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All the below information will be irrelevant if you ask us to make a rubber stamp that is not big enough to read. All our rubber stamp work is context appropriate. We treat quality control as important and will put in the extra time to design a custom-made rubber stamp to perform the best it can.
If you do not share what that context appropriate reason is, then we could make you a custom-made stamp that does not help you. Self-Inking Stamps Ltd is here to help you get the best rubber stamp mark you can achieve for your situation. Helping people get that special stamp is what really makes our day. We enjoy making custom-made rubber stamps that will be a smart investment for you. Also helping businesses to use a custom-made rubber business for their logo and contact information.
We also get a lot of satisfaction when we know we have helped a customer improve how they process their workflow. We get excited replies from customers who are just so pleased with their new custom-made rubber stamp and how it marks perfectly time and time again. Knowing that these rubber stamps are effective in people’s lives really gives us a buzz.
We are rubber stamp makers and so we need to make something that will work. It must be fit for purpose. If it is unreadable, then we have failed. What we are referring to is the rubber stamp font size. This is critical. Go too small and all sorts of things happen.
• Blobs appear.
• One side of the letter disappears.
• The text is unreadable.
• It is so small you need to use a magnifying glass.
Every custom-made rubber stamp must have a graphic design done. Our production method uses a laser engraving machine to remove rubber from a sheet and leave the exposed image that you need. The laser machine must be instructed when to fire the laser and remove material and when not to fire. And to leave your rubber stamp letters sitting above the base material ready to touch the ink pad and then the paper.
The best results come from a file in RBG black in a vector image. That is where most of the time making your stamp happens. For small stamps there is way more time making that print file than making the actual rubber stamp die.
Currently in the process, we follow your instructions. You need this text and maybe an image. It needs to fit a particular space. Or it needs to fit a stamp model you have chosen from one of the Self-Inking stamps models on the website.
We grab a template for that rubber stamp size. Then copy and paste your text. Copy and paste removes operator error. Yep, I am dreadful at spelling! Thank goodness for spell check. But these days made up words are common for business names. If we change the words, we keep getting corrected – not our name is like this example not what you spelt. Okay copy and paste the exact word are king then.
Hence, we always recommend in the order process point of add to cart to choose ‘YES – I want to check it before manufacture’. You can then check all the spelling and detail before it is made. It is a great time to pick up any spelling or layout or other small details in a logo that have not transferred to our system.
Now we have what you need. We can adjust the layout to that requirement. Different rows can have different font sizes. Every word can be a different size. Remember this is graphic design, anything is possible. Just ask. Have you ever scaled a photograph. Grab one of the handles on the corner and drag it until the size is exactly right.
We do that next. It must fit the space in the stamp. We can dial that size in to fractions of a millimetre. And we do. We take the stamp size and deduct 1.2mm for the cut line and bevel on the edge of the letters. Let us say a 58 x 22mm stamp size. That is 56.8 x 20.8mm largest image size for that model of stamp. That is typed in and hey presto there is your stamp to size. No. Not yet.
For every rubber stamp we make, we check this to make sure you will get a reliable and readable rubber stamp mark every time. We have found that if font size is above 6.5 point there is little blob on the letters.
What are blobs? Do you remember as a kid blowing bubbles? A piece of wire in a round shape or ring of some sort. Bit of soapy water. Dip the ring in and in the centre is a bubble. That can happen with stamp ink too.
It is an awful look. Not very professional. The smaller the text the more this will happen. Oh, or too much ink in the ink pad can do this too.
Yes, it can. But the quality of the mark reduces. Yes, the blobs can become more of an issue. Sometimes the rubber gets too thin at the top of the letter. When engraving that thin piece which touches the ink pad and transfers the ink to the paper gets so thin it can go wiggly. It is distorted because it is not clearly standing out of the backing rubber.
Or with the heat of the laser the very thin edge may vaporise off and be a little shorter than the letter alongside and never gets to touch the paper. Words with missing letters are a real nuisance to read. This can be common on letters with a thin and thick side, the thin side looks to be missing in the print mark.
If we think there is a risk of blobs, we will inform you and recommend the best font size for your rubber stamp. If we think there might be letters missing or it is just so small, we are not sure if it marks, we will warn you. After making thousands of stamps, you get a feeling for when one might not perform well.
Can they mark smaller. Well, yes. After warning people some say ‘that’s alright let’s see what happens’. OMG this can be exciting sometimes. Yep, I geek out on this stuff. I have seen 4-point font size stamp very well. Oh, but only through a magnifying glass. This is ridiculously small. Now that we have invested in a higher power 120W laser and 1,000 dpi engraving these small fonts are achievable. But do not rely on that as these are in the ‘risky’ zone to produce.
Yes, this can have a dramatic effect if the font size gets small. If we consider a well-known font like Arial this is a very even font thickness. Through all the bends and angles the width of the letter is fairly consistent. This will scale well and mark well. Calibri is likewise a good stamp marking font that is why these two are sort of defaults for us here. Yes, there are many others.
However, if you take a font like Times New Roman there is a considerable difference in thickness of the letter. As you go around the curves one part can be thin and the other thick. At a large size this is not a problem at all. However, when making these small the thin side of the letter has problems. Too thin to pick up ink and transfer to the paper. Or due to heat that side can be just a nudge shorter and not get to touch the paper in amongst its taller letter friends. That can leave gaps in the stamp mark, and this can mean the text is unreadable.
Sometimes we don’t warn you at all, but we graphically enhance the letter to make it thicker. Not just the thin side but all the letter in proportion so the font still looks similar. We are talking fractions of a millimetre, but it can be effective. Therefore, it can take time to professionally design a stamp. Checking and adjusting fonts to make sure you get a good mark on paper.
We get people asking us to make a new stamp regularly as they have bought a stamp online, often a cheap price, which doesn’t stamp clearly. Time has not been taken to check for quality of the mark. The approach was – you told us to make this, and we did. Thanks for your money. As they are overseas usually it is extremely hard to get a solution to that.
We help here by making a new rubber die for your stamp. Away you go with one that has had a little extra time spent on quality of mark rather than speed of production at a lower cost.
We have scaled the text to no less than 6.5 point, yes. We have thickened the letters if needed, yes.
No, it still doesn’t fit the required size!
What can be done? The magic of graphic design. Again, we spend a little extra time tweaking.
Check out dafont.com to see an amazing selection of fonts. Ones that are not as wide so that more letters can fit in the same length. Often there is a narrow or condensed version of fonts. That would be the first choice. Then the graphic design programme power gets exciting. We can adjust spacing between the letters and words.
Bigger or smaller. We can adjust the space between rows to reduce height. Then we just get brutal. Smash it sideways and squash it to fit. Okay steady on there too much of that and the letters look awful and distorted so this is a last resort. But one design technique that is EXTENSIVELY used.
The most common stamps are for the little 26 x 9mm stamps. Perfect name stamps for nurses and doctors to mark their name and registration numbers. Some people have long names. Or three rows of details to fit on a page line. These limit the size of font. The Trodat 4910, Shiny S1821 and Colop Printer 10 are all in the size we work with regularly for these people. The Shiny and Colop ones have an extra millimetre in height which can help for multiple rows.
Another is on a Common Seal stamp. Trying to fit a long charity name or enterprise name around the perimeter of a 40mm circle can be a handful at times. The most troublesome one is a logo stamp. Often these have a wonderful bit of artwork and some text that might be the business name or contact details and maybe their website. On the side of a building for a signwriter this is great. Maybe on your letterheads still okay.
But in a limited size of an affordable stamp yikes this gets dodgy. The hardest one is a logo into a loyalty card stamp. These tiny little 12 x 12mm stamps are great for a coffee loyalty card. But trying to fit too much detail in here is going to fail. We must use all sorts of tricks to get these to fit. People often balk at the price of these stamps. Why so expensive to get the smallest of stamps?
Well, it is not about the stamp itself. It is the time it takes to graphically design an image that will work for you. It can take a lot of time to get a stamp mark out of someone’s logo. If we are supplied with a vector image, we can often pick out the important parts of the original design and shrink them down in a form that will work as a stamp mark.
Yes and no. Off an email footer, a screen shot or a Word doc these files are often at an extremely low dpi and highly pixelated. Plus, one part may be black and the pixels on the edge grey to trick the human eye that it is a curve. The laser does black. End of story. Any other colour will be ‘interpreted’ in other words something random can happen.
Good luck there! And those lumpy pixels, yes, the laser is exact it can cut out those pixels for you. This leads to a poor-quality image. The smaller the letters the greater the distortion of those letters. Often to the point of it being unreadable. If we know the font, we spend the time and retype it all. Telling us which font was used can really help get a higher quality stamp mark.
To get a reliable result to achieve a high-quality stamp mark we always convert a jpeg, png or other pixel based (raster) image to a vector image and control what the laser will engrave and ensure the proof sheet of the design we send you is what the stamp mark will be.
A high-resolution image of 300 dpi or more will also convert to vector without too much loss of clarity. Again, we will warn you if we think this pixelation distortion will show in your stamp before we make it. Only after you agree it is acceptable for your purpose will we make it.
Okay can we condense that down to some bullet points. Yes, there are some factors that are easy to check.
Simple as that 😊
As always, we are here to help. We can answer your questions on the next business day.
For stamp timeline we generally have the following:
Most orders take three days to having it in your hands and going crazy with excitement stamping everything in sight. All right, only some people get that excited, and it is fun to hear from them.
A quote will be provided for our custom made rubber stamp service and courier delivery so that you know how much everything will cost up front. Contact us with your questions and stay up to date with our latest news and promotions on our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and Instagram.