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Engraved Metal Name Tags or Printed Metal Name Tags – which is better?

So which is better, engraving or printing for metal name tags? We are constantly asked this question and this article explains the difference between the two types of marking.

Engraved Metal Name Tag Sa

Digital Printing for Metal Name Tags

One of the great things about the progression of imprinting technologies is the improvement in digital printing. Digital printing allows us to imprint your logo into the surface of the badge in a multitude of colors, in small quantities, at a very affordable price point. Some metal name tags have the logo applied by a screen process which places the logo on top of the badge material. Anything that is placed on top of the badge can be scratched off, which is not an ideal situation. The digital process transfers the image into the surface of the badge. This yields a name tag that has great durability with bright vibrant image clarity. The printed names are much easier to read and provide a very uniform look for the badge. We are able to match the name typestyles to the typestyles in the logo or graphics which leads to continuity in the design. Mixing printing with engraving does not render a very nice finished product.

Printed Metal Name Tag Sample

Engraving for Metal Name Tags

Engraving directly into the surface of metal is accomplished by using a diamond tipped tool and dragging it across the surface of the material, thus etching away the metal material. The diamond tip renders a fine line of engraving which is thin and a bit difficult to read from a distance. The second disadvantage is that in order for the name to be read a color must be applied to the lettering.  Normally this is done with an oxidizing liquid which works fine on a temporary basis but will lighten over time. So in other words the longer you own the name tag, the less readable the name becomes, which once again does not render an effect you will be happy with.


We recommend the digital process for the imprinting of all metal name tags. The finished product is far superior to the engraved product and features a much greater durability. With that said engraving has many wonderful uses – just not the printing of names on name badges.


Remember when you need name tags always trust the name tag authorities – nametagpros.com