Surface engraving

Stainless Steel Metal Business Cards

Surface engraving on our metal business cards involves removing a small amount of material in a controlled manner, creating a slightly recessed appearance that gives a raised effect to the unengraved area. In our range of black anodised stainless steel business cards, engraving will not alter the texture as the anodised film will remain on the surface. However, on our stainless steel or gold metal cards, engraving will produce a matt finish, providing a distinct visual effect.

To obtain a deep surface engraving with no accompanying colour, it is essential to select the 0.8 mm thickness to ensure adequate depth. In addition, the surface engraving can be accompanied and enhanced by the addition of one or more spot colours, offering even more unlimited aesthetic possibilities. In addition, the use of a spot colour or a brushed surface finish can also be used to protect the engraved surface and prevent the effects of rubbing. We can add a mirror or brushed finish to raised areas to emphasise their design.

The engraving will give a matt finish on :

  • Stainless steel
  • Gold-plated metal
  • Rose gold metal

Engraving will have no impact on the surface finish of black anodised metal.

Engraving method

Photoengraving on metal is a precise and complex manufacturing process. Here is a detailed explanation of the production process for our metal cards:

1. Preparation of the metal plate: first of all, a large metal plate (equivalent to 10 cards) is prepared and carefully cleaned to remove any trace of contaminants that could affect the engraving process.

2. Application of the photoresist: a photoresist (see illustration), also known as photosensitive resin, is applied to the metal plate. This resistor is sensitive to light and protects certain parts of the plate against the corrosive action of the acid used during etching.

3. Exposure to light: The prepared plate is then exposed to a light source containing a specific image or pattern. This light source can be ultraviolet light or a film (photomask), which blocks the light in certain areas and allows light to pass through in others, depending on the desired motif.

4. Resist development: after exposure to light, the plate is developed, which removes the unexposed photoresist, revealing the parts of the metal plate that will be engraved.

5. Chemical etching: the prepared plate is then immersed in an acid bath. The acid attacks the parts not protected by the photosensitive resist, creating hollows or cavities corresponding to the desired motif. Etching time depends on the desired depth and the range of metal used.

6. Cleaning and finishing: once engraving is complete, the plate is carefully cleaned to remove any residue (see illustration). Finishing processes are applied to improve the appearance and texture of the engraved surface, including the matt finish.

7. The plates can now receive the various finishes such as pantone filling and UV printing. Variable data marking is carried out at the very end of the process, just before quality control.

Surface finishing & engraving

There is a wide range of possible combinations between surface engraving and the finishes available. The photoengraving technique, which is accurate to around 10 micrometres (i.e. 0.01 mm), enables us to create customised designs in line with your corporate identity or graphic charter. Here are a few illustrations of the possibilities:

1. Custom motif engraving: our photoengraving process enables us to create specific motifs to suit your needs. Whether it’s your company logo, graphic elements or unique designs, we can engrave them with great precision.

2. Respect for your visual identity: we understand the importance of maintaining the consistency of your visual identity across different media. Thanks to photoengraving, we can faithfully reproduce the details of your visual identity, ensuring visual harmony.

3. Adaptation to your graphic charter: if you have a precise graphic charter defining the colours, shapes or typefaces to be used, we can integrate them into the photo-engraved motifs. This guarantees total compliance with your graphic guidelines and a uniform aesthetic finish.

4. Exceptional precision: Thanks to photoengraving technology, we can achieve extremely high precision, down to 10 micrometres. This enables us to engrave minute and complex details, creating refined and sophisticated designs.

5. Flexibility in finishing options: By combining surface engraving with additional finishes, we can add a personalised finishing touch to your metal cards. These finishes add lustre, durability and reinforce the high-end look of our creations.