Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Holly’s Name Tag

Name tag in-class demo

Key chain charm inspiration

I was excited about working with a laser cutter since I haven’t created anything with it yet. The demo name tag of the Great Wave I made during class was smaller than I’d like, with complex details and the burnt edges of the cut out name was hard to read. At first, I wanted to redo it for my project but then I wanted to do cut out more interesting shapes, which reminded me of lapel pins so I went straight to Pinterest and started a new board looking for inspiration.

I am a graphic designer and wanted my name tag to reflect that part of me in a fun way, especially since the Fab Lab is a hub for creation, I am sure there would be audience that would appreciate it. I was inspired by a key charm my friend gave me last year that was a sparkly .psd file hastily named asdasds.psd because it was #relatable. Also, I am a sucker for seeing  online motifs and tools manifested physically, blurring the lines of digital and reality so this was right up my alley.

I decided to remix the Photoshop file icon, by changing it to my initials (HS), and INFO instead of the original ‘PSD’, incorporating the class into my design. I wanted a transparent back so it can incorporate the file name text, allowing the shirt to mimic a desktop background. The holographic vinyl in the scrap bin caught my eye and I definitely wanted to incorporate it into my name tag. The design is fairly simple, only three colors, and only having to match up and layer the color once. I am proud of my arrangement of color and placement, as the sticker cutting process had three colors cut in only one try and I had extras prepared in case I messed up. 


design drafts

Vinyl going through cutter

The tricky part was making sure the acrylic shape was proportional to the sticker dimension. I forgot to resize it the first time, since Fab Lab has different software and machines on separate computers in different rooms hooked up to different machines so it was not as seamless as I would like to hope. I was also worried that the name tag might be too small to be readable; it was difficult to translate a digital design on a screen to a physical and wearable object.

At the end, I was quite happy with the results. The thing I should have kept in mind was the technique of putting the vinyl sticker on the acrylic, since I have a noticeable air bubble trapped in the middle of the sticker. I also liked how resourceful and efficient I was with the material, as I only used scrap materials and didn’t spend money on laser cutting time. If I could do this again, I would like to try having  clear acrylic with glitter as the base instead of plain clear acrylic. I also like other spin offs of Adobe Creative Suite file icons if given more time and motivation.

Name tag result