How Do I Make Custom-Shaped Awards and Trophies?
 
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How Do I Make Custom-Shaped Awards and Trophies?

Corporate awards benefit both the company and its employees in a great many ways and are often placed on display in one way or another to announce the competence of the company and its employees. This is why creating the perfect design for your custom trophies is the first, and often most important, step in the process of having a custom award created. By designing and having your custom trophies and awards created in a manner specific to the situation and company you open new doors to really show care and appreciation to those who go above and beyond.

When we discuss custom trophies and awards, we’re not simply referring to personalized messages and names on the plates, but rather all aspects of the award, including its shape, size, color, and material, allowing you to create something truly unique.

As expert suppliers of recognition for the USA, EDCO works closely with you to understand your specific needs and designs to create custom trophies and awards that are true to your vision, if not better than you imagined. We’ve always been proud to help organizations bring their ideas to life, and if you’d like us to assist in designing corporate awards for you, read on to know where to start.

Designing a Custom Award

Designing custom awards starts with three questions: What is the award for? Who is the award for? And how do you want to include the image of the company?

What is the custom award for?

Or, what is the significant event or accomplishment that the award is meant to tribute? This could be for just about anything, but it should be something that stands out. Something that has let an employee stand out among their peers or something that has brought value to the company as a whole. This is important to note because it could have a bearing on the shape of your custom award. Can the celebration be emphasized through a person in a pose at the top of the custom trophy or a shape that exemplifies why the award was given? If done right, the shape of an award can give the idea of what it is for before reading the plaque and will also give it that personal touch that makes it stand out.

Who is the custom trophy for?

It’s important to consider whether the custom award is going to a single person who will then keep it, if it is an award meant to be passed around, or an award for a group of people meant to go on display. If it is for a single person you can add touches that show they are recognized as an individual, such as using their favorite color, adding a nod to their position in the company, or many other small adjustments. If it is a trophy meant to be passed around you can design it to look more general, using clear or neutral colors and shapes so it can fit with anyone. And if it is meant for a group of people you can customize the design to imply a team effort by using multiple mediums, figures, or colors.

How do you include the company’s image?

And, of course, you want some way to include the company in the design of your custom trophy. This can be done in a great many ways, with plenty to consider. You could use the company’s colors, or even design the trophy in the shape of the company logo, have the logo stamped onto the base, or feature it on the nameplate. However you choose to include the company in your design, it’s important to consider how large a part you would like it to take up and how it meshes with the other design choices you’ve made along the way.

If you already have the perfect design for your custom trophies in mind, then contact EDCO. The process starts by filling out a contact form on our website so we can get to know you and the image you have for your custom award. In addition to your name and contact information like phone number and email address, we’ll also need the name of your company, how many custom awards you would like us to make, when you need the awards by, and a summary of what you’re envisioning. The more specific you can be, the better. If you already know what kind of material you’d like your award to be made out of, the size, what you want to be engraved, or any specifics like this, please be sure to mention it. You also have the option of uploading a file that has a sketch or rendering of what you have in mind, but it’s not necessary to include.

If you don’t have a design in mind already, then keep reading as we go through the steps to finding a design that answers each of the questions above and turns them into a custom trophy that is unique to your company.

Step 1: Submit Your Ideas for an Award

When you reach out to EDCO when the need for custom trophies arises we work with your ideas and needs to provide the perfect award that works for you and your company. When you submit your information in our contact form you also have the space to write out ideas for a custom award or, if you are the creative type and have a sketch of what you want the custom trophy to look like, you can submit any .jpg or .png file that we can then build from. Use this space to describe what it is that you want the award to look like, or exemplify, or what type of person the award is meant to go to. The more details you can provide, the better we’re able to assist with finding a design that works best for you.

If you don’t have an idea of what you want your trophy to look like, try answering these questions and letting us know the answers. Why is the award being given out? Who is the award for? And how is the company being represented? We’ll work with you to find a solution that you can be happy presenting to your employees or company.

If you have any ideas on what you want to be written on the plaque, this is also the place to start writing down ideas. The message on the award can be just as important as the shape and composition of the trophy itself so take some time to make sure you like the message written there and that others will too.

 

Step 2: Include Your Company Logo

Don’t be shy about including your company in the design for your custom award, even when it’s going to an individual employee. Your company and the atmosphere you’ve created are a large part of why your employees are able to succeed in the way they do. When they receive a custom trophy that features your company logo, colors, or shape they will likely feel just as proud of the place where they’ve been given the chance to excel as you will be for their accomplishments.

As we’ve said, you can include the company into various elements of the design of your custom trophy. Use the colors of your company in the materials or name plate. Specify the shape of the award to be the same as your company logo. Or even include the logo by stamping it onto one of the elements of the trophy.

 

Step 3: Quantity and Delivery Date

This may sound like a simple question, but make sure that when you are ordering your awards that you have put some thought into them. No one wants to be the person who earned an achievement but their award was forgotten or didn’t arrive in time. And worse, no one wants to be the person who forgot to order it or didn’t order it in time for the awards ceremony.

Consider how many awards you want to give out. Are they individualized? Are there a set amount of awards that go to each department? Are there individuals who are not included in a department but who are also getting an award? Make sure you’ve considered everyone who keeps your company running well and keep a list of the names and awards that are meant to be received both so that you can be certain that you are ordering everything you need and so that EDCO has a list to keep track of as well.

Just as importantly, be sure that you are ordering custom awards ahead of time. When you have custom elements to add to a design or specific materials that you want to be used it can take longer for the trophies to be made and subsequently shipped out. When you are planning your elements out, be sure to consider whether your design specifications will take longer to process and plan around that. Also, be sure to leave a bit of time between the date the custom awards are complete and the day they are given out. By doing this, you leave room to account for shipping or if any elements need to be redone before the custom trophies are handed out.

 

Step 4: Provide a Budget

We want to make sure that every custom, made-from-scratch award is the best that it can be while meeting your expectations and budget. With endless possibilities, we recommend that you have a budget in place when creating a custom award concept. Your budget will give us a framework to work inside of while satisfying your criteria. Because most elements of the custom trophies and custom awards we create are unique, there is no flat rate or base starting price. However, we can tell you what factors may influence the price of your order.

Starting with the most obvious, the number of custom trophies and custom awards you need will affect the price of your made-from-scratch custom award. The more awards you buy, the higher the price will be, but the per unit price of each award will be cheaper. This is because in addition to the time spent designing a custom award, it can also take a significant amount of time to set up the machinery needed to fabricate the award. So, the price of each individual trophy in an order of five of the same custom trophies might end up being more than an order of 50 of the same custom trophies. Essentially, you can save when you buy in bulk.

The material(s) used to create your custom awards and trophies will also impact the cost. Acrylic and crystal are two of our most popular materials, and generally, acrylic will be less expensive than crystal, which is more of a premium material. However, the thickness of the material used in your award is also a factor. For example, because thinner materials are easier to cut and shape, an award made from crystal that is 0.25’ thick may be less expensive than an award made from acrylic that is 0.5’ thick.

The price of custom trophies and custom awards is also affected by how complex or simple the design is. The more complex the design, the more expensive it will be. For example, an award with multiple colors and a very intricate shape that requires lots of beveling will be more expensive than an award that uses only a few colors and has straight edges.

Lastly, the method used for the decoration of your custom trophies and custom awards will impact the price as well. You can choose between printing, laser engraving, and sandblasting. Typically, printing and laser engraving are the cheaper options. We will also provide free sample videos, and photos to assist you with your ideas.

 

Step 5: Choose Your Medium

When choosing the medium for your custom awards and custom trophies, you have the option between acrylic materials or crystal. Both options have their benefits compared to the other. Acrylic and crystal are two of our most popular materials because we’re able to create such a large variety of shapes using each, and they’re also great cost-effective options.

Custom acrylic awards can be completed in 2-3 weeks, while crystal awards can take a little bit longer, typically requiring 4-5 weeks to manufacture.  Acrylic awards are lightweight and durable. With the ability to create truly one-of-kind artwork, the composite of the acrylic awards is impact absorbent. Acrylic awards are also cost-effective. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, acrylic awards make the ideal recognition symbol for your recipient.  Acrylic awards are a way to bring life to your custom award design. With vibrant colors, you can create a unique shape, pattern, and texture for your design. There are so many options when it comes to acrylic awards that rival the benefits of crystal custom trophies.

Crystal awards are always a great way to present your recipient with heavy material. When presented with a custom crystal award, the recipient feels the weight and meaning behind the recognition you are giving them. Crystal awards are more resilient to scratches. Your crystal custom award will still glisten in the next several years. The variety of shapes and light refracts on a crystal award are highly customizable too. EDCO will help you in your artistic design choices and brings high-quality to a new meaning with our expert precision. Your recipients will see your appreciation through works of art in the form of awards.

When speaking with our team, you can learn more about how they differ from each other and the pros and cons of each so you better understand your options, and which might lend itself better to the design you have in mind.

When we build your custom award from scratch, your choice of material is an important step as it will set your award apart from every other award in the world.

 

Step 6: Provide A One-of-a-Kind Engraving

To customize your award from scratch even further, you can add a custom engraving. You don’t have to just stop at adding the name of the award and the name of the recipient, we also recommend you include a custom message that would resonate with your company or the employee receiving the award. It’s a small touch, but custom trophies and custom awards with custom messages are much more meaningful to the employees that receive them, and they’ll appreciate them much more. The message you include on your custom award should be influenced by what achievement or exemplary behavior the award is recognizing and the personality of the employee receiving it.

This message is one of the most important parts of custom trophies and awards, so you really want to take your time and craft a message that expresses your appreciation in a way that resonates with the recipient rather than going with something generic. After all, if you’re getting a custom trophy made, you might as well ensure all aspects of it are truly custom. But we realize not that not everyone is a wordsmith, and because you’re limited on space, coming up with the right custom message can be tricky. Thankfully, since we’ve been making custom trophies and custom awards for a diverse clientele for years, we’ve also helped them all think up clever, meaningful messages for our custom products as well.

Another popular idea is to choose a quote from a famous person or piece of media like a movie, TV show, or song. If you know an award recipient is a big fan of something, do some research to see if there are any relevant quotes you could incorporate into the message. This is a very simple thing to do and should only take you a few minutes, but it’ll make the award so much more meaningful! Here are a few examples of famous quotes we think could be great for your custom trophies and custom awards:

In addition to these appreciative and congratulatory messages, many of our clients also choose to have their company name and/or logo engraved on the award, and you can even get creative with the name of the award to make it more unique to your company and meaningful to your employees. Need some inspiration? Check out our Employee Recognition & Appreciation Award Wording blog for ideas.

Regardless of how many engravings you want on your custom trophies and awards, we’ll use deep etching and engraving to embed your company name, the name of the award, the recipient’s name, and any other messages you’d like. This is done with impressive accuracy because we attach a stencil to the award and then blast abrasive sand over it to precisely etch all designs and engravings.

Font Selection

One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of custom trophies and custom awards is the fonts you can choose to have messages engraved in. It’s a small detail, but still, an important one to consider. When choosing a font, you need to keep in mind the size that the text will be on the award and the size of the award itself to ensure your messages are easily readable. For example, if you have a smaller award with not a lot of space for engraving, choosing a script font may not be the best idea because the letters of words are already so close together that it can be hard to make the words out when the text is so small. However, if you have a larger award or one that offers a lot of engraving space, there should be no issues.

 

We have a variety of fonts to choose from that will make your custom trophies and custom awards complete, but some of the most popular include:

  •          Times New Roman
  •          Garamond
  •          Trajan Pro
  •          Helvetica
  •          Gotham Medium
  •          Alex Brush
  •          Freestyle Script
  •          Black Jack
  •          And more!

In addition to ensuring you choose a text that you can read well, you also want to choose a text that matches the style and purpose of the award itself. If you’re handing out custom trophies and awards for something like salesperson of the year or recognizing years of service, you’ll want to choose a very professional, dignified-looking font. However, if you have an award for something less serious, like an early bird award for someone that’s always first to the office or a trophy for the person who drinks the most coffee, a more comical font might be best. You’d be surprised, but the font you choose communicates a lot!

All fonts are perfectly suited to our etching and engraving process and can be made in different colors with our painting filling and sublimation processes. That’s right – your text doesn’t have to be a boring white or black, you can choose from the full rainbow of colors to make your custom trophies and custom awards even more unique. You can explore the rest of our font options here. Don’t see one you like? Our design team can work with you to find a solution.

Most engraving is free. However, if you’d like to create a truly exclusive design that utilizes engraved detailing for more than just the name of the award, the recipient’s name, your company’s name, the date, and basic information like that, there may be an additional fee.

 

Step 7: Digital Design Process

Once we know everything there is to know about your build-from-scratch trophy, from the material to the custom engraving, we will create a digital rendering. This process will consist of our talented artists taking every detail into account and refining your design. We will add your customizable pieces to a drawing and send that draft to you. Once you have reviewed the design, you will work with our team to review any feedback that you have about the initial design. Our team will then take the necessary steps to revise the custom award if there are any to be made. Our communication with you will continue until we have perfected your design down to the smallest detail. We create pre-production samples within a 24-hour window and send your custom trophies proofs approval for orders of 25 awards or more.

 

Step 8: Prototyping

Once we have your approval on the design, our team can make a prototype for you to approve. This is a way to ensure your details are not lost once we have built the model. This may be detailed in a 3D file for fabricated awards, or a sculpted model for cast awards. The 3D model will allow you to have a closer look at the size and details in any of the custom trophies we make. You will have the opportunity to communicate with us about any final detail you may have regarding the custom award. Once this 3D prototype is completed to your specifications, we will send it off to production.

 

Step 9: Production Process

When we have your final design approval, we work with our team to bring the masterpiece to life! Our workshop works hard to create your design in a timely manner. Depending on the number of customized awards and the specific details to your made-from-scratch custom award will impact the production timeline. You can get a better understanding of the production timeline when you speak with our representatives.

 

Step 10: Shipping Method

So, you’ve finalized the design of your custom trophies or custom awards, decided on the message you want to be engraved, chosen a font and text color for the message, and know the name of it and its description. What’s next? We’ll obviously need an address for where to send them, and to ensure accurate and timely delivery, we offer multi-location shipping to all clients. This is also known as drop-shipping, but essentially what it means is that we can ship your custom trophies or custom awards directly to their recipients anywhere in the USA. We offer this helpful service because more and more workplaces are transitioning to hybrid remote work and in-office models, meaning some award recipients will be working from home full-time. Drop-shipping streamlines the process, eliminating the need for companies to ship some of the awards out to remote employees themselves after having all the awards sent to their business address. Just provide your employees’ addresses, and we’ll make sure they get their amazing custom awards delivered on time.

Drop-shipping offers several benefits:

  •          Less time and resources spent on shipping and other transportation costs.
  •          More environmentally friendly because of the reduced transportation requirements.
  •          Reduces cost and delivery time.
  •          Simplified order processing and delivery.

Essentially, drop-shipping allows us to fulfill orders more efficiently, creates less work for you, and ensures employees get their custom trophies and custom awards in a timely manner.

 

FAQ

What is your production time?

We’re able to create most custom trophies and custom awards within three to four business days from your approval of the art proofing. We do offer a free two-day rush service for most orders, but please be sure to indicate that you need a rush order when checking out. For more information on production time, contact us at 800-377-8646, send an email to [email protected], or use the Live Chat feature on our website.

 

Where do I send my artwork?

Artwork can be uploaded to a contact form and submitted to us that way, and you also have the option of uploading it at checkout or emailing it to [email protected].

When will I see my proof?

Our team can generate free art proofs within one to two business days.

 

What kinds of awards can you customize?

At EDCO, the only limit to the kind of custom trophies and custom awards we can create is your imagination. Awards can be almost any shape and size, and when you work with us, you’re not just limited to creating traditional desktop awards. We also give you the option of creating medals, championship belts, paperweights, sports trophies, sculptures, barware, and wall plaques.

 

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