What Is a Plaque Award? All You Need To Know

Plaque awards are a symbol of recognition or achievement and it holds a special place in the realm of honors and accolades. Imagine beautifully crafted wooden or metal award plaques adorned with engraved words of appreciation, presented to you for your exceptional accomplishments.

In this article, we'll look into the essence of award plaques and their significance in various contexts.

Purpose and Benefits of Award Plaques

Beyond mere decorative pieces, plaque awards serve a myriad of purposes, ranging from boosting employee morale to reinforcing organizational values. By acknowledging and celebrating achievements, plaque awards inspire individuals and teams to strive for excellence.

Types of Plaque Awards

Award plaques come in diverse forms, from recognition plaques honoring years of service to achievement plaques celebrating outstanding performance, there's a plaque for every occasion.

What Is A Perpetual Plaque?

Perpetual plaques are a type of recognition award that is designed to honor multiple recipients over time. It typically consists of a large, flat panel made of wood, metal, acrylic, or glass, with multiple smaller plates or sections attached to it.

The main feature of a perpetual plaque is its ability to accommodate the names of multiple recipients without the need for additional award plaques. It is updated regularly based on ongoing recognition programs to include new recipients, often in a chronological order.

Group of students in traditional attire receiving certificates at a graduation ceremony

Perpetual plaques are commonly used in a business or organization to reflect an event or to recognize employees, sales achievements or academic honors. They are often displayed prominently in the office, building lobby or hallway, serving as a visible reminder of the achievements.

What Are Wall Plaques and Awards?

Wall plaques are decorative and functional objects typically hung on walls to commemorate events, honor achievements, or add aesthetic appeal to interior spaces. They come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, and typically used in homes, offices, schools, or public spaces.

Wall plaques offer a versatile and customizable way to enhance walls and express personal or organizational values and sentiments.

Woman receiving a 'Loyalty Award' from a colleague in a busy office setting

Design and Customization Options for Award Plaques

Custom award plaques can come with engraving of messages, company logos, or custom event detail to suit the recipient's preferences.

Award Plaque Design Ideas For Custom Engraved Awards

Here are 8 award plaque design ideas to consider for custom plaques:

  1. Custom Shape Plaques: Design award plaques in unique shapes relevant to the award or theme, such as a star shape for excellence or a globe for global impact.

  2. Mixed Materials: Combine different materials like wood, metal, glass, or acrylic to create visually striking award plaques with contrasting textures and finishes.

  3. Layered or Stacked Plaques: Create depth and dimension by layering multiple award plaques of varying sizes or materials, adding visual interest to the design.

  4. Interactive Elements: Incorporate interactive art elements such as movable parts, flip panels, or sliding sections to engage recipients and make the award plaques memorable.

  5. Incorporate Technology: Integrate technology like LED lights, digital screens, or QR codes into the plaque design to add a modern touch of detail and provide additional information or multimedia content.

  6. Floating or Suspended Elements: Create a sense of movement or suspension by incorporating floating elements such as acrylic panels, metal accents, or suspended figurines within the plaque design.

  7. Interactive Display Cases: Design award plaques that double as display cases, allowing recipients to showcase additional items or memorabilia related to their achievements.

  8. 3D Printed Plaques: Utilize 3D printing technology to create intricate and detailed plaques with unique shapes, textures, and patterns not achievable through traditional manufacturing methods.

Choosing the Right Award Plaques

Selecting the perfect award plaques involves careful consideration of the recipient's achievements, the occasion, and budget constraints.

Designing beautiful recognition plaques your employees or stakeholders will not only motivate their efforts for the company but also serve as something they can keep for years to come.

Budget-Friendly Options For Custom Award Plaques

By exploring these affordable award plaque options, organizations can effectively promote their branding while staying within budget constraints.

Here are cost-effective options that still offer opportunities for branding during recognition programs, whether internally for your employees or externally for other stakeholders.

Acrylic Plaques

Acrylic award plaques are lightweight, durable, and cost-effective. They can be laser engraved or personalized with full-color printing, allowing for branding elements important to the organization - such as logos, slogans, or company colors.

Metallic Finish Plaques

Plaques and awards with metallic finishes, such as brushed aluminum or stainless steel, can provide a high-end appearance at a lower cost compared to solid metal plaques. These plaques can be custom engraved or screen printed for branding.

Wooden Plaques

Wooden plaques offer a classic and timeless look that can be customized with laser engraving or full-color printing. Opting for a simpler design or standard wood finishes can help a business keep costs down and makes the engraving easier.

Glass or Crystal Awards

Glass plaques or crystal awards can provide a sophisticated and elegant presentation for branding purposes. Look for glass options with ample space for etching or printing your organization's logo and message.

Standardized Designs

Choosing pre-designed plaque award or trophy templates from suppliers can often be more cost-effective than fully custom options. Many suppliers offer a range of designs that can be personalized with your organization's branding elements.

Digital Printing

Opt for digital printing techniques for customization, which can be more cost-effective than traditional methods like screen printing or embossing. Digital printing allows for full-color reproduction of logos and graphics that can make your award unique.

Examples of Memorable Plaque Awards

From prestigious industry accolades to heartfelt tributes within organizations, award plaques serve as reminders of success and dedication.

Here are some inspirational quotes perfect for award plaques celebrating outstanding achievements:

  1. "The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra." - Jimmy Johnson

  2. "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis

  3. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Gretzky

  4. "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." - Tim Notke

  5. "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt

  6. "Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

  7. "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - Franklin D. Roosevelt


Plaque awards represent more than just physical objects—they embody recognition, appreciation, and achievement. Whether presented in the workplace, academia, or community settings, plaque awards serve as timeless symbols of excellence and inspiration.

So, the next time you're considering ways to honor someone's contributions or celebrate a milestone, remember the enduring impact of a well-deserved plaque award.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the meaning of plaque award?

A plaque award is a recognition or honor presented to an individual or organization for their achievements, contributions, or accomplishments. It typically consists of a flat, rectangular plate or panel made of metal, wood, or acrylic, often mounted on a decorative base, and engraved with a personalized message or design.

What is the difference between a trophy and a plaque?

While both trophies and plaques are types of awards, they differ in their form and presentation. Trophies are typically three-dimensional, freestanding objects, often incorporating figurines, statues, or other decorative elements, mounted on a base. Plaques, on the other hand, are flat, rectangular plates or panels that are mounted on a wall or displayed on a desk or shelf. Trophies are often used for sports or competitions, while plaques are commonly used for recognition in professional or organizational settings.

Are plaques cheaper than trophies?

The cost of plaques versus trophies can vary depending on factors such as materials, size, customization, and design complexity. In general, plaques tend to be less expensive than trophies, especially for basic designs and materials. However, more elaborate or customized plaques with higher-quality materials may be comparable or even more expensive than trophies of similar quality.

How long does it take to make a plaque award?

The time it takes to make a plaque award can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the design, the materials used, and the production process. Simple plaques with standard designs and materials may be produced relatively quickly, often within a few days to a week. However, more intricate or customized plaques may require additional time for design, engraving, and assembly, and could take several weeks to complete.