View Full Version : Laser Engraved Diplomas

Laura Zaruba
02-13-2005, 11:47 AM
I know there was a thread awhile back with a beautiful example of an engraved diploma. My question is, if any of you have done them, how do you get a good image out of a scanned copy a customer sends without putting hours upon hours into touch ups?

After way too many years in my opinion, I finally got my BA a few weeks ago. (Yea! Patting myself on the back... :D) I haven't had a lot of time to work with it yet but my first attempt was decent with the exception of the foiled seal. Should I attempt to recreate the graphic? Or is there an easier way that I am missing? Any advice from our pros?

Thanks in advance!

Laura DeMeyer
Etched in Time Engraving
"Making Memories Last a Lifetime"
http://www.etchedintimeengraving.com (http://www.etchedintimeengraving.com/)

Ken Frisby
02-13-2005, 5:40 PM
Hi Laura,

I have tried several things that has a foiled seal and have found it's a losing deal. The reflection from the seal is almost impossible to get rid of.

I to am all ears if anyone has a solution.

Roy Brewer
02-15-2005, 6:39 AM
It may be more steps than some want to take, but I recommend using a digital camera (w/o flash) on the seal. Use Knock Out (or similar) to turn it into an object and juxtaposition it over the scanned copy of the entire certificate.

The scanner will do a better job on the diploma/certificate, but a digital shot will give best (if not spectacular) results on the seal.

Aaron Koehl
02-21-2005, 2:34 PM
With the exception of graphics, I prefer to recreate the text using a matched font. The seals will almost always have to be recreated, but usually don't take too long, and there are some tricks for getting the signatures to stand out.

For a pristine, flawless job, it does take time.

George M. Perzel
02-22-2005, 8:06 AM
Hi Laura;
Here's a diploma engraved on alder wood-haven't done any on marble but the same process should apply and not take too long.
Scan the document at at least a 300dpi setting. Open the scanned drawing in Photoshop and convert it to greyscale. Crank up the brightness and contrast so yet get a white background and dark letters. Sometime playing with the Curves setting helps. Clean up any marks with the eraser or paintbrush. Carefully select the seal area and enhance it as required with the brightness and contrast. Good Luck

Pete Simmons
03-01-2005, 5:39 PM
Tried the scan thing and did not like it. Looked around and saw I could do most of the text without to much trouble. Used the scan for the signatures on the bottom and a little piece of Laserlights for the seal. Layer 1 = text , Layer 2 = sigs and Layer 3 = seal. Each layer done at a different power/speed.


Laura Zaruba
03-02-2005, 9:41 AM

Sounds like a good idea...I hadn't thought about using Laserlights! But I didn't see the photo?

Aaron Koehl
03-03-2005, 4:16 PM
As a side note, I usually remove any shadowing around the institution name--cross hatch effects designed for paper that usually don't turn out in wood.

Laura Zaruba
03-05-2005, 4:48 PM
I decided to match fonts as best I could and retype the words. I took digital photos (without the flash) for the seal and signtures. After a good deal of clean up work I had favorable results. I thought about using LaserLights for the seal, but since our colors are purple and gold I didn't have any materials that matched. So I made a black and gold sticker for the fun of it and it turned out very well too!

http://www.etchedintimeengraving.com/granite-degree.jpg http://www.etchedintimeengraving.com/wood-degree.jpg

Edited: There...tried again using my server.

03-05-2005, 5:30 PM
Here comes a "consumer" question - what do those usually cost? They're nifty.

Aaron Koehl
03-05-2005, 6:11 PM

The cost will vary, but they go for about the price of a nice diploma frame. In my area, that's between $100 and $250. Of course, it all depends on the degree of preparation. For the most pristine results (and demanding customers), a full recreation might take 3 to 5 hours of graphics work. However, a simple scan and burn on marble, with very little preparation might be significantly less.

Aaron Koehl
03-05-2005, 6:13 PM

Try posting them again.. be sure not to use the "Preview" function.

Laura Zaruba
03-06-2005, 12:00 AM

I'm going to start my pricing at $65 for an 8x10 wood & $75 for a 8.5x11 marble or granite. This would be with minimal editing. Ideally, my customers will be from the local schools and I'll have the graphics already on file ready to go.