Awards & Engraving

January '18

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A&E JANUARY 2018 • 15 three lines. Too many vertical lines and graphics create a proximity challenge, as well as a type size and readability concern. Readability can be enhanced by choosing the right font. Fo n t s w i t h l o n g a s c e n d e r s a n d descenders should be avoided. Simple sans serif fonts are often the best. Proximity, placing text that relates to each other closer together, and separating unrelated text are a few solutions. A good way to create separation is the placement of a logo or other graphic between the unrelated text. Another great way to separate text is using an ornament or separator graphic. These are typically short and wide deco- rative graphics. Rules (lines) can also be used. The thickness of the line can be appropriately adjusted to look good and be functional. Separators can also be used in pairs to surround related text and create a relationship. ODD-SHAPED ENGRAVING SPACE Engraving plates may be decorated by the manufacturer, making the engraving area non-rectangular. Often the shape looks like two backward parentheses, adding a nice flair to the look. If the center is wide enough, you can still create a rectangular layout area. Another way to look at this area is that you have extra space towards the top and bottom to use. The top wider area may allow for highlighting the organization giving the award, the name of the award, or the recip- ient. This extra space may accommodate a larger or bolder font, wide rectangular logo, or a script or italicized font. If the body text or sentiment would be next in your layout, it should fit nicely in the middle, perhaps left justified. The larger bottom section might include the date or perhaps the organization giving the award or their logo. Some organizations are sensitive about the placement of their name or logo. Some insist on a top placement, others are wanting it on the bottom. If the name and the logo will both appear on the award, splitting them between the top and bottom may be a good layout choice. Knowing the customer's sen- sitivities are important. In addition to non-rectangular engraving plates, many acrylics have similar engraving areas. I have a few clients who like to use paperweights as recognition awards. Some are square and others are star shaped. Stars don't accommodate a large amount of text. State-shaped plaques are sometimes chosen by your customers as well. Proximity is the key design element to focus on. Create rect- angular or square sections to keep related information together. The key to laying out an odd-shaped area is not to fall into the trap of allowing the available area to determine what infor- Laser Engraving A few of the fonts I use from each category. A special ornament for this client—somewhat formal text preferred by this Native American government.

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