How to Use the Look of Aluminum in Nameplate Design

Aluminum serves as the canvas for many nameplate designs. With some creativity, aluminum can be transformed into more than just a canvas and utilized as an eye-catching design element. Here are a few of the ways in which the look of aluminum can be incorporated into metal nameplate designs.

Authentic Aluminum Nameplate Elements

When it comes to using exposed aluminum elements in nameplate designs, the sky is the limit. Authentic aluminum can be used for borders to frame a central design; for text to draw attention against a contrasting background; and it can also be used as a background element itself. When using aluminum for these applications, a variety of finishes allow for further design customization.


Mill Finish Aluminum Nameplates

A mill finish or brushed look is a very common request when it comes to metal nameplate designs for products across all industries. A mill finish leaves aluminum nameplates with a subtle directional grain. Industrial tags and labels are often printed on a mill finish substrate. This authentic metal look can also be used quite effectively in more premium applications. The grain can be harnessed to match the flow of the nameplate with the product to provide a sleek and finished look.



Brushed Aluminum Nameplates

Brushed aluminum is used when a more directional grain is preferred. Just like bright and mill finish aluminum, it can be featured as a background finish or as a focal point in the graphics. This authentic metal finish is attractive in both high and low gloss finishes without additional color. However, it can be further customized with transparent tints of color.

Transparent Tint of Color on Aluminum Nameplates

There is a way to use aluminum as both a canvas and a design feature simultaneously. This is done by applying a layer of transparent color to the aluminum surface. The transparency of the color allows the look of aluminum to still shine through. Tints can be used as a cost-effective option to create the look of other metals such as brass or copper. Gold accents and backgrounds are another popular choice. The dramatic look of red and blue tints are often featured in nameplates in contrast to low gloss black backgrounds.



Patterns for Aluminum Nameplates

Patterns can be screen printed onto bare aluminum for both subtle and striking looks. A combination of low gloss aluminum and a low gloss pattern can be used to achieve an understated visual; on the other hand, high gloss elements are ideal for a bolder aesthetic choice. Patterns are totally customizable with countless options for scale, color, finish, texture, and more.


An aluminum nameplate can strengthen the branding of industrial and luxury products alike. With the right artistic touch, the look of aluminum can be used as a design feature that can truly set a product apart. For nameplate design assistance, contact McLoone today.


Tags: Embossing, Nameplates