In real estate, the the three most important factors are location, location, location. In tap handle design, they are contrast, contrast, contrast. When designing your handle, you want to make sure potential customers can easily read/see whatever it is you are putting on the handle. The easiest way to accomplish this is with contrast. Dark print on a light background or light print on a dark background is how you will best achieve this. Look at the examples below and see what works and what doesn't.
A very popular feature among breweries recently has been laser engraved wood. Sounds great, right? In theory, you get an engraved, recessed look along with a highly detailed darker area. The problem is that oftentimes, the laser engraving just isn't dark enough to get good, solid contrast, especially if you use a light or even dark brown wood. Consistency of the darkness will also vary from piece to piece depending on the character of the wood.
Here at Hoptown Handles, we have found that we can achieve great contrast with our UV printer which allows us to print in full-color with photo quality results. If you're really looking for that burned-in, rustic look, we can order a custom wood brand and burn your logo right into the handle and get a really nice, dark burn.