I fit the design to the board I had available. When I found it, I then created a design in CorelDraw using the RHZ services logo. I wanted something where I could carve a motto for them around the edge. Since this is my first 'production' carving work, I didn't want to bite off too much of a carving task, so I opted for a simple relief in the middle, just lowering the background from the logo and letters of the company name and establishment date, with a motto cut in Roman style around the edges.
For the motto, I wanted something in a classical language, since Holly was a grad school archaeologist for several years, and learned Latin and classical Greek. I don't speak Latin, so I sought out some existing mottos and Latin quotes for inspiration. The one purportedly said by Hannibal to his generals as he admonished them to cross the Alps and attack Rome seemed very appropriate to Russ and Holly's company. "Aut viam inveniam aut faciam," he was supposed to have said, or "I will find a way, or make one." In reality, he probably didn't say it in Latin. His army was multi-ethnic and multi-lingual, although his core army and command staff was Punic. He probably spoke in either Punic or Greek. No matter, the message is the key . . either find a way to accomplish something, or figure out a way to make it happen. It's often used by engineering schools, particularly military engineering schools as a motto. And Holly and Russ' method to approach customer care often follows this edict. The only change I made was to make it plural . . 'aut viam inveniemus aut faciemus', "We will find a way, or make one." I thought it was nice.
After playing around with the central spacing, I ended up with a 'frieze' width of a bit more than an inch in width, which allowed lettering of about 7/8" in height. Setting the size and the phrase in Corel, I just flowed the words around the top three quarters of the plaque, moving things slightly so none of the words broke around a corner.
I had intended to put a small scroll pattern or perhaps an acanthus leaf on the bottom edge, but alas, I ran out of time. I don't think it looks too bare with just a blank area there.
As for the background, as I mentioned in the letter I gave them with the plaque, I decided I liked the rough cut finish of the 'ground' as I did it. I smoothed the ground a bit around the logo graphic, but left it mostly rough on the right side of the design. This was partially a practical matter, as I didn't have much time remaining to get the plaque shipped to them by Christmas, but it was also a case of liking the textured background added to the overall look. If I had taken the time to smooth the ground, I think the whole plaque would have become very bland, and especially the lack of a design in the bottom frieze area would have been glaring.