Three Easy Steps to Make a Custom Lapel Pin

An expertly crafted set of lapel pins unlike any other collectible of its kind. With materials like soft enamel, glowing colors, and intricate designs, these are items that you can keep for a lifetime and wear with pride.

However, crafting one of these cool creations is not so easy, even if you’ve got the skills, the time, and the resources required. For those of us with busy lives and average budgets, you need to fast-track the process and have it done right the first time.

You’re in luck, because it has never been easier – or quicker – to create a set of custom lapel pins that match your exact specifications and ship directly to your door. Here are the three easy steps you can follow to complete the process from start to finish.

The Perfect Design

When designing your lapel pin for the first time, you’ll need to know the tricks of the trade. We’ve come a long way in terms of the tech used to make lapel pins at an industrial scale, but even the most advanced machines have their limitations.

With this in mind, your primary design goals should be legibility and simplicity, rather than trying to create the most detailed, intricate image possible.

This might seem counterintuitive to those with a background in design, but it all makes sense when you learn more about the artform of lapel pins. This format is not only small-scale (averaging around 2 inches in diameter), but pins also must make a strong visual impact, even if viewed from a distance. 

From there, you can either use a vector-based art program or simply sketch out your design by hand with old-school paper and pen. The best designs are reminiscent of bold cartoons or traditional tattoos, featuring strong lines and eye-catching colors.

Remember, you’re not aiming for photorealism when developing these designs. The point is to keep it simple and get the point across! When you have the final design, just upload the file in the correct format to the manufacturer’s website and add any useful descriptors that will help them bring your vision to life. 

The Best Materials

With a masterful design in place, most of the heavy lifting is already done. The top lapel pin manufacturers make it easy to choose from a set of quality materials to make sure your final product meets your desired specifications.

Your first decision is to select a production method, which will have the greatest impact on the look and feel of the final product, aside from the design itself. 

For a bare-bones yet sophisticated look, you can choose a die-struck production, which will simply press your design into a base metal and add no additional dyes, enamels, or prints. It’s the classic lapel pin look that makes your design look vintage yet noble and distinct.

The next two most popular options are both enamel-based, either hard or soft. Hard enamel creates a flat, polished surface and gives a premium look and feel. Soft enamel offers a nostalgic appearance with recessed surfaces and more gel-like colors.  

As always, you can opt for silk screen or printed pins to get additional detail and a more rapid production process. Silk screen is your best bet for a minimal, black-and-white design done quickly and affordably, while offset printed pins let you get as close to photo-perfect as possible.

After that, it’s a matter of choosing the base material that will be used to form the foundation of your pin. With die-struck pins, this determines the overall appearance of the final product, while enamel and printed pins will not be altered so dramatically. 

At last, you’ll have the option to choose from different pin backing mechanisms that will change the use and accessibility of your pins, and bring it all together with premium packaging if you so choose.

The Right Order

With all the design and materials decisions completed, it’s time to complete your order with a few logistical choices. You’ll need to decide how many pins you want to order, weighing the pros and cons of higher volume and lower costs.

Buying in bulk is always recommended, and most producers will have a minimum order that prevents you from ordering just a handful of pins. Still, you can do a lot with just 100 pins, and perhaps even sell them at a profit or aim to break even. 

Also be sure to set a deadline for when you want your pins to be produced. You may be able to save some money by ordering further ahead of time, which is always good for the budget. 

Lapel Pins Done Your Way

The pin production process is fast, accurate, and highly customizable. Take advantage of the modern infrastructure and get the exact pins you want without waiting too long or spending a fortune. 

Photo by Luis Cortés on Unsplash

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