular as a way to give the person, family, or organization a memento that they can take home with them.






















































  • Production: Our plaques are produced by Gemini Foundry, located in Minnesota and in Iowa. 


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