fbpx

Call Us : 1-877-312-9794

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. 

How to Raise Awareness with Lapel Pins: A Guide

How to Raise Awareness with Lapel Pins

Are you looking to raise awareness for a cause you are passionate about? Read this guide for everything you need to know!

Did you know that what you wear affects how you’re treated? We are hardwired to remember certain things about what others wear. We even treat people differently based on what they wear.

Rather than showing off random brand names, what if you could raise awareness for your own brand or a special cause? If there is something you believe in or a cause that you want to support, then you should consider getting lapel pins. Whether it’s breast cancer awareness or social media awareness of your own brand, you can use custom lapel pins to raise awareness.

No matter what cause you want to support, you can use custom lapel pins. Keep on reading for the ultimate guide on how to raise awareness with lapel pins.

Raise awareness with lapel pins
Raise Awareness with Lapel Pins

Why Lapel Pins for Raising Awareness?

Raising awareness through fashion isn’t an innovative idea. The pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness is an iconic image. Anyone who sees the pink ribbon knows what it’s about. It’s become a powerful symbol on its own.

That’s not the only symbol that has become as familiar as the Nike swoosh. The rainbow flag is a beautiful symbol of LGBTQ social awareness. The color purple is associated with domestic violence awareness.

We know that it works. Rather than having a brochure that is torn up and forgotten, your cause can stay front and center. It will be the first thing people will see, and it will raise awareness on an ongoing basis.

Lapel pins are unique in their applications. You can add a lapel pin to a blazer or dress when heading to work. Simply put it on and forget about it.

When people see it, they’ll ask questions that will continue to raise awareness. It’s also a way for people to get to know who you are.

You can pin it on your purse or laptop bag, and it’ll always stay with you. You can also pin it onto a jean jacket or your shoes to add to a unique style. You can support something worthy by simply being yourself.

How to Use Lapel Pins Raise Awareness

Now you know the different ways a lapel pin can raise awareness, but how can you incorporate it into your fundraising strategy? Well, custom lapel pins are really unique and easy to use. They can be the perfect addition to your strategy to raise awareness for your cause.

Raise awareness with lapel pins
Raise Awareness with Lapel Pins

Gift for Employees

The best way to showcase your pin is by ensuring that your staff and employees are wearing them for every event. A beautifully designed lapel pin is actually worth every penny. You should be proud to wear that symbol.

When your employees wear it every day, it also becomes a symbol of your cause or organization. You want those colors and designs to remind people of your cause, so it continues to raise awareness.

For a Particular Event

Another way to raise awareness is to hand out lapel pins for a particular event. Ask people to wear the lapel pin rather than put it in their bag and forget it. Make them feel part of the community.

If people associate good memories with the lapel pin, they’ll wear it again. They’ll wear it often and in this way, you’ll be raising awareness. The most important part is to keep people interested in wearing the pin.

If they see your employees wear them, then they’ll be more inclined to wear them as they’ll feel part of the bigger whole. The more customized and unique it is, the better it is to raise awareness.

Thank You Gifts

If you have an event, it makes for a perfect thank you gift. You can add it to the swag bag at the end of a fundraising event. If it was a good event, then people will be excited to wear the pin.

They will be inspired to show support for the cause while wearing the pin. You can include a thank you letter and explain how thankful you are to them for wearing the pin and raising awareness.

Direct Mail Packaging

You can also include the custom lapel pin as part of your direct mail packaging. For those who donated last year, you can include it as a thank you gift. Give them ideas on how they can wear the lapel, whether it’s pinned to their sneakers or their blazer.

A custom lapel pin is small and easy to include in your direct mail packaging without impacting the cost of delivery. It can help you stand out from other companies.

Walk, Race, or Other Competition Registration

A good way to raise awareness is having a competition. Whether it’s a 5K walk or race, or an obstacle course, it’s something that people have trained for. They want to show others their achievement.

A lapel pin that shows that they are participating in this event can encourage people to wear it. If you have many events, they can collect the different custom lapel pins for the different events. For each 5K they run, they have a lapel pin to commemorate the moment.

Medals are nice, but people can’t wear them outside without feeling a little awkward. However, a lapel pin that provides proof that someone completed a 5K or a 10K is an easy way to show off one’s accomplishment.

Get Your Free Quote Today

Now you know exactly how something so simple as a lapel pin can help to raise awareness for your cause. You can stand proud that you are supporting something important and not simply a brand name. You can design something beautiful and have that artwork displayed in your everyday attire.

If you have designed your pins for a cause, contact us for your free quote. Custom lapel pins are a great choice for promoting your brand, recognizing employees, or raising awareness of a cause for a fundraiser. Just send us your sketch, and our talented team of artists will design the perfect pin for you.

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!

7 Common Lapel Pin Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

7 Common Lapel Pin Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Having the right design for your custom pins requires knowing what not to do. Here are common lapel pin design mistakes and how to avoid them.

Lapel pins have been in existence since the 13th century when they were first seen in use by the Byzantine Empire. For centuries, we associated lapel pins with military organizations.

Now, all sorts of organizations are creating custom lapel pins. Lapel pins can be as bright or subtle as you want them to be. They can be used for everything from fundraising to marketing to boosting organization pride!

The question is, can you go wrong with your lapel pin design? There are some lapel pin design mistakes that you’re going to want to avoid–and we’re here to help.

Read on for seven lapel pin mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not Going Custom

If you’re looking for lapel pins to use as a fundraising item or to promote your branding, it may seem tempting to go with a pre-designed lapel pin that you’ve found online. However, this isn’t the best choice if you want your organization to stand out.

Coming up with your own design (or collaborating with one of our artists) gives you the opportunity to truly represent your organization. By creating something unique, you create something memorable. Plus, a pre-designed lapel pin won’t capture the essence of your branding nearly as well as one that incorporates your branding into the design.

2. Overcomplicating Your Design

Once you’ve made the choice to custom design your lapel pin, it’s time to start thinking about aesthetics. What should it look like? One thing you want to avoid is overcomplicating your design.

Overcomplicated designs tend to have too many small images or too much text. Remember, lapel pins are usually about one to three inches wide or tall. You want the design to translate well to this small size and maintain legibility and clarity.

If you have to reduce the amount of imagery or text on your design, don’t worry. We recommend sticking to your organization name, the relevant year, and possibly a slogan if it’s only a few words long. Your design may not be as detailed as you originally wanted, but we guarantee that it will still represent your organization well.

3. Not Thinking About the Message Your Color Scheme Sends

Did you know that there’s a psychology to color? When you’re putting together a simple design, it can be helpful to think about color psychology and how your color scheme can send a message.

Color psychology can get a little complicated. A quick, good rule of thumb is to remember that warm colors (like red and yellow) tend to evoke feelings of excitement and happiness while cool colors (like blue and purple) tend to evoke feelings of calmness and professionalism.

4. Using Too Many Colors

Just like you don’t want to crowd your design with too many images or too much text, you don’t want to overwhelm your design with too many colors. Whether you’re going with a printed or enamel-filled lapel pin, you may want to limit your design to four colors or less.

When you’re creating a design out of metal, it’s best to use single tones. In other words, shading may look great when you design your pin on the computer or on paper, but it won’t translate well to the pin, itself. Instead, you’ll want to choose single tones and pick colors with high contrast so that your lapel pin pops.

5. Not Thinking About Sizing

Lapel pins come in a variety of sizes, and sizing truly does matter. Choosing the wrong size for your lapel pin can mean that fewer people will actually wear them–or be able to see your design.

Typically, the more complicated your design is, the bigger you’re going to want your lapel pin to be. That being said, size is a big part of pricing. If you’re making your lapel pins on a budget, it may be best to opt for a smaller size with a simple, pared-back design.

6. Not Thinking About Purpose

As we mentioned earlier, lapel pins can be used for a number of reasons and on a number of occasions. Just like any other swag or marketing material, you should think about the purpose of your lapel pin as you put together the design.

For example, if you’re marketing with lapel pins, you’ll want the design to reflect your overall company. Create brand recognition by including your logo and company name on your marketing lapel pins.

However, you may be using your lapel pins to commemorate a specific occasion. If that’s the case, you may want to include the year and the name of the occasion or event in question.

At the end of the day, purpose does dictate design. It’s often best to start out by brainstorming the purpose of your lapel pins before you start designing them.

7. Choosing the Wrong Lapel Pin Company

A good design can easily be ruined by the wrong lapel pin company. Custom metal products are growing in popularity, which means that more and more lapel pin companies are cropping up–and not all of them will suit your needs.

We offer a variety of sizes, materials, and attachments to ensure that you get exactly what you’re looking for. We also work with you to create the perfect design and offer free revisions to make the process more affordable. At MetalPromo, our goal is to make your vision come to life.

Avoid These Lapel Pin Design Mistakes and Create a Timeless Momento

Lapel pins are a great way to celebrate or commemorate your organization. By avoiding these lapel pin design mistakes, you can create a timeless memento that everyone will proudly wear!

If you’re interested in our custom lapel pins here at Metal Promo, get started with us by requesting a free quote. We’re transparent about our pricing so that you can make an informed decision.

5 Reasons Businesses Should Use Lapel Pins for Marketing

If you are looking for ways to market your brand outside of the digital world, lapel pins can help. Here are reasons to use lapel pins for marketing.

Are you looking for a way to wow people at your next business meeting? Do you need unique marketing tools that will build your brand recall? If so, then you should consider lapel pins for marketing.

Doing so will give you several benefits. It will give you a cost-efficient marketing tool, make your logo more recognizable, and can even be used as a giveaway item for your prized clientele.

If you’ve been considering investing in lapel pins for a while, now is the time to act! See below for a list of reasons why you should invest in lapel pins for your marketing endeavors.

1. They’re Cost-Efficient

We get it. You want to make a lasting impression. You want to invest in marketing assets that will draw your target audience to you.

But, like all companies, you have a budget you have to meet. That takes some things off the table.

Many companies simply look at the price of a marketing item and then either approve it or nix it right then and there. We implore you to be different.

Instead of just looking at the cost, look at a balance of the cost and the return on your investment.

For example, lapel pins offer both. They can be made with high-quality materials at a cost-efficient price. Then, you can purchase them in bulk to save on the price.

Once they’re created, lapel pins are worth their weight in gold. They offer a high ROI because of their eye-popping design and ability to be placed virtually anywhere.

The most common use for them is on a men’s suit, but they have others as well. They can be placed on a woman’s blazer, on a hat, backpack, jean jacket, corkboard, you name it. All of these uses from one item!

2. They’re Attractive

Now there is a word that you want to be associated with your brand, right? When a client sees an attractive piece of marketing material like a well-designed lapel pin on a designer suit, it makes your brand appear desirable.

Do you know what happens when a client thinks a logo is desirable? They remember it! It’s called brand recall and it’s an important piece to the marketing puzzle.

How can you make your lapel pins more attractive? It all starts with the company that you hire for the job.

You need to make sure you find a lapel pin company that has the experience and the ability to create a fully custom design.

Here at Metal Promo, we take tremendous pride in meeting all of our clients’ needs. We’ll help you create lapel pins that fit within your budget and the desired artwork.

As you’ll see from our lapel pins page, we’ve designed club pins, civil service pins, education pins, corporate pins, military pins, and everything in between.

You want your lapel pin to pop? We can offer pins with crystals, glitter, or glow enamel featured in the design. We guarantee our design will make you and your client’s jaws drop!

3. People Will Hold to Them

Here’s a question that most companies aren’t asking themselves when they invest in marketing items: will the clients hold on to this?

Hand them a piece of collateral on your products and they may throw it away the very same day. Give them a custom writing pen and it will get lost in their desk drawer, never to be seen again.

Lapel pins ignite the inner collector in each of us. Believe it or not, studies have shown that humans have a natural desire to collect. It gives us pleasure and a feeling of stress reduction.

If you create lapel pins and hand them out to clients, they’ll be sure to find a great spot for it. Years from now they’ll come across that pin and be reminded of when and where you gave it to them. Now that’s brand recall!

4. They’re Luxurious

Maybe you’re putting together an event for your nonprofit. Perhaps you’re throwing a gala and want to make an impression on your brand.

No matter what company, team, or group you’re making the lapel pin for, the pin is sure to give your brand a luxurious feel.

Think about professional sports teams. Every time one of their owners or GMs steps in for a press conference, they’re wearing a lapel pin of their team’s logo on their suit jacket.

Why? Because it makes the entire brand appear as a business, not just a sports team. It offers a professional viewpoint. Lapel pins can unlock the same for your company as well.

5. They Mark Special Occasions

Has your company been in business for 25 years? Celebrate it by making a commemorative lapel pin! Do you have a special event that you’re starting? Make a pin for it!

Lapel pins are a beautiful, yet subtle, way to mark a tremendous moment in your company’s life. Everyone that receives one will remember the occasion for which the lapel pin was given to them.

This can also help you hit the refresh button from time to time. Rather than wearing the same lapel pin all the time, you can switch it up to make things more fun!

Invest in Lapel Pins for Marketing Your Brand Today

As you’ve seen in this article, lapel pins for marketing are a home run. They make your brand look more professional, are great for all occasions, and can help you build brand recall.

For more info on the different types of lapel pins, take the time to read this blog post to learn more about the differences between soft enamel vs hard enamel pins.

To get started, please feel free to call us at 1-877-312-9794 or receive a free pricing quote on our site.

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.


DESIGNS, EXAMPLES, SAMPLES AND PRODUCTS PREVIOUSLY MANUFACTURED BY METALPROMO.COM, ITS SUBSIDIARIES AND/OR THEIR RESPECTIVE AFFILIATES (COLLECTIVELY, “THE COMPANIES”) OR AS SHOWN ON OUR WEBSITE ARE FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY AND ARE NOT FOR SALE. All products on our website are custom made and any visual depictions are for illustrative purposes only and cannot be purchased. By submitting designs to our website, the submitting party warrants that he, she or it has the legal right to reproduce or use any logos or other images associated with its order. All trademarks, images, symbols, logos, trademarks and slogans depicted are registered trademarks of their respective owners, as applicable. The appearance of and person or entity’s information, name, logo or mark does not imply or constitute endorsement, ownership or license or use. Any mark referenced on this site is the property of the individual trademark owner. Disclaimer of Trademarks and/or Copyright: The Companies assume no liability for determining legal title to any trademark, copyright or other intellectual property.