The Definitive Guide To Personalized Gifts - Executive Gift Shoppe

The history of engraving goes as far back as the medieval stone ages when ostrich eggs were decorated and used as water containers. Engraving on bones, ivory and rocks was also used throughout many prehistoric time periods. Cave paintings and hieroglyphics were also the earliest forms of man wanting to personalize his space.

Although we no longer feel the need to document our life's events on a cave wall, we do still use engraving as a means to embellish everyday items. However, not all engraving processes are done the same. Most anything can be engraved nowadays, it's just a matter of what type the company or item calls for. Some are more modern while others date back to the earliest method of personalizing.

Check out the different methods and styles of engraving that has graced objects over the years.

Methods of Engraving

In order to understand the process of engraving let's take a brief look at the 4 main methods of engraving;

  • Manual Engraving; often takes the form of an etching. It involves using a sharp steel tool called a graver or a burin, an acid and water solution, plus inking and paper printing. This method will show varying lines; deep, slight, thick or thin and is done on copper.
  • Mechanical Engraving; usually done on plastics or metals. It is often used on signs, brass plaques, awards, industrial switches, and nameplates. Stamping is also in this category.
  • Photochemical Engraving; involves transferring an image and is considered a reproduction. Examples of photomechanical prints are: photo lithographs, line blocks, and collotypes.
  • Electrochemical Processes; also known as Electro-etching, this is a relatively new process. It is eco-friendly and does not use acid. In this process, the plate is covered with a resist and then sections of it are removed to make the image.

Styles of Engraving

There is not only different methods of engraving, but also 4 distinct styles that can be applied to various mediums.

  • Laser Engraving; this method uses a beam of light called a laser engraver. It is used to engrave images or text onto glass, plastic, stone, wood and metal. The laser is connected to a computer, so there's no direct contact between the engraving machine and the item being engraved. This type of engraving is precise and permanent with no by-product to dispose of.
  • Rotary Engraving; this is used on metal and plastic. This process consists of a rotating cutting tool on a motorized spindle that routs out an image or text. It is capable of engraving more detailed images.
  • Sublimation; not a traditional type of engraving. The images are applied to flat surfaces not carved or cut. This process also imprints color on the object. Photo-quality images or text is heated into a gas, which attaches to objects. These images become permanent as they cool down.

Now that you have a fair grasp on what engraving entails, all that's left to do is figure out what gift you'd like to give and how it can be personalized. For the sports' fan or 'man cave dweller' in your life, try a personalized bar sign. These come in a variety of themes like; game/poker room, bar signs, novelty, professional, musical, sports, hunting/fishing and other fun-loving styles. These make a great finishing or personal touch to any home decor.

Items such as cufflinks, watches and money clips are the perfect gifts to personalize for groomsmen, birthday or holiday gifts. They are not only practical, but they give the person a sense of style and will be used for many years to come.

Gifts like flasks or picture frames/clocks have been engraved on for years and are still being used as a token of appreciation or for special gift-giving occasions.

If you're looking for a practical gift, try a personalized wallet - these can be thought of as more than just a place to store cash and plastic cards. The method of personalizing a wallet usually takes the form of a hot stamp to 'burn' the initials into the leather. It looks clean and professional and is sure to impress anyone who receives it.

When you're shopping for gifts, it's always nice if you personalize it in some way. Whether it a be a mug, a plaque or jewellery, personalizing a gift is a thoughtful and long-lasting expression of your sentiments.