How is the iPad logo made?


How is the pictured logo set into the aluminum chassis seamlessly?

The apple feels like it is made of glass, but if that is the case how do they get around thermal expansion issues?

The case is just one piece of aluminum.
You polish it → you cover up the logo etc. → you sandblast it → you anodize it… done

Thanks for the answer!

The textures are so drastically different, it never occurred to me that the logo was the same material.

I wonder how a logo would turn out in an injection molded (plastic) part if you applied the same technique to the tool.

Anyone know of any examples of this?

It is a very a common technique with plastics. It usually comes with a tiny recess or a raise, but can be done without it as well (requires a good toolmaker to get crisp edges). Look around your stuff and you’ll find plenty examples.

This is extremely common, it’s the easiest way to achieve some visual distinction on a plastic part by doing a texture break.

When the tool is textured, certain areas can be polished, or have different texture depths applied to the tool steel. Usually they’ll request a reveal or a step (so they have some space to control the masking of the part between different texture types) but it is possible to do seamlessly if you have a good and careful tool maker, and you’re willing to accept re-tooling because someone screwed up the texture. Usually boundaries like that can also be difficult to maintain over the life of the tool. If you shoot enough parts as the steel wears you may need to re-texture the tool, so having a hard stop helps ensure consistency.

This is also very common way to add text and labels. Essentially getting you a free label and allowing you to cut cost.

This is very common indeed, but it seems often overlooked as a cost-effective way to add visual distinctiveness and subtlety to a design! The technique can also be used to distinguish larger areas of a product form. This can create a sophisticated, refined look whereas fully glossy products often look a bit tacky/cheap and fully matte products can look too dull. I especially like the look of glossy white or black products with some textured areas.

I can’t think of good examples right now but the Playstation 4 shows the effect of matte vs glossy:

Fiskars, who always make plastic look like good quality, are utilizing this technique alot lately, beside the obvious logos.