Manufacturers often try to emulate the nameplate design of the most recognizable brands in their respective industry, often at a great expense. While a brand might have a strong identity and a legacy of quality, a closer look at its branding techniques may reveal conceptual flaws that new businesses must avoid. Take Marshall Amplification, the gold standard of the rock ‘n roll sound: its nameplate is one of the worst—a white, cheap plastic nameplate with the company name in cursive. Over time, Marshall amplification has made their logo stand for something in that they build amps of the highest quality with a remarkable sound. If you are a new amp company, do not be fooled into believing that by imitating Marshall's logo you will make people think you have their sound. Be creative, create your own brand, and over time, if you make a product as solid as Marshall, you will have created a brand.
Additionally, the industry leaders normally sell in large quantities and their upfront tooling costs can be out of reach for a new company. So think about how you can create a logo and nameplate that can be made to look great without a lot of upfront cost.
So what are the rules of good nameplate design?
Use a medium that compliments the packaging of your product:
Labels and even domed labels are run-of-the-mill—they do not speak with any authority. Three-dimensional plastic or metallic nameplates, however, not only present your brand visually but also allows the user to actually touch your brand, creating a visceral, multi-sensorial attachment between product and consumer. Customization options for 3-D plastic and metal nameplates allow for greater design control in the configuration of your nameplate.
Give your copy/logo room to breathe:
On a nameplate, just as on a printed page, white space is a critical part of design. Make sure there is enough background so that the background adds depth to the logo. The right perspective between copy and background is key to good logo design.
A nameplate with a pop of color instead of just black and silver will always stand out more prominently, but monochromatic nameplates (black-on-black or contrasting shades of silver) remain iconic and cool. When creating logos on a computer, bear in mind that not all shades can be duplicated in hard copy economically.
Complement your copy with an appropriate background design:
Square corner backgrounds, for example, work best with block style lettering, while ovals and circles look fantastic with script or italic copy. Always lay your copy out on several different background shapes to get a feel for the best aesthetic for your nameplate.
Mix materials and manufacturing processes:
For a look that will make your nameplate or logo stand out from the crowd, mix mediums and materials in the manufacture of your nameplate. Domed nameplates—especially those with multicolor intricate design—look great in bezels or as a part of the nameplate. When you combine the color of doming into a molded or metal nameplate, the branding takes on a totally different look. Molded logos in etched metal nameplates can also add splash or vice versa.
Why say something in two dimensions when you can say it in three? ID3 Logos specializes in premier nameplates that are exclusively American manufactured. Let us help you bring a custom designed nameplate to life to represent your quality product.