Banner/topper for merchandiser fridge?
September 21, 2017 6:59 AM   Subscribe

Trying to find an insert (?) for the top of a merchandiser fridge to replace the boring one it came with. Google is failing me, because I don't actually know what these things are called, though I'm sure there's a name for it!

This is such a silly question, and I feel like a dunce for wasting an askme on it, but:
Recently purchased a new merchandiser fridge (like this one) for the bar at our volunteer-run club. I'd like to swap out the boring white plastic topper thingy with something else: maybe a snazzy little chalkboard that could slide in there? Or maybe have something custom printed with our logo? Or maybe something generic, but not so boring? Not sure of what my options even are...
This is the spot where often a branded banner will go (like this), but since ours is not sponsored, it's just plain at the moment. The white plastic part definitely comes out relatively easily, and looks like it is designed to be replaced, or have something added (some sort of printed plastic? I dunno) to the display. There is an led light behind the white plastic to light up this area.
I cannot for the life of me figure out what this piece of the equipment is called, so my searches so far (to find something to replace it, or just to figure out what it's designed to accommodate) have been useless. Can you help?
Is this something that can be easily purchased? What should I be searching for, and what kind of business would sell them? Or are most places getting these custom made? If so, what terms am I looking for to ask a printshop about?
posted by Dorinda to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
Best answer: I don't know the technical term, but you just want a piece of plexiglass with something "printed" on it. I know that FedEx Office (formerly Kinkos) did this a couple of years ago, and probably still do. I bet most sign shops would be able to do this with vinyl lettering/graphics. Can you take the blank one out for size and/or so they could put the graphics direcly onto it?

For your chalkboard idea, just get a piece of wood the same size as your blank and paint it with chalkboard paint. Be sure to follow the instructions and "prime" the chalkboard by rubbing it all over with a piece of chalk and then erasing it.
posted by sarajane at 7:24 AM on September 21, 2017

Best answer: Check out this website. Page 20 of the pdf on this page talks about the graphic signs you can choose. This company could probably help. A google search for: custom sign for merchandiser cooler brings up good results.
posted by LKWorking at 7:56 AM on September 21, 2017

Best answer: "True", a manufacturer of merchandising fridges just calls it the "sign panel". My advice: take out the existing white plastic, and go to your local sign company. Tell them what you want, and and that is has to fit on a piece of translucent plastic the size of the one you have. They'll be able to do it pretty cheaply and quickly. Another option would be to use use stickers or print out some graphics on transparency paper and then adhere them to the existing plastic.
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:35 AM on September 21, 2017

Best answer: We have one in our shop and my wife just photocopied some images out of a big book of scientific drawings of plants and seashells. She laminated those and tucked them into that space and the light shines through.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:13 AM on September 21, 2017

We used to call these inserts "translights" or "translites". Maybe a printer will be familiar with that term. Here's a printer that does this kind of work.

Typically you're screening the art on the backside of a thin piece of plastic, backed with a white layer to diffuse the light.
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:28 AM on September 21, 2017

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