A checklist for your custom pin prioritizes the most important parts of a design and helps better visualize exactly what you want from the final product. Forgetting to properly outline a pin design can lead to longer production times or messy design choices. Not to mention, a time crunch if you’re working with a hard deadline. Whether you’re creating a promotional pin for your business or a custom design to sell your original artwork, working out the elements of your custom pin design ahead of time is bound to save you a headache down the line.

Create a Concrete and Original Idea For Your Custom Pin

Great pins start with good ideas. Gets your by spend time early brainstorming an idea and find ways to be original or standout from existing ideas. Of course, you’ll refine your design throughout the design process, so don’t get too attached to your original vision. But being able to list those ideas out and prioritize the most important elements makes it easier to revise and change things as you move forward. However, a concrete idea for a pin design doesn’t stop at thinking about what kind of snappy images you want 

Define Your Order Details

Getting started, you’re likely anxious to jump right into your custom pin design. But getting your order details settled will help you focus your design and establish how much you can spend on specific design details. Information like the size of the pins, the number of pins, and the type of custom pin are important for outlining the scale of your order and your needs. Most importantly, it’ll help you better define your needs and budget out your design.

When starting off, get an idea of what you want out of an order including:

  • Pin Type: The physical style of your pin; can help dictates what color and plating options will work best with your design based on your type.
  • Pin size: The physical dimensions of your pin; factors in how clearly small details and color choices are going to feature on a pin and big considerations for the pricetag of your order.
  • Quantity of Pins: The number of pins in an order; also a big factor for your price tag. We always recommend shooting for over 300 to waive mold fees and get a big price break per pin. 
  • Unique Customizations: Add-ons like custom cardstock, glitter or packaging that help elevate a pin’s presentation; great for adding “pop” to a design or improving your visual presentation.

Explore Your Custom Pin’s Target Audience

Get as much information as you can about your pin’s target audience and how your design can best engage their needs or interests. For example, a cartoony pin won’t go over well if you’re making a registered nurse pin or an award pin for a years of service award. Meanwhile, if you’re designing pins for your based on your own original artwork, you’ll probably want to make a custom pin based on your most popular artwork. Like any designer of a custom product, make a list to identify the exact range of people you imagine will be receiving your custom pin – what themes they enjoy, what concepts are most relevant to them, and what design steps you can take to make your custom pin meaningful to your audience. 

Take a look at the example above! Goozee Pins obviously finds a lot of inspiration from Pokemon, but the unique fusion designs clearly show that they’re in tune with geeky culture on a deeper scale and the use of specialized customizations like glitter paint shows they really know their stuff when it comes to the pin community.

Think about Your Color Palette

Whether you’re working with a single color or a full-palette of shades, color choice is one of the most important parts of pin design. Custom pins are a small snappy visual medium and your color choice helps communicate immediate ideas and emotions tied to your overall design. Understanding what colors are complementary and standout is obviously essential to making a design noticeable but don’t forget about the significance of color choice when it comes to your pin’s purpose. 

Typically, most designs will want vivid and lively colors quickly noticeable worn on a lapel, backpack or lanyard. However, you’ll want to be sure color choices match both your pin’s design and purpose. For example, most breast cancer awareness pins will use different shades of bright pink to better highlight and bring attention to that movement. Meanwhile, business or promotional pins are invariably going to want to use colors matching their branding.

Find a Way to be Unique

While the huge flare in pin flair has died down from 2017 levels, artists and designers are constantly pushing the ante for fresh pin ideas for their artwork, organizations or businesses. That means thinking outside of the box with your pin design isn’t just good advice, it’s an essential design consideration. Look for ways to express personality or “flair” in your design that isn’t as staid as slapping a logo onto a pin. 

A few quick actionable ways you can create a custom pin that stands apart from the others include:

  • Using a color scheme: Tying back to your options in color palette, color choice is a huge factor in how your design is going to be perceived.
  • Unique Customizations: The great thing about custom pins over an art print is that pins can be further customized and presented with your design options. Improvements like glitter paint, cut-outs, and pin styles can all change the look and feel of your pin into something more exceptional.
  • Font Choice: With a visual design, typography is probably one of the last considerations on your mind, but if you’ve decided on adding text to your pin, then make sure it’s readable, visible, and iconic. 

Get Started

Designing a custom pin is an exciting experience, especially if you’re already brimming with ideas. Use these five details as guidelines to help align your design and create a custom pin people will be proud to wear. Still need help? Hit us up. At AllAboutPins, we’re working with people every day to turn their ideas into a pinnable reality.