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Lapel pins might not seem overly complex but just like anything that can be customized these tiny metal trinkets have their own pitfalls that you need to look out for. If this is your first time having a custom pin designed, make sure your pin idea passes these common mistakes that we have coached our customers against for years. Let our experience work for you so your pins come out incredible!
One of the most common mistakes that we have encountered in our time has involved cramming as many words, letters and numbers into the smallest pin possible. Technically, most fonts can be made legible at around 6 pt font size but just because it can be made doesn’t mean it should be. When you are designing or planning your custom pin, just keep in mind that anyone that is trying to read your pin won’t be putting their face 1″ away from your lapel. Try to make your lapel pin wording concise and clear along with the idea that people will likely be an armlength away when trying to see what your lapel pin is all about.
Pins by their very nature are small but we have come across many people who make their pin unnecessarily small by creating them in odd shapes – especially very skinny or thin shapes. When you order a custom pin, the pricing is determined by the largest dimension either vertically or horizontally. So if you were to request a 1″ pin but the design you have in mind is 1″ by .25″ than you are effectively losing out on a potential 1″ by .75″ area of design space. Now, maybe your design doesn’t need that extra room and that’s totally fine but bear in mind that the less space means less material and that affects the feel and weight of the pin.
Odd, special and unique shapes are our specialty but they inherently come with challenges just like the one mentioned in the previous tip but one very serious issue is how a pin posts are placed on these custom shaped pins. The posts are what pierce your clothing and is capped by a clutch to secure it. It’s often overlooked in how it can affect the presentation of a pin when worn so you need to keep this in mind when designing your own pin. When a pin is shaped uniquely, the pin post placement must consider the weight distribution and center of mass of the pin. You might think its perfectly find to place the pin post in the dead center, dimensionally, but that most likely will cause the pin to sag forward and not sit flush on a person’s lapel or other piece of apparel. Another issue that might pop up is when a pin has only one pin post but due to it’s shape (circles for instance) it actually requires two posts to keep it from “spinning” when worn.
We have been designing and manufacturing custom enamel pins for decades and with that comes expertise. Regardless of our experience, it won’t be uncommon for our customers to overrule color and metal plating recommendations and we are totally fine with that but it is what one the biggest pitfalls when it comes to designing a pin. We provide free digital graphics to show our customers a mock up of their custom pin but a graphic can only approximate what it looks like in real life. What real life brings is sheens, varying light sources and light colors, shadows, etc. These environmental conditions can turn what seemingly was a beautiful color scheme on a computer screen to a muddled mess when the pin is held in hand. An example of this is when a design has a dark metal plating such as black nickel or black metal and it borders enamel colors such as navy blue or dark green. The metal borders reflect the dark colors around them leading to a lack of definition in those areas which can make the pin look less than ideal.
What makes a pin look classy and valuable is the interplay of metal trim and quality paint enamels. Experienced pin collectors and designers know this fact but if you might not have ever had a custom pin made, you’d want a pin that is as true to your pin idea as possible even if it means having to print on design elements to achieve that. Having an overly complex design is one of the great traps of lapel pin creation. Keep in mind that simplification is not a bad thing because pins are small by nature. We understand that when we sketch out ideas that we use pencil and paper and draw things many inches in size. Your idea might look great when so greatly enlarged but when we shrink that idea down to pin scale, there might need to be sacrifices made. We recommend not using printing methods to achieve fine detail and instead utilize our experience in creating attractive lapel pins for our customers!
We here at Pincious hope that these tips help you in making a pin that is unforgettable. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you want to share your own custom pin idea because we are confident we can turn it into a pin that you’ll love for years to come.
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