Plaques come in many shapes, sizes, colors and designs. With all the options at your disposal, you have the power to create something like no other. The pictures in our idea gallery only brush the surface of what’s possible with a custom plaque. Immortalize your logo, photo, loved one or building in distinguished, quality materials. As a company specializing in plaques, we offer incredible aluminum and bronze plaque customization options, and we’re happy to work with you to find something you’ll love.
Here are some of the custom plaque options we have available.
Your first choice to make for your custom plaque is whether it will be bronze or aluminum. Both materials offer excellent advantages, so select based on your preferences for appearance and other qualities.
As a plaque material, bronze offers timeless beauty, distinction and shine. The gold-like metal hue offers a luster we often associate with medals and trophies. Bronze plaques can designate things of significance, whether it’s a historic building or a memorial. The material can hold fine detail, which adds to its appeal.
Bronze is also incredibly durable and will last many generations, up to 500+ years. As a copper and tin alloy, it’s the hardest metal alloy behind stainless steel. It offers excellent resistance to corrosion and wear. Its durability makes it an ideal choice for outdoor, in-ground and marine applications. When the background color and clear coat wears out or the plaque is in full patina, refinishing the material can restore it to its former glory.
A silvery material offering a sleek, contemporary look, aluminum is another great plaque material option. It matches glass and steel architecture well.
One of aluminum’s advantages is its weight. As a lightweight material, it’s often easier to mount. The material is softer than bronze. Still, it’s durable enough for outdoor use in any weather condition. It’s also an excellent, budget-friendly bronze alternative.
At Erie Landmark Company, we’ve completed plaques of various shapes and sizes. We can customize a plaque to almost any size you need. So, while many of our products come in standard sizes, don’t let these options limit you! We’re happy to discuss your sizing requirements during a free consultation.
Your plaque dimensions may vary by the application or the measurements of your mounting area. Here are some of the usual sizes we see with different types of plaques:
- National Register plaques: Houses and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places have plaques that may list the building’s name, construction date and street address. Our custom size options, in inches, include 7×5, 9×8, 11×8 and 15×12.
- Address plaques: Street number plaques come in a few different shapes and orientations, including circular, vertical and horizontal. Our standard sizes include 4×13, 4×10, 4×15, 5×11, 7×7, 10×5, 10×4 and 11×6 inches.
- Cemetery markers: Cemeteries often dictate the plaque sizes they allow on their grounds. After checking with your cemetery to determine what sizes are allowed, you can choose from many memorial plate sizes. Your options, in inches, include 12×8, 14×6, 16×8, 16×24, 18×8, 20×10, 24×12, 24×14, 32×10, 36×13, 44×13 and 44×14.
- Pet memorial plaques: Our standard pet plaque sizes range from 4×4 to 13×9 inches.
- Bench and garden plaques: Our standard stainless-steel bench plaques are 5 1/2×7/8 inches. We can always create something custom for a rock, garden, bench or another outdoor plaque.
- Metal and etched photos: Adding a picture to a plaque is a highly customized process. Sizes depend on the original image and your own wants and needs.
While your plaque’s size can vary depending on your applications and needs, we do offer some guidance on letter sizing. The smallest letter that will look good cast in metal is a quarter of an inch tall. We can go smaller with specialty tools, but the centers of some letters may appear filled-in and serifs will be lost. We’re happy to discuss your letter sizing options over a phone call. Please also note that we must keep all letters at least a quarter of an inch away from any borders or design edges.
Plaque Background Colors
When working with a cast aluminum or bronze plaque, you have the option to fill in the recessed area beneath the letters with your chosen background color. You always have the choice to keep the plaque its natural brushed metal texture, with or without a clear coat (clear coat for bronze only). However, you can also select from background colors such as:
- Hunter green
- Royal blue
- Dark brown
- Brown patina (bronze only)
- Blue-green patina (bronze only)
- Carnival red
- Pewter (aluminum only)
We also offer other custom colors upon request for an additional fee.
Plaque Border Options
An attractive border can tie your plaque together, much like a picture frame. We offer border styles to meet any taste. Our border options include:
- Single line
- Double line
- Inset borders
- Beveled edge
- Band bevel
- Straight edge
For an added fee, we can create almost any custom border you choose. We’ve created floral, Art Deco, Gothic and Victorian line embellishments. We’ve even taken inspiration from wood trim furniture for one-of-a-kind plaques.
Adding a Photo
Many people want to include photos when memorializing a loved one, pet or a historic building’s storied past. Pictures add a unique personal touch to memorial plaques and can encapsulate a little piece of history. Including a photo on a plaque gives it longevity and a distinguished look you cannot achieve with a framed picture alone. When recreating an image for your plaque, you have several options, including:
- Ceramic photos: Ceramic photo technology lets you immortalize images in black and white or full color. They’re the most durable way to achieve color photos on outdoor plaques.
- Metal photos: Photos can be printed directly onto aluminum, creating a smooth, silver and black image.
- Etched photos: Etched photos use acid to burn an image into stainless steel, bronze, brass or copper. Etched images are raised or lowered based on the chemical process, creating a textured final product. The recessed areas of the image can then receive a black or brown fill.
- Bas relief sculptures: When you choose a bas relief plaque, one of our professional sculptors will hand-sculpt your image. This process turns your two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional graphic that jumps off the flat plate. We offer bas reliefs in both bronze and aluminum.
Adding an Inscription
Your plaque can say anything you want. You can honor a loved one or commemorate a historical event that’s not in your average history book. We’ve done historical plaques for film locations and even “the furthest area affected by 1980 Mt. St. Helens blast.” If you’re creating a bench memorial, you can add a witty remark about how much the person loved that bench or sitting in general.
Of course, many people looking for plaques have something particular in mind. You can commission a colossal plate that tells the story of your town’s founding or a small one that states the incorporation date. When commemorating a loved one, you can include a favorite song, a meaningful quote or a short description about the person or pet. Your inscription is up to you.
Plaque Font and Typestyle Options
We have many serif, sans-serif and decorative fonts available for your plaques, and most can be bolded, italicized or condensed. Use a bold typestyle to emphasize important details (works best with larger letters – smaller ones tend to fill in the centers if bold), italics to draw attention to an inscription and condensed lettering for a unique look. Our font options for plaques include a mix of distinguished and unique fonts, which you can view on our list of typestyles here. We also have other custom fonts available if none of these suit your needs.
Plaque Mounting Options
You have different mounting options depending on your size and type of plate and where you intend to put it. We offer plaque mounting options such as:
- Rear mount: We recommend a rear mount when you plan on displaying your plaque on brick, stone or stucco.
- Front mount: We recommend front mounts for drywall and wood applications. We also offer tamper-proof screws and decorative rosette options for front mounts.
- Stand: We offer 36-inch and 60-inch aluminum stands.
- Stake: We offer 15-inch, 18-inch, 24-inch and 36-inch bronze stakes.
- Pole: For roadside plaques, you can choose from a 7-foot or 10-foot pole. We also offer curved pole mounts, as well as clamps for attaching your plaque to an existing pole.
- Sandwich mount: For attaching a plaque to a fence, we offer a sandwich mount.
- Specialty: As with everything about your plaque design, you can choose something totally custom to mount your plaque.
Order Custom Plaques From Erie Landmark
If you’re looking for a 100% custom plaque, talk to the experts at Erie Landmark. We understand that every plaque has a unique role to fill, which is why almost nothing about our design process is set in stone. We bring decades of experience, dedication and superior craftsmanship to every project. We’re happy to offer our expertise and help you create something beautiful and remarkable.
Fill out a pricing request today, complete with your custom plaque ideas, and we’ll help bring your vision to life.