5 Durability Elements for Nameplates and Labels

Nameplates, labels and overlays, ID plates, tags, equipment badges - no matter what you call these items, they all serve a purpose for communicating information about your product. A common requirement for each one is that the nameplate is durable. The meaning of this however can be subjective - what exactly does it take to achieve durability in a nameplate or label? Here is a list of key elements for any nameplate or label that indicate durability requirements.


1. Type of Surface - This may seem a bit trivial, but different surface materials will respond differently to adhesives or may need other attachment solutions. Powder coated metals, porous materials, glass or textured surfaces are important to call out so that appropriate adhesive is reviewed. 

2. Shape or Contour - A formed or contoured surface will need additional processing for metal nameplates and badges to take into account the radius of the form. Similarly, the location of the label or tag can be a factor in material thickness. Consider if the nameplate will sit flush on top of the surface or be placed within a recessed area. 

3. Permanency - Does the nameplate or label need to be in place for the life of the product? Is there need for repositioning of the label? A variety of processing solutions exist that not only help protect graphics, but add dimension to the nameplate. Included in these are:

  • Embossed graphics add height to text as well as become permanent marking for important product information. This option is available on both metal and plastic substrates.

  • Doming is a clear urethane layer that adds dimension and protection for the label. This option can be applied to both plastic and metal although is most common on plastic labels.

  • Adhesive generally is designed to be a permanent solution for attachment, however there are options that can be reviewed that allow for repositioning. Common specifications call for the 3M brand, but equivalent alternatives can be identified as well.

  • Clear overlaminate can be applied to polyesters and vinyls for additional durability and protection of graphics.

  • Hardcoating for polycarbonate graphic overlays provide additional protection to second surface decoration and printed graphics.

4. Resistance - Will your nameplate or label be exposed to harsh environments, extreme heat or cold, chemicals or cleaning solutions, water, oil or grease? These are important pieces of information to include in your request for quote and discussion for processing of any nameplate or label.

5. Type of Printing - Standard screen printing and digital printing are durable processes that stand up to indoor and outdoor applications. Artwork should specify exact text, logos, branding and other images along with any product-specific information, safety or warning symbols, and compliance marks such as UL or CSA. Additionally, variable data like bar codes and sequential numbering may be best applied to certain materials. 

How Can We Help?

McLoone combines creativity and expertise to custom manufacture nameplates, labels, overlays, ID plates, and point of purchase display components. Whether building to print, creating rapid prototypes or collaborating on a custom solution, we are known and trusted as a reliable supply chain partner who meets deadlines and exceeds expectations. Contact us today to review your printing needs and let's see how we can work together!

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Tags: Labels and Overlays, Nameplates, ID Plates