Logo design & metal stamping

Does anyone have experience with having designed a logo that was to be stamped onto a metal surface (specifically, stainless steel)?

I’m currently working on a logo project where the finished product is going to be stamped onto stainless steel vacuum flasks.

If you’ve worked on this type of project before, what was your experience?

Any advice you could give would also be appreciated.

Stamped as in some kind of debossing or printing? If the flasks are already made, I’m assuming the latter.

It’s best to ask the company doing the printing what they recommend. It’s likely you’ll be using spot colors instead of 4-color process, right? That being the case, keep the artwork simple with as few colors as possible — preferably solid colors unless the printer says otherwise.

I’ve not done debossing but I do a lot of outsourced etching, engraving and casting in metals. Stainless is one of the hardest to work with. Literally.

If this is being physically stamped into the stainless steel, as in debossing, you need to talk to the company doing the stamping. You need to find out the smallest sized gap between shapes and smallest line weight you can use in your artwork, which means you then have to determine how large the logo will be on the finished stamp. A lot of metal processes won’t tolerate going below a 1/16" gap or line weight. Sometimes not even that small if the die itself has to be machined engraved rather than cast or laser cut.

If you are talking about a printed stamp as in a pad press using ink on a surface you’ve got a lot more leeway on line weight. You still should talk to the printer though.

Needless to say, the logo has to work in strictly black on a white background.

Just B and PrintDriver, thanks for your replies.

My understanding was that logo was to be stamped, as in embossed on to the tumblers. That is what my client stated prior to hire as well several times throughout the duration of the project.

Lol, just recently, however, he has informed me that he isn’t sure anymore, whether he wants to emboss or just print his logo on to his flasks. As such, he is asking me to only send over AI files for the final delivery…Just AI and nothing else, in fact. I don’t feel too comfortable with that, although it will make my job easier.

He has pretty adamantly stated that he only needs AI files and that’s it. I’m still planning to send him a PDF version as well, though.

He has said he will take care of making any changes that may need to be performed once he decides whether he’ll be embossing or not. I am not quite sure what that entails…

I am kind of disappointed that he didn’t want me to speak with his printer, though. I wanted to learn more about the process of embossing on to stainless steel and was (and still am) curious to know what the specifications would be for optimal preparation of the logo for such a process.

I just hope he won’t run into any issues with the finished product. I did mention that it would be better if either I talk to the printer or he does and relays the information back to me but since he isn’t sure what he wants to do, yet, there isn’t much more I can say.

All that being said, the design for the logo is not overly complex at all. Text, accompanied by three simple shapes (circles) which play off of the text in a way which accentuates or reveals, so to speak, a “hidden” element formed out of one of the letters. The logo is only in one color and the font is rounded and thick. Spacing between all elements of the logo are unlikely to be cause for concern for a printer.

Sounds like someone found out how much it costs to emboss-stamp stainless…
Though its a different look, etching/engraving is usually a less costly option over stamping, though still nowhere near as cheap as pad printing. I don’t think you can even laser etch stainless unless you use a high power fiber laser. You can mark it with a regular CO2 laser, using a special spray too. That might be almost as viable an option as pad printing but color choice is extremely limited (CerMark only has 4 - black, white, bronze and copper.)

I’m not even sure if it’s possible to emboss or deboss an already-existing vacuum flask. There might be some kind of specially process or press built for things like this, but placing several thousand pounds of pressure onto the side of a vacuum flask seems like a recipe for smashing the thing or, at the very least, compromising the vacuum.

I don’t see any advantage in sending them a PDF. A PDF, in this instance, would be little more than a wrapper for the Illustrator file.

Sometimes giving a client a PDF is so they can view the file when they don’t have Illustrator to open an .ai.

It didn’t even occur to me about this being an existing vacuum flask. For some reason thought manufacturing. Yeah, debossing an existing twin-walled flask ain’t happening. Kinda presses all the vacuum out of it.

Well, I’m not actually certain if my client would be debossing on to existing flasks or not. He has done the process before with his old logo so probably already knows what to expect and has an idea of the most cost efficient method.

Maybe I will just send over only AI files as requested since he has stated that he has Illustrator. I don’t know how knowledgeable he is with the program, but he seems confident that he will be able to go in and make whatever changes he may need to make so maybe I shouldn’t worry about it too much.

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