When to Choose Etched Metal Over Cast Plaques

July 17, 2017 9:36 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When designating an important landmark, displaying information or commemorating an object or place, signage is critical. The right sign will let everyone know what’s important, why it’s important and the reason for its significance.

When choosing a commemorative sign, the choice often comes down to etched metal versus cast plaques. We’re familiar with both, and they’re quite common:

  • Etched metal signs are typically smaller and used more frequently. You’ll see them commemorating park benches, gardens and even museum exhibits.
  • Cast bronze plaques are large and imposing, often used to offer long commemorations for statues, landmarks and historical areas.

While both types of signage look great and serve to educate people as to the importance of a particular event or person, they’re not equally suited for every situation. There are, in fact, many situations where etched metal signs are a smarter, more preferred option.

The benefits of etched metal

First and most importantly, etched metal is ideal for smaller commemorations. Because metal can be etched to a very fine degree, without any loss in detail or quality, smaller metal signs are perfect for smaller applications. This is why so many park benches or discrete commemorations have metal signage.

This high-level of detail also allows etched metal signs to support more than text! Images, graphics, logos, designs and even portraits can be etched into metal at different depths, creating a stunning level of realism. It’s why many large corporate campuses use etched signage that’s branded with their logo.

Anodized metal is also treated to stand up better to weathering. You’ll frequently see etched metal signage outdoors. These signs stand up to sun, wind, rain and anything else superbly. The result is a sign that looks great and lasts, without needing maintenance or upkeep.

Finally, there are a bountiful number of metals that can be etched. If a basic anodized metal sign isn’t cutting it for your aesthetic, choose a different metal or finish. Gold-tint plates offer a luxurious appeal, while bronze-tinged metal sings the praises of a more historic, old-fashioned theme.

Consider the application

All of the above benefits don’t necessarily mean etched metal is better than cast bronze. What they do mean is that, in some situations, etched metal can be the most cost-effective, sustainable, reliable choice.

If your sign is going to be located outdoors, in a small space or needs to have a certain aesthetic, etched metal may be the better option. Also consider what’s being displayed on that sign. Etchings or raised/recessed graphics may benefit from etching more than any other display format. And, if your sign needs to be ADA compliant for any reason, there’s no beating etched metal for accuracy.

Before you jump the gun and have a sign made for your commemorative application, consider speaking to a professional at Saxton Bronze Architectural Signage to see if etched metal is the way to go. If it is, we can advise you on the ideal way to optimize your investment in this versatile type of signage.

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