Perpetual plaques

9 Design Tips to Create Perpetual Plaques from Off-the-Shelf Products

Bob Hagel and his wife Dana own Eagle’s Mark Awards & Signs, offering a full line of personalized products using laser engraving, sand etching, and full-color UV direct print on products. They have offered awards, recognition, and signage products to organizations for more then a decade in the Southern California wine country.

A custom designed perpetual may use an off-the-shelf plaque or trophy base, and perhaps supplier-provided plates. CorelDraw tools make laying out the perpetual quick enough to test ideas or make a final layout. These tools include “snap to” grid and guidelines, transformation tools and your duplicate settings.

Here are 9 design and layout tips:

  1. When measuring base product, make sure you measure the flat portion of the plaque or trophy base as well as the overall measurements. Margins should be measured from the edge of the flat section.
  2. Ideally, leave a 1/2 inch or larger margin around a plaque and a 1/4 inch around a trophy base.
  3. Know whether plates will be permanently placed or necessitate rotation to other positions.
  4. Plates that are permanent can be tape mounted and will require an outline for placement by the client.
  5. Plates that will be removed or rotated require holes, screws and plaque pre-drilling.
  6. When at all possible, use off-the-shelf plaque plates—making metal plates is time consuming. (However, odd sizes may require custom made.)
  7. Try to select your perpetual plates before beginning the design. Plaque size can be adjusted if necessary. Include the plate holes in your graphic representation of the plates—you’ll appreciate this effort later when making a drilling template.
  8. For trophy bases, use 1/32 engraving acrylic to make the small plates required. Design without screws if possible.
  9. For perpetual plaques that will have permanent plates, you need outlines to guide clients when placing a plate on the plaque. The best way to create this guide is to create a back plate for the perpetual plates. The back plate has the engraved outlines, which can be slightly smaller than the perpetual plate so the lines disappear.

—Bob Hagel