Tips for Designing a Cast Bronze Plaque or Sign

A cast bronze plaque or sign can be used for a memorial marker, or it may be a standard business sign that you see outside a building. Because the cast bronze material is a bit different than you would see with other signage, you need to ensure you design your plaque properly so that it looks attractive and is easy to read. You also still want it to stand out against the backdrop where it's installed. Note a few tips for designing a cast bronze plaque or sign before you send your artwork to any metalworker.

Be careful of portraits

It's important to think very carefully about including portraits in a cast bronze plaque or sign. The bronze coloring may show up as shadows or creases in someone's face when the photograph is simply showing contours. You may think a photo of someone shows their strong cheekbones, but the cast bronze plaque might make it look like their cheeks were sunken and hollow. This can also happen when teeth are exposed in a photograph; spacing between the teeth, which can look natural in a photograph, might look like missing teeth or even dirt on the teeth in a bronze plaque. Use a very simple portrait with little added coloring and shading if you do want to use a picture in your plaque or sign.


The cast bronze plaque or sign you choose typically won't allow for many color variations, so you need to ensure your lettering can easily be seen against the backdrop. If you use all capital letters, this can be difficult to read in bronze against a black backdrop, as the letters may tend to run into one another. Fancy, scrolling lettering might also be difficult to make out when there isn't much contrast between them and the backdrop. Use these types of lettering sparingly for any cast bronze plaque so words are legible.

Consider the border

A thick border can anchor a sign and give it added visual appeal, whereas a thin border can keep the sign or plaque simple and with a clean look. A thick border can also help the sign to stand out from a background; if you're installing a plaque in a boulder, a thick border can make it more noticeable. If the building color on which you're hanging a sign resembles the color of the sign itself, a thicker border can also be a good choice. Remember this when opting for design choices for your cast bronze plaque or sign.