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Engraved Office Signs: How are These Signs Made?

Updated on February 15, 2014
Engraved Office Signs
Engraved Office Signs

Engraved office signs, as well as other signs that are considered engraved, are all made using various engraving methods. Depending on the manufacturer that you choose to work with, as well as what your signage design is, you will find that there are actually a number of ways to create such signs. Engraving can be done by hand, with the help of machines, and even with the use of computers.

What exactly is engraving and how are engraved signs made? Engraving is the method by which an object is marked with the use of a tool that gouges out parts of its surface. This is essentially the act of cutting into a hard surface to create lines or designs by means of a tool that is sharp enough to do so.

In the past, before any of the latest equipment for engraving was made, this particular marking method was done by hand with the use of a variety of hand tools. Some of the tools used for engraving included burins or gravers that come in various shapes which include those with round ends, flat ends, ring shaped ends and v-shaped ends. These different shaped tools help with the creation of the many shapes, lines and even letters that engravers create into whatever materials they are engraving.

Before the designs are gouged, these are written onto the surface of the item, with some engravers using a fine tipped marker to mark the surface with the design, while others use a pencil. Some also outline the design on these surfaces with a sharp pointed tool before creating the deeper marks that are needed to make these designs stand out. Some may opt to transfer the designs that were made on paper onto the surface of the item to be engraved with the use of transfer paper or carbon paper.

Engraved Office Signage
Engraved Office Signage

Present Day Engraving Methods Used For Engraved Office Signs

While in the past, engraving was done by hand and may take some time to finish, these days, engraving can be easily done with the help of machines. There are quite a number of machines that can effectively mark whatever hard surface or material you are using for your signs. These machines can also be guided by a computer, making the act of engraving more accurate and faster.

Computer controlled engraving machines are probably one of the most common machines used for the creation of engraved signs and this is because of the fact that these can be tasked to create signs with accuracy and without the need to do it by hand. These make the task of creating signs easier and faster since the designs are fed into the computer, which then dictates to the engraving machine what to do and the signs are then crafted that way.

Another machine used to engrave signs with is a laser engraving machine. This is also computer controlled and uses the power of light to carve out designs onto hard surfaces such as plastic, wood and metals. Plastic is the most commonly used material for this marking method, with acrylic being one of the best choices. There are also specially made plastics for use with this marking technique and these plastics come with special features such as heat dispersing qualities that prevent the warping of the material as it is being worked.

Different materials require different techniques to be used, even if these are to be engraved with the use of a laser engraver. For example, Kevlar can be engraved using laser engraving machines, but since it gives off noxious and deadly cyanide fumes when heated, which is what a laser engraving device does, extreme care should be exercised when this is being done. Metals also need to be worked using shorter wavelengths in order for these to be safely crafted into engraved signs.

For more intricate designs, and for those engraved office signs that require rather minute details to be added to it, a hand engraving machine is sometimes used after a computer aided engraving machine is used. Small details and special markings can be easily added to your signs with the use of a hand engraver that is put in the hands of an expert engraver. Master engravers can easily add even really minute and intricate details to your signs easily and this with the use of a hand-held machine that acts like a pen.

Engraved ADA Signs
Engraved ADA Signs


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