PMA Photometals – Custom Metal Signs

We began in a home photo-lab as a small business in 1982. In 1991, PMA purchased the remains of an aerospace & metal etching company and entered into the world of photo-chemical machining.

Today, PMA offers design and manufacturing services in industrial nameplates, thin metal parts and architectural signage which includes the new ADA relief signage required by Federal law in all public buildings.

In addition, we just opened a new division in laser services.

PMA’s customer base is international in nature. We were the only company in the U.S. able to meet the needs of the 1996 Olympic Wall design in Atlanta. Other projects include the Holocaust Museum, NFL headquarters in New York, and thousands of both large and small sign projects throughout the U.S. Recently PMA manufactured the entire ADA etched metal signs for the Arizona Cardinals new NFL stadium in aluminum and zinc. Our commercial etching customers order encoder discs, lead frames, semi- conductor parts, screens and scrap-booking metal dies.

These are just a few of the commercial etching applications manufactured here in Phoenix, Arizona under 25,000 sq. feet of manufacturing space with a capability of expanding to 75,000 sq. feet.

edo Our environmental treatment process is a state-of-the-art on-site facility that re-purposes all hazardous materials into multi-use products and completely renders them safe for the environment. None or our chemicals go to public waste water facilities, our spent acids are re-cycled or regenerated to prevent pollution of our air or water. This investment was sizable; however, we feel it is our responsibility to future generations.
We invite you to browse through our specific categories for your particular needs.

Since all of our products are customized to suit your designs we can only show you some representative samples. We’ve tried to simply explain some of our processes.

Thank you for stopping by. We hope to be of service to your needs.

J. Michael Dywan



Who We Are

PMA offers job shop services in aerospace, commercial and custom metal working in chemical-etching or metal imaging. Some products include thin metal etching for parts and name plates, dramatic relief etching for Architectural settings such as dedication plaques or ADA signage. Imaged aluminum is offered for short run nameplates including 2-D barcodes or serialized data plates. Thicker white metals are laser cut for design and fabrication of short run metal pieces.

Hot Links

Dies Direct
Factory Direct American made Universal thin metal dies for table-top paper crafting machines such as Big Shot™, Cuttlebug™, and Wizard™
Cheery Lynn Designs
Our magical dies work in your favorite table-top machines! Online source of beatuiful and unique dies, famous metal dollies and frames, hundreds of other paper crafting and card making products.

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The Benefits of Etched Metal Signs

When it comes to signs for your business, there are plenty of options available to you. The simplest signs are made from printed or even painted paper or cardboard, while a more elaborate option might be an electric neon display. However, if you really want your signage to stand out, consider using etched metal signs to advertise your business.

Etched metal signs have plenty of advantages over other signage options, some of which are more obvious than others. Let’s take a look at just a few of these benefits.


The most obvious advantage that etched metal signs have over other types of signs is their durability. A sign made from stainless steel or some other tough metal will last for years and be highly resistant to damage. They are ideal for any kind of outdoor signage, especially if you have to regularly content with severe weather. Hail may still be an issue, but wind and rain will be problems of the past. Since an etched metal sign will be more resistant to damage, you won’t have to spend nearly as much money on maintenance or a replacement, making it a sound financial investment.


The practice of metal etching has been around for years, and over time artists have found ways to produce some beautiful works of art. An etched metal sign for your business may not be the same thing as an engraved portrait from the Middle Ages, but it can still bring a classy, old-fashioned feel to your organization. If you want your etched metal signs to have a more modern look, you can still benefit from the sleek look of a stainless steel sign.

Fine Details

Not many people realize this, but modern metal etching techniques are capable of fine details. Modern etching techniques are capable of creating photorealistic images, and a talented artist can even create fine details with more traditional techniques. Even if you want a relatively simple design for your signs, a cleverly designed logo will look great when it is etched onto a metal sign in fine detail.

The choice of signage is of course entirely up to you, but a high-quality etched metal sign could be exactly what you need to help your business stand out. Not only do etched metal signs look beautiful, but they will last for years with minimal maintenance. In short, etched metal signs are durable and versatile enough to work for just about any organization.

Great Ways To Use Metal Name Plates

Metal name plates have been around for many decades; most are made from either aluminum or stainless steel. They can be used to engrave names, phrases or to have graphics added to them.  None-the-less, they can be used for either personal or business purposes. Below are some ways that metal name plates can be used.

Personal Use

Need a great gift idea? Nothing puts a smile on someone’s face like a customized gift. And engraved metal name plates add that personal touch to various gift ideas. There are a variety of ways that metal name plates can be used as a personalized gift. They can be given to new homeowners as housewarming gift that can be used for the mailbox or on the front door in a variety of different shapes and sizes that’s most suitable for the homeowner.

You can also give someone a beautiful picture frame and add a personalized note as well. Personal messages such as these add that special touch that can be cherished for lifetime.

Do you have a loved one or a friend who enjoys working with a lot of tools? Well multiple engraved name plates can help them get organized. Especially those who have a work space designated specifically for repairing or building things in the backyard or in the garage. Imagine having a customized name plate for each tool? That would really add value to their workspace. Your friend or loved one could stay organized and probably complete their projects a lot faster with their new, cleaner and more organized workspace.

Since nameplates are customizable, they can also be used in the home to keep toys organized in the kids room or play area.  They also work well in the kitchen to organize spices or in the library keep books organized. Do you have a home office? What better way to keep your files and office supplies organized than with customized nameplates.

Business Use

Not only do metal name plates make great personal gift gift ideas, but they also make great business gifts too. You can congratulate someone for new a promotion with a new name plate, adding their new job title or a customized message congratulating them for a job well done. Because customized metal name plates come in a variety of shapes and sizes, professional  messages can be added to awards such as plaques or trophies to recognize a group or a sales team for a job well done. They can also be given to someone who is retiring or transferring to a new location.

Other Uses at the Office

Metal name plates can also be used for obvious reasons at the workplace, such as for name tags for employees, to label various offices in large work spaces or to organize files and supplies. Overall they add value to the workspace as they help keep the environment orderly and structured.

Metal name plates last for years, so they’re a great investments for years after the initial purchase