Friday, November 14, 2014

Etching and Engraving: Two Historical Art Forms

When buying someone a gift, whether you are celebrating a particular occasion or just showing your appreciation and love, personalization adds an extra level of care, detail, and distinctiveness. Many of us are guilty of asking to have products “etched” or “engraved” and use the words interchangeably. Both are methods of cutting shapes, lines, and words into a hard surface, such as a silver or metal gift or glassware, one by using sharp tools to cut directly into a surface and the other by burning lines into the surface with acid. However, the true difference between the two art forms lies in their deep histories.

Personalized Silver Photo FrameEngraving
You may be surprised to learn that engraving is one of the oldest art forms we know. In fact, early humans who scraped primitive drawings into cave walls were essentially using the same techniques that we use today. Ancient gemstones, family seals, and sculptures also used engraving methods. While we have many modern technologies that make engraving a rapid and highly customizable possibility, hand engravers formerly used a hammer and chisel, creating some remarkably complex designs and images into metal. Prior to the invention of photography, etching was a tried and true way to reproduce artwork and images to distribute around the world.

Today, engraving is most popular for gifts and keepsakes, such as engraving your ceremony date or initials into a wedding band or to customize items like awards and picture frames. Many engraving projects are done with the aid of computer automation, whereby the operator can easily design text or images, which the computer will translate into digital signals. This allows for an item to be engraved in a matter of minutes! Because engraving allows for more defined lines, it is the preferred art form for more precise objects that are smaller in size or require a more detailed touch.

A newer art form, etching is a more complicated process than engraving, but with the potential for equally stunning results. Etching uses a strong acid to cut into metal or glass. In its simplest form, an artist covers the object being etched with a layer of wax, and then scratching the desired design through the wax with sharp tools. When finished, the object is dipped into an acid bath, which eats away at any exposed metal, and leaves behind the beautiful detail. Because the acid is burning under the wax, a wider and rougher line than the artist originally drew is produced, causing etching to leave behind slightly fuzzier lines and shapes than engraving. Fortunately, although etching is estimated to be traced back to the year 1515, more modern developments have yielded nontoxic acids and solvents.

Etching is typically preferred when items are being customized in bulk, for it can achieve a lower cost for longer production runs. It is also the more popular option for glassware, especially for novice etchers wanting to work on their own projects at home.

So, the next time you hunt for the perfect engraved or etched gift, remember that you are not just buying a gift or token, but continuing the evolving history of an art form that is as old as mankind.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Gift-Giving Guide to Engravable Drinkware

Engravable drinkware is extremely versatile. It can be used by a company to promote business, or it can be a unique gift idea for acquaintances and loved ones alike. Since various fonts and images can be applied, each item presents a completely custom appearance. As such, you’ll be able to find the perfect type of drinkware to fit your recipient’s personality! Below is a quick guide to four of our most popular types of engravable drinkware, and the sort of person who would be the perfect recipient.

Personalized Travel Mugs

The gift: Most people travel to work or run errands with coffee in hand. Travel mugs are made to resist spills and keep a beverage at an optimum temperature, and they often slip seamlessly into the morning ritual of the average coffee drinker. When at travel mug is engraved with a person's name or a special message, it becomes a keepsake and a daily reminder of your appreciation.

Perfect for: Personal and warm without violating any boundaries, travel mugs make a wonderful “thank you” gift for someone you know and like but wouldn’t consider an intimate friend. A great teacher, an extra-helpful doctor or nurse, or a worthy employee or boss would love this gift. If you know for a fact that your recipient is a coffee addict (and let’s be honest, the odds are good that they are) then slip a Starbuck’s gift card into the mug as an extra surprise.

Stainless Travel Mugs - Personalized
Stainless Travel Mug

Stainless Personalized Water Bottles

The gift: Remaining properly hydrated benefits overall health. This is why many people adopt the habit of carrying water bottles with them wherever they go. Although water bottles are available in numerous materials, stainless steel is one of the most durable, lasting options. Unlike plastic, stainless steel keeps inside liquids warm or cold without affecting the temperature outside of the bottle. Stainless steel is a substance that has no effect on the taste of the drink and contains no chemicals that leech into the beverage.

Perfect for: Stainless steel water bottles might just be the best “all-around” drinkware gift we offer, due to the universal usefulness and popularity of the water bottle. However, the personalized water bottle makes an extra thoughtful gift if your recipient is a cyclist, an outdoor enthusiast, or an environmentalist. Customize it further by filling it with trail mix or another hearty outdoor snack!

Personalized stainless water bottles also work well as business promotions. Place your company logo on the bottle and give them away for some smart, instant advertising.
Custom Water Bottle - BPA free
Personalized Water Bottle

Round Stem Wine Glasses
The gift: Stemmed wine glasses are an elegant way to serve drinks at home. When engraved with names, dates, or messages, they level up to become a refined, memorable gift.

Perfect for: Because of their association with wine and sophistication, engraved wine glasses aren’t as casual as a travel mug or water bottle. They function best as a gift for people you know well, like close friends, family members, or a romantic partner. Because you can engrave them with significant names and dates, personalized wine glasses also make a wonderful anniversary or wedding gift. Pair them with a bottle of fine wine to complete the unique, thoughtful gift.
Monogrammed White Wine Glass
Engraved Wine Glass

Engraved Stemless Wine Glasses

The gift: Stemless wine glasses are trendy spin-offs of traditional stemmed glasses. Besides holding alcohol, they can be used as everyday juice or water drinkware, and they even function as gorgeous candle-holders. Since they are easily stacked, they take up less space in cupboards than their stemmed counterparts. Think of them as the formal stemmed wine glasses’ cute, casual little sister.

Perfect for: Personalized stemless wine glasses make elegant house warming gifts, especially for people who tend to drink beverages other than wine. True wine purists may still prefer stems to prevent hand warmth from penetrating the wine and changing its taste. However, stemless glasses reflect today's casual entertaining style and are much more functional. They’re great for that person in your life who loves and appreciates beauty but prefers friendly gatherings to formal events.

Engravable drinkware provides limitless gift and promotional opportunities. For a complete selection of items, visit Engravables Plus. There is sure to be something for everyone!
Monogrammed Stemless Wine Glass
Stemless Wine Glass

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gift Ideas for Your Employees

The holiday season is a great time to show your employees how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication throughout the year. However, in the frenzy of holiday shopping for friends and family, sometimes a well thought out employee gift is a lower priority item. This year, why not surprise your employees with something more inventive and personal than a gift card to Starbucks or iTunes? Engravables Plus has a wonderful assortment of personalized gifts that are appropriate for almost any employee and guaranteed to delight.

Logo Coffee Travel Mug
Personalized Stainless Steel Travel Mug
Personalized Stainless Steel Travel Mug: There is nothing that excites employees like receiving “company swag.” If you want a failsafe gift for any employee, our Personalized Stainless Steel Travel Mug is a great bet. This would be a great item to engrave with your company name or slogan.  If you want to make your travel mugs a little more festive, have them engraved with a wintery snowflake. You can also save between 10% and 20% on your purchase when you order in bulk!

Monogrammed Bookmark
Long Bookmark
Long Gold Plated Bookmark: If you have employees who are bookworms, our Gold Plated bookmark is the perfect gift for these avid readers. With a sleek gold stem and one-inch disk, it is a stylish choice for the holiday season. If you are in a small office or know your employees especially well, you might consider gifting them this bookmark inside a book that you think they would find particularly enjoyable or inspirational. Due to the limited space, we recommend engraving with a single initial or a monogram.

Brass Star Paperweight

Engraved Brass Star Paper Weight: Show your star employees how much you appreciate them with our Engraved Brass Star Paper Weight. To get really creative, invent fun end of year superlatives for each employee and announce them as you give out the paper weights at a company holiday party.

Engraved Mechanical Pencil with Name
Personalized Wooden Pen & Pencil
Engraved Ballpoint Pen: For an appropriate gift for employees of all ages that will never disappoint, look no further than an Engraved Ballpoint Pen or Mechanical Pencil. Select from either high quality maple or rosewood construction, and engrave with a brief message or name. Your employees will be sure to go to their next client meetings feeling confident and professional when they pull out their pen.

Many companies see an increase in workloads during the holiday season, and expectations often run very high. Whether or not you decide to purchase gifts for your employees this winter, be sure you find your own special way to show your gratitude for another year of hard work. Still not sure which gift is best for your crew? Feel free to contact us at Engravables Plus and we will be happy to help you select a gift.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Product Spotlight: Personalized Groomsmen Gifts

A groomsman may be your brother, college roommate, cousin, or coworker. No matter the official title, they are important relationships in your life. They threw you that raucous bachelor party, went with you to your tuxedo fitting, and offered support on your big day. How will you show your appreciation in return? We have different personalized groomsmen gifts to fit all of the personalities of the men who you chose to stand beside you on your big day.

Mini Mug Shot Glass
Everyone has a friend that is the life of the party and is typically the mastermind behind some of your most memorable stories. For this friend, our 1.25 oz Personalized Glass Mug Shooter is the perfect gift. Its fun and unique shape makes it different than other shot glasses that may be in his cabinet, and with the option to engrave it with his name, initials, or a fun image, we promise that it will become his favorite.

Do you have an avid outdoorsman in your wedding party? Consider getting him a personalized hunting knife. The Rosewood handle enhances the appeal of this useful tool. You can choose to have it engraved with a special message commemorating a wedding event.

For the more refined groomsman, the one that binge watches Mad Men and teaches all of the other groomsmen how to properly tie their bow tie, a shot glass may not be the most appropriate gift. If that is the case, one of our low ball glasses. Available in both 11 oz and 13.5 oz sizes, engrave it with his initials and favorite Don Draper quote. A classic and sleek style with straight sides and a heavy

flat base, it is perfect for any beverage. Then, every time he is muddling a cherry for his old fashioned or sipping whiskey on the rocks, you know he will be thinking of you.

Monogrammed Golf Tee Set
A golf trip is a great way to spend a bachelor weekend. Or, if your groomsmen are golfing enthusiasts, they will love our Personalized Golf Tee and Marker Set. With three tees, a divot tool, and two pop off ball markers, anyone would be proud to carry this set in their golf bag. We recommend engraving with a monogram or initials for the small area, but could also engrave a small inscription upon request!

Stumped for which glassware is right for your groomsmen? Not sure if you want to order different styles for every guy? The Personalized Beer Sport Mug is a gift that everyone will love equally. Thick and sturdy with a strong pedestal base and handle, it holds a generous 16 oz of your favorite microbrew. As the largest item on our groomsmen gift list, you have even more room to engrave a personal message to each friend. Open them together at your bachelor party and cheers to the future ahead, and then they can be enjoyed for years to come during any Sunday football game.

No matter what gift you give, it makes your big day all the more special to know that you have your groomsmen there with you. Show your gratitude for their years of support and friendship with one of our creative groomsmen gift ideas that shows them that you really know their likes and tastes. Any purchase comes with free engraving, and orders of $99 or more will ship for free!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fonts and What They Communicate

Font Styles
Visit DesignMantic to see to full-size Infographic

Much like the clothes you wear or the expression on your face, the font you choose for a particular invitation, logo, or engraved gift can communicate as much emotion as the words on their own. Or, conversely, fonts have the power to alter the impression of words completely. Have you ever received an email in all capital letters and felt yelled at? Use our guide to the emotions associated with typography when choosing your font design.


Times New Roman
Times New Roman has long been engrained in the public mind as a classic, default choice. It is thought of as being straight forward and clear, and is an appropriate choice for a wide range of printed documents. Times New Roman works great for business purposes, such as a nameplate or business card holder.

While serif fonts had for many years been used for printed text, the growth of digital consumption called for new fonts to be designed that would improve readability on the screen. While still a conservative choice, Calibri is respected for its simplicity and universality.

Designed specifically for the film industry, one typed page of Courier is approximately equal to one minute of screen time. Because it also closely resembles the fonts used on typewriters, many who use it are those who long for the older days of journalism. However, Courier is best when used for its intended purpose- screenplays.

Franklin Gothic
Franklin Gothic is another classic choice of font. It is steady, reliable, and trustworthy.

Font Styles

At Engravables Plus, we are pleased to offer many different font styles on your favorite items. While any gift looks great with personalized engraving, there are some styles that are especially appropriate for certain items or occasions.

Block text gives off a clear, bold voice. This typically reads a little bit stronger than other styles and works great for a single letter or just a last name for example.

If you are looking to engrave a phrase or message, Italicized font looks particularly nice as it indicates your own speaking voice, similarly to how a quote may be italicized in written text.

Scripted fonts instill a very nostalgic and romantic feeling to text. Harkening back to the days when penmanship was taught and prized, scripted text is a great way to make a message appear particularly personal.

If you are interested to learn more, take a look at this article from Smashing Magazine. Be sure that when you are choosing a font for your next engraved or monogrammed gift, be it a beer stein, wine glass, or picture frame, you are selecting one that sends the right message to the recipient.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Aluminum or Silver-Plated: Which Frame Should You Choose?

Engraving a picture frame offers you an enduring way to personalize a special gift with a quote, a thought, a date or a name. When you choose aluminum or silver plate for your engraving, your sentiment lasts forever. The choice of a frame is a matter of personal taste, but we often receive questions from our customers about what the difference is between aluminum- and silver-plated frames. We’ve detailed a few characteristics of each style below to clear things up.

Brushed Aluminum Frames: Casual and Durable

brushed aluminum engraved picture frame
Engraved Brushed Aluminum Frame

The silver color of brushed aluminum is softer and warmer than silver plate, and it’s a bit more resistant to wear and tear. If you’re considering a gift for a young and active family – or a frame for your own – brushed aluminum may work well for you. Aside from hiding fingerprints, it is a highly durable material that obscures dents and scratches. So feel free to pass that photo around at family gatherings without worrying about the frame!

Most of our brushed aluminum frames gives you ample space for an engraving above and below the photo. Because it has a less formal appearance than silver plate, brushed aluminum lets you use a larger and stronger typeface than you may choose for use on silver plate. The small foot, or serif, on a Roman font is a fine detail that would suit the distinctive alumninum frame well.

Aluminum frames are also well-suited for companies and organizations to use as awards and giveaways. Company logos show up especially well on brushed aluminum, and since the price point is a bit lower than silver, they’re more cost-effective to buy in bulk. At Engravables Plus, we never charge extra to add a logo.

Appropriate for any purpose that you choose, our brushed aluminum frames are especially suitable for a photograph of a memorable event in the life of a child or a family. A trip to a famous zoo, a victory at the Little League field, a young cheerleader winning a competition, or a commencement day family photo would all work great here.

Silver-Plated Frames: Formal and Timeless

silver-plated engraved picture frame
Engraved Silver Photo Frame

Silver plate is elegant and stately, perfect for memorializing an extra-special occasion like weddings or anniversaries. Our silver-plated frame is the perfect background for any of our finer, more sophisticated fonts, and the traditional styles that mimic cursive may help convey the sentiment that you want to express. Major events that occur only once deserve the respect and place of honor that are reserved for a beautifully engraved, silver-plated frame.

Because there’s ample space on the frame, you may wish to commemorate the event with an original verse, a poem, a line of scripture, or a personal message. With up to six lines of text and up to 24 characters on each line, you have room to say the words that will have a lasting meaning. Of course, fewer words in a larger font can be just as powerful.

Whether you decide on the smudge-proof versatility of an aluminum frame or the classic elegance of a silver-plated frame, we offer top-quality items that will help you cherish your memories forever!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

How to Throw the Perfect Rustic Wedding

how to throw an outdoorsy wedding

The beauty of nature can perfectly complement the joy of two people uniting in marriage. Perhaps for that reason, rustic weddings have exploded in popularity over the last few years. If you'd like to host a down-to-earth celebration, replete with natural details and little reminders of an outdoorsy life, there are a few things you should consider.

First, you and your significant other should decide if you want an outdoor affair or if you'd like to rent a barn. With the latter option, you won't risk subjecting your guests to bad weather; but at the same time, there’s nothing more magical than a perfect sunny wedding.

Scout as many locations as possible; mountains, beaches, and vineyards are popular options for fans of the rustic, and chances are you’ll connect to a particular type of setting based on where you grew up and what you enjoy doing outdoors. Maybe you'll both fall in love with a certain spot the instant you see it. Just be certain that your guests will have enough shade, and find out if you'll need to rent heating or cooling systems. Further, make sure that all outdoor areas are well-lit to prevent falls. If you hang strings of white lights on trees, your wedding space will become especially enchanting after the sun goes down.

To get your attendees excited about your rural wedding, send them invitations with woodsy images: trees, flowers, or perhaps the silhouettes of birds. Next, assemble a series of nature-themed objects for your big day. For starters, you could paint signs on pieces of plywood to direct people from the parking area to the spot where the ceremony will take place. Your guestbook could be decorated with pressed wildflowers or blades of grass. You might obtain tablecloths made out of burlap, and you can serve your guests drink from personalized mason jars engraved with the happy couple’s initials. Try highlighting your centerpieces with natural materials like bark, pine cones, and pebbles.

Finally, you need to choose wedding favors. Even at a rustic event, you can supply your friends and loved ones with elegant items like engraved wine glasses and engraved photo frames that will always carry the memory of the big day. You can also let your guests keep their engraved mason jars, or fill mason jars with candy and a lid to create a unique favor. Whenever your guests use those jars, they'll remember you and the fun time that they had at your rural wedding.

Your day will already be a memorable one. Make it even more memorable with the perfect ambiance, decorations, and favors!