Decoration Techniques

The Spike's in house team is specially trained in various decoration techniques to help bring your Awards vision to life! From a simple and elegant engraving on a gold plate to a bright full color sublimated design, we have the experience and knowledge to get your message of appreciation and honor across.


Cut or carve (text or design) on the surface of a hard object.

Laser Engraving

Laser engraving is a technique used to create detailed and precise designs or inscriptions on award materials by using a laser beam. The high-intensity laser beam vaporizes the material's surface, leaving behind a permanent mark. This method provides a high level of accuracy, allowing for intricate designs, logos, and text to be engraved with precision. Laser engraving is suitable for a wide range of materials, including glass, acrylic, wood, metal, and crystal. The result is a clean, polished, and professional appearance that gives awards a distinctive and lasting impression. One of the key advantages is the consistency and repeatability, ensuring uniform results across multiple awards.

Diamond Drag Engraving

Diamond drag engraving, also known as scratch engraving, involves using a non-rotating tool with a diamond-tipped point to inscribe onto a material's surface. The diamond tip physically "drags" or "scratches" across the material, creating fine, polished lines without removing any material. This method is particularly favored for metals like brass, aluminum, and coated metals, as it produces crisp, clear, and shiny engravings. Unlike laser engraving which vaporizes material, diamond drag engraving creates a beautiful, smooth groove in the award's surface. This technique is popular for plaques, trophy plates, and other awards where a subtle, elegant engraved look is desired. The diamond tip ensures durability, precision, and a high-quality finish.


Rotary Engraving

Rotary engraving uses a rotating cutting tool in a motorized spindle to physically remove material and create a design or inscription on the surface. The depth and width of the engraving can be controlled by the size and shape of the tool, as well as the speed and depth of the cut. Rotary engraving is versatile and can be used on a wide variety of materials, including metals, plastics, acrylics, wood, and more. For awards, this method is often used to carve detailed designs, logos, and text. For signs, rotary engraving provides durable markings suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. One of the standout features of rotary engraving is its ability to produce tactile characters, making it ideal for ADA-compliant Braille signage. The results are long-lasting and can provide a distinctive raised or recessed feel to the design.


Etching/Sand Blasting

Etching or Sandblasted Glass or Crystal is a method that involves shooting small particles, like sand, at high velocities to engrave it. In the context of awards, sand blasting is often used on glass or crystal plaques and trophies to create frosted designs. This technique allows for precise and detailed designs on the surface of the awards, offering a high-quality and professional finish. Whether you want the name of the awardee, the logo of the awarding institution, or any other design, this method provides a lasting and elegant imprint on the award.



Sublimation printing is a digital printing technique that uses heat to transfer dye onto materials such as a plastic, metal, or fabric. For awards, this method is often applied to specially coated items, like plaques or metals. The process begins by printing a design onto a sublimation transfer paper using sublimation inks. This design is then placed onto the award material and subjected to heat and pressure. Under the heat, the sublimation ink transforms from a solid to a gas, bypassing the liquid phase, and bonds with the material, resulting in a permanent, full-color image. Sublimation printing allows for vibrant, full-color designs and photographs to be transferred onto the award, offering a high-quality and professional finish. It's a popular method for customizing awards due to its versatility and the durability of the printed image, which won't peel, fade, or scratch off easily.

Digital Printing

Digital printing for awards refers to a method where digital-based images are directly printed onto various award materials using our inkjet printers. Unlike traditional engraving or etching which physically alters the surface, digital printing applies the design in the form of ink onto the surface. This method allows for full-color designs, photographs, and intricate graphics to be applied to the awards. The advantages of this technique include fast turnaround times, high-resolution outputs, and the ability to easily customize each award with variable data, such as different names or titles. Common materials used for digital printing in the awards industry include acrylic, glass, metal, and wood plaques.

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Wide Format Printing

Wide Format Printing involves using specialized printers that can accommodate larger print sizes, typically starting at 18 inches wide and going up to several feet or even larger. These printers are commonly used for producing banners, posters, wallpapers, murals, trade show graphics, blueprints, large-scale advertisements, and any other large graphic display. They can print on a variety of materials, including paper, canvas, vinyl, and various textiles. The technology offers high-resolution outputs, ensuring quality and clarity even for large-scale prints.


Printed Mylars

Mylars are thin, flexible sheets or films, typically made of polyester, that can be custom printed with designs, logos, or other graphics. In the context of awards, mylars are often used as decorative inserts or labels. When it comes to printing mylars for awards, the process usually involves digital printing methods to transfer the desired design onto the mylar sheet. This allows for vibrant, full-color graphics, and the ability to easily customize the design as needed. Once printed, the mylar can be cut to fit into various parts of an award, such as the center of a medal, a section of a trophy, or as a label on a plaque. The advantage of using mylars is their versatility; they allow for easy customization of awards in a cost-effective manner, enabling organizations to adapt awards for different events, categories, or recipients without the need for entirely new pieces. The printed mylars give awards a polished and professional look while offering the flexibility of interchangeable designs.