How to Make a Custom Logo to Brand Wood

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Branding a wooden product with a logo serves several purposes. The image makes the overall design distinctive, establishes an aura of authenticity and markets your brand to anyone who likes the product.

However, branding wood poses unique challenges. Given that the image is usually created by applying hot metal or a chemical to burn an image into the top layer of a wood, fine details will be tough to transfer. That's a big reason many logos on wood are just letters or a drawing with simple lines: A scorched image requires strong dark lines and no shading. Once you understand the principle, making a great brand can be fun.

Design the Brand

One of the best ways to envision a custom logo to brand wood is to research what's been done before. You can look up logos for similar companies online or in books. There are reasons why some logos, such as McDonald's "golden arches," endure for decades. They're instantly recognizable and can be reproduced at almost any size.

Your logo may need to be similar to other companies in your field so potential customers identify the image with the product. Yet the image should also be distinctive enough to stand apart -- if that sounds difficult, there's always the option to collaborate with a graphic designer.

If you're forging the metal brand, take any limitations into account. A designer working with only a few pieces of sheet metal will probably want to create his or her brand to have a lot of straight lines. If you have a lathe, be realistic about your talent with the tool. Those willing to use a 3-D printing company to fabricate a metal brand will find the possibilities open up, yet the image should still be streamlined.

There are a few different ways to create the custom wood logo brand. Most of the brands require heating the metal and applying it to the wood, and one uses a chemical burn.

Sheet Metal Brand

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Sheet metal
  • Metal snips
  • Pliers
  • Welding torch
  • Safety goggles

Step 1

Sketch out the logo you want to make on a piece of paper. Measure the size of the sections you need.

Step 2

Cut the sheet metal, using metal snips, into sections that will match the pieces of the logo. Using pliers, bend the sections of metal to match the design. If necessary, weld together the pieces to form letters or a graphic element.

Step 3

Once the logo has been created, weld it to a backing plate and a 2-foot metal pole about 1/3-inch in diameter.

Warning

  • Wear safety goggles and other appropriate safety gear if necessary, when welding.

Metal Plate Brand

Things You'll Need

  • Metal plate
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Rotary tool
  • Tungsten-carbide bits
  • Welding torch
  • Safety goggles

Step 1

Procure a metal plate big enough to hold your logo and thick enough that the design can be carved out without grinding through. For most simple designs, a 1/4-inch-thick plate will do.

Step 2

After drawing a mirror image of the design, transfer it to the plate with a graphite pencil so it's visible but easily erased.

Step 3

Using a rotary tool fitted with tungsten-carbide bits, grind around the image so the remaining raised area will be a clean image of the logo. Once finished, weld a metal pole handle to the back.

Warning

  • Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves when cutting a metal plate with a rotary tool.

Chemical Brand

This brand uses ammonium chloride to chemically burn the image into the wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Foam rubber
  • Magic marker
  • Utility knife
  • Ammonium chloride
  • Safety goggles

Step 1

Transfer a mirror image of the logo onto a 6-inch-square piece of foam rubber with a magic marker.

Step 2

Using a utility knife, carve around the image so the logo remains higher than the foam around it.

Step 3

Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves for the next steps. Dilute 1 tablespoon of ammonium chloride into 100 milliliters of water.

Step 4

Spray the chemical compound onto the foam logo, and then apply it to the wood, holding it in place with a brick until the logo has burned into the wood.

3-D Printed Brand

These days it seems like you can 3-D print almost anything, including metal brands. Unless you have a printer that works with metal, you'll probably need to send your design to a company to have it printed.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • 3-D drawing program
  • Metal plate

Step 1

Scan in a drawing or design the logo on a computer, and then import the image into a 3-D drawing program. Design the brand as a 3-dimensional object, keeping in mind the guidelines from the printer.

Step 2

Don't forget to include a metal plate and handle for the back. When you receive the brand back in the mail, you're ready to go.

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