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Artist Painted

2.5-D Multi-Level & Engraved Relief Plaques, Four or More Colors


WELCOME TO OUR 2.5-D MULTI-LEVEL  & ENGRAVED PLAQUES PAINTED IN MANY COLORS  (STYLE CATEGORY 1.1.3 )                                                      

Welcome to our  photo gallery and description of two-and-a-half-dimensional (2.5-D) multi-level multi-color (4 or more colors) painted  plaques. This is most popular plaque style. Over 70% of the plaques we make are in this style category. These are beautiful plaques at very affordable prices.  There is no art fee for custom 2.5-D mulkti-level or engraved plaques (unlike custom 3-D plaques), and because we use efficient machine and hand-crafted fabrication techniques, we can produce these for reasonable labor costs. 

The term "2.5-D multi-level relief" may not be familiar to you, but it is used in the sign & plaque industry to describe a surface profile that has raised or engraved flat areas that do not have rounded or curved elevation profiles. Those that have curved dimensional relief are referred to as 3-D bas-relief or low-relief (named after the ancient  Greek and Roman 1/4 relief sculptures on wall friezes). Our 3-D bas-relief  plaques take 5 to 8 times as long to carve and hand-paint, hence have considerably higher prices. 2.5-D multi-level carved plaques look better than 2-D flat signs, because certain areas like text and artwork "pop" off the background, and can look just as good as 3-D bas-relief signs. It is difficult to tell the difference between a 2.5-D multi-level plaques and a 3-D bas-relief plaque from more than 20 feet away.

          Fig 1- Carved 2.5-D Multi-Color Artist-Painted Plaques We Made for the El Dorado Financial Crimes Task Force in New York City


We make four different styles of 2.5-D carved plaques, which look quite different from each other.These are as follow:(1) two-level flat relief; (2) multi-level flat relief; (3) outline relief; (4) engraved relief; (5) any combinations of (1) through (4). These are all described below. Examples of these are shown in the photo gallery below. All five styles have the same prices.

Two-level flat relief usually has the text, artwork and borders which have flat surfaces raised at the same level by 1/4 inch to 1 inches above a flat background, which may or may not be sandblasted. The background is at the lowest elevation, text and borders are at the highest. 

Multi-level relief is the same as (1) above, except different areas of the artwork are raised at different elevations above the background to give the impression they are further distance from a viewer, For example, the artwork of a tree in the foreground of a lake with a mountain and a sky in the background would have the tree raised the highest above the lowest background, the lake might be 1/2 inch lower, the mountains in the background another 1/4 inch lower, and the sky would be the lowest area on the plaque.  The text, borders and tree would be the highest. We usually have 3 or 4 levels, but sometimes have as many as 6 or 8 for complex artworks. All levels have flat, rather than curved surfaces. The background is at the lowest elevation, text and borders are at the highest level (i.e., closest to the viewer). 

Outline relief has raised ridges to accentuate the artwork and designate different objects, rather than different levels. The internal areas of the artwork are lower than these outlines, This type of 2.5-D relief is typically used  for very complex artwork that has lots of lines. It is the inverse of engraved relief in the next paragraph.


Engraved relief is similar to laser engraving, except we make the engravings deeper with a router.  The entire surface of the plaque is left flat, except lines and sometimes areas are carved into the flat surface. The areas designated by the carved lines are usually painted different colors , and the lines are painted a contrasting color such as black or white. The lines can be V-carved (with a V-shaped elevation profile, like the Romans used to carve stone) or a flat-bottom profile. We often engrave text in a V-carved style.  Engraved relief is less susceptible to damage than outline relief ((3) above) because the carved areas are protected by the flat surface, rather than protruding from it.  Smaller features can be engraved than can be carved in a raised style. In this style, the background is at the highest  elevation, text and borders are at the lowest.

We frequently make combinations of any of the styles above. We often combine two or more of the styles described above on the same plaque.  Multi-level and engraved relief are often combined with small features (e.g., tiny text ) engraved in a flat lower area such as a banner.   V-carved engraved text is often used with a multi-level carved artwork.

We design and fabricate  beautiful and striking 2.5-D  painted plaques each year featuring the seals, crests and logos of governments, the military, police & sheriffs, universities, clubs, businesses and families.  Each  plaque is custom crafted  by our experienced and skilled craftsmen and artisans.  


We use  several different techniques to make these impressive and authentic plaques which are moisture-proof,  non-fading, graffiti-resistant and long-lasting. We design and fabricate thousands of  beautiful, hand-painted 2.5-D many-color painted plaques each year. 

Over half of our  plaques are painted, some in many bright colors, others in more subtle muted colors, and a few in only one or two colors.  This page  describes and give examples of carved 2.5-D  plaques that are painted in 4 or more colors, sometimes as many as 10.  We also offer  three other styles of carved painted plaques :  (1) 3-D relief,  4 or more colors  (price code CA),  (2) 3-D relief, 1 to 3 colors (price code CC); and (3) 2.5-D relief, 1 to 3 colors (price code CD).  The prices for each of these styles for different size plaques is given on the PRICE  webpage, listed by size and price code.  The plaques on this page have price code CB.

This style of plaque requires accurate and detailed painting. It typically takes 2 to 3  hours of painting time by an experienced painter to paint the many colors with artist brushes and mini-rollers on a typical medium size (18 to 24 inches diameter) plaque.  It make take 5 or 6 days in our paint shop  to put on all the colors, because each color has to dry in our heated drying room before the next color is applied next to it or over it.   Plaques whose principal artwork consists of an detailed giclee image (photo or illustration) digitally printed in full colors on long-lasting vinyl are shown in the  2.5-D, 1 to 3 color   style photo Gallery (Price Code CD) and have lower prices than the artist-painted plaques in this Gallery.


The prices for this style  for various size plaques is given on the PRICE  webpage (click here or on PRICE in gold masthead) , listed under Style Category 1.1.3.  Or, you can fill out and submit our on-line Request a quote form. You can also call or email us for a price quote on a specific plaque.  One of our knowledgeable and helpful Customer Service Representatives, Christie,  Regina, or Liz, will respond to your request promptly.  You can call us at 951-698-8484 or email us at


We will work with you to design and build the exact plaque you want. We would like to make your  plaque, and we are confident that you will be pleased with it. We take great pride in every product we make for our valued clients. We offer a 2 year warranty on all our products, and our indoor plaques will last many decades without degradation.


You can go to another Section or Gallery page by clicking on an item in the pull-down menus in the gold masthead at the top of the page.  You  can search for a specific plaque type (e.g., "FBI" ) by entering the key word in the search box in the upper right of the gold masthead. You can view a list and use the navigation bar for all 24  Gallery types by viewing the silver box on the left side of the HOME  page. You can also view different types of plaques for different customer groups (e.g., State Courts or US Coast Guard) by clicking on the TYPE section in the gold masthead above.  You can view a description of all of the different plaque styles by clicking on   the plaque  STYLE section also listed in the gold masthead. 

To request information, a design, a quote, or to place an order, click on the text (e.g., "contact ", " quote", " file" or " order")  in the upper  right of the gold masthead at the top of this page.  All prices are given on the PRICE page in the gold masthead. 

For more information on design options, prices and delivery times, please call us at 951-698- 8484 or email us at, and our knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives Christie, Regina or Liz will be pleased to help you.