Frequently Asked Questions
There are often questions that you might not think to ask us but are hoping you'll find an answer to here on our web site. This is the place to look!
How are your signs mounted to our wall/door/building?
American Nameplate uses a variety of methods, depending on the product and the surface on which it is to be mounted. See our section titled Affixing/Mounting Your Product.
How big can I / should I have my letters?
I want my sign to be 4" wide with the word ABALONE on it in 1" high letters. Can you do it?
We can engrave letters up to 6" high and can create a sign with vinyl letters approximately 12" high but for such projects, we'd suggest you consider our formed plastic or metal letters.
Most folks actually overestimate the letter size they need for a particular item. We've got a simple chart here for you to consider. If you're trying to estimate the size of a sign, use our rule of thumb: a letter is generally as wide as it is high. You should also remember to allow a sufficient border on all four sides. Depending on the letters in your sign, the height=width formula might not be perfect. We also can allow our processes to compress your text slightly but to do so too much would make your product illegible.
Why no ultra-modern styles on your web site?
We've found - from nearly three decades of experience - that the 'really hip' sign, plaque, award, or corporate gift of today looks sadly dated in a very short period of time. There's always some new fad in this business primarily designed, it seems, to sell more product to suppliers like ourselves who will stockpile it for a while and then throw it away as unsaleable We encourage our customers to remember that while that fancy plaque of today might produce a bit of 'wow' factor now, in a few years (perhaps in a few weeks) the recipients will likely try to put it somewhere that's not noticeable because it seems so gaudy and garish. If you've ever looked at a high school or college trophy case, you'll quickly appreciate what we mean. At American Nameplate, we produce lasting works of high quality that you'll be proud to see and have seen for decades and decades to come!
I'm designing a logo for my SNAPPI nametag. Should I choose CMYK or RGB for coloring it?
Many graphics software programs give you the choice to work with graphic files in CMYK or in RGB. The sublimation printing process uses primarily RGB. Do remember that if you are going to use a color card, the image you've designed might not have the same color appearance. The sublimation process allows the card color to be 'seen through' whatever is printed over it so a logo that might look rich and vibrant on your monitor may be barely visible on a dark green card.
What about Image Resolution?
American Nameplate prefers that all files to be at a final resolution size of 300dpi (dots per inch). If you have a lower resolution size, or you "stretch" a small file into a larger size - your image will print with jagged edges and appear fuzzy or "pixilated." Resolution and size are different, but proportional. For instance, a 3" x 3" size image at 300dpi resolution when stretched to a 6" x 6" image size, you will have a new resolution of 150 dpi. Even though the image size is larger, the image will have a lower resolution. Beware that once the resolution of a file is reduced; the "removed" resolution cannot be restored.
How do I start with the right size and resolution of an image?
The most important thing is: KNOW THE SIZE OF FINAL PRINTED IMAGE. If the final image will be 3" x 3", make sure your image file is at least 3" x 3" and at least 300 dpi. If you are not exactly sure the final size, scan it larger with more resolution. You can always reduce the size and resolution of the file, but it is impossible to make it larger with sufficient resolution.
Can I use images from the Internet for my name badge?
Images from the Internet or web sites are 72 dpi GIF, JPEG or PNG files and usually do not provide a good quality image for printing. Color and resolution are removed from these images to allow for rapid transfer on the Internet. These images might appear fuzzy and dull but in some cases, we've been very successful in 'cleaning up' internet graphics. Talk to us about what you have in mind.
I want a special nametag using my employer's logo. Can you do that?
Generally, no! Because of copyright restrictions, we cannot simply use a company logo without their permission. If the order is placed through your company, permission is assumed but to simply use it without permission is both unethical and illegal. In fact, the most common corporate logos are jealously protected and since we're the producer of the product, we'd be first in line when the lawsuit occurred. We just 'won't go there'! We trust you'll understand.
Which image type should I use? EPS, TIFF, JPG, GIF?
This depends on the product we are to produce. For SNAPPI tags, in order to achieve the best color quality and sharpness of image, we prefer JPEG. We may, however, be able to convert from other formats if necessary. Depending on the amount of 'clean-up' work involved, there may be a small one-time charge. For engraved products, we prefer TIFF images. For laser products, the need depends on the material being engraved. Please check with us and we'll let you know.
What is a bleed, and why does it sound painful?
A bleed is a printing term that means the ink will be printed all the way to the edge of the paper. Full bleeds are possible with our SNAPPI product line. What we've found from experience, however, is that such nametags become more of a 'piece of art' than an identification tool. You really do want folks to be able to read your name and not become absorbed staring at the image on your breast. As a result, we don't usually recommend full-bleed nametags.
Questions/Answers to come
What about those magnets?
(What's YOUR question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org )
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