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Custom Picture Framing

Custom Picture Framing – What the Term Means

Custom picture framing is more specialised than general picture framing. It involves tailoring the picture framing to the unique needs of the item being framed. In the case of general picture framing, items are framed with no consultation with the customer and often mass produced with little variation in frame styles. The client purchases the picture ready-made.

But all is not lost. Many custom picture framers have experience reframing pictures framed in this manner and are only too happy to advise what will look best. This is the type of picture framing I enjoy the most. It is very satisfying to see a picture transformed from something drab into a work of art.

Custom picture framing takes into account what frame suits the item best and what colours complement. Some items are best suited to plain and simple styles while others are best with elaborate or ornate frames. The frame adds to the look of the picture, making it seem traditional, modern, elegant or fun.

Custom picture framing also involves having an eye for what looks right. The choice of frame style and colours can either make or break the look of the finished result. The right frame around your picture makes a world of difference.

By working with a custom picture framer you are more or less designing your own picture. A custom picture framer will advise you and make suggestions of what will look best but the final decision is up to you.

At Award Engravers & Framers we have long experience in custom framing an extensive variety of items. We know just what frames and colour schemes will look right with each individual item and what will enhance the item being framed.

We have an extensive range of frame samples in store and the full range available can be viewed on our suppliers Crawford Picture Mouldings and Avon Framing Supplies websites. You’ll be delighted at the variety of styles from which you can choose.

Dye Sublimation Samples

The Dye Sublimation Process and It’s Applications

Dye sublimation is a modern digital printing technology that enables the reproduction of high quality images on common everyday items such as ceramic mugs, plates, name tags and awards.

The design is created using a computer graphics program such as CorelDraw or Photoshop. It is then sent to a printer that is specially designed for sublimation ink. The printer then prints the design onto heat resistant paper. The paper is then taped to the item to be sublimated and placed in a heatpress at a temperature of up to 400°F.

For an item to be sublimatable it requires a special invisible polymer coating. The reason for this is because as the ink heats it turns into a gas that melts and blends into the coating to create a permanent image that will not wash off. Sublimation can also be done on fabric but it must be 100% polyester for best results. Cotton does not absorb the ink properly and even a small percentage of cotton in the fabric produces ‘wishy-washy’ results.

Sublimation is normally done on white surfaces as a printer cannot print white ink. When an image is transferred to the item the white areas are ‘open’. For example if the image was printed on a black item the area that should be white would be left black. The same would happen if sublimating onto clear glass. If sublimation is to be done on an item that is not white it is important to take this into consideration.

Sublimatable products can only be purchased from specialist suppliers.

At Award Engravers we can source a wide range of sublimatable items and can custom design to order. View our range of sublimatable products by clicking on the links below.

We can also create an award with a sublimated aluminium plate with a personalised image & text to commemorate the event.

Most engravers today use sublimation to complement their business and to achieve results that cannot be achieved with traditional engraving. At Award Engravers we have the equipment to create beautiful designs on mugs, beer glasses, ceramic plates, hip flasks and many other items.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

Decorative Engraving

What is engraving and how did it originate?

Have you ever wondered how engraving originated and the process involved? We’ve done some research to bring you some answers.

Engraving originated in the Rhine valley in Germany and in northern Italy about the middle of the 15th century. It seems to have been first developed by German goldsmiths.

One of the most significant purposes through the ages has been to record history. View a video about the engraved portrait of William Shakespeare

Many engravers in ancient times used engraving for the same reason we do today — to make or decorate things that were needed in everyday life.

Originally it was the technique of making designs from metal plates into which a design has been etched with a cutting tool called a burin

From the late 1930s into the late 1970s, the pantograph machine was the only type of machine available on the market, thanks to the pantograph machine inventors and the founding fathers of Gravograph. The first major application of the pantograph machine was producing engraved fountain pens for F.W. Woolworth Company. The second major application for the pantograph machine was for the New York City Board of Education during World War II, who needed plastic dog tags engraved for every child in New York City. After WWII, the pantograph machines were sold to jewellery stores across the country to engrave items, such as pens, watches, lockets, etc.  Today, manual pantograph  machines are still used for many applications, including jewellery, specialty applications, electrical ID tags, dog tags, and much more.

Engraving Techniques Today

Rotary Engraving
Rotary engraving is the term used to describe engraving done with a rotating tool in a motorised spindle. The tool, or cutter, cuts into the surface of the material to a predetermined depth and produces a groove of the same shape and dimension of the cutter. Rotary engraving can be performed on a wide variety of materials with aluminium, brass, and plastic being the most common.

Rotary engraving on metals is done using the diamond drag engraving process, glass is engraved using a rotating diamond, and plastic is engraved using a rotating cutter. It can be done using the simplest pantographs to the most complex computerized machines.

Here at Award Engravers we first started our business using the Gravograph Pantograph machine and still use it today for certain applications. We also use a computerised Gravograph IS200 machine for cylindrical items such as trophy cups and glassware and a computerised Gravograph IS400 for flat engraving of signs, labels silver trays, badges and many other items.


Gravograph IS200 Computerised Engraving Machine

Watch the Gravograph IS200 engraving machine in action!

Gravograph IS400 Computerised Engraving Machine

Watch the Gravograph IS400 engraving machine in action!

Laser Engraving
The laser process uses a beam of light to engrave the item. Light is amplified with mirrors and then aimed toward the item to be engraved. The laser then vaporises the area and removes material from its path. The laser beam is created by an opening in one of the mirrors that lets the energised light escape to engrave its object. The laser diameter is determined by the size of the opening in the mirror and it can be smaller than a pin head. There is no direct contact between the machinery and the item being engraved.
Lasers can be directed accurately on small areas and they can be set for thousands of repetitions. During the operation of a laser, smoke and particles are generated as the material is being vaporised by the laser. Many of the materials processed by the laser produce fumes and odours that are neither pleasant nor safe for the human respiratory system. To ensure environmental safety it’s important to have a properly designed exhaust system.


What Are Trophies And What Do They Really Mean?

Have you ever wondered how trophies originated and the meaning  behind them? We’ve done some research to bring you some answers.

In ancient Greece and Rome a trophy was a memorial of victory in war. It consisted of arms or other spoils taken from the enemy and was displayed at the scene of battle or in a public place. It was inscribed with details of the battle along with a dedication to a god or gods. After a naval victory, the trophy which might be composed of whole ships was laid out on the nearest beach. To destroy a trophy was regarded as a sacrilege. As an object dedicated to a god, it must be left to decay naturally. The Romans continued the custom but usually preferred to construct trophies in Rome, with columns or triumphal arches serving the purpose in imperial times. Outside Rome, there are remains of huge stone memorials, once crowned by stone trophies, built by Augustus in 7/6 bc at La Turbie (near Nice, France.) and by Trajan c. ad 109 at Adamclisi in eastern Romania.

Today a trophy is a tangible, durable reminder of a specific achievement, and serves as recognition or evidence of merit or a milestone reached. They are often awarded for sporting events and academic and business achievements.

Over the years trophies have evolved in many forms with the most common being trophy cups. They are also custom made often out of an object symbolic to the event or occasion.

Everyone loves receiving a special trophy or trophy cup. Today there is a staggeringly large range of standard and specialised cups and trophies available to meet the needs of a wide range of sports and activities.

At Award Engravers we cater for all sports and awards needs and can build custom trophies from our wide range of trophy components. We have been working with businesses, sports clubs, schools, and many organisations to provide prompt service and a wide range of products that meet their needs.

Celebrate the occasion of your achievement and participation with a selection of trophies from our extensive range. We cater for every achievement whether it be at school, sport or simply a favourite interest and hobby.