Graphic Submissions for Custom Projects
Bolt Laserworks specializes in custom laser etching on a variety of materials and products including (but not limited to) memorial plaques and markers, glassware, awards, signs, etc. The majority of our orders are custom and we take great pride in incorporating our graphic and laser skills with your unique wishes to create something truly special for you. Please do not hesitate to call us toll free at (800) 438-2658 to discuss your ideas and particular wishes.
Below are a set of guidelines for ordering your custom project. Please read and follow the sections relevant to your intended project before sending us anything. If you are in doubt about anything here call us.
You may e-mail digital files as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a reference to your order along with additional information such as names, phrases, and dates you want etched.
We respect intellectual properties. When submitting logos, pictures, and any other artwork you are indicating to us that you have legal rights and/or permissions to allow us to use them when producing your product(s)
What is laser etching?
Unlike printing, laser etching does not apply ink, paint, or color to a surface. The laser etches the surface of a material by burning or altering the surface. Images and text are formed by creating a contrast between the parent material and areas that are lasered, and some materials laser etch better than others. We use a CO2 laser which does not remove or compromise the structural integrity of the parent material.
What do you want etched on your project?
We can etch names, dates, phrases, logos, etc. Materials we can etch include (but are not limited to) granite, slate, marble, glass, wood, brick, acrylic, leather, etc. Our laser capacity ranges from very small to very large, including counter tops, tables, doors, monuments, etc. Our graphics department can create text using a rich variety of font styles and sizes. We are experienced at selecting and placing graphic text to tastefully fit a particular object and will send you a sample for your approval before etching, at which time you can request changes if desired. Some of our ads describe maximum character counts to ensure text remains attractive and readable for the product it is to be etched on.
We can etch photographs on granite, slate, marble, and some wood. Our graphics department will edit and modify your photo for optimal laser etching. Your photo will not be in color when etched. Note that subtle changes in contrast may be lost in laser etching so we adjust pictures accordingly. If we determine that your photo is not a good candidate for laser etching (some simply aren’t), we will contact you before proceeding.
If your desired image is paper based (I.E. drawing, foot print, photograph, etc) we can scan it and work from the scanned image. You can submit it by mail to:
Att: Graphics Dept.
127 S. Rowland Street
Cassopolis, MI 49031
Be sure to protect the contents with stiff cardboard when mailing to protect against bending. Include a reference to your order and a description of your desired text including name, date, phrases, etc. Your original photo or artwork will be returned with your finished project. Note: veterinarian clinics and funeral homes can often provide paw prints or finger prints suitable for scanning and etching if asked.
We will e-mail a proof image of your project for your approval before actually creating it to be sure it is what you want. Please inspect the proof and reply ASAP so that we can complete and ship your project to you in a timely fashion.
Because graphics creation is time consuming, we require that you submit and pay for your order before we proceed. If, for any reason we can not provide you with an acceptable proof, your money will be promptly refunded. Graphic files that we create are stored by us for future orders.
What makes a good image file for lasering?
If you will be providing your own logo, line art, or design, the best choice of file formats are vector formats. Vector formats scale without pixelization which provides crisp lines and fills. Some acceptable examples of vector formats include EPS, SVG, AI, and CDR. PDF files may or may not be vector (depending on how they are created) and may not be a good choice. If your vector file contains gradient or multiple color fills, they may not laser with the results you expect. Often a vector file is modified by our graphics department to optimize the image specifically for your particular project.
Raster images (bit map file formats like JPG, TIF, PNG, etc.) can create a pixelized affect when rescaled for laser etching. Except where your project involves laser etching an actual picture, raster files of logos and text are best when converted to vector by our graphics department. If your image is a picture to be etched, the file will be optimized specifically for the laser. In all cases, high resolution picture files will provide the best results. When selecting a picture for laser etching pick a picture that is sharp and in focus with a good contrasting background.
The example below shows a bitmap image that is totally unsuitable for laser etching. Beneath it the logo has been completely ‘rebuilt’ as a scalable vector image ideal for laser etching. Note that graphics work on this scale is time consuming and may incur additional fees.