Trophy or Plaque: Which One Should You Choose?

Soccer Ball Plaque

An award or recognition program is a tangible reminder of success. They are helpful for motivating individuals and organizations to continue to strive for success and greatness. Recognizing achievements is an essential aspect of acknowledging dedication, hard work, and excellence in any field.

Two popular options used to recognize achievements include trophies and plaques. While they serve the same purpose, they may differ in cost, design, and versatility. Either one is an excellent choice to recognize achievements of any kind. Deciding between trophies and plaques will depend on several factors, including the reason behind the event, your current budget, and how much customization you want to incorporate into the award.

Ultimately, it’s important to choose an award that appropriately recognizes and honors the achievements or accomplishments being celebrated. Exploring the differences between trophies and plaques can help you decide which is the best fit for your event.

Trophies or Plaques?

What are Trophies?

A trophy is designed to represent a specific award, achievement, or event. Trophies are 3-dimensional objects usually made from either resin or metal. A trophy’s design and size can vary greatly depending on the level of achievement being recognized as well as the specifics of the event. For instance, trophies are often designed to reflect a particular event or sport for sports competitions. Sports trophies may include elements like balls, racquets, or players. An academic event may choose to use trophies that feature pencils, books, or graduation caps. Corporate awards and trophies may feature elements related to their industry.

Trophies are most often associated with sports or athletic events. However, they are also useful in other settings if you want to recognize excellence and achievements. They are fitting to use to reward students, athletes, or employees who exhibit exceptional performance or make contributions to an organization.

Pros of Trophies

  • 3-dimensional design
  • Highly detailed and intricate
  • A great choice for events that need high recognition
  • Versatile and flexible
  • Eye-catching and aesthetic design
  • Easy to customize with engraving

Cons of Trophies

  • Large trophies can be difficult to display or transport
  • Custom-made trophies can be expensive

What are Plaques?

Plaques are designed to be displayed by hanging on the wall or placed on shelves. They are an ideal choice if display space is limited or a more permanent display is needed. Plaques come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are usually made of wood or metal. They are a great choice if you want to customize them to fit a particular event or achievement. Like trophies, they can also be customized by engraving to reflect the occasion as well as the recipient’s accomplishments.

In the corporate setting, plaques are often presented to employees who exhibit outstanding performance, achieve specific goals, or for long service. They may also be used to recognize major accomplishments, such as the completion of a project or the launch of a new project. In academic settings, plaques are often awarded to students who accomplish academic goals, such as winning a scholarship or award or graduating with honors. Plaques are also used to recognize donors who make significant contributions to a program, charity, or institution.

Pros of Plaques

  • Cost-effective option to recognize achievements
  • Space-saving design
  • Engraved with custom text, images, or designs

Cons of Plaques

  • The 2-dimensional design is not as stunning as a trophy
  • More useful in formal settings than casual ones

Choosing a Trophy or Plaque for an Award

Choosing between a trophy or plaque will largely depend on the event or specific achievement being recognized. Here are some general guidelines to use to determine which award is the most suitable choice.

Choose a Trophy For…

  • Sports Events. Trophies are often associated with athletic accomplishments. The design can represent a specific sport and be customized with the team’s logo or an individual’s name.
  • Academic Competitions. Trophies are a great choice when recognizing students’ accomplishments in an academic competition. The design can represent a specific subject or the competition itself. They are easily customized with a student’s name and grade level.
  • Corporate Events. Trophies are useful for recognizing the achievements of employees. A recognition program is helpful for determining how to reward top employees. A trophy can recognize your top salesperson or an employee of the year. Customize the trophy with the staff members’ names and titles.

Choose a Plaque for…

  • Academic Achievements. Plaques are a great way to recognize academic achievements. Customize a plaque by engraving the student’s name, degree, and year of graduation on it.
  • Employee Recognition. Recognize employees’ contributions with a plaque. You can customize a plaque based on the nature of the contribution or accomplishment. Add their years of service or outstanding performance information to the plaque, including the name and title of the employee.
  • Donor Recognition. Recognize donor contributions to a non-profit or charitable organization with a high-quality plaque.  Engrave a special message of thanks, and customize the award with the donor’s name and level of contribution.

Trophy or Plaque: How to Choose

Ultimately, plaques and trophies are exceptional ways to recognize and honor achievements. The decision between these two great options will depend on the event or circumstances. In the end, whether you choose a trophy or plaque will rely on your specific preferences and needs. A trophy is a highly visual award that is customizable and a great way to recognize an achievement. A plaque is also a great option for recognizing an achievement and it also offers a space-saving design.

Let Suburban Custom Awards Help

Are you ready to celebrate the dedication, achievement, and hard work of people you know and appreciate? Suburban Custom Awards has a broad selection of personalized awards. You can show your team how much you appreciate them with a laser-engraved award that they can cherish for the rest of their lives. Let us put our decades of experience to work recognizing someone you appreciate today!