Awards & Engraving

November '17

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18 • A&E NOVEMBER 2017 by Bob Hagel YOUR LASER AT WORK REDUCE PRESSURE, REDUCE STRESS Designing and laying out an award with too much text, too many graphics, or both, is challenging. When you have to accomplish this in a fast-paced world and feel pressured, the challenge is multiplied several times over. Often when time is short and you have a "rush," your client is rushed as well. A pres- sured customer makes mistakes and forgets things, so making changes or additions often occurs after you have started the design or even after it's been engraved. A great way to reduce the pressure is to understand the rules of good layout and design, and have strategies for han- dling challenges such as too much text, odd-shaped graphics, and non-rectangular plaque plates or acrylics. Another must to reduce stress is to get everything you need from your client before you begin the design. Ask questions early in the process that will help the customer think of everything that is needed. A ques- tionnaire form filled out by your customer service person may be useful. I want to have everything that is to go on the piece before I begin the design, especially the graphics. I want to know the shape of the graphic and if I will need to do work on the graphic to get the engraving results I insist on. In addition, I want to know what the product is for: an award, recognition of a volunteer, a memorial, etc. This gives me context. I also like to know the likes and dislikes of my customer: style, formal or informal; retro, modern, artistic, or Victo- rian; is there a theme such as Star Wars or The Oscars; etc. How much freedom or authority do I have with design, grammar, and editing? What is the due date? I n an ideal world, you have all the time you need to complete the award design, full authority to edit text and pick the graphics, as well as choose complementary fonts. In the real world, the freedom to make all the choices is rare. Many customers make a number of specific requests and often, time is short, or time becomes a critical factor once you get everything you need from the customer. Some customers make requests that you know will result in a great-looking award. Some requests provide significant design and layout challen- ges. Following, I provide suggestions that can help you design and layout awards and recognition products that look their best. Design and Layout of Awards in a Fast-Paced World PART 1 With this design, the logo fits the shape of the acrylic, and text placement and size fits the shape as well. ALL IMAGES COURTESY BOB HAGEL

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