Each baseball season, AllAboutPins gets a fresh influx of creative buzz for custom trading pins from teams around the country. From accounting for team sports to honoring local pide, personalizing and designing a pin can look complicated.

In this post, we’re going delve into some of the most popular design trends for a team’s spirit through custom pin design. Use these tips to understand the trading culture and produce a pin with us that looks great on the field.

Baseball Pins and Trading Culture

More than just another way to represent team pride, custom trading pins are a time-honored tradition in team sports like baseball, softball, and hockey that’s gone on to inspire its own sports subculture of collecting, trading, and displaying team pins. With that in mind, most teams personalize their designs for both display and trade. Often going for flashier add-ons than you might find on more artistic or fashion-based enamel pins, trading pins often take on much bolder looks than you’d find in most pin designs. 

Keeping the themes of team unity and a passion for pin trading in mind here are a few tips from the design archives at AllAboutPins to personalize your next baseball pin.

Sporting Outlines

What’s the name of the game? Incorporating elements of your team sport is one of the most popular ways of designing a custom trading pin. From stadium diamonds, crossed bats or hockey pucks, you can use sports emblems for a simple and quick outline of your pin shape. To further personalize your design, think about including more localized elements like team mascots, geographical outlines or slogans.

Quick Tip: Try looking for more unique emblems of your sport or team than just a stadium outline or the plain shape of a baseball. Seek inspiration from team emblems like mascots or team slogans for a pin design that’s much more personalized to you. 

Going Big

From the ability to see fine details to the visibility of the pin itself, size is a big factor for custom lapel pins. For most lapel pins, going bigger than 0.75” or 1.0” isn’t fashionable. However, when it comes to trading pins, that trend gets bucked with 1.75” being the average size. The reason goes back to baseball trading culture where many teams tie bigger bolder pins with a higher perceived trading value. Of course, size really isn’t the only factor. Some trading pins go for smaller sizes, but with more specialty design elements like glitter or moving parts. However, the vast majority of trading pins are going to be bigger than your standard lapel pin. 

Quick Tip: Take advantage of a larger pin to include fine or sculpted details that you couldn’t normally get out of a lapel pin. Big pins are where sculpted or molded details can really shine. 

Specialty Add-Ons

More than any other type of pin we make, trading pins designs love making use of specialty customizations or moving parts to make bigger and bolder designs. More on that in our custom trading pin design article but many teams add interactive elements to their pins like moving parts, danglers, and spinning balls to make their trading pin more of a showpiece. For trading especially, these kinds of add-ons can really bring take a design to the next level and make it much more popular for both youth and adult sports teams.

Quick Tip: Don’t make the moving parts of a specialty add-on an afterthought. Look for ways to make visual or actiony parts of your design really stand out. 

Limited Release Color Swaps

Got a great design but want to add an extra element of excitement to a pin? Try for limited style or color swaps in an order. For example, in an order of 300 pins in your original color design, including 50 or so limited releases in antiqued medallion plating. Doing so costs nothing extra on mold fees and can help give these limited color swaps a unique sense of rarity. 

Quick Tip: Some of the limited release versions don’t swap colors instead, but go for a fully-plated design in plain metal.


Need Help getting started? AllAboutPins has been helping teams customize their custom trading pins for almost 20 years. Our expert team of designers can help you personalize a pin design from every level. If you need more inspiration check out some of the links below for more advice on how to order and design a stellar custom trading pin.