New to the pin world? Here’s a good place to start! We show you the different types of pins we offer, the metals, add-ons, terms and everything you’ll need to know to make the right decisions when making a pin!
TYPES OF PINS
Soft Enamel: Die-struck soft enamel pins are one of the most popular types of pin by far. Soft enamel pins are made from a metal blank that is die-struck with your design and then plated. After plating, the recessed areas of the pins that need to be colored are filled with colored enamel and left to dry. Known for its high quality and affordability, soft enamel lapel pins have a textured surface with metal areas raised and colored areas are recessed.
Hard Enamel: Cloisonne or hard enamel pins are a bit more expensive, but are ideal if you need a very high quality pin. These pins are struck from metal and then plated with your choice. All of the colors are then filled with a special enamel and then baked until it has melted and formed into the recessed areas of the pin. Then the pins are polished flat on a large buffing stone which makes the surface of the colors and the metal a smooth finish without having to add an epoxy coating.
Die Struck Metal: This method results in the pin consisting of all shiny metal, made to look aged or have a variety of metal textures or treatments to make them more distinguished. The antique process on a pin makes for a very classic look. They are struck from copper or iron and then plated with your choice of antiqued gold, bronze, silver, or copper. The antique finish is applied to the metal and then lightly buffed, leaving an aged, patina appearance on a newly made pin. Enamel colors can also be added to these pins, as well as an epoxy dome. We also make all metal pins without any color fill as well.
Offset Printed: These pins are perfect for images with lots of colors, blends, logos that cannot be altered or photographs that can’t be represented well on stamped enamel pins. First, a stainless steel or brass metal blank is cut to your custom shape, then the design is offset printed onto the surface of the blank with our high quality, full color printing process. The print is then sealed with an epoxy coating that protects the printing and keeps it looking great. Exposed base metal can also be left visible on these pins to really make them stand out.
3D Die Cast: Die cast pins are used for complicated designs that have many small cuts/ inlets/ angles or those that are of a three dimensional design. Die castings are slightly more expensive than ordinary enamel pins, and the processing of the die is expensive due to injecting a liquid metal into the mold, as opposed to stamp cutting it.
Metal Finishes: All metal pins are plated with different metal colors. The metal colors are important as it produces the detail (outline) of a pin. In the pin world, metal color is called plating. Plating options include gold, silver, copper or bronze, and in addition, each of these options can be antiqued to help enhance or high light the details in the pin. Antique makes the crevices darker and dulls the finish.
Back Clutch: Clutches are the clasp that hold your pin up. Military / Butterfly clutches are the standard pin attachment back. They are durable and come in either silver or gold brass. Rubber clutches work the same as the military clutches, but are made out of rubber. They come in either yellow or black. 2 back clutches are used on pins larger than 1.5” to keep them securely in place. 1 standard back clutch is included with each pin. If you require a different type of backing other than military or rubber, different backings are available at an additional cost.
Pin Size: Size does matter! When determining the size of the pin that works well with your design, you need to factor in how intricate the design is, the shape and the fine details (the smaller the details the bigger the pin should be). In comparison, .5 is the size of an M&M, 1 inch is roughly the size of a quarter, 1.25″ roughly the size of a US half dollar, 1.5″ an Eisenhower dollar, 1.75″ the diameter of a golfball and 2″ roughly the size of the top of a small v8 can. The most popular sizes used by artists are 1.125″-1.5″
Glitter: Glitter Enamel is made with the same high quality enamel that is used for all of our pins, only they mix in a little glitter to give them a more flashy sparkled look. Glitter enamel can be used with Soft Enamel pins and Cloisonne Hard Enamel pins.
Glow in the Dark: Glow in the dark enamel is perfect for when you want your pins to stand out in the dark. There are several enamel colors to choose from, so your design can use GITD enamel to fill in places as accents or even fill the entire pin with it!