Trying to engrave old photographs in softwood

Hi there!

I’m currently working on a project for my local town. It involves making streetname signs in the style of WWII era. Along with the streetname i need to engrave some text and also a photograph. The texts is not a problem because those are just vectors.

The problem is that i have a bunch of old pixelated photos that need to look decent-ish. I’ve tried a bunch of effects in image software) but can’t get any decent results.

If anyone could give me some tips or feedback please let me know! I’ll include some images to show you what i’m dealing with.



Hmmmm, those are pretty blurry, you might have issues.

Anyway, there are a number of useful tutorials on optimizing photos for laser engraving in the Designing For Laser section of this link:

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Try using better image software like GIMP, which is free. I’m sure there are people who will have far better suggestions, but I’d start by playing with the contrast and and give “sharpen” a try.

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Is this more like what you would like… ae57b7cc01a0a32f5a24610053fc4fdb56fb8322_1_666x500%20copy1


thanks! i’ll give it a look

Can i ask how you achieved this ? thanks!

Try searching the forums for “photo engraving” or “preparing photo,” etc. There are a lot of good threads about this. Here’s one that might be helpful: Prepare photo for engraving tutorial

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I used a photo filter program called “OnOne”… very good filters to enhance photos, but a bit pricey but good. I didn’t take it all the way to illustrator for an actual engrave file… but will be glad to do it on this one, if you like.

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Thanks community! Here’s another tutorial using a free program:

I’m going to leave this open a while in case there are more suggestions


It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email