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Artist Painted

2.5-D Multi-Level & Engraved Relief Plaques, One to Three Colors


Welcome to our  photo gallery and description of two-and-a-half-dimensional (2.5-D) multi-level multi-color (painted in one to three  colors) plaques. This is  a popular plaque style, with the lowest price of our dimensional  plaques. About 10% of the plaques we make are in this style category. These can be painted in a single color, two colors (background in one color and the text and/or art in another color), and three colors. These are beautiful plaques at very affordable prices.  There is no art fee for custom 2.5-D multi-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.


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   make these impressive and authentic plaques  moisture-proof,  non-fading, graffiti-resistant and long-lasting. We design and fabricate hundreds of  beautiful, hand-painted 2.5-D two or three-color painted plaques each year. 

The plaques on this page are painted in 2 or 3 colors; 2.5-D plaques do not show well when painted in a single color, whereas some 3-D plaques do. Plaques in this style are our least expensive plaques (except for acrylic plaques in Category 1.4).  We design and fabricate  beautiful and elegant 2.5-D  painted plaques each year featuring the seals, crests and logos of government agencies, courts, the military, police & sheriffs, universities, clubs, businesses and families.  Each  plaque is custom crafted  by our experienced and skilled craftsmen and artisans.  

Our  plaques are painted, in  bright colors or more subtle muted or metallic colors.  This page  describes and shows photos of  examples of carved 2.5-D  plaques that are painted in 2 or 3  colors.  We also offer  three other styles of carved painted plaques with  higher prices:  (1) 3-D relief, 4 or more colors ; (2) 2.5-D relief,  4 or more colors,  and  (3) 3-D relief, 1 to 3 colors .  The prices for each of these styles for various sized plaques is given on the PRICE web page, listed by price code and  size.  

It  typically takes  2 hours for an artist to paint a plaque of this style, and 3 days in our paint shop  to paint the colors, to put on the primer, color coats and clear coats. The photos in the Gallery below show examples of typical 2.5-D  plaques painted with 2 or 3 colors; we have over 300  photos of this style of plaque  scattered throughout  the  TYPE  pages of this website.

We make five different styles of 2.5-D carved plaques. 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 several  elevations above the background to give the impression they are at a 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 lake, which would be higher the the mountains and sky.  The text, borders and tree would be at the highest level. 

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. 

Combinations of any of the styles above. We often combine two 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  multi-level or two-level carved artwork.


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 1.1.5.  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.