GPI is a unique collective, an organization comprised of companies who meet at the GPI’s roots are founded in the ancient history of etching — making prints from a metal plate into which a design has been created using acid. The metal, usually copper, is coated with an acid-resistant substance called the “ground,” and then the design is drawn into it with a sharp tool. The copper plate is then exposed to an acid that eats away the areas that are not protected by the ground, creating a pattern that can hold ink. When the etched plate is applied to damp paper, the design transfers to the paper, making a print.

Etching has been used throughout history in everything from art and custom engraving to creating designs for armor. Identifying items has come a long way, and modern applications for product labeling are broad and far-reaching. Almost everything you see throughout the course of a regular day has some kind of identification or product label relevant to our association’s member companies.

From the ID label on your computer to emergency exits, from holiday cards to ticket machines, GPI member companies’ influence can be seen — and felt — throughout the world.


GPI was founded as the Metal Etching & Fabricating Association (MEFA).

With the advent of new materials, processes, products, and technologies, we changed our name to the National Association of Nameplate Manufacturers, Inc. (NAME).

The association adopted a new name: The National Association of Graphic and Product Identification Manufacturers, Inc. (GPI).

The Future
GPI continually strengthens our member companies by fostering partnerships and strengthening relationships within the leading worldwide organization.