I would like to do my own amp face plate graphics....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by two fingers, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    If this belongs somewhere else, please move. Thank you.

    As the title says, I would like to do my own letters and graphics for amp face plates. (Not stickers) Does that involve a ton of equipment? I'm assuming some software and a "gizmo" that makes screens. (Yes, I realize I am WAY over simplifying it.)

    Budget isn't a huge issue. I have experience with computers and software but not a ton of graphics experience.

    So, what goes into that? What are your experiences?

    Thank you!
  2. I would think there would be a good market for this, if priced right. But it's not like knob locations are standardized so you'd have to take into account that unless you specialize (say, only Ampeg SVTs) the plates themselves will need to be custom-cut every time.
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    There's a link here you might want to look at. Plenty of guys in the Effects forum also do DIY screens and some other cool graphics methods.

    I sometimes use these guys for panel graphics, especially when I need precision machining anyway. Their stock font and color selections are a bit limited, but I've done my own fonts and other graphics in Inkscape and one can provide custom infill colors to them if needed/desired.
  4. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    Mock up the whole front panel and make your graphics with Adobe Illustrator. Making an actual printing screen is pretty involved because it requires UV developing equipment, and then you need a UV oven to bake on the screened ink, but you can have a really nice label made to cover the entire existing faceplate. The companies that make those types of labels will want an AI file. It's going to be a little pricey, but you can get as elaborate as you want. Those companies make automotive and appliance panel overlays.
  5. jdelemus


    Jun 27, 2012
    I used to work in a lab that built R&D power supplies. We would take a hand drawn mock up and the front of the power supply to a trophy/engraving shop. They did a great job. Very cheap.
  6. JFOC


    Oct 23, 2010
    new hampShire
  7. Have a custom Silkscreen t-shirt shop in your area?
  8. grey area

    grey area

    Sep 2, 2009
    almeria spain
    i've always fancied an amp front with alien symbols on, but i'm a weird bas*+rd.i think the trophy/engraveing thong is a goer so long as you can make a accurate drawing of your layout. good luck
  9. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    There are companies that specialize in faceplates for amps, http://www.bnplasers.com is one of them. They've been around for a while and have a lot of experience doing this sort of work.

    http://www.shapeways.com does 3D printing. Another way to make a panel.

    Laser panel engraving and cutting produces great results. Can get pricey. Engravers use a router and template or do it by hand. Some places machine entire panels. You can also manually stamp panels, one letter or number at a time. I use stamps from Lee Valley tools.

    You can use just about any material for the faceplate. You often see metal or plastic. Wood ones look really nice.

    Decals are easy to make. Create the graphics, print the label on special decal paper, apply it to the faceplate, then spray a lacquer top coat.
  10. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    What I have done in the past is to print the front panel graphics onto a special plastic film using a lazy printer. I then mounted the cut out graphics behind a clear perspex panel. Worked quite well. Mind you, at the time, I had access to Computer Aided Drafting equipment.
  11. I'm learning how to silkscreen my own faceplate. Here's where I got the idea http://www.jonkster.com/radio/

    He makes it sound so easy. But really, it hasn't been too hard or involved so far. I did the graphics with a free program called Draftsight; if you are familiar with AutoCAD, this is a free clone with the same keystrokes, menus, etc.