Working with Arizona State University

ASU Trusts Tempe Trophy with Their Awards

Arizona State University, with 17 separate colleges and institutes and over 1,000 student organizations, is always in need of trophies, plaques, medals, and other custom projects. Tempe Trophy is just a stone’s throw away from the biggest and “best” university in Arizona, although I may be a little bias as an Sun Devil myself. We do a lot of great projects for ASU students, faculty, and organizations.

Custom engraved name badge for ASU with magnetic back, engraved by Tempe Trophy

We provide awards for various organizations and departments within the school. As a local Tempe engraver, right down the road from ASU’s, we get to do a lot of great projects with them. Tempe Trophy is the best place to go when the an organization needs a job done. From plaques to trophies to custom name badges, we can customize items for any event. In fact, the picture to the right is one of the name badges that engrave for ASU. This particulate name badge was done on a custom cast acrylic specifically for ASU. We commissioned a special run of maroon and gold acrylic so we could create their high durability name badges.


The Engraved Plaque Expert

This past school year, the Information Systems Department at the W.P Carey School of Business awarded several high-achieving professors. Tempe Trophy created a stately plaque shaped like the state of Arizona with simple gold detailing on a black plate. Six of these plaques were made, all identical except for the recipient details and character of the wood. We only put out the best products and these awards came out clean and high quality. 

Tempe Trophy has much experience in creating plaque awards. A couple of other plaque projects we have conquered in the past include a display case for an ASU PhD student’s work and an award for the Graduate and Professional Student Association. We created a display case for PhD student’s blood separator prototype. It is labeled with an engraved black plate with silver detailing. The GPSA award is engraved gold on a maroon circular plaque to represent the ASU colors.


Custom Projects for Student Organizations

Among the over 1,000 student organizations at ASU comes the Greek-letter organizations. Being prideful of the Greek-letter gal myself, I know that each fraternity and sorority pride themselves on recognizing and fostering greatness which is often best expressed publicly with awards. Tempe Trophy has engraved everything from fun kickball trophies to serious plaques recognizing the contributions of past presidents, mentors and the like.

A couple of other Arizona State organizations that we have worked with include the Indian Students Association, Veterans Association, NROTC, Tillmans Scholars Program, Chinese Student and Scholars Association, Kuwaiti Club, Residence Hall Association, and various sports teams. For the ASU 2013 Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year and First-Team All-Academic honors wrestler Jake Meredith, Tempe Trophy created the plate for his uniform display which included a plaque, pinned jersey, and plates of the ASU and Pac-12 logos.

There’s Nothing Tempe Trophy Can’t Do

One major piece that Tempe Trophy received was a bronze cast leadership circle medal for the New American University. We engraved the back of the medal to say the recipients names, a latin quote, University President Michael Crow’s signature, and the school’s logo. Through the various projects and jobs given to us by Arizona State University organizations, it is easy to see that Tempe Trophy can engrave nearly any type of hard surface, flat and curved.

Bronze casting of the Arizona State University seal and an engraving by Tempe Trophy.

Bronze casting engraved by Tempe Trophy for New American University.

As a small local business ourselves, Tempe Trophy loves local jobs and putting quality products into the community. Our products are based on the needs and requests of the customers which makes it easy to fulfill all these jobs given to us by Arizona State University and its diverse organizations. From corporate awards to custom projects, we are happy to work with such a big entity right here in Tempe.

Tempe Trophy Local Artists Spotlight: Odd Rodney

Local Sculptor “Odd” Rodney 

Odd Rodney sculpting the Deadhead Rum shrunken head bottle in a room with his various tiki sculptures.

Odd Rodney sculpting the Deadhead Rum bottle. (Image by Kamala Kingsley)

At Tempe Trophy, we love to work with local artists. We utilize their skills to help us with customer requests and they use our services on their art projects. Our various services come in handy. It’s all about using the right tool for the job. At the same time, we often reach out to talented artists like our friend, Odd Rodney, for help creating Custom Awards.

Odd Rodney is a talented sculptor who works with various materials, primarily clay and resin. He has created pieces for various companies and people, from children’s stores to alcohol brands. When we need a custom piece for a client, Rodney has the ability to sculpt in any style. One of the largest veterans groups in Arizona asked us to re-imagine their “Copper Sword” Award. Who better to collaborate with than Rodney?

Two Build-A-Bear Workshop models for the store.

Build-A-Bear Workshop models by Odd Rodney.

Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society Copper Swords

The Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society was conceived in 1976 by members of the Arizona Chapter of Disabled American Veterans (DAV). The society was a way to recognize not just Arizona veterans, but community members who have made a difference in veterans’ lives. By 1978, the idea of a “Hall of Fame” gained the support of not only the DAV, but Arizona legislators. As it grew, veterans organizations like the Unified Arizona Veterans began to throw support and resources into making the “Veterans Hall of Fame” one of the most prestigious and meaningful awards given in the veteran community. They award veterans and community members for their service at their annual induction ceremony and Patriotic Gala. 

The 2014 recipient of the Copper Sword Award at the Patriotic Gala of the Veterans Hall of Fame holding the frame of the award with the announcer.

The 2014 recipient of the Copper Sword Award. (Source: Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society)

One award that we make for this event is the Copper Sword. This award is given to an individual who hasn’t worn a uniform, but does amazing things for veterans or the community. It represents bravery, leadership, and a warrior who fights for things bigger than their own interests. In past years, Tempe Trophy had custom swords created out of copper, but after our source for custom copper swords no longer existed, we turned to sculptor Odd Rodney. 

To build the new swords, Rodney used a cold cast method where a mold of an existing sword was made and touched up.  It was shaped like a traditional Greek/Roman gladius, which has a lot of historical significance in its symbolism. Clear resin was used to fill the mold and adding copper powder created the authentic color. Connecting a customer’s request with a local artist and friend allowed us to get to the perfect version of the sword.

Sculpting Shrunken Heads

Rodney is known for having pieces that are detailed, original, and so strange that they’re captivating. The company Deadhead Rum asked him to redesign a shrunken head bottle. In an impromptu interview with Odd Rodney, he explained how he worked with Deadhead Rum to develop the bottle. The rum company had an existing bottle design but needed an update. Customers loved the old design. They often kept the bottle as a piece of art, painting it or turning it into the body of a lamp.

With the old design, the name of the rum company was covered when the bottle was painted. As a result, he decided to create a shrunken head where the name was raised. Tempe Trophy helped during this step of the process. We cut acrylic letters spelling “Deadhead” so that they could easily be placed on the shrunken head. This made it so that Odd Rodney didn’t have to tediously cut out clay letters.

Rodney sculpted clay versions of the new design and sent photographs back to Deadhead Rum for approval. Next, a solid version was created from the clay prototype of the bottle. Four copies were made as well as a master that was eventually sent out to a glass manufacturer. The sculpture was scaled to fit the different bottle volumes needed for alcohol. A production mold was made and these iconic bottles were put on shelves world-wide. 

AO Tequila and More from Odd Rodney

Deadhead Rum is one of several liquor brands under Iconic Brands, a company based in California. Their other brand, Apocalypto Tequila, has just as extraordinary bottles as Deadhead. Odd Rodney himself originally sculpted the iconic half-Mayan Man, half-Jaguar bottles. Along with the shrunken head, he previously sculpted a shrunken monkey head for a Dark Chocolate Rum soon to be released by Deadhead.

Odd Rodney sculpting the monkey head bottle.

Odd Rodney sculpting the monkey head bottle.

Tempe Trophy has helped Odd Rodney in other ways as well. We helped engrave the wood piece and plate on a trophy he designed for a LowView Magazine car show. Also, we helped him engrave his name on his original Flink Toe Keychains and an Exotic Elixir bottle for his home tiki bar.

In previous years, Odd Rodney has not only created these eccentric sculptures, but other creative displays as well. His work includes panels in the library, Muppet figurines for the F.A.O. Schwarz toy store in New York, and even Build-A-Bear Workshop displays. This just shows the variety in his work and why he is often able to help Tempe Trophy.

You can see a lot more of Odd Rodney’s work on his website and follow all of his fun projects on his Instagram and Facebook pages. Of course, if you would like to purchase some of the fun pieces that he makes, check out his Etsy store. We would also like to accredit Kamala Kinglsey for the photos she took of Odd Rodney and Deadhead Rum for details in this article. We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the fun and random projects we do at Tempe Trophy!


#Custom #LocalArtistSpotlight

Phoenix Electrical Trade Show: Tempe Trophy’s Industrial Labeling

Anixter Electrical Trade Event

On April 6th, Tempe Trophy participated in your not-so-average electrical trade show. Hosted by the Fortune 500 electrical supply company Anixter, this electrical trade event in Phoenix included a cook-off, a lot of high school students, and fundraising for the IEC Foundation and the IEC of Arizona Apprentice Program.

Tempe Trophy booth setup at the Anixter electrical trade show. All materials are displayed.

Tempe Trophy booth at the Anixter electrical trade show.

You might be wondering what Tempe Trophy was doing at an electrical trade show. First of all, we earned a booth for making the custom trophy for the cooking competition winner. Secondly, we provide services that could aid electrical and industrial companies. Our team can engrave anything from conduit tags to safety labeling to panel tags. Remember, if it has a hard surface, it can be engraved. For emergency needs, let’s say your inspector is coming tomorrow morning, our turnaround time can be the same day if requested. We’re not only experts on custom awards, but also expert industrial engravers

Electricians speaking to Jason and Connie Hood at the Tempe Trophy booth while picking up food.

Electricians speaking to Jason and Connie Hood at the Tempe Trophy booth.

Funny Thing About the Cook-Off

As a booth, we were responsible for providing food for the electrical trade show attendees and to compete in the cook-off. We didn’t have the time commitment to provide a dish of culinary excellence. Instead, we trusted Chick-Fil-A’s Chick-n-Minis, garnished with a slice of cheese, spinach, and a bit of honey mustard, to appeal to our visitors. It did. Apparently, everyone loves Chick-Fil-A, but of course we couldn’t enter the competition, it just wouldn’t be fair (for everyone else). The Tempe Trophy Chick-n-Minis brought quite a lot of electricians and potential customers to our table.

Visitors also loved our sample name tags that sported titles such as “Mr. Awesome, Master Builder” or “Ms. Perfect, Queen of the World.” Tempe Trophy even got the request to make one that says “Mr. Wonderful.” They were a small sample of the labeling we could do. Usually, we make these as a test after calibrating our machines. Who would have thought that Chick-n-Minis and fake name tags would make great marketing materials? Of course, they were aided by our newly designed posters and brochures. Our tables were decorated with panel tags, safety signs, and an assortment of other industrially labeled items. As a result, we caught the eye of many wandering electricians.

Jason hood pointing out different engraved signs on the display to a potential customer at the Tempe Trophy booth.

Jason hood talking to a potential customer at the Tempe Trophy booth.

Brochures, pens, and sample products on top of the table at the Tempe Trophy booth.

Marketing material at the Tempe Trophy booth.

And the Winner is…

Congrats to Fox Valley Electric for winning the Cook-Off and the custom trophy we made. The fun little award is made of acrylic and looks like a standing grill. It’s a similar, smaller version of the “Tailgater of the Year” Trophy we made for the Arizona Cardinals. Since there was a lot of great food competing, seems like this title is well deserved.

5 representatives from Fox Valley Electric holding up the Cook-off Trophy Tempe Trophy made for the Anixter Trade Show.

Fox Valley Electric winners with the Anixter Trade Show Cook-off Trophy we custom made. (Photo Source: IEC Phoenix)

It was a Success!

Having never been to a trade show like this one, it was a new experience. It was almost like a fun fair where we got to promote all of our industrial labeling services to the visiting companies. There was even a “Wire-Off” between electricians from different electrical companies. The Tempe Trophy team had a good time, met friendly people from other suppliers, electrical companies, Anixter, and high school construction teams. My favorite part, though? The freshly cooked food. We are thankful for Anixter for having us participate in their Trade Show!

Electricians are competing in the wire-off, each has a metal box and a lot of qires an

Electricians at the Anixter trade show wire-off.

Golf Tournament for a Charitable Cause

Steve Young’s Desert Classic

Giving to charity and having fun playing in a golf tournament is one of the best combinations. Steve Young, former NFL quarterback, hosted the Desert Classic celebrity golf tournament and family-friendly night to raise money for his own charitable organization, the Forever Young Foundation, as well as the Anasazi Foundation. His charity supports other non-profits and community groups like the Anasazi Foundation that help the needs of troubled underprivileged youth.

Young and his NFL, NBA, and MLB friends played at the Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale. The following evening, there was a family-friendly night at Crackerjax Family Fun and Sports Park.

Steve Young posing next to a player in the Desert Classic Golf Tournament on the golf course.

Steve Young and Desert Classic Golf Tournament attendee at the 2016 tournament. (Source:

Desert Classic Golf Tournament attendees posing with their golf clubs on the golf course.

Desert Classic Golf Tournament attendees at the 2016 tournament. (Source:

Does “Least Sober” Mean Best or Worst at Golf?

For the charitable event’s celebrity golf tournament portion, Tempe Trophy had to come up with a fun little “Least Sober” trophy. The production team had to brainstorm how they could create the best trophy for this idea. Eventually, they decided to put an actual Pabst Blue Ribbon can on a black marble base. This is not the first time we’ve added real-life beer cans into the mix; it has been done for several custom Fantasy Football trophies. Because the fun beer can design had been such a hit previously, it was a no-brainer to implement it into this quirky trophy. On this “Least Sober” trophy, we crushed the can to show its emptiness and attached a “goofy” golfer (who may have had one-too-many) to the top. Of course the trophy turned out awesome! Our team can do any custom project requested, big or small.

Custom trophy for "Least Sober" with golfer figurine on top, crushed PBR can, and black marble base.

Custom trophy for “Least Sober” with golfer figurine on top, crushed PBR can, and black marble base.

Don’t Underestimate Golf Fashion

The tournament is competitive in more ways than just golf scores. The Forever Young Foundation also requested another creative custom trophy for the Desert Classic. This trophy was for the “Best Dressed.” It began with a gold cactus on a black marble stand, but the best part is that the cactus itself was best dressed. The cactus was suited up with a black bow tie and suit cuffs on its arms. Players were required to wear their best golf attire in order to score this custom trophy. A green suit would have been a hit. Our custom trophies are hand-designed and made-to-order for special events like this one. We have a lot of fun doing what we do best!

Custom trophy for "Best Dressed" with a gold cactus figurine with a bow tie and suit cuffs on a black marble base.

Custom trophy for “Best Dressed” for Steve Young’s Desert Classic Golf Tournament

Speaking of Golf Accessories…

We’re not amateurs in the golf department. Previously, we have engraved items such as the divot repair tool and ball marker, golf ball presentation box, golf clubs, as well as other golf trophies. Our divot repair tool is the perfect gift or award for any golf lover. And, what makes it more awesome is that it’s shaped like a pocket knife It’s a trophy that you can take with you (and brag about) on the course.

At Tempe Trophy, we take the the time to perfect the gifts and awards that you need to be made. Although making all kinds of trophies is pretty fun, custom ones allow both you and us to use our creativity more. We take your instruction, together we create a design, then we turn it into whatever award you need to perfect your event.

Custom golf trophy made with a beer can and a figurine of a golf player swinging hi

Custom golf trophy made with a beer can.

Engraved handle on the foot of the golf club.

Engraved golf club on the handle of a golf club


More than Just Bunny Hops at the Easter Keg Hunt

98 KUPD’s Annual Easter Keg Hunt Trophy

With the holiday around the corner, we can’t help but bring up the Easter keg trophy that we custom make for 98 KUPD.

For the annual Big Red Easter Keg Hunt, the radio station staff hides 98 full-size kegs on Good Friday and the week before. The kegs will be hidden throughout the valley for radio listeners to find. Clues will be given out over the course of two days, Thursday and Friday, to help Keg Hunters. Each winner gets to take home goodies such as an Octane Raceway gift card, but most importantly, a Mini Keg Trophy! Oh, and of course, one random winner will receive the grand prize of $5,000.

98 KUPD Easter Keg Hunt Winners

2016 Easter Keg Hunt Winner, Jaime Ramirez (center) (Source)

John Holmberg host of 98 KUPD's Morning Sickness autographing a mini Easter Keg Trophy

John Holmberg, 98 KUPD Morning Show Host (Source)

Kegs from Across the World

How do we make a Easter Keg Trophy, you ask? Well, we start with a fantastic mini keg bought overseas. These sleek mini kegs are from none other than Germany—the Germans do love their beer, don’t they? These sturdy kegs are perfect as the base for our Easter Keg Trophy. Each of the 98 mini kegs are customized with an aluminum plate riveted on to its face. Each plate proudly displays which of the kegs the Easter Keg Hunter has found. This amazing German engineered Keg Trophy is a great addition to any mantle. We highly recommend it to all serious Keg Hunters.

Best of luck to this year’s Keg Hunters!

Can’t Get This Trophy Just Anywhere

2017 Easter Keg Hunt Mini Keg Trophy in bunny ears

2017 Easter Keg Hunt Mini Keg Trophy

The Tempe Trophy team loves doing custom awards. They’re fun and allow us to dig into our creativity to design awards exactly as our customers envision them. Arizona’s Real Rock Station 98KUPD has entrusted us with making these mini keg trophies for them year after year. This is how much commitment we give our clients. We make sure that they are satisfied with every project we’re assigned. When our clients love what we create for them, that’s a success in our books.

#TheresATrophy4That #WeCanEngraveThat #Engraved #EasterKegHunt #98KUPD

Collaboration & Custom Awards

Tempe Trophy and Kornegay Design

Tempe Trophy recently had the honor of collaborating on the creation of a very unique award designed by Larry Kornegay for the Landscape Architecture Foundation Founders Award (2016).  The award is given to organizations who show diligence in sustainable landscaping.

This year’s design resembles a seed still encased in its pod. Larry Kornegay says “The seed and pod approach to this award expresses the need for constant vigilance and nurturing of the environment around us.”

Solid Bronze Seed

Kornegay Design brought to us a solid piece of bronze that had been custom-cast and patinated, and asked us to use our Sand Carving technique to deeply etch the stone as they had envisioned. The solid piece of bronze we were served was quite heavy – we’re talking roughly ten pounds. And, once our part of the process was complete, the carved stone encasement (pod) was added.

LAF Founders' Award 2016

LAF Founders’ Award 2016

Hopefully the American Society of Landscape Architects, the winner of this year’s prestigious award, sent a strong individual up to the stage to accept the award! Mass aside, the end result was stately, elegant, and presented with pride at the LAF banquet this past spring.

Custom Projects

Whether we’re just another hand-in-the-pot to help put the final touches on an epic creation like this one, or we get the pleasure of seeing an idea through from vision board to full production, our number one goal is to make it perfect. Every time. We’ve built a business based on customer service for a reason – we want to make sure that the product our customer envisions is the product we help create.


#TempeTrophy #Custom #Awards #Bronze

Fantasy Football & The Imitation Game

Imitation n. highest form of flattery Crop

Here at Tempe Trophy we like to think of ourselves as the ultimate trend setters when it comes to custom trophies and personalized gifts. Little did we know that we actually are. Turns out that little ole’ Tempe Trophy is being closely watched, and copied, by some big-time companies! And, this is not the first time we’ve dealt with imitation. Who would’ve thunk it?! Who would have imagined that our mom-n-pop shop (literally owned and operated by a mom and pop) could garnish so much attention?

Us vs. Them - It's all about the attention to detail...

THEIR Armchair Quarterback.

Us vs. Them - It's all about the attention to detail...

OUR Golden Armchair Quarterback – Check out our hand-patina detail…

What A Rip-off

We were blown away when we recently ran an internet search on one of our Fantasy Football Trophies, and discovered that our original Golden Armchair Quarterback Trophy was no longer so original. That’s right; after a few years of Tempe Trophy crafting and selling this popular FFL trophy, some big online trophy depot decided to take the SAME trophy, use LESS DETAIL in the finish and the placard design, use an eerily similar description as ours, and OF COURSE minimally undercut us on the price.

We know that we offer a better-quality product that is designed exactly as our customers specify, and most times finished with personalized touches by hand (as opposed to being finished on some factory conveyor belt in Timbuktu). Being the small, homegrown business that we are, people should inherently feel more encouraged to purchase our products, which are always made with love and attention-to-detail. But, now that these major internet corporations are pulling out their big guns by selling lower-caliber merchandise at nearly the same price, we feel so inclined as to climb up our little mom-n-pop soapbox, and set the record straight!  In this case, our Fantasy Football League customers may think that they are getting the same Golden Armchair Quarterback Trophy at a discounted price from these big guys, but they so are not!

An Industry Leader; formerly known as the Awards and Recognition Association

The APA, an industry leader, honors businesses who offer quality products and great customer service

Positive Recognition

Here’s the thing – we know we’re good because our clients tell us we’re good! They continuously give us positive feedback on our work. Plus, we have several nominations and awards to prove just how great we are. The international trade group that governs our industry, the Awards and Personalization Association (formerly the Awards and Recognition Association), not only nominated us in 2011 as their International Small Business Retailer of the Year, but their affiliate also recognized us in a magazine publication for our outstanding customer service. In addition, they follow us on Twitter and other social media outlets.

We are excited to maintain a rapidly growing social media platform. With Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook followers including industry leaders and corporate vendors, we have really been launched into the limelight. No wonder we have imitators popping up all over the web!

The Bottom Line

Just as we study the bottom line of our financial statement to determine a profit or loss, we must examine what is happening here. Well… we’ve mulled it over and have decided that this is a gain. We have once again been imitated, and for now we feel no threat. We feel flattered. After all, we make and sell creations developed from the heart of a small business, with personal detail added to industry leading products. We continue to drive forward with an unwavering will to compete, and we succeed. We’ll just continue to smile and say, “Often imitated… but NEVER duplicated!”

#TempeTrophy #Engravablez #FantasyFootball #Trophy #Imitation

Tempe Trophy's Golden Armchair Quarterback Fantasy Football Trophy

Tempe Trophy’s Golden Armchair Quarterback Fantasy Football Trophy


#TempeTrophy #Football #FFL #FantasyFootball

The Mack Daddy of All Projects

The team here at Tempe Trophy is well-known for developing unique products on a daily basis. Every project that we complete is one-of-a-kind. That’s the business of custom awards and gifts; a creative platform which we have fully-embraced. Unique products are what we know, and we were recently given the Mack Daddy of all projects.

Mack Truck Book Ends

Mack Truck Book Ends

One of the coolest tasks we’ve been handed lately was for bookends. However, the assignment didn’t start with bookends in mind. Actually, it all started with the opportunity to transform hood ornaments from one of the biggest and baddest truck companies around, into a commanding office display. Our client knew of our unique forte, and allowed our creative juices to flow. The end product resulted in some pretty sweet bookends.

Our customer came to us in need of an impressive gift for his employer; the boss of a shipping company, who only buys Mack products – Mack Trucks®, that is.

Mack Titan - Image courtesy of

Mack Titan – Image courtesy of

You know Mack Trucks. They’re one of the largest producers of heavy-duty Class 8 trucks, engines and transmissions in North America. In fact, you probably pass one of their haulers every time you’re on the highway. And, all of the parents out there should recognize the Mack brand immediately – the Disney-Pixar series “Cars” features a loveable character named Mack. He is Lightening McQueen’s long-haul driver and a Mack Truck. And, as the “Official Hauler of NASCAR”, the brand not only translates well into an admirable animated series about cars, but has become largely recognizable by its own accord.

Mack from Pixar's "Cars" on tour - Image courtesy of

Mack from Pixar’s “Cars” on tour – Image courtesy of

So, when we were asked to create a striking gift with the bulldog baubles, we knew we needed to create something stately. The obvious choice was to attach the hardware to some elegant marble and forge some refined bookends. We mounted the stout gold and silver bulldogs to our pure onyx marble, added a couple of ornate marble books, and completed one of our most distinct products to-date. Projects like this one really drive us. Get it? Mack Trucks… drive us… ha ha ha!

100% Mack-made trucks display a golden bulldog hood ornament

100% Mack-made trucks display a golden bulldog hood ornament

A little-known fact about Mack Bulldog hood ornaments: A gold-colored figurine affixed to the hood of a truck shows that that truck is comprised entirely of Mack products. That particular truck is a 100% Mack-made machine. Now, you have another fun game to play on your next road trip! It’s called “Spot the REAL Mack Daddy.” You’re welcome.

And of course if you have a custom project in mind tell us about it so we can make it a reality!



#TempeTrophy #EngravableZ #CustomAwards #MackTrucks

Custom Awards For QT

Custom Bottle Opener Collage

Custom Bottle Opener Collage

At Tempe Trophy we take our work pretty serious. But, we’ve got to admit that the business of creating custom awards and gifts is pretty fun. So recently, when our awesome friends at QuikTrip approached us about a few new projects, we made it our business to have some serious fun.

When QT wanted a vintage bottle opener, we partnered with the company that created the original Coca-Cola bottle opener, and we got down to some serious (fun) business. Using the Starr “X” Stationary Bottle Opener, we created a steel prototype with ‘QuikTrip’ embossed across the face, and enveloped the entire piece in an antiqued finish. We also constructed a custom store award for them, which continuously circulates between the top performing locations. But, one of our favorite projects to-date was presented and completed in less than 48 hours; The QT Cup Award.

Custom QT Store Award

Custom QuikTrip Store Award

Our buddies from QuikTrip stopped by our shop on Baseline Road a couple of days before the local stores’ 1st Annual Year End Party. They handed us one of their iconic cups and asked us to create an epic award out of it. You all know this cup – it’s the one you fill with your choice of crushed or cubed ice, flavored syrups, and any combination of their chilled-to-a-perfect-34-degrees beverage options. Next time you’re sipping on your favorite QT concoction, think about this fun fact; QuikTrip was the first retailer to offer self-serve fountain drinks. No wonder they’ve perfected the art of ice cold beverage creations! Well, when we were handed the quintessential cup and given some creative freedom, we had the opportunity to perfect the art of custom corporate award development.

That day, we used one of our team member’s favorite QT creations as inspiration. It goes like this:

The iconic QuikTrip refillable cup, with Tempe Trophy's our cherry Dr. Pepper creation

Custom QT Cup Award: The iconic QuikTrip refillable cup, filled with Tempe Trophy’s cherry Dr. Pepper creation

  1. Fill cup with ice cubes.
  2.  Dispense 8 seconds’ worth of cherry syrup
  3. Flood cup almost to the top with Dr. Pepper
  4. Hit it one more time with cherry syrup, for good measure
  5. Grab QT straw and stir, don’t shake (sorry, James Bond)
  6. Drink up!

We did. Our cherry syrup Dr. Pepper was half empty by the time we mounted it to the elegant black base and affixed the customized plaque. But before all that happened, we had to build our beverage.

Acrylic ice cube creation

Tempe Trophy’s acrylic ice cube creation

Our self-serve fountain drink began by filling the cup with hand-crafted ice cubes. We created these by blasting chunks of clear acrylic with a blow torch in order to achieve a melted cube effect. Our cubes were then placed in the cup in front of a silver cylinder used to refract light and create a glistening effect like the ice in your favorite QT beverage.

For the cherry flavored Dr. Pepper liquid, we used our own resin and oil paint combo in order to fabricate a material that would flow, yet dry to a solid. And, we were able to develop the perfect color. We then manipulated the material to surround our acrylic ice cubes and fill the red straw. The exterior of the cup was marked with a couple of droplets – the kind that happen when you’re moving a little too fast and not all of your favorite fountain drink makes it into your mouth. Thank goodness for refills!

Spilled Dr. Pepper gag gift, made using the same resin developed for the QT Cup Award

Spilled Dr. Pepper gag gift, made using the same resin developed for the QT Cup Award

"Dr Pepper" drip on QT Cup Award

“Dr Pepper” drip on QT Cup Award

We remember the early days of refills fondly. When our neighborhood QT had its Grand Opening, we would make several trips a day to refill our favorite reusable cup. QuikTrip just keeps creating great memories for the gang here at Tempe Trophy.

Having the opportunity to show off our creativity, and making it happen in such a short window of time was a pretty amazing experience. Thanks for all of the nostalgic moments, QT!


#TempeTrophy #EngravableZ #CustomAwards

Bringing Home the Oscar

So you want to know the how to bring home an Oscar. Well, I don’t know. But I do know the people that make them. The Oscar was a topic of conversation at my most recent visit with RS Owens, one of the manufactures that we work with. They also happen to make the Oscar. Of course, while there I couldn’t resist having a little fun. I pulled out my Lego astronaut and snapped this fun photo.

An Oscar with a Lego astronaut

My Lego Astronaut next to a real Oscar (Image of Matt Damon, photographer Aidan Monaghan)


Like many people that loved the movie The Martian with Matt Damon, I was still at least happy for Leonard Dicaprio and the other winners. But enough about that, let’s talk about the Trophies!

We have worked with RS Owens for more than two decades now, and I was surprised at how big and heavy that the Oscar is. Weighing in at 8.5 pounds, it feels good in your hand. It’s tall, at 13.5 inches it towers over my little lego guy. The Oscar is hand cast and finished with 24-carat gold. Leaving the luck winner with some awesome shelf candy.

Form the same meeting I got to take a look at some of the beautiful art glass pieces that the produce. Now they don’t let us order the Oscar, but I am a big fan of their glass. We always try to keep at least a few pieces in our showroom. If you want to see their full offering check out RS Owens. If you fall in love with a piece, let us know what you need us to engrave on it and we will make it happen.

Below is a picture of an Art Grass Award that I real like. The glass portion comes from artist Orfeo Quagliata. He is a skilled artist, designer and founder of Phuze Glassworks in Mexico City, Mexico.

Art Glass Award

Liquid Sapphire Pyramid Art Glass Award

I love the blues and the way that light filters through it. Orfeo, the artist describes it as “boiled glass”. His work explores color, light, and geometry bringing all of these elements together in a dramatic fusion of color. It’s a great piece.

Of course, the other fun thing about this Oscar experience was casting the part of our Lego astronaut. Bellow you can see the different iterations of The Martian that we put together.

Lego auditions for The Martiann

All of the Lego figures that we cannibalized to create our Lego Martian (Right, photographer Aidan Monaghan. Center, photographer Me. Left , photographer Kurt Isarienko)

#TempeTrophy #Lego #TheMartian #Oscar #EngravableZ #ArtGlass