Vivid UV Colorlast Plaque for Employee Dedication

Bringing A Story To Life With A Plaque

One of our partners sought to create a one-of-a-kind plaque to tell a story. With a strong partnership and a keen eye for detail, together we created a stunning dedication.

The Project

The Baltimore Trophy House was hired to create a plaque for a newly dedicated Green Engineering Lab. The lab was dedicated to Douglas Green, an employee from 1997 to 2021. Green is described on the plaque’s artwork as “a passionate and innovative engineer, mentor and friend.”

Baltimore Trophy House provides high-quality awards, trophies, plaques, cups, and medals to Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region. Owned by the same family since opening in 1978, Baltimore Trophy House is known for its superior craftsmanship and ability to produce large orders on tight timelines.

The Vision

The customer wanted a bronze plaque with raised copy. This plaque was to feature the headline “Green Engineering Lab” across the top, a profile of a head on the right side with gears inside showing the inner workings of the brain, and the dedication text on the left.

In the original artwork, the background was white with a hexagon pattern. However, for the final version, the customer wanted a black background, which caused some initial issues with being able to use the original art. Given the complexities of this project, Baltimore Trophy House turned to Gemini to help.

The Design

Baltimore Trophy House sent the original files to a Gemini layout artist, who then modified the design to better fit the
customer’s wishes and meet production requirements for precision tooled plaques.

The biggest challenge was printing on the background for two reasons. First, the background was going to be textured,
which can cause the UV Colorlast print to come out bumpy. Second, because of the raised copy, the print head is further from the background, which can cause the ink to over-spray and become fuzzy.

“To overcome this, I worked with the production plant to determine the minimum thickness needed for the lines and got their opinion on how much of a risk this was,” said Gemini layout artist Linda Lopez.

The original hexagon pattern was gray and black. The layout artist also suggested using blue instead, basing the new colors on the blue color in the head.

The Result

In the end, the UV Colorlast printed bronze plaque turned out beautifully. The 18” wide by 12” high plaque features 1/4” thick painted edges, raised, horizontal stroke on the copy and head design, and a painted black background with a sand texture. Gemini products are backed with a lifetime guarantee, which means they will be repaired or replaced at no cost, should the need arise.

Since Gemini is dedicated to quality, extra care was taken to ensure the printed plaque would have sharp enough detailing. This extra attention paid off. The background, which was a concern during production, did not end up fuzzy as was initially feared. Instead, it stands as a shining example of the possibilities with this technique and showcases Gemini’s production capabilities.

Technique Deep Dive: UV Colorlast on Precision Tooled Plaques

Precision tooled plaques provide sharper detail to images, texts, edges, and finishes. This product is available in aluminum, brass, and bronze, and can be up to 84” wide. It requires customer-supplied vector art with text and images. Despite the original intention, dedication plaques can often be a bit bland. Adding an element of interest, such as UV Colorlast, can add a layer of interest to precision tooled plaques like this one for Green Engineering Lab.

Gemini’s UV Colorlast combines paint and UV print processes that are cost-effective and produced fast without sacrificing quality. Customers can select a combination of paint and UV print or only UV print, depending on the artwork. This CMYK print process adds color gradients and detailed colors with sharp clean printing. UV Colorlast also reduces banding and dot patterns you may experience with traditional UV printing. Sealed with a top coat to increase durability, this adds longevity to the product and is backed by a Gemini’s lifetime guarantee. By combining UV Colorlast printing and precision tooling, customers can truly bring their plaques – and the related stories – to life.

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