Elegant Engraved Macs Inspire Study, Thwart Thefts | Cult of Mac

Elegant Engraved Macs Inspire Study, Thwart Thefts


An engraved Mac with matching case. @Joe Mansfield.
An engraved Mac with matching case. @Joe Mansfield.

Joe Mansfield, whose trade is laser customizing books, engraved 550 MacBook Pros for the University of Oregon’s new Center for Student Athletes.

A custom version of the university’s “O” logo  was also etched into entry mats, lockers and laptop cases to great effect. Though computers are the backbones of study centers, they usually end up looking out of place, here they’re an integral part of the decor.

The only problem: who wants to hit the field or gym when you can hang out at the “Taj Mahal of academic services?”

Cult of Mac talked to engraver extraordinaire Mansfield about how he got started, an upcoming iPhone case and the weirdest thing he’s ever been asked to etch.

Cult of Mac: How did the project come about? Were the computer engravings for aesthetics or security?

Joe Mansfield: The 550 laptops were gifted to the University of Oregon by Nike (Phil Knight).

I pitched the idea of branding the laptops with laser engraving both for aesthetic and security reasons. The laptops have a unique identifier number engraved on the underside for inventory purposes.

My college friend Gabe Bledsoe developed the “O” pattern design which encircles the Apple logo.

Entry mats for the study center with engraved with the "O" logo. @Joe Mansfield.

CoM: About how long does it take to engrave a computer and what does it cost?

: The cost and engraving time depends on artwork coverage and quantity. I do not have a standard price and quote based on specifics.

Let’s just say dozens of movies were watched while feeding the laser laptops.

CoM: How did the project come about?

JM: I pitched it to Nike. I also designed/developed/manufactured custom laptop cases with the same “O” pattern engraved on the case. These were manufactured locally.

CoM: any similar projects in the works?

JM: I’m currently developing a locally-made bamboo iPhone case and will offer custom engravings on those.

My ongoing project, engrave your book, provides a steady source of work and inspiration.

CoM: How did you get started engraving?

JM: I’ve always known I would run my own business. After graduating with a digital arts degree and working in production design for a year, I purchased a small laser and dove in headfirst.
For me, It’s the perfect fusion of art, business, design and technology.

CoM: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever engraved?

JM: Fingernails.

CoM: PC or Mac?

JM: For file creation I use my trusty 15″ Powerbook, but my lasers are driven by PCs.


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