Credit: Bryan Haraway / Getty Images

PhotoCrete created personalized concrete plaques for each of 2007's Top Influencers.

This year, THE CONCRETE PRODUCER and CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION honored our Top Influencers at a World of Concrete reception with awards symbolizing the industry they so effectively promote. Each received a photo-engraved, precast concrete plaque made by Photo-Crete USA.

The specialty precast company in Burleson, Texas, creates photographic precast artwork, ranging from 9x13-inch plaques to panels of almost any size.

The design team first makes a screen from a digitally enhanced image, then transfers it to plastic film through a proprietary chemical process. The film is placed on the concrete formwork, concrete is poured, and a surface retarder delays formation where the image is located.

Aggregates are an important part of the picture (literally). The chemical process exposes colored crushed stone on the concrete's surface, which forms the image. Finally, the panel is power-washed, and the photo pixels emerge. “These images will last as long as the concrete,” says president Larry Vines. A high-performance mix with synthetic fiber gives the panels strength and durability.

Clients range from proud grandparents who want their grandchildren's faces set in stone, to cities with Main Street programs to preserve their history with memorials and special walkways. PhotoCrete also produced an artistic panel of Edward Muybridge's “Bricklayer in Motion” for the Liquid Stone exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Visit to see examples of PhotoCrete's work.