the writing on the front
« on: June 08, 2005, 08:43:26 PM »
can someone tell me the options for legending on front panels?

just finished a GSSL and I realised I have no idea about this.

What do the professionals do?

Is it done by the powder coating people?

Of course engraving is an option and I have downloaded Frontpanel designer

What about stick on things?

Also, does anybody have a favorite front panel of all time? Alot of the old classics owe there sexiness to Disirability rather than good looks I feel. What about fonts? any faves? Ive already bought the nobs(black anodised) so I guess im going for a light colour with black writing.

Anyway im ramblin' on now
cher to the cher


the writing on the front
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2005, 08:52:45 PM »
I know it's not too professional, but i leave mine blank! First of all, it still looks reasonably cool(better than transfers/sharpie anyhow!), and secondly it stops clients playing, since they have NO idea what does what . . . . . !

      ANdy P
. . . . RUH ROH . . . . .


the writing on the front
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2005, 09:19:55 PM »
Im with andy, I use a sharpie and it looks way cooler IMO than many of the front panel express things, everyone's projects tend to look more or less the same.

If I were ever to do "pro" looking front panels, I would come up with a logo and knobs and do a standardized layout that has some product recognition just like a real company would do and then do ALL the faceplate for everything Ive built at once.  At least that way all of your projects have continuity and in the meantime you can get away with sharpie on a panel and get mad street cred.

of course my plan is probably only good for me, so take it with a grain of salt.


chips are good with dip...


the writing on the front
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2005, 10:48:40 PM »
Back a long time ago, I was using the original Brother P-Touch labelmaker - the first electronic one. You could get gold-on-clear label tape, which looked pretty good on a black box.  Dunno what I'd do these days for a pro look, it's been awhile since I did any kind of box.  And my mics are completely blank.

Hmmm... you know, I'd probably go with a Sharpie, and see if I could get a neat-looking style of script going.  Or find a friend who does calligraphy... that could look pretty badass, a big panel with the Frankenstein knobs and some of that gothic script for labels.

Family Hoof

the writing on the front
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2005, 02:08:32 AM »
I'm also in the few or no markings camp. This was always a desire of mine that I couldn't find on commerical gear. Why? Because I'm so anal retentive that the markings will influence where I set the knobs, often taking precedence over my ears. Not cool! DIY makes it possible to avoid this. :thumb:

And now, let me attempt to actually answer the question..

Do I know of any alternatives to engraving or stick-on? No, not really. DIY silk screen maybe?

What do professionals do? Well, I imagine they can afford to have custom metal work and screen printing done since they make units in large volumes, not as one-offs. The biggest companies probably have these facilities in-house. I have no idea what the boutqiue companies do, but it's probably something similar. Are there any commerical units out there using Front Panel Designer?... I don't think so.


the writing on the front
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2005, 03:39:45 AM »
I really dislike that front panel designer look, always reminds me of those cheap plastic nameplates you see engraved on someone's desk in middle management.  Its a convenient alternative for neat DIY but Id be bummed if I had to buy a product commercially with a FPD panel.  Its actually amazing that chandler products dont have FPD front panels considering how poorly made and corner cut that crap is, for TONS of money.  Hack.

I recently racked up some mic pre's that were taken out of this old GE transistor mixer, I didnt even notice it until I stripped the thing apart, but the panels with all the markings were etched plastic, just like the boss' name plate.  This usually looks terrible but somehow, it looked pretty cool on this GE thing and in the rack I have it in now, it looks half nice.  That would be a cheap alternative, just get the plastic panels engraved cheap and stick them to the front panel mounting your pots and stuff through them, it'd be walking a tight rope between cool and cheese but done right it could look real slick and be your own thing.  I'll post a pic of the GE.


I have some links, some Ive been really interested in investigating, none of which Ive actually looked into-




the etch o matic always seemed cool to me as you could essentially etch your own handwriting or sharpie as it may be...  I would love to try it but sharpie works so well for now.


chips are good with dip...


the writing on the front
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2005, 04:05:44 AM »
I got a little bottle of "appliance paint" at Walmart.  It's in a bottle the size of white-out and it is really strong-used to paint chips in washing machines and sinks, etc.  I just paint it on the front panels.  It's more permanent than a white paint pen.

Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com


the writing on the front
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2005, 05:04:42 AM »
hafta agree about the engraving side of fpd.
the hole cut functions are useful though
might just leave this one blank its my first diy  so not to fussed.

actually there is a trend amoung 'boy racers' in my country of de-badging there cars so they will seem mysterious as to what model skyline or whatever theyre driving.[/i]


the writing on the front
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2005, 10:21:22 AM »

Above is a picture of the LA2a that I did myself. ?Since the front panel hinges down to work on it, I wanted to leave the panel graphics until last so that they wouldn?t get scratched every time, opening the front panel to work inside it.

It?s my own method of transferring?

Clean the panel with lighter fluid (Naphtha).

Gently mist a light covering of 3M ?Super 77? spray (about $8 at Office Depot for a can that will do a hundred panels!)

Get a few pages of ?Laser Labels? and peel the labels off. ?throw the labels away and print your panel design ?reversed- onto the backing.

You have about 30 minutes working time with the super 77. Leave it 3 minutes to go tacky, then place your printed designs onto the panel, smooth them down so that they stay in place and finally rub the markings on with a pencil. (Not too sharp or it can go through the paper!)

Peel off the backing, making sure that the design transferred on. Leave the Super 77 about an hour to dry (in a dust-free area!!!) If you screw up, the mistakes wash away with lighter fluid (Npatha). YOu can have as many attempts as you like.

To "Bullet-broof" it, start misting a few light coats of clear lacquer (I used ?Krylon?) as a protective coating, to make sure that the design doesn?t easily chip off.

The results speak for themselves!

"A waist is a terrible thing to mind"
Quote from: PRR
Ah, but that was 1999; we don't party like that any more.


the writing on the front
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2005, 01:56:05 PM »
Hey KeeF!!

is it possible to get a close up detailed pic of the graphics??  i have been looking for a way like your for a while....  with "trial, error, rinse, repeat" being a nice bonus.

I have also been looking for a place to make inexpensive (or as inexpensive as possible)  proper silk screened/painted front panels.  I got an infor pak from Anomark.. they are great! but i think a bit pricey...  any others?
"Feck, Arse, Gurls!" -Father Jack


the writing on the front
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2005, 04:13:32 PM »
             so you got your tele tronix legend off a ua website photo shop resized and revesed then print on sticky side of laser label backing ?

I always wondered how you did yours very smart !

Family Hoof-
             think I will leave the Knobs labeled but not divided up. I like your theory!


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