A Year in Review: Design Edition
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Posted on June 22 2020
Creating your financial tombstone is an exciting journey. Let us take you through a few materials you can choose from to really make your deal toy ideas pop. You’ll be sure to impress with one of these!
You’re looking to create your financial tombstone and you’re hit left and right with questions that you don’t know the answers to. We get it! We deal with this daily, multiple times a day. That’s why we thought it would be a smart idea to share some insightful information via our blog.
For this post, we’ll be discussing something we know can be tricky, especially if you are fairly new to the deal toy process. The topic for today: deal toy materials. Even if you’re a pro, you might be able to learn some new things.
When chatting with your Altrum representative, on your initial phone call, you’ll most likely be asked “any preference on materials?” Some do, some don’t, and some genuinely do not know. We’ll go through a beginner’s crash course on some of the materials we offer and when you might want to use said material.
Who knows? You might have a preferred material and want to switch to something else after reading this. Let’s go through some materials we can use for your next financial tombstone.
A true classic: crystal! Which is also a fan favorite amongst all you bankers. The traditional idea you might have when it comes to crystal is a rectangle on a base. I’m sure if you looked around your office, you’d see a good amount of these. What some people don’t know, is that your crystal designs don’t just have to be a shape on a base (which we still think is a great option for any deal).
Crystal is not only one of the heavier materials that we can design your project around but is also extremely customizable. It can be sandblasted, etched, etched and color filled, engraved, and molded. Another popular crystal design is our famous 3D etch. This material is the only one that lets us designs something within the shape, without it physically being there. With a 3D etch, small lasers meet in the middle to create even smaller scratches within the crystal to create an internal picture.
A couple of important notes to keep in mind: you can have colored crystal. It doesn’t have to be clear; we have a few colored crystal options being used for today’s deal toys. Since these are not opaque, they keep their “crystal look.” Printing colors on the base, or bottom, of the deal toy, also creates a fun illusion.
Second important note: crystal at times might be referred to as glass. It’s the same thing in the deal toy world. So, don’t sweat it if you hear either of these, you can’t be fooled now that you know more about crystal financial tombstones!
Here’s a teaser for you: which material would you prefer, acrylic, lucite or plexiglass? Are you stumped? No big deal, because they all mean the same thing. This material has become so popular that the population has even started calling the tombstone itself, a lucite. Almost like how tissue can be referred to as Kleenex. So when saying “I’d like to order a lucite,” some people mean a financial tombstone, and some people mean a financial tombstone made out of lucite. This is important to keep in mind.
Acrylic is mainly identifiable by being clear and colorless and can be shaped into many different forms. Its high polish along with its ability to take any shape makes this the perfect medium for your deal toys. So why is acrylic so popular? Because lucite is truly is the chameleon of materials: colors of your choosing and be mixed into the actual piece to make different designs. You can make it opaque, translucent, fluorescent, marbleized, and even stone-like. You have an easier piece to work with.
Fun fact: Acrylic is 98% recyclable and can be turned back into monomer quite easily to create an array of other products. The biggest environmental footprint on deal toys is transport – because acrylic is a light material, it takes less fuel to ship it and thus it’s better for the environment. The best factoid: lucite is extremely resistant…if you drop a crystal, game over! Lucite has the ability to chip of course, but it’s much easier to fix a chip.
Let’s talk about modern designs. Using metal in your next deal toy will certainly give it a modern feel. We’ll begin with something small: one extremely popular option is to incorporate it into your tombstone as a base. It not only adds dimension and variety to what could be thought of as a traditional design, but this can also add a little bit of weight to it. It won’t be as heavy as a crystal, but it would not be as light as acrylic. It’s a happy medium if that’s what you’re looking for.
Metal is also a great material to include in mixed material designs. It pairs exceptionally well with crystal, wood, and lucite. It serves as a great contrast! Metal can be cut into several different shapes and can also be cut within itself. For example, if you cut out the outline of a building (windows and all) and have a lucite slab in the background, this could bring a lot of variety to what could have been something like a deal toy you’ve already seen before.
This material gets used most often within the Industrials world. We can have cut out medal slabs and shapes, which tend to be on theme for most of the deals they close. With that being said, your piece does not have to be a hard slab of metal. We have technologies and resources set in place where we can provide laminates. Laminate sheets have several different textures that can add value to any design. Make sure to ask us, we have a full catalog of different textures that will be just right for your design!
Metal designs are always unique because they are made by hand by brushing, grinding, oxidizing and aging metals to create standout designs. By just adding one of these textured laminates, your piece will come to life.
In its simplest form, you see it growing outside every day. Even in a concrete jungle, you can get small glimpses of a branch somewhere or a wooden sign. This hard and fibrous substance comes from the stem and branches of a tree. Our advances allow us to take this and turn it into a memento for you and your team. Using wood as the material of choice for your deal toy says a lot about you. It’s unique, yet it’s getting back to the basics.
There are plenty of ways to use wood within your financial tombstone; even if it’s not the main feature. Whether you use it as an accent mark or create the entire deal toy out of wood, we know it will be a showstopping design. In order to manufacture a wood piece or even a base, there’s an extensive process set in place. First, we start by cutting the wood. Then we go ahead and shape it, finish it, add engravings, and in some cases, we prepare it for screen printing.
Speaking of being unique, since every tree is completely different, each piece out of your order will have its own characteristics. This is the only material where no matter how many units you order, each piece will have its own individuality, like a fingerprint. Every tree trunk will have different lines and marks, so your piece will certainly do the same. This is the epitome of having a unique tombstone design.
You can create a design in the wood by carving or cutting out the wood where you can the design or text to be. We’ve done several tests and invested in tools to even be able to etch an entire landscape or image into a slab of wood. Have an image of a logo? What about a mascot? Or even a property? We can etch it using technology where we can place a deeper etch to make a shadow effect and get an incredible amount of detail within the piece.
We also have several fine finishes to achieve the shade of the material you’re looking for. Some of our finishes include but are not limited to walnut, maple, cherry, and many in between. Not only will a vibrant finish make this design stand out, but you can pair it with any other material to really juxtapose the detail.
Again, don’t limit yourself there! The possibilities in designs for wood are endless. Some other popular deal toy options that showcase wood include bats, putter sets, or cases for the deal toy or even a bottle. You dream it, we can create it.
We’ve talked about using some modern materials, some classic, and some materials that bring us back to the basics. Next up, we’re going classy! You cannot go wrong with a stone financial tombstone, you just can’t. If you’ve worked with us in the past, you know we’re always looking for ways to improve and bring you bigger and better designs. In the past couple of years, one of the ways we’ve been able to do that is by incorporating and perfecting using stone in your deal toys.
Talk about a nontraditional material, but believe us when we tell you it’s a showstopper. Being able to use stone will not only add weight to your deal toy but will certainly be sure to give it an elevated and classy look that not a lot of people will have sitting on their desks.
An example as to how you could start using stone, maybe you’d like to incorporate marble into your design. This is metamorphosed limestone, consisting mainly of recrystallized calcite or dolomite. It is capable of taking a high polish and has a wide range of colors and variations. This technique is typically used in sculpture and architecture. There are different shapes and sizes depending on the product you are looking for. For example, something like a plaque, the shape will usually be a rectangular or custom shape.
Or maybe you’re looking for granite? This is also a common material used, as it a coarse-grained, light-colored, hard igneous rock consisting of quartz, orthoclase or microcline, and mica. It is formed from magma. This can be shaded from pink to dark grey or even black.
Let’s say you would like to achieve the look of stone but don’t necessarily want a stone on your desk. Easy! We have a number of different techniques to help you get to this vision. By mixing different materials and colors, we can create a marbled or stone effect. For example, cast stone is a powder mixture of acrylic resin and minerals that gives the look of stone. The material is ideal for custom stone molds. It is also lighter than real stone.
Whether the stone is used as the base or for the entire financial tombstone, the finished product will never fail to impress. Using stone in a banking tombstone is quite popular today in many industries and we’re hoping that learning a little bit about it will excite you to try it for your next deal toy.
Drumroll, please… for the most unique, the most exciting technique… 3D PRINT! Again, we love all our materials equally, but you have to admit, this one’s pretty cool. With 3D print, there’s nothing off-limits. You want a custom dog carrying an eagle on its back who’s got a fish in his beak? You got it!
The idea of using 3D printing in the world of financial tombstones is relatively new. But the technology is out there, and we just happen to have it and love using it. Being able to watch a 3D print being created is one of the most mesmerizing procedures to watch. And to have that process creating your deal toy makes a world of a difference. This is a uniquely printed three-dimensional design straight out of your imagination. Let’s dive a little bit deeper here.
You have an insane niche project and you have no idea where to start. You had a project Bronco and you want to take it a step further. You’d like to see a horse riding on top of a Bronco car… you got it.
Once our artists get to work on the 3D rendering and make sure it’s designed to perfection, we can go ahead and measure out the scopes of it. From there, you can work with your designated representative to discuss things such as color, texture, and everything in between. You also want the horse to have a saddle on him, we can add that in. While this might sound like an “out there” example, there are cases like this, which is where we come with 3D printing.
Another perfect opportunity to use our advances in 3D printing would be within the real estate industry. Any intricate buildings you might have or even unbuilt properties. All we need are images from all 4 sides and if you have the architect files, great! The amount of detail that 3D printing technology can gather, can even show you the smallest window details on your building replica.
When you have your idea in mind, our dedicated team of artists from some of the best schools around the world will work together to create 3D files for your project. Once each and every single spot of the 3D file is rendered, we can see the piece come to life. Our artists can move it around, zoom in and out, digitally, of course, to make sure all is as it should be. Then to the printer, it goes!
The printing is quite fascinating and can take anywhere from 8 to over 24 hours to print just one piece. You’ll start to see lines being formed with an almost matte texture. Once done, your piece will look almost nothing like what you envisioned.
Then the sanding comes in. Our team will shave off all the extra supports that printer put in for printing purposes, then your piece is coming to life. Afterward, we have a number of finishes and paints to make your 3D print uniquely yours. And for the grand finale, your piece is complete and EXACTLY how you envisioned it.
Now we’ve gone through your options. Have any favorites already? Did you have any favorites before reading this? What about after reading this? Let us know if any specific material excites you or if you have any questions about the above. We’re happy to answer any and all questions! Now, let’s designs that dream deal toy.
Let us help you create an outstanding financial tombstone.Start your project