Pins are a great way for people to express themselves because these are subtle but become significant when noticed. Whether you are showing your passion for your favorite sports team or quietly promoting awareness of cancer, these can be worn, anytime and anywhere. If you like to wear one of your own, there are some things to consider before ordering. Here are some materials for custom label pins; how they are made; and how expensive they can be.
Cloisonné is a metalwork decoration technique using vitreous enamel. It is an ancient technique that has persisted to this day because the enamel serves the dual purpose of protecting the metal base for years on end without cracking or fading in color. Also known as hard enamel, cloisonné is applied by stamping the enamel on the recesses of the metal mold and then sealed in with very high temperatures. The result is an incredibly durable pin for long-term use—ideal for identification tags for health care professionals, badges for law enforcers, and medals for military officers.
Pins with soft enamel surfaces are formed nearly the same way as cloisonné, but its similarly shiny surface is the result of epoxy coating. It is almost as durable as cloisonné but costs less. Those for sports and awareness, and to showcase university and college logos are often made with soft enamel as they have nearly the same quality for less the price of cloisonné. Many corporate pins for awards, recognition, and also business conventions and seminars are also made with soft enamel for the same reasons.
Those with no color are called die struck pins as the metal molds are “die struck” to form an embossed and textured image. This is often used for nonprofit organizations and their fundraising events, corporate logos and name tags, and for fostering team spirit in professional associations or educational institutions. Many health care professionals, law enforcers, and military personnel use these as a more affordable alternative to cloisonné pins.
Pins manufactured in this style are significantly less expensive, so these are commonly used for events in nonprofit associations, student organizations, religious committees, and some awareness pins. This method of decorating the pins is ideal for when you like to have a high number of identical pins quickly. This is ideal for highly colored logos complete with photographs, painting replicas, or computer graphics for the main image. These images are ideal for digital printing as they have a multitude of color combinations to work with.
Pins with silk screened surfaces are similar to the offset digital pins except they have embossed or textured molds like the enamel pins. However, it can be more expensive than the offset digitally printed pins because the colors have to be applied one at a time onto each of the recesses of the mold. Many nonprofit organizations and student societies use these as they are neat and inexpensive.
The photo etched surfaces of these kinds of pins are similar to the silkscreen pins except that the molds are considerably thinner. The surface of the pin has a protective layer of clear epoxy to preserve the design for as long as needed.
Unlike the first three examples, the other styles of lapel pins last for a shorter time. Depending on the climate where they are used, they may become susceptible to moisture and extreme temperatures. Photo etched and offset digital pins may fade and peel after quite some exposure to heat, sunlight and moisture. This is because the epoxy may also fade and wear out with friction, causing the colors to fade, too. People may be aware that these can fade after a few years’ use. Those that are designed for short term use are best for these neat and inexpensive while those for long-term use are best made with enamel.