[CASE STUDY] 5 Cast Plaques for Armed Forces Dedication

Collaboration to Create A Veteran's Memorial With Cast Plaques

Inspired Bronze partnered with Gemini to create this unique project and we were eager to meet the challenge.

The Project

The Town of Windermere, Florida, set out to establish a veterans memorial to honor service members from the area who have served in the military. The project was a partnership between the town, Rotary Club of Windemere, and multiple individual contributors. In addition to having the primary memorial flagpole and plaque, which was dedicated on July 4, 1991, they wanted to add cast PhotoRelief™ plaques for each branch of the military. Inspired Bronze was hired to help the Town of Windemere with this project. They specialize in traditional and realistic trophies, rewards, and plaques. The company had its beginnings in 2009 as a bronze casting foundry for fine art pieces and expanded to trophies in 2019. They take pride in producing pieces that are both emblems of recognition and works of art.

Cast Plaque

The Vision

The memorial park group had a goal to establish these additions on May 21, 2017, which was Memorial Day. One plaque was dedicated to the explanation of the project and featured the United States seal and American flag in the background. Each of the five remaining plaques would feature a branch seal, an image, and slogan significant to that particular military branch (Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, and Coast Guard) in a PhotoRelief collage. PhotoRelief plaques provide a seamless blend of casting and photography and is only available for cast plaques. The Coast Guard plaque, for example, was to feature the motto “Semper Paratus,” the Coast Guard seal, and an image of air and seacraft out on the water.

Inspired Bronze provided a design mockup to the Gemini team. Unfortunately, they were unable to provide high-quality, individual images to use on each of the plaques.

The Design

The Gemini layout artist assigned to the project was able to source high-quality images and reassemble the artwork using the original mockups as a guide. Care was taken to ensure all selected photos were licensed properly for commercial use. With PhotoRelief plaques, high-resolution images are a must. These types of plaques need to tell a story with both text and pictures. In this instance, the customer wanted a high-quality photo collage to bring their vision to life. The cast government seals have a minimum size of 10”, so the layout artist worked to make sure there was enough room for them on each plaque. Additionally, the original font was incompatible with the desired production method, so the layout artist found a similar font that would work.

The Result

Each of the cast photorelief plaques are 17” wide x 19.5” high on 1/2” thick bronze. The bronze etched inserts are two sizes – 2.73” wide x 2.375” high and 1.97” wide x 2.375” high – on a smooth with horizontal brushed surface with a dark oxide fill and edge. With Gemini’s lifetime guarantee, the durable materials will be repaired or replaced at no cost, should the need arise.

The project was completed in plenty of time, allowing the Town of Windemere to go forward with their Memorial Day dedication as planned. Each plaque has its own space in the memorial park, mounted on concrete display pillars, while remaining in close proximity to the original memorial flagpole. “These turned out stunning. The quality of the photos really makes a difference,” said Gemini layout artist Linda Lopez.” “We were happy to provide such beautiful plaques for the customer’s meaningful park opening.” The photo quality provided realistic detailing that really make these plaques stand out. The layout artist’s dedication to sourcing appropriate imagery models Gemini’s dedication to the craft and customer. Together with the customer, they were able to create a beautiful tribute.

Technique Deep Dive: Cast Vs. Precision Tooled Plaques

In this case study, Inspired Bronze opted for a cast plaque because they requested a PhotoRelief plaque. PhotoRelief imaging is only available for cast plaques. Cast Plaques produce one-of-a-kind designs by pouring molten metal into a custom mold to create a sense of permanency and architectural depth. It’s available in two metal materials, aluminum, or bronze, and can be up to 96”. Cast plaques require customer-supplied vector art, complete with text and photographs for the images. Conversely, the precision tooled plaques provide a sharper level of detail to the finishes. Images, text, and edges are crisp and clean. It’s available in three metal materials, aluminum, brass, or bronze, and can be up to 84” wide. As with the cast plaque, it requires customer-supplied vector art with text and images. UV Colorlast is also available on precision tooled plaques to bring the product to life. So which product is better? Determining whether cast or precision tooled plaques will be best greatly depends on the specifics of a project and its end goals.


Gemini is a wholesale manufacturer of solutions that identify, direct, and protect the world. For 60 years, Gemini has been an industry leader producing made-to-order dimensional signage, plates, plaques, cast bronze memorials, industrial protective cases, and plastic parts. Gemini is a second-generation family-owned business headquartered in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, with production facilities throughout North America. For more information, visit geminimade.com.

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