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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

Sheet Protection

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.

Custom Pins 101: Types of Pin Backs and Attachments

Written on November 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm, by

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Knowing Your Pin Backs and Attachments

From jackets and shirts to book bags and purses, pin attachments keep your custom pins, well, pinned and make a pin a pin. However, they’re too often an afterthought in the design process. With designers spending their time and energy adding line detail and polish to their pin designs but neglecting how their pin will be worn as a pin and not just a cool design. It’s a huge oversight in our humble opinion because the right pin attachment establishes your pin’s perceived quality and where people are going to wear your custom pins. Some pin attachments are more secure for rougher wear on bags or coats, others are easier to display on cloth surfaces, and still, more can make a pin appear more elegant and valuable. Putting thought into the right backing for your pins helps elevate your product to the next level and creates a higher quality product.

For this Custom Pins 101, we’re exploring our most popular pin attachments and the features making them unique.

Butterfly Clutch

Butterfly Clutch

Also known as military clutches, butterfly clutches are one of the most popular types of pin attachments. A butterfly clutch has two metal prongs that you squeeze to fasten a pin or release it. They’re one of two standard pin attachments and are quite reliable, but odd movements over clothing folds can accidentally press one of the prongs and release the clutch.

Pin fact: Some military members disparagingly call butterfly clutches “dammits,” after the first words that come out of a servicemember’s mouth when they go flying across the room while fastened by clumsy or hurried hands.

Rubber Clutch

 Rubber Clutch

Easy to put on and off, rubber clutches are another popular pin attachment which is simply pushed into a pin’s needlepoint to fasten and release a pin. They’ve gained popularity in recent years with the rise of enamel pins and can come in different colors to match a pin’s plating or paint job. Rubber clutches are one of our two standard attachments and are more comfortable to wear for pins intended to be worn against the skin.

Pin fact: If you’re using the same clutch over and over again, it’ll eventually start losing its grip but rubber clutches are quite easy to replace.

Jewelry Clutch

Jewelry Clutch

Featuring a metal locking mechanism that latches onto a pin needle, jewelry clutches hold on much more securely than butterfly clutches or rubber clutches. To attach a jewelry clutch, simply push the metal nub of the clutch up before slipping the needle into the pinhole and releasing. These clutches are popular for their elegant design and secure hold against most any fabric or jostling from the wearer.

Pin fact: Jewelry clutches are also used to keep tie tacks in place, though the ones used for pins don’t have the attached chain.

Deluxe Clutch

Deluxe Clutch

Similar to jewelry clutches, deluxe clutches, known also as flathead locking clutches, also feature an internal locking mechanism that grips a pin’s needlepoint to fasten a pin into place. Deluxe clutches are very secure and ideal with pinning onto outerwear such as jackets or onto surfaces that can expect to get some rough treatment, such as bookbags or purses.

Pin fact: Deluxe clutches and jewelry clutches are both known as button clutches due to their rounded design.

Magnetic Backing

Magnetic Clutch

This type of backing is best for fastening the pin to thinner materials and consists of two magnets, one installed into the pin itself and another to help it attach to materials. Magnetically backed pins are technically not pins in the traditional sense, instead of piercing fabric or material to pin into place it relies on the attraction between two magnets to keep in place. Magnetic backing allows you to attach your pin to clothes and other surfaces without poking holes in the material.

Pin fact: The magnets used in magnetic backing are called rare earth magnets, which are also used for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI.)

Safety Pin

Safety Pin Back

Similar to the attachments used for buttons and, well, safety pins, most people are likely familiar with using this type of pin backing and it’s sometimes preferred because it’s much harder to lose a safety pin implanted into a pin than it is to lose a detachable clutch.

Pin fact: Safety pin attachments were much more popular with older antique pins and finding an old pin with this type of backing is likely a telling sign of vintage quality.

Choosing a Pin Attachment

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Choosing a pin attachment is often a matter of personal aesthetics, but it’s a good idea to consider where your pins expect to be worn and who’s going to wear your custom pins. Some pin attachments are ideal for certain apparel for example, while others hold better against rough wear. Putting thought into your choice of attachment can go a long way to making a custom pin uniquely suited to your needs

Here are a few quick tips about each pin type to help you decide:

  • Simple rubber or butterfly clutches are serviceable enough for daily wear on shirts and sports jackets but are also more liable to slipping or accidentally releasing their pins under rough conditions.
  • Jewelry and deluxe clutches increase a pin’s perceived value and hold to a surface more securely than the standard options, making them especially good for thick garments like parkas or heavy coats.
  • Magnetic backing is perfect for school pins, after all, there’s no harm in having one less sharp object around the kids.
  • Safety pins might seem bit old-fashioned, they’re actually ideal for hat pins since you pin them sideways and the attachment won’t jut uncomfortably into a worn hat.

If you have any questions about pin attachments and which one might be best for your own custom pins, don’t shy. You can contact All About Pins at info@allaboutpins.com or call us 1-866-604-9462. Our representatives are more than happy to help give you advice or guidance.


Interested in learning more about designing custom lapel pins? All About Pins Custom Pins 101 articles explores the basic language and design options behind every custom pin.

Custom Pins 101: The Differences Between Soft Enamel, Hard Enamel or Die-struck Pins

Written on November 14, 2018 at 3:21 pm, by

SoftEnamel v HardEnamel v Die Struck

Not sure of the difference between soft enamel, hard enamel or die-struck pins? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. All About Pins is asked weekly about it and we’re here set the record straight so you can decide which type is best for your custom pins.

Soft Enamel Pins

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While making soft enamel pins, a design’s shape is stamped and then cut from a sheet of metal before plated. The initial stamping creates raised and recessed areas (one level of metal raised over another lower level) and we fill-in the recesses with enamel paint to color your design. The raised and recessed levels give soft enamel pins a distinct “bumpy” or textured feel when running your fingers over the surface.

Between soft and hard enamel pins, soft enamel is slightly cheaper to produce and, at your request, we can add a free epoxy resin coating to protect the surface. The textured feel of a soft enamel pin allows for more line detail than hard enamel pins and full enamel paint allows for more visual variety over die struck pins.

Hard Enamel Pins

Hard Enamel

In-house, we offer a type of hard enamel pin called cloisonné pins. Making our hard enamel pins is similar to making our soft enamel pins but with the added step of filling each recess with colored resin. After the resin fill, each color on an order of pins is individually baked at a high temperature to harden and cure the enamel, before applying a polish so the final product has a hard and glossy finish with a nearly flat surface.

Hard enamel pins have a smooth jewelry-grade surface compared to the metallic ridges of soft enamel pins and the enamel becomes much more durable. We use a resin fill instead of a more traditional glass fill in order to provide the full spectrum of Pantone color options. The final polish that gives hard enamel pins their distinctive smoothness also means the metal lines in a design can become slightly less detailed but the colors will look much sharper and more vibrant than soft enamel pins.

Die-struck Pins

Diestruck

While we constantly get requests for colorfully illustrated designs, sometimes less is more and that’s where die struck pins come in. Stamped in metal in the same way as soft enamel pins, die struck pins forgo the addition of enamel paint and remain sheathed in the natural look of their plating for a classic metal look with the option for sandblasting the recesses for visual contrast. Die struck pins are popular with designers or organizations looking for a classic metal appearance with our standard high polish plating.

As an extra service, All About Pins can antique plate the pins to give them a rare vintage appearance. Antiqued die struck is actually our most popular type of die struck plating and the plating can have a dramatic effect on a coin’s detailed appearance. Compared to the stylized look of painted enamel pins, some clients view the simplicity of die-struck pins as more elegant and refined.

Side by Side

SidebySide

Placing the different types of pins side by side you can more easily tell some of the more specific differences between each pin type. If you’re still confused about their differences, think about it this way. If the surface has a textured feel with definite recesses where the enamel paint fills color, then it’s a soft enamel pin. Meanwhile, if it has an almost smooth texture with a painted enamel surface, then it’s a hard enamel pin. Should it have a textured surface but an unpainted metal surface, then what you’re holding is a die-struck pin.

Which Pin Type to Choose?

That question might be harder to answer than you might expect.

Slightly cheaper to produce and order than hard enamel, soft enamel pins are at the forefront of the enamel pin craze and can be found at gift shops, Etsy stores and corporations alike. However, the smooth finish of a hard enamel pin is more durable and the smooth finish has a much higher perceived value. Hard enamel pins have also seen a jump in popularity with recent fashion trends and are historically used for high-grade lapel pins, military pins and corporate pins. Meanwhile, die-struck pins give a uniquely vintage appearance that is especially popular with award pins or organizational pins.

As you can tell from the example above, the different textures, surfaces and colors can give each type of pin a very different look and feel. Ultimately, a choice between either of the three pin types is likely going to be decided more by your personal aesthetics and your specific design than anything else. All else fails, All About Pins offers unlimited free revisions on all our orders so you have a chance to test how pin might look under different designs before going to order.


 

Let All About Pins Help

Still can’t decide? Let us help! If you can’t decide which pin type would look best with your design, All About Pins has over a decade of experience working with artists, businesses, government agencies and national organizations to help you explore different options for your pin designs. Remember, after you request a free quote we send you a free art proof of your design with free revisions on any aspect of your custom pin.

Have a favorite pin? Tweet us and let us or show us on our Facebook page!

Your Guide to Ordering Custom Lapel Pins

Written on November 8, 2018 at 2:51 pm, by

Got artwork or logo you want made into a custom lapel pin? Never ordered custom pins from a company before? We’re All About Pins here and ready to help you through the process of designing and ordering custom lapel pins for your business, organization, sports team or online shop using our four-step process. This article will help guide you through our design and ordering process that takes your concepts and executes them into high-quality lapel pins.

Four-Steps-to-a-Custom-Pin

Step One: Send Your Pin Ideas and Fill Our Online Form

The first part of getting your pins is easy, get in touch by calling, emailing us or filling our online form and send us your ideas and specifications for an order. If you’ve already got a design you want turned into a pin, simply send it to us in any file type we can view (.ai, .jpg, .gif, .png, .pdf etc.) If you have no design in mind and no idea where to start, that’s no problem. Our representatives will help individually guide you through the process of getting an original concept based on your company or organization.

At this step, the most important things are to set the basic criteria of your order such as how many pins you plan to order, how big you want those pins to be and what type of pin you want designed. Once you send us the basic criteria and an idea for your design, we’ll get back to you with a free full-color art proof of your design along with a projected price quote for your project.

Choosing a pin type

One of the important choices you’ll make at this stage is deciding what kind of pin you want. There are advantages and disadvantages to consider for each type of pin and some designs or color combinations are better suited for specific pin types.

Product_compare

The most popular pin types include:

  • Cloisonne pins – A type of hard enamel pin which fills the details of a stamped design with colored glass resin before being baked at high temperatures to give a durable and glossy jewel-like finish.
  • Soft enamel pins – Probably the first type of pin to come to mind when imagining enamel pins, soft enamel pins are very beginner-friendly and are best for designs with clearly separated colors.
  • Die-struck pins – Popular for awards and service pins, die-struck pins have simple metallic finishes that give their designs a classic look.

 

Quantity and Size

When filling out our form, you’ll be asked how many pins you want to be ordered and how big each pin will be. For most pin types, our minimum order size is 100 pins, but if you expect to sell or give out a large quantity, we recommend ordering at least 300 pins. Not only does this greatly decrease the cost per pin, but orders of 300 or more also allow you to save money on the mold setup fee.

Comparison

As for size, the optimal size of a pin varies greatly on the complexity of a design and your own preferences but we recommend complex designs go to at least 1” for showing off a design’s details.

Step Two: Review, Revise and Approve

In 24 to 48 hours after receiving your information, we respond back with a full-color art proof of what your design would look like as a pin based on your specifications. At this stage, its a matter of looking over our work and deciding what works and what doesn’t.

Proof

Any aspect of the proof come out differently than you envisioned? Did you want to further customize the design? Now the fun begins! We offer free unlimited revisions to all our clients meaning you can shoot back any feedback on our work and our team of artists will make the requested changes before sending you a revised art proof of the design with the revisions. The right change can make all the difference and clients can ask us to revise anything in a pin’s design from the shape, colors, size, and paint. During this stage, it’s also an opportunity to test our other customizations including plating options, attachments, key chains or packaging.

Step Three: Complete the Order Form

Like what you see? Great! Just fill out our order form with your delivery address and payment information and once it’s processed we’ll immediately begin production which takes seven to 10 business days. We accept payment from all major credit card companies and it doesn’t matter how many revisions or changes you’ve asked us to make, the final price we quote will be the price of your order.

Step Four: Your Order Gets Shipped

This last part is really simple. After production, your pins are delivered within two to three days barring any major delivery disruption including large-scale fires, hurricanes, mudslides, apocalyptic alien invasions or the postal company loses the package.

Congratulations! Your order is now complete and we hope people love the final product.

Shipping

With four simple steps, your ideas are now a physical pin you can wear with pride. If upon receiving your order, there are any problems with the pins or the final product is dramatically different from what was promised, shoot us a message immediately. All About Pins offers a satisfaction guarantee on all orders and will immediately rectify the issue by sending a new batch of pins.

School Pride

Written on September 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm, by

pin268

It’s fall, which means school is back in session. With kids back in their seats, quarters already coming to a close, and graduations to plan, there’s no better way to make your students feel appreciated than with custom lapel pins!

Every school feels proud of their accomplishments and students, and what better way to show off that pride than with a custom pin with your mascot, school logo, or anything that you feel represents your student body and faculty?

School pride lapel pins are fantastic for various events such as football games, graduations, teacher meet-and-greets, student rewards, and even more. Even better: If you choose to make your pins with us, we guarantee that your pins won’t break your budget. What’s better than quality rewards at an excellent price?

Lapel pins for your school can be any type. Colorful pins will be either soft enamel or cloisonne, and metal pins will be die struck. If you’re concerned with cost, we’re happy to work with you to find a design that’s both striking, appropriate, and fits into your school budget.

Ready to get started on a unique way to show your school pride? Go ahead and give us a call at 1-866-604-9462, or email us at info@allaboutpins.com. Let us help you celebrate all that your school and students have accomplished!

Clearing Up Epoxy

Written on September 6, 2017 at 2:10 pm, by

pin261

When you’re creating custom lapel pins, whether as company rewards, party favors, or to get your artwork out into the world, it’s understandable to be a little concerned when doing a strictly digital transaction. Sure, the proof looks amazing (our talented designers will do nothing less for you), but how do you know that your pins will be of the same quality? How do you know that they won’t suffer damages in transit from the factory to you?

All of our pins come packaged by default in individual poly bags. This prevents the pins from running into one another and suffering from scratches and chips in the enamel. While our pins are always of the highest quality, let’s be honest: mail carriers are rough with packages in the name of efficiency. Without the protection of the small bags, there’s a very real chance that the hard metal could cause some damage to other pins in the batch.

We do offer other packaging options (to be discussed later! 🙂 ), but another way to ensure that your pins stay protected is to coat them with epoxy. This works well on several of our pin types. Epoxy coating is a type of resin that’s put over your design after it’s complete. It seals it in and gives your pin a smooth finish, not unlike cloisonne.

Due to the nature of our offset printed pins, epoxy comes on those by default. However, for our other pin types, it can be included by request. Since it’s clear, it doesn’t damage or change your design at all, and it provides you with the peace of mind that your pins are protected, regardless of what happens to your poly bags or printed cards, or how your mail carrier decides to abuse your package.

Curious if your pins would look good with epoxy? Want to add it to future designs? Feel free to contact us at 1-866-604-9462, or email us at info@allaboutpins.com, and we’ll be happy to discuss your options!