Our visit to one of our trophy suppliers was incredibly insightful and allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of the trophy manufacturing process, and the endless possibilities for creating trophies and awards.
Firstly, we were shown the trophy showroom; an array of awards in all different shapes, sizes, colours and materials, where we happily spent time admiring and learning about different briefs the supplier had tackled. One of our favourites was made from recycled plastic and had a coloured speckled effect. We especially liked this as at Inkerman we are really interested in finding sustainable ways to create trophies and know that a lot of our clients have this in mind too.
We were then shown around the different stages of the production process, right from where the trophies start as aluminium blocks or sheets of acrylic. It was fascinating to see some of the machinery, such as one that uses water to cut through hard materials like granite. They reuse scraps where they can instead of throwing bits away, and we also saw some more use of recycled plastic using old milk bottles to make acrylic sheets.
It was great to see some of our trophies in the final stages of production too; The Takeaway Awards being assembled, and AIA logos being cut out.
After this, we were shown how parts of trophies are plated with gold or silver using chemicals. This is something that takes years of practice, as the timings must be impeccable to achieve the correct chemical reaction. We also saw a few things we recognised in here; it's great to see the trophies in their different stages of production, as normally they arrive at Inkerman and we have no idea what journey they have been on!
One of the final places we were shown was perhaps our favourite, laser printing! We couldn’t believe how fast the laser produced such a detailed print, and now we have a bit more of an understanding of how this is done, it will be useful to relay back to clients should they have any questions about their trophies.