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Custom Lapel Pins

Enamel Pins 101: What Are They and How to Make Them

Enamel pins offer a variety of options when it comes to design and manufacturing. Like many other pin types, they can be made into a wide array of shapes, sizes, finishes, and designs. They are also popular among trading pins since they are relatively easy to make and can yield premium results in the hands of good manufacturers and designers. If you are interested in getting your own enamel pins, there is a lot you should know before making your final decision. Here is everything that you need to know about enamel pins and how they are made.

What Are Enamel Pins?

Enamel pins are a specific type of lapel pin that utilizes enamel to create colors and images in a manner that is different from other lapel pin manufacturing techniques. This is done by applying a layer of enamel over another layer of metal to create contrasting colors that display a level of depth. Enamel pins were originally created for jewelry and decorative pins. They were later adopted for lapel pins and badges and are now used in different types of products and industries. Enamel lapel pins can come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They are usually made with two layers with the top layer being translucent enamel and the bottom layer being metal.

Enamel Pins have a variety of uses and designs.

How Are Enamel Pins Made?

Enamel pins share manufacturing processes with many other types of pins. The key difference is in the coloring process where the enamel is added. Every manufacturer can use a slightly different process as well to achieve a different quality result. However, the overall process is consistent among manufacturers and the differences come down to the quality of each step as well as the materials used. Here is a more detailed look at the manufacturing process that we use to make enamel pins.

Completing the Design

Before any manufacturing can begin, the design team works with the client to finalize the design. They not only verify that the design is possible, but they also help with artwork and setting up the systems needed to make the pins. Once the final proof is finished, it becomes the template to make the dye that is used to make all of the pins of a specific design.

Dye Making and Stamping

The first step in the manufacturing process is to create a dye, which is a stamp made from a hard metal. This dye is placed in a high-powered press and used to stamp designs into other, slightly weaker pieces of metal.

The design, however, is not exactly the same as the design. Rather, it is the reverse (or negative) of the design. The dye is used to push in all of the areas where the enamel paint is added later. So, a design that consists of outlines will be reversed to create a dye that has no raised outlines. Instead, the outlines will be indented in the dye so that they are unaffected during the stamping process.

Once completed, the same dye is used repeatedly to make all of the pins of a particular design. Most dyes can last for hundreds, if not thousands of uses. However, the pins that are stamped as well as the dye are checked to make sure that they are accurate, consistent, and undamaged as a part of the quality control process. 

The dye is used to stamp the design into either metal sheets or metal disks, depending on the design. Larger designs are often stamped onto sheets and then cut from that sheet while medium and smaller designs are stamped directly on metal discs called blanks. The blanks are removed, deburred (any sharp edges or burrs are removed), and inspected for quality before moving on.

Color Filling

The color filling process is where the type of enamel pin is decided. It can either be a hard enamel pin or a soft enamel pin. Both are made using a similar process with a slightly different process. 

Both are filled with enamel paint according to the design. Enamel paint comes in a wide variety of color options, and custom colors can be created as well. Making the pins with a dye method makes it much easier to create fine details that the enamel paint can fill. 

Soft enamel pins are filled to about 99% depth so that any outlines in the design are raised about the paint’s surface. Hard enamel pins are filled to 100% depth. Both are then heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit to cure, making the paint hard and durable.

Hard enamel pins are polished so that they are flush with the metal surfaces outlined on the coin. This also gives it a harder feel and glossy finish, leading to more vibrant colors and a higher-quality finish. If you want an enamel pin but you want to upgrade it a bit, try switching from soft enamel to hard enamel. 

Quality Inspection

At the end of the manufacturing process, all pins are checked for quality issues. Each pin is picked up and inspected for flaws, sharp edges, or other potential problems. If everything checks out, they are individually packaged and prepared for shipping. 

Enamel Pin Design Options

One of the reasons why enamel pins are widely popular is because there are relatively few limits on your designs. As enamel pins are made with a metal base, they are available in a wide variety of finishes that can make your pin stand out. Here are a few basic options to think about during the design process. 

Size

Enamel pins can be made to nearly any size. The final size of the design is limited by the size of the dye and the matching blanks. Most pins are between one and three inches in size, although other options are possible. Changing the size of a pin design is an easy way to make it stand out from other options. 

Shape

Since enamel pins are made of metals, they can be cut into nearly any shape. As long as your bins are not made small enough or thin enough to be flexible, the design is possible. With a creative design, you can use the overall shape of the pin as an important feature to differentiate it from others. 

This also includes cutouts, or removed sections within the design of your pin. As long as the pin is designed to be structurally sound, parts can be cut out to give it a more dimensional presentation. 

Metal Plating and Coatings

While the pins are stamped from aluminum blanks, they can be metal plated or coated to look like just about any other type of metal. Nickel, brass, and gold are common plating options, while spray black is a common coating option. Each coating or plating option has a unique set of features that you can use to enhance your pins overall design. 

Paint Colors

Enamel paint comes in a wide variety of color options. This gives you the ability to use color to your advantage. Most other pin options have limit color options, giving you a very small palette to make your designs work. Enamel pins have a lot of options to choose from, giving you numerous ways to make your pins unique. Many customers often order several designs with different color schemes so that they have more variation in their options. 

Pros of Enamel Pins

Enamel pins are one of the most popular pin options because of their advantages over other styles. Here are a few of the reasons why enamel pins are popular. 

Customizability

They can be designed with a wide array of colors, patterns, and designs and can be made into almost any shape. They can be made in both simple and complex designs and in small and large quantities. 

Durability

Enamel pins are durable and can be made with materials that are resistant to corrosion, scratching, and bending. They can be made in a wide variety of metals and can be plated with other materials to increase their durability. 

Affordability

Enamel pins are relatively affordable and can be made in small batches or large quantities. They are also easy to design and can be made with a variety of different materials.

Upgrade With Hard Enamel Pins

The enamel can be applied in different thicknesses to create different effects. Thin enamel will create a subtle effect while thick enamel will be more noticeable. 

Get Your Enamel Pins From an Industry Leader

The company that you choose to make your pins plays an important part in their quality. For the best quality pins, work with an industry leader that has years of experience making pins for sports teams, individuals, businesses, and government agencies. Call us at 877-312-9794 to start your next pin order today. 

Five Unique Marketing Tips: Marketing With Lapel Pins

Competition is getting crazy. More than 270,000 American businesses exported goods out of the United States. Millions of other businesses were focused inside the United States, selling goods to other Americans.

This makes marketing so important. You have to follow marketing tips that help your business stand out, regardless of what your business is. One way you can make yourself distinct is through lapel pins.

How can you learn how to design a lapel pin? How can you use pins to create solidarity within your company? How can you use them for brand awareness?

Answer these questions and you can find simple yet profound ways to distinguish yourself from competitors. Here are five marketing tips you can follow with lapel pins.

1. Employ Color Psychology

Color psychology refers to how colors can impact a person’s mood and behaviors. When you are marketing with lapel pins, you need to consider the impact of colors on the viewer. You want to find colors that will create feelings that reflect well back on your organization.

Red is the traditional color of romantic love and passion. It also indicates dominance and power, making it a good choice for the pins of high-ranking figures. You should bear in mind that red signs indicate hazards, so seeing red may deter some people.

Blue is a color that can summon feelings of peace and tranquility. Yet it has associations with sadness and loneliness.

White and black are not common choices for pins. They can be too stark, and a black pin is difficult to see on a black lapel. But white is emblematic of peacefulness while black can signify boldness and power, so they may be effective choices.

2. Create Different Sets of Pins for Different Groups

Giving the same pin to everyone in your organization can create solidarity. Everyone is at the same level and feels like they are a unified team. Someone seeing several people with the same pin will be reminded of your organization and encouraged to work with you.

Yet you are not obligated to give the same pin to everyone. If your organization has several groups within it, you can give different pins to each group.

For an authority figure, you can give a pin with an element on it that indicates an authority. You can give a pin with a crown on it to your boss.

If you have an educational organization with multiple grades in it, you can have a number that indicates each grade. People in their first year can receive a pin with the number one on it.

You can also make different types of lapel pins. Soft enamel pins can have a more textured surface while hard enamel pins can resemble jewelry. Choosing the type of lapel pin can make all the difference!

3. Give Pins as Rewards

Creating a ceremony out of handing out your custom lapel pins will give your pins a layer of meaning. It can also help with creating brand awareness. Someone who sees the ceremony may want to work with you because they see you care about your employees.

You don’t have to be elaborate about your ceremony. You can hand your pin to the recipient with your left hand and shake their hand with your right hand.

But you can get more extravagant. You can give a speech about the recipient before you hand the pin to them. This is a good idea when you are presenting a pin to an important person.

If you want to turn your reward ceremony into a marketing opportunity, you should broadcast it. You can stream it on Facebook and other social media platforms. You can reward loyal customers or volunteers with pins as well.

4. Package Pins With Other Things

A pin is a small award. Someone who receives one after years of work may not feel the true weight of the gift. Consider packaging the pin with another object. You can give an important employee a plaque and a pin.

You can place the pin inside a special box. When the recipient is not wearing it, they can place it in the box and store it on a shelf. This has a practical purpose and it makes the pin seem important.

Feel free to sell a few pins together in a small package. You can also sell a pin alongside a hat or another object with your company logo on it. When the customer sees the pin or hat, they will remember your organization.

5. Place Pins in Advertisements

You can use lapel pins to help with broad and long-term marketing campaigns. Whenever you have a group of employees in an advertisement, the employees should wear your pins.

You don’t have to call attention to the pins if you don’t want to. A wide shot that shows everyone wearing your pins is enough to show them off. Someone looking at the visual may feel like your employees have solidarity and corporate pride.

Try to incorporate the visuals of your pins in other parts of your advertisements. If your pin has one important color, you should feature that color in your company logo and background choices. When a customer sees the color, they will remember your company right away.

Marketing with Lapel Pins for an Event
Marketing with Lapel Pins for an Event

Practice the Best Marketing Tips for Lapel Pins

There are several marketing tips you should follow when you are using lapel pins. You should find colors that draw out qualities about your organization.

If your organization has different groups, create a custom pin for each one. Make handing out the pins a ceremony that makes the recipient feel important.

You can hand out plaques in addition to pins. Have the pins be an important visual in your advertisements.

You’re not on your own when you’re looking for great pins. MetalPromo provides premium pins at low prices. Get your price quote today.

7 Tips for Designing Customized Pins for Your Company

Business owners know a thing or two about the importance of brand identity. Your brand tells consumers who you are, what you offer, and what kind of culture you strive to create.

Did you know that brand identity is just as important for your employees? There are tons of great ways to work towards internal brand identity, and branded swag is one of them.

If you’re getting ready to host or participate in an event, start thinking about customized pins. When your employees wear corporate pins, they don’t just promote your company to the masses. They start to feel more connected to the work they do for your business.

Not sure where to start? Read on for seven tips that will help you design custom pins for your company.

1. Start With a Message

What message do you want to spread with your company pins? What is the purpose of designing them? For example, are you rewarding your employees for completing a specific task or showcasing your business at a tradeshow?

We always recommend starting with a purpose before moving to an image or concept. That way, you can check and balance your creative ideas against the goals you have for your pins to ensure that they’re sending the message you intended.

2. Think About Your Branding

Remember, brand identity is what you’re building when you create customized pins for your company. However, this process is cyclical in that you’re going to need to use elements of your branding to create an effective corporate pin.

More specifically, we’re talking about the visual elements of your branding. This includes things like the logo, color scheme, and typography that you use on other branded marketing materials, like your signage, website, and business cards. One of the simplest ways to approach this process is to create company logo pins that don’t require any new design work.

3. Sketch Out Some Ideas

You’ve got your message in mind and you’ve pulled out some of your branded materials for reference. If you want to do something new or specific, rather than a company logo pin, the next step is to start sketching and see how to bring those ideas to life.

If visual arts aren’t your thing, talk to your colleagues or employees and find out if anyone has any strong art skills. It could even be a fun team-building process to host a design contest, allowing everyone to enter and vote on customized pin designs.

If you don’t have any strong artists on your team (or don’t want to spend time doodling), don’t sweat it. Great pin printing companies can also offer assistance with designs to ensure that you end up with a finished product that you love.

Customized Company Pins

4. Keep It Simple

If you’re going to take on the design yourself, it’s important to keep simplicity in mind. Pins tend to be on the smaller size (around 1-2 inches in diameter), so you don’t want to overcrowd your design with colors or images that won’t translate well.

Let’s use color as an example. There’s no need to shade your design because shading can’t be reproduced with the soft enamel most pins are made from. Stick to a few colors that contrast for high visibility and include single shades of each color so that you will receive a true reproduction of your design.

5. Consider Custom Pin Enhancements

Do you want to go the extra mile to make sure that your employees love their company pins and that those pins get the attention they deserve? If so, you may want to consider custom pin enhancements.

Crystals, glitter, blinkers, and glow enamel all add a special touch to help your pins stand out. Plus, these enhancements can add to the complexity of your design without making it feel overcrowded or busy.

6. Get Creative With Pin Shapes

A custom design means custom shapes. While classic pins are often made in the shape of a circle, oval, or square, you do not have to work within these parameters when coming up with a design of your own.

Do you want to make your pin in the shape of your nontraditional logo? Do you want to add a banner across the bottom of your circular design? Soft enamel is easy to mold before the curing process, which makes it easy to get creative with the shape of your design.

7. Find the Right Corporate Pin Maker

We have talked a lot about coming up with the ideal design for your customized pins. What do you do when it comes time to have them made? Let’s talk about what to look for in a great pin-making company.

A great pin-making company uses high-quality materials but offers discount pricing for bulk orders. A great pin-making company offers additional incentives like free art assistance, free revisions, and free shipping. A great pin-making company has experience making everything from corporate pins to club pins to niche hobby or fandom pins.

If you’re looking for a company that offers all of that and more, look no further than MetalPromo. We have years of experience making customized pins and we can turn any vision into a reality.

Come to MetalPromo for All of Your Customized Pins

Brand identity is an important part of your internal team-building and external success. Customized pins are perfect for any corporate event, from store openings to tradeshows, and we’re here to help those pins come to life.

MetalPromo is proud to design, create, and ship custom metal products all across the country. We’re also proud to offer transparent pricing and high-quality customer service. Before you place your order, let us know what kind of project you have in mind and we’ll send back a free price quote.

Where Can You Find High-Quality Lapel Pins? A Closer Look

Where Can You Find High-Quality Lapel Pins? A Closer Look

Finding high-quality lapel pins can be hard if you don’t know what to look for. Keep reading and learn where to look here.

Although the process of applying enamel inlay to metal artwork goes back thousands of years, it may surprise you to know that the history of the lapel pin isn’t that recent either. The earliest examples of work that could be considered quality lapel pins come from somewhere between the 13th and 14th centuries, in China.

Things haven’t changed a lot throughout the centuries, either. Many lapel pins still come from China.

But if you want to find the best lapel pins, it’s a good idea to know what to look for, and where to look. Read on to learn everything you need to know.

Quality Lapel Pins Custom
Ben Kwok Custom Art Pins

Choose Your Supplier Wisely

There are a lot of enamel pin suppliers out there.. It means you have many options when it comes to ordering your pins, whether it’s for your business, your club, organization, or even personal collecting.

But it also means that it can be challenging to know whether a given supplier is the real deal or not. In order to find a reputable supplier, check out their customer reviews to review real customer experiences. Another smart idea would be to check out previous work in their image gallery or on their social media channels.

Know Your Supplier’s Policies

Before you submit your order, you should also know all of the policies your supplier has for the process. If you’re purchasing custom lapel pins, you should know ahead of time how many revisions to the design you’re entitled to, and also what return policies exist.

Many companies won’t accept returns on custom orders, so make sure you understand all of the policies and how to make sure you’re satisfied with your purchase.

Hard Enamel or Soft Enamel

One key question to ask yourself when you consider your lapel pin purchase is whether you want hard enamel or soft enamel pins. Some suppliers specialize in one method over the other, and some suppliers offer both. The criteria for a high-quality soft enamel pin are different from what you should look for in a hard enamel lapel pin, as well.

Soft enamel products tend to have more texture, because of the way that the enamel is applied and cured. The colored enamel fills in the recesses on the pin so that the colors don’t mingle, and the result is that the edges of the design stand out more clearly.

You can feel the outlines and recesses on the design, which is one reason that people prefer soft enamel for certain pins.

Hard enamel receives a gentle grinding over the surface, which results in a smooth finish with no ridges from the outlines of the recesses. For certain materials, like silver and gold, hard enamel is the best choice.

Die-Struck and Die-Cast

Other lapel pin options include die-struck pins and die-cast, both of which can be enamel products. Die-struck pins are made by using a machine to put a huge amount of pressure on a piece of metal, molding it without heating it very much. The pressure forces the metal into the correct shape for the design, and from there the piece can receive the enamel finish.

Die-casting involves melting down the metal and pouring it into a mold, letting it cool before applying enamel or other decorative touches.

For die-struck pieces, look for a crisp, clear definition of the design, and for higher density. Die-cast lapel pins should be clear of blisters, cracks, and flow marks.

Custom Quality Lapel Pins

Keep Budget in Mind

Budget is always an important factor in any purchase, but it’s important to keep mindful of the many upgrade options available when it comes to quality lapel pins. You should have an idea of the range of prices for the type of quality lapel pin you are wanting to make for your pin order.

Upgrade options can really enhance your custom lapel pin. Upgrade options range from plating option, glitter enamel, glow in the dark, and even show stopping blinkers! Just keep in mind that the more upgrades you add to your custom quality lapel pin, the more the price will increase. Another note worth mentioning about pins is that you can actually save money by ordering more lapel pins! Buying 100 pins may estimate at about $3.00+ per pin but if you buy 300 that price drops to $1.95 per pin!

Keep your budget in mind, but understand that quality and durability is more important than the lowest price.

Put a Premium on Shipping

Once you’ve ordered your lapel pins, you will want to receive them as quickly as possible. So before you pull the trigger, make sure you understand what the shipping options are, and how they’ll work for you.

Most quality lapel pin suppliers can offer competitive shipping rates since they do a high volume of shipping and get a discount. Depending on what you want your lapel pins for, choose the shipping type that keeps your purchase secure, while still getting it to you quickly. We, at MetalPromo, offer priority shipping FREE of charge!

Get The Most out of Your Lapel Pin Purchase

By knowing what to look for and where to look for quality lapel pins, you can get the most out of your purchase and know that you’ll enjoy your pin for years to come. Lapel pins are a great marketing tool, as well as a handy and creative way to celebrate your organization, a major victory, or any number of other causes.

Check out what you can do with custom lapel pins and more!

Using Custom Lapel Pins to Commemorate an Event

Want to commemorate a special event in a practical way? Check out our article on custom lapel pins to see if they could be right for your needs.

Your company has a 10-year anniversary party coming up. Your employees have worked hard to get the company to where it is. This will be a special occasion that the guests will want to remember.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could give them a gift to remember this event? But you find yourself wondering how to commemorate an event like this without breaking the bank.

What better way than with custom lapel pins? These small, inexpensive items can provide tremendous sentimental value.

Read on to learn about how lapel pins can make great event memorabilia.

What Events Can You Commemorate With Pins?

Pins are a great option for commemorating special events of all types. Whether it is for a company event or a school function, pins can serve as a meaningful gift.

Work anniversaries are a popular option for commemorating. Many companies like to recognize milestone years of service. Pins can be a meaningful gift to give your employees for their work anniversary.

custom lapel pins shed aquarium

Perhaps a team finally completed a large project that improved work processes. A pin would be a simple but meaningful way to show your appreciation to the team members.

You can give out pins at a special event such as a convention. Many fan conventions have a practice of giving out ribbons, and pins could be a fun way to enhance this interaction.

When grandma and grandpa celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, pins could be a great party gift. Your family will remember this big event when they look at the pin.

Custom lapel pins can display pride in a school or a club. They can function as fundraisers or as prizes for those doing the fundraising. A city can commemorate its anniversary with custom pins as well.

Regardless of what type of event you’d like to host, a well-designed pin will offer a cherished memento of the occasion.

Why Custom Lapel Pins?

Maybe you are wondering why you should be using lapel pins as gifts. Not only do people collect pins, but they also enjoy simple gifts that can serve other functions in their lives.

Pins are practical gifts. Some events are commemorated with items that the recipient cannot do anything with. Pins can be fastened to clothing, bags, and more. Collectors show off their gifts on pinboards, lanyards, and other creative displays.

Lapel pins can accessorize an outfit. They can also be a way for people to visibly show off achievements and status.

If you are creating a special item to commemorate a special occasion, it should last longer than the event. Pins are created to last for years, not days. Ten, twenty, even fifty years down the road, the recipient will still have that pin to remember the special event.

Best of all, they aren’t some paperweight. All too often, well-meaning people give pretty gifts that aren’t functional. Statues and trophies look nice in a glass case but often just collect dust in a corner of the recipient’s home.

Modern people are focusing on living more minimalist lifestyles. Pins fit well into these lifestyles because they are small and functional. They are more likely to be appreciated than a glass ball with an engraving.

One of the benefits of custom lapel pins is that they are affordable. Custom items usually cost a lot of money. But with lapel pins, you can create something unique without spending your entire paycheck.

How to Make Custom Pins

Now that you have learned about how pins can make great gifts, you’re wondering what to do to create them.

Creating a pin does not need to be difficult. You can design your own art on any number of digital platforms or have us design the art for you at no additional charge (*restrictions do apply).

You’ll want to keep the art somewhat simple. Complex designs, especially those with lots of shading, do not always translate well to pins. Keep in mind that the area of a pin is quite small, so intricate details will likely get lost.

Decide if you’d like to add any enhancements to your pin. You can have a design with glitter or crystals. You can even have an enamel that glows.

Decide if you want to make your pin with soft or hard enamel. A hard enamel pin produces a durable product with a smooth design. Soft enamel allows for raised designs but is less resistant to scratches.

Custom Sports Lapel Pin

If enamel is not quite what you’re looking for, you can also have offset printed pins or die-struck pins. Offset printed pins allow for highly detailed art, so if your design is intricate, this may be the option for you. Die-struck pins have a simpler yet classic look.

Ordering Your Pins

Once you’ve got the pin created, it’s time to place your order. Most manufacturers will have an order minimum. We offer low minimums so that you don’t have to order more than you will need.

Processing times vary, so it is important to plan ahead. Complete our quote form for more specific information about how long it may take to create your pins.

When they arrive, you can package the pins in any way you like. They can be placed in cute gift boxes or simply distributed as they arrive. The presentation ideas are only limited by your imagination.

Create Your Lapel Pin Today

When you’ve got a big event coming up, create custom lapel pins as a memento. We’ve been creating products since 2003, so you can rest assured that we will provide lapel pins that people will remember.

Contact us today for a quote for your custom order. Our experts would be happy to help create pins that are as unique as you.

Soft Enamel vs Hard Enamel Pin: What’s the Difference

From unique pins to challenge coins, a certain type of enamel is used to make these items colorful and detailed.

When it comes to choosing these kinds of products, what’s the difference when comparing the features of soft enamel vs hard enamel?

Read on to discover the two ways that enamel is used to make pins and coins and how to spot the difference.

Soft Enamel vs Hard Enamel Pin: What's the Difference
Soft Enamel vs Hard Enamel Pin: What’s the Difference

Soft Enamel vs Hard Enamel: Texture  

The most significant difference between these two types of enamel pins and coins is the texture. You can tell the difference by running your finger over the surface of the enamel, and you may be able to tell by looking at the design, too.

A hard enamel pin is smooth and flat with a scratch-resistant finish. Soft enamel pins and coins have slightly raised metal edges around each section of the design to give it a more defined look.

Both soft and hard enamel pins and challenge coins are made from the same metal mold. They also use the same colors to make them, at least for most designs.

Soft Enamel vs Hard Enamel Pin: What's the Difference
Soft enamel vs hard enamel

Another way to look at it is that soft enamel uses “recessed” sections of colored enamel that settle down in between the edges of the design. With hard enamel, the product comes out flat and smooth and often has a bit shinier appearance after manufacturing.

Manufacturing a Soft Enamel Pin  

Whether it’s a pin or challenge coin, a soft enamel design features a slightly different look and feel than its hard enamel counterpart. The colorful enamel is laid into the recessed sections of the pin or coin.

Once all of the enamel is in place, the product is placed into an oven. The oven’s high temperatures bake the enamel to make it hard and durable. This process only happens once so when the pin or coin dries, the enamel clings to the edges and the recesses below the metal outlines or “die line.”

Thanks to the raised metal ridges, the enamel colors don’t mix together. The final outcome is a unique dimensional look since the colorful paint is lower than the metal borders around each individual color.

When you gently rub your fingers over a soft enamel challenge coin, you will feel the raised metal ridges. Many people enjoy this style of enamel due to the unique texture and visual dimension.

Certain metal finishes can only be used with soft enamel. Black paint and rainbow plated challenge coins and pins should always be made using the soft enamel method.

The Hard Enamel Process  

If you’re looking for durability in the quest to determine soft enamel vs hard enamel, the hard enamel option is much tougher and more scratch-resistant. This process also results in a smooth, clean, and finished look that many customers prefer.

Overall, you can choose a soft or hard enamel product and have it made in the same design. Most of the time, it all comes down to your own personal preference or the preference of the recipient.

To make a hard enamel pin or challenge coin, the surface is first filled with the color and design. Next, the face of the pin or coin is gently ground down until it becomes smooth and flat. This combination of grinding and polishing is what makes hard enamel a good option for some metal finishes.

If you like gold or silver metal plating on your coin or pin, the hard enamel option may be best. As the enamel design is laid onto the surface, it’s repeated several times to raise the enamel high until it’s heated, hardened, and cured.

The polishing and smoothing process is what makes hard enamel pins so recognizable. The metal die lines are smoothed down to the same level as the enamel for a flat look and a smooth feel when you run your fingers over the surface.

Which One Should You Choose?  

There is really no right or wrong answer when deciding between a soft enamel or a hard enamel challenge coin or pin. Most of the time, it all comes down to personal preference, but there are a few other factors to consider.

Soft enamel allows for virtually every plating option including black paint, antiqued finishes, and other colors. Hard enamel only works with traditional plating’s like silver or gold.

Soft enamel coins or hard enamel coins

While the design should be the same for both enamel styles, soft enamel tends to show more intricate details. This is because the raised ridges really give the final product a bit more definition.

Surprisingly, soft enamel tends to cost less than hard enamel products. The main reason behind the cost difference is because it’s much more time-consuming and labor-intensive to achieve the smooth, polished look of a hard enamel product.

Soft enamel products are the most common option due to their faster turnaround times and unique details. However, if smooth and shiny is what you need, it might be best to opt for hard enamel.

Find Your Perfect Enamel Product  

In the comparison of soft enamel vs hard enamel, it really comes down to looks, texture, and production times. If you like the smooth and shiny option, hard enamel is the way to go. For those who prefer a little more texture and a bit more detail, you might want to opt for soft enamel.

If you’re interested in our products, designs, or services, feel free to explore our website and contact us today for a free quote.


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