Traditional and classical, brass plaques are a favourite for a prestigious opening or memorial and professionals business plaques. The gold finish fits well with a rustic or historic location and where a distinguished and elegant look is sought.
Signmakers supply brass plaques in two finish options - polished (mirror) or linished (brushed) both of which are usually finished in a clear protective lacquer.
Polished/mirror finish is highly reflective and text can be difficult to read. Polishing adds to production and handling costs. It is still a very popular and traditional finish but better suited to smaller plaques and nameplates.
Linishing reduces the reflectivity of the metal and text is clearly legible. Retaining the warmth of brass the linish gives more flexibility for using brass and a more contemporary look.
We do not generally recommend brass for exposed outdoor situations. While the brass metal will last indefinitely it is not possible to permanently protect the finishes and the metal will tarnish (go a darker brown colour) over time, regardless of clear lacquer protection. Time taken for this to happen depends on the environmental conditions but it can begin quickly (within months). The breakdown process usually occurs in patches and can be unsightly.
Some prefer to keep the brass in its natural state, without protective clear lacquer and let it age to tarnish naturally and uniformly or to keep it sparking with regular attention with a cloth and some Brasso. As with any engraved metal, if left natural text will remain legible. If you are wanting to achieve an aged look quickly a bare metal plaque may be the way to go.
Use these links to learn more about other materials and how they are used