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5 Ways to Make Custom Lapel Pins Pop

Written on March 22, 2019 at 4:50 pm, by

Everyone wants their custom lapel pins to “pop.” To have that visual punch to make a custom pin more noticeable or more interesting. From bright colors and shining metals, we offer thousands of design options so clients can design the most striking pins. However, in our experience, many clients aren’t aware of our most impressive options for adding a unique touch to their custom lapel pins.

Let’s change that! We’ve gathered five unique customizations you can use to add visual “pop” in nearly every design.

What is “Pop?”

“Pop” is the special element of a custom design that makes it stand out as visually interesting and attractive. For custom lapel pins pop can take the form of an eye-catching color scheme, a unique design based on popular culture or just a unique touch that sets it apart from other pins. In essence, pop is a core part of what makes a design attractive and interesting.

Exactly how you make your design pop is going to differ widely with every pin design but trying one of these unique customizations can add a unique visual touch to your pin that’ll make it really stand out.


Glitter Paint Your Custom Pins

One of the most popular ways to add spark to a pin, glitter paint makes even a plain design immediately eye-catching, flashy, and most importantly, it’s all the rage among pin collectors. It’s best to add it to details taking up a large area such as a design’s background or body to better contrast with the surrounding details of the pin.

Design Tip: While glitter paint can look great on a soft enamel pin, it also gives it a flaky feel to the physical pin. If you plan to add glitter paint to a pin, go for a hard enamel pin to seal the surface and give it a smooth sparkling finish.

Using Rainbow Plating

Vivid at a glance, rainbow plated pins use anodized metal that radiates different colors when it turns or shifts. The look of a rainbow plated pin is a lot like a holographic trading card and just as popular. Rainbow plating is especially striking for designs incorporating a silhouette or a lot of empty space to best show off the changing colors.

Design Tip: You can make a striking and colorful pin without any paint enamel paint when going with rainbow plating. But, if you want to add some colored details or text, use strong neutral colors like black or white to better contrast with the anodized metal.

Spinner Pins

Most popular with baseball trading pins, spinner pins are made by attaching two pins with a rivet allowing it to spin freely. Spinner pins open the door to creative designs you couldn’t make with a static pin and the novelty of a moving pin is not to be understated.

Design Tip: Spinner pins have motion inherent to their design imagine scenes of movement and action when thinking of a design. Instead of tacking on a moving part to a random aspect of static design, plan to involve the movement from the start of the design.

Danglers

Danglers attach a smaller piece of metal to a pin design much like a small keychain. They can be cut-to-shape to complement your central design. The addition makes your design pop by adding both movement to the pin that you can take advantage of to add text that people will immediately notice. One use we’ve noticed with clients is to order a pin one year and simply order danglers to decorate the pin each year after that to highlight their years of service at an organization or business.

Design Tip: A dangler bit is a great place to add an event’s year or a person’s name if you want to personalize a pin to a specific date or event. If you want to go all-in you can actually design a pin to feature multiple danglers with different designs on each.

Magnetic Pin Backing

Most pins tend to, well, pin onto clothes or surfaces for display. Magnetic backing instead lets you keep it attached without poking holes into your clothes. Great for keeping your stuff in good condition but you’re probably asking, “how does this add pop?”

Simple. Part of what makes a pin appealing is the ability to wear or display them on different surfaces. With magnetic backing, you can wear a pin not only clothes and fabric, but also for display on fridges, laptops shelves, and any magnetic metal surface. A magnet back gives your pin designs a much bigger selection of options for display and presentation.

Design Tip: One of the more creative uses for magnetic backing is to incorporate it into your design. You can hide a message or design piece behind a detachable pin bit that’s magnetically attached and detach it for show and tell.


Your Custom Lapel Pins

Custom pins are all about designing and making it your own but everyone wants a pin that’s attractive and eye-catching. Incorporating one or more these options immediately gives most designs an extra pop, but like any other customization, the most effective way to build a design to have an idea of what custom additions you want to add from the onset so they can be incorporated into the core of your design.

At All About Pins, we work with customers each day who want to take their unique spin on designs and different presentations, let us help you find the best choice for your custom pins. Want to learn more about your design options? Read more of our articles for making your custom pins unique and special:

Your Guide to Crowdfunding Custom Pins

Written on March 11, 2019 at 9:32 pm, by

Cheaper than shirts, widely-appealing and easy to ship, custom pins are one of the most popular items on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

Not only does crowdfunding custom pins help individual pin designers tackle the startup fees, its an invaluable tool for promoting original designs and projects. However, less than 50 percent of all art projects are successfully funded often due to poor execution or overly ambitious goals. So how do you reach your goals and add your custom pins to the success stories? AllAboutPins has your back with this guide exploring basic pin design and pre-planning, as well as following up on a crowdfunding campaign as you gain traction.

Adapting Your Designs as a Pin

Before launching a campaign, you need to develop pin designs that look good on paper and wears well as a pin. Not every great art piece is going to be a great pin design without working around the physcial limitations of pin manufacturing. The biggest challenges you’ll come across at this stage are the size limits and options for adding color onto a pin.

To take your design from the drawing board to the final pin design try to follow these guidelines:

  • Use solid colors only: Pin designs should only be in solid colors, enamel paint is unable to do transparent colors or gradients.
  • Simpler is Better for Smaller: We cannot stress this one enough. Most pin orders are no larger than 2” and tend toward 1” or 1.25”. That’s a tiny display surface and complicated designs with fine details will lose those detail when produced as a pin.
  • Clear Linework: Make sure to have clear connecting lines throughout your design because each piece of linework will become a metal die line separating the color-filled areas on the final pin.
  • Make More Than One Design: We’ll talk more on this later but you should have more than a single design ready whether it be the same design in multiple color palettes or multiple designs following an overall theme, people like to see a variety of choices and designs.

Setting Up Your Project for Success

A lot of project leaders trip up at this point believing a good pin design or idea will sell itself. However, designing your pins was just the first step, now it’s time to lay the groundwork for success by outlining your goals and finding the best way to put your pin designs in the best light. A campaign’s success starts in the planning stages and you should think clearly about every aspect of your campaign’s goals and  Following these five guidelines will help ensure your custom pin campaign succeeds.

Know Your Costs and Set Strategic Goals

Knowing how much you need and where to set your goals is an important step to not just custom pins but any crowdfunding campaign. To help get started, remember, we give all clients a free quote for their projected order when they contact us. Don’t forget about calculating distribution on your end as well as our production quote especially if you need to send them to international backers. Thankfully, many crowdfunding platforms have options for handling shipping costs and distribution logistics.

Try setting your goal as low as you can manage, then scaling up with stretch goals once you reach the initial goal. This is especially important if you’re using an all or nothing platform like Kickstarter where your project receives no funding at all if you fail to reach a lofty goal. For a collection of custom pins, try not to set an initial goal exceeding $1500 and aim to keep your goal around $350 to $1000. By keeping your overall goals within this range you can more quickly reach your initial goals before considering more ambitious plans as stretch goals.

Prepare high-quality art of your pins as pins not just sketches

Sketchbooks and canvases are great for getting your ideas down and literally hand-crafting a design, but when it comes down to a design you plan to promote for a pin project, you need a crisp digital art proof.

Not only does it look more polished and professional for presentation but digital proofs are often much closer to how the final product looks than a hand-drawn draft. If you need help with this part, remember, we offer free art proofs of your designs as part of getting a free quote for a project. The art proofs we provide free with each quote are optimized to fit into a template of a pin’s design and give you a clear idea of the final product.

Give potential backers options but don’t get too ambitious

While there are many examples of custom pin campaigns that reached their goals for a single design, the most successful crowdfunding campaigns for custom pins are overwhelmingly collections or sets of custom pins following a theme. People love choices and making your designs part of series or set gives backers options from picking their favorites from or collecting a whole.

However, remember each pin design constitutes a separate order and increases the cost of production and your campaign’s goals, accordingly. To keep your goals low for a big collection of pins try financing part of a set, say one to three designs you’re confident will be most popular, before opening up the rest of your designs as stretch goals.

Make Your Timeline

One of the biggest factors in maintaining trust and confidence is setting realistic timelines for your pins. Your backers expect you to be on time with your deliverables and it’s essential to consider possible delays ahead of time and fit them into your timetable.

If you’ve already contacted AllAboutPins for a free quote and developed a final art proof of your project, then you’ve already shaved a few days off. However, you should still expect to take at least two to three weeks for us to produce your order and then a couple of days to deliver your pins to your address.

Setting Reward Tiers

If you’re making a list of potential backer perks for your pin campaign, one of your rewards will likely be getting a physical pin. In fact, many of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns for custom pins have solely used their own pins as their awards for backer pledges, this includes the Tiny Pantheon campaign on Kickstarter which overshoot its goal over 40 times over and the Hockey Pride Pins on Indiegogo, which reached 345 percent of its funding goals.

On average, we’ve noticed successful pin campaigns tend to price backer tiers for custom pins around $8 to $15 but you should take into account the added cost of any special customizations or personal touches for your own project. However, it’s important to give your backers multiple options for supporting the campaign ranging from low-cost backer tiers without rewards to modest reward tiers that may offer alternative rewards such as art prints or stickers of your pin designs. It’s even easier to diversify reward tiers when you have more designs on hand, by creating backer tiers that award multiple pins or give option.

Prepare to Promote Your Pins Before, During and After Your Campaign

Fundly, a crowdfunding platform launched in 2009, found campaigns on their siteare 126 percent more likely to succeed when their organizers update supporters and successful campaigns had organizers update their backers at least four times over the course of the project. You should be prepared to do the same and transparently communicate with your supporters before, during and after your campaign. If you’re an established artist or brand with a following, reach out to own network! Your campaign should not be a surprise and you should be drumming up interest in your pin designs long before.

Prepare to get the word out about your pins on social media, YouTube or any other major platform you have a presence on. If your designs would be interesting to a niche community or fandom, pitch those communities on their own social platforms such as Reddit or Tumblr (but don’t spam them) those people are going to be your target audience. Finally, once you’ve done it, reached your goals and fulfilled your promises. Keep in contact with your supporters! You’ve just created a small community of people who know they can depend on you to keep your promises and develop a product they’d be interested in and that’s marketing gold.

Helping Reach Your Funding Goals

Whether you’re an experienced artist or new to the world of design and e-commerce, AllAboutPins is all about supporting your endeavors. As a producer of high-quality pins for over a decade, we’ve worked with clients from every background and with nearly every conceivable idea.

Ready to take your designs public? Get started with a free quote!

Understanding Volunteer Motivation and Giving Impactful Recognition

Written on February 26, 2019 at 5:46 pm, by

Understanding Volunteer Motivation

Working as a nonprofit,  a passionate force of volunteers and partners form the backbone of your efforts. Volunteers donate their time and energy doing the groundwork that moves a cause forward. Showing appreciation isn’t just gracious, it’s essential for maintaining a healthy organization and reaching its goals.

Small gestures like personal thank you notes or throwing a big banquet can be great for morale and personal recognition but these gestures ring hollow if not backed by an understanding of what moves your volunteers. Making an effort to recognize your volunteers, not just as a workforce but as individuals who believe in your cause and want to see their efforts making an impact.

Understanding Volunteer Motivations in Your Nonprofit

If donors are the lifeblood of an organization, your volunteers are the organs keeping it all working and you are maximizing your goal when you invest in your volunteers. However, there’s a big difference between what motivates a volunteer and what motivates an employee working for a company. For many volunteers, the work they choose to do is key to their identity in a much more personal way.

Volunteers are driven by internal personal beliefs or reasons related to your organization’s mission and many of them want to know how their efforts are making an impact. These people aren’t a workforce whose services you are paying for, they’re partners who share your mission and are willing to give their time to see that mission fulfilled. 

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Karl spends 10 hours a week volunteering at the local animal shelter because he loves the animals and wants to make sure they’re cared for. Meanwhile, Jane spends her weekends serving food to the homeless with her church group due to her faith in performing charity for the needy. Karl’s love for animals and Jane’s faith drive them both to volunteer, not out of a desire for compensation but to see a broader goal achieved. Of course, volunteers might have secondary motivations. Karl might want experience with animals as a future vet and Jane wants leadership experience for her own nonprofit. Volunteers each have their own reasons for volunteering but everyone likes to see their work making a difference and that difference being recognized.

Validating Volunteers With Volunteer Award Pins

Award pins have been used for years to recognize the efforts of outstanding employees and volunteers in their organizations or businesses. Bearing the symbols of an organization or business, they’re not just an accessory, they’re a means for people to highlight their involvement with an organization and the impact of their work. They might be one of many items used as physical awards but they’re a more distinguished item than shirt or mug, awarded for success.

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Unfortunately, some organizations hand award pins away like cheap tokens rather than actual recognition. Simply giving an award or thanking employees isn’t enough. Your awards need to be linked to accomplishments and backed by demonstrated progress showing the impact volunteers are making with your organization. Remember, volunteers need to be recognized for their involvement not simply as a workforce but as partners helping bring a mission to fruition. Design custom award pins directly highlighting specific accomplishments, goals achieved or a major difference made for your organization’s mission.

Results-Based Awards

One mistake many organizations make when awarding custom pins is choosing to recognize factors like time spent or tasks performed instead of a volunteer’s impact made. After volunteering hours each week, both Karl and Jane know they’ve given their time and skills to an organization. What they want to know is how their efforts have paid off.

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An award pin given to Karl for his involvement in a major animal rescue operation becomes a mark of personal pride. An award pin recognizing Jane’s involvement helping people after a natural disaster reflects gratitude and pride in her good works. You want your pins to reflect specific achievement as part of an organization, not merely broad involvement. Awards are meant to recognize outstanding actions after all and it goes a long way to highlight how far you’ve come together.

 

Wrapping Up

At the end of the day, remember that your volunteer workforce isn’t some amorphous mass of labor. They represent a group of individuals who believe in your cause and should be treated as such. Your award pins need to recognize the individual impact of a volunteer and celebrate the results of their contributions. If you’re looking to begin using custom award pins in your organization, follow the advice we’ve outlined here and send us a message to learn more! Our team at All About pins has over 10 years of experience working on custom pins of every stripe and are happy to lend our advice and expertise to help honor your volunteers.

Designing Custom Volunteer Award Pins

Written on February 5, 2019 at 5:12 pm, by

Designing Custom Volunteer Award Pins

From national organizations like Habitat For Humanity to a town’s local soup kitchen, nonprofit organizations around the country come to All About Pins for custom volunteer award pins recognizing the dedication and work of their volunteers. We see award pins in every shape or size, but there a few key trends we’ve found consistent in volunteer award pins. With this article, we’ll walk through tips for designing award pins that your volunteer force will treasure.

Using Organizational Assets and Iconography

Of course, any organizational pin will feature a brand’s name or logo and existing art assets are great design addition for distinctly identifying an award with service to your organization but using brand graphics in volunteer award pins is more nuanced. Rather than being used to market or spread an organization’s brand, your branding marks a volunteers involvement and its an opportunity to highlight a volunteer’s direct contributions.

Think about adding typography or graphics that resonate with your volunteers specifically and honor their direct contributions. Remember, volunteers donate their time and effort to your organization because they believe in its mission or cause. Awarding pins that recognize their contributions and giving them an official organizational pin treats them as an involved and contributing member of an organization and its mission.

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For example, during the 2018 Seattle Film Festival, the organizers awarded their volunteers who committed 40 hours of service to the event with “Full 40” award pins, shown up top, featuring the event’s specific typography and stamped onto its recognizable star symbol. This pin is a classic example of a volunteer award pin, recognizing the hours of labor committed by their volunteer and specifically identifying them as involved members of the event.

Splitting Orders

Need to differentiate the milestones and achievements of different members of your volunteers? You can customize your order and split specific design elements such as numbering, plating and colors. Splitting an order allows our clients to create visual diversity within an individual order and let them highlight different milestones within the same order.

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Say you order 100 polished silver award pins recognizing those who spent 40 hours working with your organization during an event and stamped with the number 40 in honor of their contributions. But, you also want to especially honor your top 20 volunteers who went above the call of duty and contributed 80 hours of their time to your organization. By splitting the order, you can take 20 pins from your order have them plated in polished gold and stamped with the number 80 to highlight those

Selecting the Right Pin Type

Choosing a pin type decides the production process of a pin, which is a big influence on how a pin design looks and feels after production. It’s important to remember that most pin styles don’t allow for creating gradients of color on a pin which can limit how you present a specific logo or design feature for your volunteer pins.

SoftEnamel v HardEnamel v Die Struck

As awards, you definitely want your volunteer pins to have a feel of genuine value and quality that reflects on the hard work of your volunteers, and, of course, identifies them as respected members of your organization. Overwhelmingly, we’ve noticed volunteer award pins are popular as silk screen pins, cloisonne pins and die struck pins.

Keep these individual features about each pin type in mind when deciding which is best for your award pin:

    • Silkscreen pins are ideal for perfectly recreating an organizational logo or branding symbol, which can be very important for organizations with strict standards on how their symbols are presented. Additionally, a silkscreen pin allows a design to reach the entire edge of a pin, using all available surface area without borders or raised metal lines and are one of the few pin types to allow for color gradients on a design.
    • Cloisonne pins have an almost smooth jewelry-quality finish of much higher perceived value than most other pin types. They look professional, valuable, and are obviously a step up in quality on immediate inspection from more common soft enamel pins you see every day as accessories.
    • Die struck pins are stamped in metal and left in the color of their natural plating giving it a medallion-like appearance that immediately reminds volunteers and viewers alike.

Adding Presentation Cases

All of our pins come with free PVC pouches for storage, but these pouches are better suited for retail pins meant as accessories. Instead, upgrade to individual presentation cases for volunteer award pins. Not only are they handy for storing and displaying pins, but a personalized case increases the intrinsic value of your award pin as a gift. We offer two options, acrylic presentation cases with foam padding and velvet presentation cases with a felt-lined interior.

Acrylic Case

Our acrylic cases are most popular with our customers but, honestly, going with a velvet case provides the best quality. Aside from improving the perceived quality of a pin, presentation cases make your pins smart promotional tools, which are more likely to be put on display on a desk or shelf instead of being kept in a jewelry box.


Not sure if your design is production-ready? The team at All About Pins is ready to help you at every step of the process, from providing full-color art samples of how a volunteer award pin will look to revising a design as many times as needed to get it right, we’re devoted to making sure your award pins honor the work and dedication of their recipients.

Custom Krewe Pins: A Carnival Parade Tradition

Written on January 29, 2019 at 7:48 pm, by

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From Mardi Gras to Gasparilla, parade krewes bring their communities to life through snazzy costumes, elaborate parade floats, and fantastic live performances. Sometimes a unique badge of membership. Sometimes a parade throw. Always full of unique flair. Krewe pins are designed with color and personality reflecting the larger-than-life character of their organizations.

Krewe Pin Inspirations

Finding creative inspiration for a pin is rarely difficult for members of a krewe. From old traditions, like Krewe of Rex’s annual monarch to Krewe of Boo’s spooky Halloween spirit, every parade Krewe has its own attention-grabbing personality and aesthetic. The bigger struggle is deciding which part of a krewe’s colorful identity you want to capture in a pin design.

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How you and your krewe uses its custom pins determines the tone and purpose. Establishing a pin’s purpose as your first step quickly narrowing your choices. Here are a few examples of how different uses for Krewe pins can inspire different designs:

As krewe membership pins

Krewe of Vixens

Decorated with krewe colors and antique plating, custom pins are used as intimate badges of membership among some krewe and their members. The Krewe of Rex, founded in 1872, has commissioned jewelry-grade pins for its members and their families nearly every year since its founding and gifts them in presentation boxes with cards detailing their design.

As parade throws

Custom soft enamel pins designed with a krewe’s unique personality and name add wearable pin flair long after your float has rounded the corner. As parade items, these krewe pins run the gamut from wearable doubloons with blinking lights to simple enamel pins painted with official krewe colors.

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As krewe party favors

While the most visible krewe parties are annual events like Mardi Gras or Gasparilla, many krewes run private parties and dance events throughout the year. Some are just for fun or for charitable causes, but they all run on the same carnival energy. Both soft enamel and cloisonne pins make unique party favors for guests reminding everyone which krewe runs the best party in town.

As fundraiser gifts

As big community organizations, many krewes start fundraising drives, not only to finance the millions of multi-colored beads and fanciful parade floats but also to support causes they believe in or to support their local communities.

Expressing Krewe Life

Whether you’re making a custom sign of membership or just another parade throw, you want a design that captures the personality and flavor of your individual krewe. This is a good time to look at existing krewe assets like logos, emblems or art your group is already using as they’ll already have colors, typography, and visuals that resonate with your krewe. But don’t just slap a logo on a pin and call it a day. Krewe pins are meant to be loud and full of color just like their organizations, so look for ways to not just advertise your organization, but also express its character.

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One of the first designs we helped design as a company was a krewe pin for the Krewe of Sirens, a Pensacola-based krewe promoting self-confidence among women. Krewe of Siren’s pin design is represented by a crest of a mermaid bearing a trident but the addition of vine and floral background to the pin further represented the feminine empowerment of the organization and created visual interest in a design that otherwise only features a plain background. With sparkling paint and high-polish silver plating, the pin gleams and stands out against almost every background, while emphasizing the organization’s distinctly feminine theme.

Think about what keeps your krewe distinct when looking at a design. From krewe colors and mascots to individual symbols and purposes, every krewe has a unique spark to it. You only need to capture what makes your krewe special.

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Just to give you a hand, here are a few thinking points to consider incorporating into a custom krewe pin:

  • Your krewe’s purpose: Some krewes are just out to throw the biggest party and to have the most fantastical parade floats during the parade. Some krewes are brought together by existing groups and organizations like firefighters, police officers or even local baking associations. Other krewes are built to help bring attention to community issues or to help fundraise for major social causes. Whatever brought your krewe together, it’s a uniting force that can help a krewe pin become immediately identifiable with other a group or a mission.
  • Your krewe theme: Every krewe has a theme or aesthetic, from genres like pirates and swashbucklers to more grounded community organizations or cultural groups. Your krewe theme is the first thing people notice when they see your parade marching down the street and it’ll be the first thing that reminds them of your krewe once you’ve marched past.
  • Your Parade: The core activity of most krewes are the big parties and carnival parades like Mardi Gras or Gasparilla, which all have their own customs and traditions ranging from official colors to official foods. Whether your krewe prepares year-round for a single event or hits up festivals throughout the year, creating a custom pin designed with a pin’s colors or emblems helps identify your involvement with that event and makes for a more exclusive design.

Making it Your Own

Don’t have a design in mind? All About Pins is ready to help you make custom krewe pins look flashy and awesome, just in time for the carnival season. Between the costumes and the parade float, your plate is already going to be full but we’re here to make designing krewe pins simple and easy with our company’s four-step design process. We work with all of our clients at every step of the design and you can trust us to make sure your pins are perfect.

Custom Pins 101: Sizing Custom Pins

Written on January 23, 2019 at 6:21 pm, by

Summer Party Tips

You’ve put a ton of thought into every part of a custom pin’s design, but don’t let sizing trip you up when it’s got a big impact. In today’s Custom Pins 101, let’s quickly cover the factors you should think about when choosing a pin’s size.

Determining Custom Pin Sizing

Pin size is more important than most people realize, not only does it affect the final price of your order but also the visibility of your design and its appeal as an accessory. Order pins too small, you’ll need a magnifying glass to see those details. Order too big, your pin looks gaudy and loud when worn.

For pins, a large size is usually anything larger than 1.5” while a small pin is anything below 0.75”, trying to find a happy medium for your specific pin design can be tricky, but here are a few factors to think about to get the perfect size for you.

The bigger your pin, the more it’s going to cost, but size matters for design.

However, pinching a penny with a smaller size isn’t always the best choice. Smaller pins are inherently harder to notice and intricate or complicated art designs lose a ton of detail when shrunk to a small size. A good rule of thumb is smaller pins look better with simpler designs, while more complicated designs show their details better in a big pin.

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The standard size is typically 0.75” to 1”.

For classic lapel pins, we recommend you keep within that size range so it’s visible without becoming too gaudy when worn. However, very intricate designs involving more line detail or textures should aim for 1.25” or even 1.5” so those details are visible. Overall, try to fit the size of your pin to the complexity of your design.

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The best pin size for a design varies depending on how it’s worn or displayed.

Ideal pin sizing can vary depending on where a pin is going to be worn or displayed. Pins intended to be worn on a bag or hat, for example, stand out the most when larger than standard lapel pins. If your pins are going to spend more time on a display board or bag, we recommend going with 1.5” to 2” for a more eye-catching effect.

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How Pin Size Influences Practical Design

Now that you’ve got a good idea of how pin sizing affects your pin’s artistic design, it’s time to look at how sizing affects your pin’s practical design. That is the effect of pin size on how your pin is worn or displayed and the sizing requirements needed for certain customizations.

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Large Pins (1.5” and bigger)

  • Larger pins typically often need additional pin posts to pin securely. If your pin is particularly long, then you should consider two pin posts on either end of the pin.
  • If you want to include a light blinker as an element of the pin, you’ll need to upsize your pin to accommodate the battery pack.
  • With a bigger pin, you gain much more space for back stamping your pin with either personal branding or sequential numbering.

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Small Pins (0.75” and smaller)

  • Any pin between 0.75” to 1.25” only needs a single pin attachment to keep secure, but their small size also means there’s not much space for the larger safety pin attachments.
  • As small pins have inherently smaller space, they often don’t have room for big design cutouts in the center the pin.
  • The smaller the pin, the fewer colors you’re probably going to be able to have on them. Remember, small pins can’t present as much line detail and that limits how we can apply paint to a pin.

Final Thoughts

Don’t make your pin size a last-minute consideration with your custom pins. From the look to the customizations of your pin, size makes a big impact on the final product. Don’t forget, All About Pins has over a decade of experience working with clients and turning their ideas into quality custom pins. If you’re not sure how big or small to go with your design, don’t be afraid to ask. We offer our expertise to find the golden size for you whether you want another stylish enamel pin, a hat pin, a trading pin, or an award pin.

Designing Custom Years of Service Pins

Written on January 14, 2019 at 7:53 pm, by

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Years of service pins recognize employees for their contributions, but generically designed, they come across as cheap tokens fulfilling an obligation rather than a highlight of their work and dedication. Many pin companies offer “template” awards with five or 10-year milestones ready in pre-made molds. Often featuring gaudy stars or streamers, these prebaked designs are as impactful as a literal pat on the back.

Your team members are the bedrock of your business and it pays to make sure their contributions are personally recognized. All About Pins has assembled this guide to customizing truly rewarding years of service pins.

Marking Company and Employee Milestones

Before looking at what customizations you want in a pin, deciding your timing is essential. Traditionally, years of service pins are awarded for work milestones whether it’s the first year anniversary of employment or they’ve dedicated 20 years with your team. However, people in your business don’t make major contributions in neat five-year packages, they’re working every month to make success possible and service awards are much more effective when the award is tied to an employee’s accomplishment or goal.

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Track your employees and their contributions and award them whenever they reach a major milestone within the company. A few ideas might include:

  • Major work anniversaries: Traditionally, many large companies highlight major work anniversaries under five-year intervals (five-year anniversary, 10-year anniversary, 15-year anniversary, etc.) These classic tenure-based awards demonstrate respect for an employee’s extended service and work with your company.
  • Completion of major projects: Whether it be a major product release, the launch of a new service feature or simply an update to existing services, big company projects can take months or years to complete and awarding years of service pins celebrate a major achievement by both the company and its staff. By directly naming an employee’s involvement in a project and recognizing their work, you tie the award much more closely to their own pride and effort.
  • Achieving big goals or benchmarks: Not every milestone needs to be tenure-based, have employees who are consistently closing deals, making sales or achieving company goals? Highlight their performance with a service award that distinguishes their contributions and motivates other employees to reach the same goals.

Engaging Employees With Years of Service Pins

By personalizing a service award to your employee’s role and their work with a company, you create much more impactful items that are intrinsically valuable for both the employee and your company. This can be as easy as adding your company’s branding and individually naming employees, but you can go even further by adding project names or reference their roles in the company. Personal touches like this are much more impactful because they highlight individual contributions and show that you’ve been paying attention to an employee’s involvement.

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Now that we’ve established what a design needs to be impactful, here are a few ideas to better connect your awards with employees and their contributions:

  • Relate pin designs to employee positions or roles: Add design elements on a pin connected to an employee’s position, such as a paintbrush for artists or a shield for security officers. It better relates the award to their responsibilities and demonstrates more personal thought into an award.
  • Include relevant slogans or catchphrases: Whether it be the company slogan, the name of a position, or an in-joke between staff members, adding unique phrases connected to an employee’s job adds personality to an award pin, making it more meaningful for each recipient.
  • Use familiar emblems or landscapes: Adding a familiar emblem or an image of a location or space that employees will immediately recognize helps localize the pin and ensure the award is specifically tailored to their work and involvement.

Style Choices and Customizations

Once you’ve locked down the content of your design, it’s time to take a look at some of the most popular options for customizing and styling years of service pins to create a valuable keepsake your employees will be proud to wear or display.

Picking a pin style

For award pins, it’s essential your pin registers as a high-quality item and we recommend cloisonne or die-struck pins to accomplish this. Cloisonne pins are our highest-quality pin style and immediately registers as a high-value pin, especially compared to most fashion or accessory lapel pins. If an initial art design or idea for an award pin will incorporate multiple colors over large sections of a design, the smooth jewelry-grade finish of a cloisonne pin will help the pin retain a professional and sophisticated look.

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Meanwhile, die-struck pins are plated in precious metals to create the look of classic military award pins or badges, which can give a refined appearance to a pin, especially if taken in one of our antique plating options. To create added depth and detail in a die-struck pin, we recommend upgrading them into 3D pins which allow you to create more defined pins with stronger details.

If you want to order a soft enamel pin for your award pins, we recommend limiting the number of colors used and the amount of space taken up by enamel paint. Add too much enamel paint, and your award pin will often come out looking more like a painted accessory than an accolade.

Choosing colors

To ensure a pin directly identifies a recipient with their involvement in a company, keep your color palette the same as the one you use to advertise your company’s logo or brand. Your employees will be familiar with the colors and they better connect the pin to your employees as members of the company.

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In terms of color usage, avoid using more than two or three colors tops, unless using more would be relevant to your company culture. Simple designs look more professional and let the awards draw more attention to an employee’s achievements and involvement.

Design Splitting

You can split the same design mold from a single order into different plating or text options. This means that after designing 100 award pins to be plated in silver, you can split 10 of those pins to be plated in gold to differentiate 10 employees who worked a longer tenure or made exceptional contributions The same can be done to text on a pin design if you want to award different pins for different projects or tenures at a company. For example, pictured above is an order we completed for Orbcomm, a mobile network provider, using the same mold, we changed the text of the pins to highlight different years of service with the company. Design splitting lets you customize different award pins to highlight different employees based on their tenure or contributions without needing to order an entirely new set of pins.

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Every company has its own culture and unique personality. Plan your years of service pins as an expression of your company culture and link your employees as vital and recognized partners in the workplace. We recommend colors and designs that employees will immediately recognize and be familiar with because the last thing you want is for employees to feel underwhelmed about the value you place in them. 

If you need more help designing your company’s years of service pin, contact us! All About Pins has over a decade of experience helping clients create years of service pins and we’d like to think we’ve learned a thing or two about making them.

If you’re feeling confident about your design or idea, send us your ideas and get a free quote from us today!

 

5 Tips for Packaging Custom Pins

Written on December 19, 2018 at 8:39 pm, by

You’ve spent hours laboring over those custom pin designs and weeks waiting for production. All while working hard online to market your custom pins and drive attention to your work. But congratulations! You’ve made your first sale. But wait! Don’t skimp on your packaging. Making the coveted sale is exciting, but a pin’s packaging is a customer’s first hands-on experience with your pin business and the extra effort of premium packaging elevates the experience from meeting expectations to wowing customers and bringing them back for another order.

Here are five tips from All About Pins for enhancing your custom pin packaging:

Package Custom Pins in Flat Mailers Instead of Bubble Mailers

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Bubble mailers are one of the most popular types of packaging envelopes for small objects like pins or coins because they’re cheap, light-weight and you can easily order a big pack of them off of Amazon. However, their bubble-wrapped exteriors are soft take much rougher treatment by the post office, often getting squashed or folded in transit. Also, because they’re so cheap and easy to get, bubble mailers don’t do much to enhance the perceived quality of your custom pins.

Try stiff flat mailers made of fiberboard or chipboard instead, they have tougher exteriors, are less prone to folding or bending and can be bought in bulk for a few cents a piece. Stiff flat mailers also give your custom pins more of a unique “gift” feel to them rather than just another package to be ripped open. Flat mailers are found cheap from most shipping suppliers including ULINE, Staples or ShippingSupply.com. We recommend flat mailers sized 6 x 8 to fit most custom pin sizes while leaving room for any additional inserts or business cards.

Protect the Pin’s Surface

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Rough handling or shipping can scratch or mar the surfaces of your custom pins against their package interiors. Adding a sheet of plastic or cellophane ensures your pins are protected and it gives your pin packaging a sleek and professional look. If you simply want to double ensure the protection of your products, wrapping them in a single layer of bubble wrap ensures they’re insulated from rough treatment. However, in this case, we’d recommend taking the extra step of adding a wrapped ribbon or colorful string. Personal gestures like this combining form and function in your packaging are small, but they’re noticed and appreciated by customers as they unwrap their custom pins.

Include Package Inserts With Pin Packaging

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Unpackaging is a magical part of delivery, so magical in fact, YouTubers are attracting thousands of viewers online just of them unboxing new purchases or deliveries. Part of that magic comes from the excitement of tearing open a package and exploring the contents.

Package inserts add an unexpected splash of color and personality to a delivery that would other be an empty pack with maybe some packaging materials. Adding an insert is as cheap as you make it from handwritten cards to professional business cards and they’re another opportunity to bolster your brand by asking for a product review, encouraging customers to give you a social shout out or giving personalized thanks. Unlike random posters or flyers, customers actually read a package inserts

Package inserts can take the form of anything from:

    • Hand-written thank you notes
    • Coupons for their next custom pin
    • Business cards with your pin company’s contact
    • Unique art prints
    • Extra free pins or small gifts laying around from another project

Consider Eco-Friendly Packaging Options

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Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t just help save the world, it can help raise your custom pin sales. Heck, more than 52 percent of global consumers say their purchasing decisions are influenced by brands who use eco-friendly packaging. Knowing they help preserve the environment when they shop raises customer confidence in industries including groceries, cosmetics, energy and more. Making the move to eco-friendly packaging can do the same for your custom pin business.

Tipping that ecological scale is not only easy, with most forms of packaging options you’d use for your pin including cheap biodegradable options or recycled alternatives, but also cost-effective, with most of those options costing the same or less than standard packaging. For example, we recommended earlier you use stiff flat mailers instead of bubble mailers with plastic wrap. Turns out, you can order bulk cases of 100 rigid mailers made of recycled paper from eco-conscious shipping suppliers like EcoEnclose or GlobeGuard. You’ve not spent a penny above your what you would’ve spent and you’re saving the world at the same time, something that’ll encourage customers to buy their pins from you if only to know that they’re doing their part for the environment as well.

Invest in Custom Cardstock Backing

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Adding cardstock backing to an order of custom pins can be cheaply done in any size, color, and shape, and we recommend it for any client who wants to sell their custom pins online or for retail. It improves the perceived value of a pin and enhances its ability to nab attention. Not to mention, packaging your pin with a cardstock backing adds a customization layer for art flourishes highlighting your pin design, unique eye-catching shapes, and of course, showcasing your company name, logo, website or social media.

As a free service, our design experts can work with you to choose the perfect size, look and color to complement a pin design. We’ve worked with creatives who’ve spent as much energy adding a unique card design as they did on the pin and pin companies who just wanted a consistently recognizable brand on their pins.


Make Your Pin Packaging Memorable

Remember, your pin’s packaging is going to be a customer’s first tactile experience with your custom pins and services as a pin company. Don’t miss an opportunity to add memorable packaging to your custom pins to make your company the first place they check next time they want to add some extra pin flair. In the end, there a ton of pin companies in the market but these tips from All About Pins can help set your business apart and highlight the unique designs of your custom work.

Finding the Best Custom Pin Manufacturer

Written on December 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm, by

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Finding the Best Custom Pin Manufacturer

 

You might think the hardest step of getting a set of custom pins finished would be creating a design for your needs, but try googling “custom pin companies” sometime. You’ll be inundated by page after page of businesses and pin suppliers all purporting to be your one-stop shop for custom pins. Don’t make the mistake of thinking each company is the same.

Different manufacturers have different standards and picking the right company for your needs from the beginning can save you a major headache down the line. From the ability to make timely delivery to the experience of their design team, many factors differentiate the pin companies you find online but keep these tips in mind and you’ll narrow your options and better evaluate a potential partner.

Identify Your Needs

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The first part of deciding on any company is identifying what exactly you need from a company ranging from color options for your pins, customizations you might have in mind and general responsiveness over the course of an order. For example, at the beginning of any project, All About Pins asks clients for basic information including pin type, the number of pins to be ordered, size of the pins and any deadline for an order. Having information like this on hand makes getting a quote a faster and more quickly sets the parameters of your project. As long as you have a clear vision, much of the rest comes down to checking a manufacturer’s production capabilities and narrowing your results to the companies you know can make your concept a reality.

Check Previous Projects and a Company’s Track Record

Just because a company advertises the ability to meet your needs, doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to do it well. Checking a company’s track record is likely the first thing you’ll do before committing to any service but for pin companies, you want to keep an eye out for both quality and variety in their art and pins. Scour their website and social media for examples of previous work and keep an eye out in particular for comparisons between a company’s art proofs and their final products. Have they worked on designs with similar elements to your ideas? Does their gallery demonstrate creative flexibility with their clients?

Sometimes the best place to start looking is social media.  All About Pins is constantly updating its social accounts with highlights of completed projects and pins we’ve helped design and produce to showcase our most creative or unique works. It shouldn’t be hard to find quality examples of a company’s work, and if it is, maybe it’s better to move on to a more tried and tested service.

Look For Expertise and Variety

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If you’ve got a design and concept for a pin, look for manufacturers who offer both a variety of customizations and expertise for modifying and creating key visual effects from a draft to a pin. Unfortunately, some art effects such as color gradients are difficult or impossible to copy as a pin but an experienced team can offer unique solutions to problems ranging from new color palettes that visually replicate an original look or redesign a concept to better incorporate your original ideas. Part of our design process includes free design consultations where we work with every client to discuss their plans and help bring their unique ideas to fruition.

Review a Company’s Services and Extra Offers

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Most custom pin companies will offer different color, plating and attachment options for your designs but remember the broader picture. You’re probably ordering custom pins for either an occasion or for retail and extra services such as velvet cases or custom cardstock can be essential for your pin’s final presentation. Identify which of these special services you need from custom cardstock backing to unique presentation options. If a company offers to package these services along with your pins, you can end up saving an enormous amount of both time and money.

Look For a Quality Guarantee

Every business strives to get their services right the first time around but there’s potential for hiccups or problems during production is always a possibility. What sets a good pin company apart from the rest is their ability to respond to these hiccups and relay solutions when the final product doesn’t match expectations. We offer a full quality guarantee on all of our products and offer a full review of any potential problems. You should avoid any company that can’t promise to back their products up in the same fashion as it shows a lack of confidence in their own products and a lack of insurance for your order.

Your Pin Source

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It can be nerve-wracking placing your trust in a new production partner but keep a look out for companies who can offer quick turnaround and steady communication throughout your experience working with them. You want to work with a company with high production standards and an experienced staff who’s worked on a variety of different projects and can offer you the most experienced and professional advice.

As an experienced supplier of custom pins, we hope you’ll try our services! All About Pins has over a decade of experience designing high-quality custom pins for clients in every walk of life including corporations, small clubs, artists and emergency services.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting an Order of Custom Lapel Pins

Written on December 4, 2018 at 6:06 pm, by

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting an Order of Custom Lapel Pins

 

Choices are great. Which is why All About Pins is quite proud to offer thousands of customizations and color options for clients to tweak their custom pin designs. However, exciting as having choices is, we understand a huge list of possibilities can be daunting – especially if you don’t know what you ultimately want in an order of custom pins. Step one? Get an idea of what you need, what you want and what you don’t want.

Here are five questions to ask yourself before starting an order of custom pins:

What are my order requirements?

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Did you have a budget you’re working under? Do you know about how many custom pins you’re going to need? Is there a deadline you need these pins by? It might seem obvious, but these are the first things pin manufacturers like us ask. Having your answers ready helps to get an accurate price quote to budget around and establish your timeframe for tweaking and customizing a design before you need to go to production ahead of a deadline. Having this information early helps custom pin manufacturers like us prioritize the needs of your order and advise you on what’s possible within your timeframe.

Not to mention, when manufacturers know the scale of your custom pin needs, we can recommend cost-saving measures to lower the cost of an order per pin and let you know early if customizations that add time to production such as custom cardstock backing or gemstones will impact your ability to reach a deadline or price point.

“Do I have artwork or a clear idea of my pin?”

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Whether it’s a company logo, a unit emblem or your original artwork sketched across an old napkin,  coming to a manufacturer with a clear idea or fully-rendered artwork massively cuts the time it takes to for your ideas to go from draft to pin. When our art team turns your idea or artwork into a pin we consider the distinct style of our client and your initial specifications. If your business or organization has a style guide or aesthetic, sending a manufacturer that guide along with your design’s instructions ensures the ultimate pin design precisely fits your brand.

What will these custom pins be used for?

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From personable accessories to valued awards, custom pins are ordered for many occasions and to meet many different needs. Are your pins to be used as a service award for your company? Maybe you want to sell your pins as a collectible accessory for your own rock band or you’re an artist who’s selling their personal design. Whatever your reasons, they dictate how many pins you’ll need to order and can have a big influence on your end result when you design your pins.

“How will my pins be worn or displayed?”

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Are people actually going to wear these pins on their lapels in classic style? Maybe you envisioned your designs pinned on hats and caps? Did your pin design look best on a book bag or pin banner? Knowing the context your pins are going to be worn or displayed helps you decide how bold your design can be and what colors or images to use. For example, let’s say you’re making a design for a hat pin, then it needs to use bold colors and a vibrant design that’s immediately noticeable on top of a plain or woven hat.

“What type of pin do I want?”

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Unlike other display mediums like the fabric in a custom shirt or the paper used in an art print, the pin type and material you choose can have a major effect on the look and feel of your design as a pin. Have an art design with sharp black lines? Make sure to order your pin is plated in black metal or those lines will come out in gold, silver or another colored lining instead. Have a vibrant design with every color in the rainbow? Don’t go with a die-struck pin, it doesn’t have color fill.

When it comes to custom pins, your medium matters and it’s important to educate yourself beforehand about the differences between each type of pin. Check our pins 101 article for a quick primer on the most popular pin types and their unique features.


Get Ready, Get Started

Like any big project, a lot of the work for getting a set of custom pins made is in the setup. At All About Coins, we’re pretty confident that being able to answer these five questions will help you narrow down your needs and help smooth your design process. Getting these specifics out of the way will leave you with more time to just customize your design and create an eye-catching pin. Once you’re ready, it’s a simple four-step process to take your ideas from paper to pin.

Still, need help or direction? Call, email or hit us up on social media and we promise to help you get started. Need some inspiration? Visit us on Facebook and Twitter where we regularly feature some of the top pin designs we’ve worked on, getting that initial spark is all it takes to get started.