Maker guidelines | what3words

Maker guidelines

Makers and manufacturers around the world are producing signs, merchandise and shop products with what3words. Design with what3words addresses in your own brand style with the tips below.

Maker Guidlines

The basics

A what3words address should always begin with three forward slashes with no spaces, followed by the three words in lowercase, each separated by a dot with no spaces. For example ///table.lamp.spoon

The basics

Inline –

///word.word.word helps users recognise what3words addresses and is therefore preferred.

Stacked –

If the above format is not an option, you could stack the words.

Legal –

A what3words address is free to use on your products. Please check the Legal page for details.

Maker tips

Keep it real

Keep it real

Prototype using an actual what3words address address averaging 23 characters – the max is 64. Get permission when sharing a real address.

Keep it simple

Keep it simple

what3words addresses on products should be simple type that’s legible and balanced with your design.

Be practical

Be practical

There is no minimum or maximum size. Context and legibility are key. A what3words address may be a small hallmark on jewellery or a 10m billboard.

Typeface

We recommend a regular, lower-case, sans-serif typeface.

Source Sans Pro

We use Source Sans Pro. It is a clear sans-serif that can be downloaded for free. It works particularly well when engraving and printing. Use a regular stroke if we are concerned about legibility because of contrast or size limitations.

https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Source+Sans+Pro

Copied

https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Source+Sans+Pro

Stamping and Embossing

If you are hand stamping, embossing or foil blocking use one of your existing lowercase, sans-serif typefaces. If you do not have this, you may use your default typeface, but please never remove the /// and the two dots.

Materials

We love experimenting with materials and would consider anything as long as it feels appropriate and preferably sustainable. There are still some materials that work better than others. See below for a brief overview.

Materials

Metals

Great for an industrial feel, but best to use a brushed or satin finish if you ever want users to scan a what3words address using the free what3words app. Laser-engraved aluminium usually looks etched.

Aluminium

Aluminum

Used because it’s lightweight, durable and can be tinted.

Copper

Copper

A popular material, we offer this option when we can.

Nickel, silver, steel

Nickel, silver, steel

Reserved for small details and objects.

Wood

Great for a light and friendly appeal. Avoid wood with a strong grain, especially when engraving or printing what3words addresses.

Plywood

Plywood

Easy and accessible.

Bamboo

Bamboo

Light-weight and renewable.

Natural oak

Natural oak

Soft feel – can have a heavy grain.

Great for strong design details and warmth. The stronger grain will interfere with your efforts to display a what3words address. Please keep this in mind when you design.

Mango

Mango

For a warmer look.

Light walnut

Light walnut

For more premium objects.

Dark Walnut

Dark Walnut

For more premium objects.

Paper

Ideally everything is recycled and recyclable, but if this is not possible within your supply chain, FSC-certified should be. We select paper stock for its high bulk, bright or slightly cream shade of white and soft or textured surface. We do not use gloss paper and only use laminates (velvet or matt) where there is a real need.

Uncoated

Uncoated

We love uncoated paper and will use it when we can. Image reproduction is key though – choose what works for your design and chosen imagery.

Silk

Silk

A reliable second option and a favourite for striking photography.

Composite plastics

At what3words we avoid single-use plastics, but allow for composite plastics when making long-lasting engraved products that need to be extremely durable and weatherproof. They are available in bright colours and show a nice sharp contrast between the engraved 3 word address and background. They can also be easily controlled in a wider supply chain as popular suppliers like Trotec and Rowmark have an extensive global network.

Colour

Colour

Available in primary colours mostly. Check your local supplier to see what is available to you.

Metallic

Metallic

A versatile classic, but still second best to a real aluminum. It performs well when engraving fine details on durable signs.

Textiles

Cotton (organic)

Cotton (organic)

We love cotton and will work very hard to make sure this is fairtrade and organic certified.

Felt

Felt

Versatile and very on brand. If you can get your hands on felt made from R-PET fibre – please use this.

Leather

Leather

We source from traditional tanneries and use small amounts on durable objects only. Please also consider vegan leather.

Colour

We like bright colours and variety. Ask us a question if you need a second opinion and do use the what3words red, PMS 186, for small details and objects.

Color

what3words brand colours

Primary

186
c10 m100 y80 k0
#E11F26

Secondary

540
c100 m60 y20 k50
#0A3049

Sustainability

Sustainability

We care about our planet and we trust you do too. Please work with us to produce and source locally with sustainable materials as much as you can.

A what3words address is often for life. UV print, paint, engrave or stamp on durable materials when you can. Use acid-free archival papers for premium bespoke prints.

Always try to reduce waste and CO2 emissions. We are committed to reducing single use plastics so please avoid using cling film, bubble wrap and foam when you can. We realise there are still significant challenges in every supply chain, but every bit helps. Please reduce, reuse and recycle materials.

Finally, to us it is incredibly important that no people involved in any production supply chain are exploited in any way. We rely on you to help us honour this.

Back to top