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Hard enamel pins vs. soft enamel pins – what’s right for you?

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Is it time to turn your Awesome designs into some great quality enamel pins? Here’s our advice on how to create the best enamel pins. 


First things first, simplicity is key when it comes to designing your pin. Most enamel pins are no bigger than one inch and you’ll want your design to stand out in the limited space you have. Your design will need to have outlines, whether it’s a faint line or a slightly thicker one, they must have outlines! If there’s any part of your design that has different colours – it’ll need to be separated with outlines and not include any shading, this is so that the colours don’t run between your designs sections. When choosing your thickness of the outlines, you need to remember that if you go too thin your colours may run, but our helpful artwork team will be on hand to help you out with any queries and questions you may have. Once your design is passed and completed we use the artwork to create a unique die, which is then used to stamp into metal to create the recessed design – this will be the overall shape of the pin.



Next question, and trust us – this one’s a biggie! You need to choose either hard or soft enamel. Strange right? How can enamel be both soft and hard? It’s simple really, and we’re here to help and make sure that you understand the differences between the two!


So soft enamel; and before you get confused – nope it is definitely not soft. The design is stamped into the metal and the recessed areas are where the different sections of the design are. The recessed areas are filled with the colours you have selected and then left to set. Once all of the different colours have set, your pin is complete. You will notice that the enamel sits slightly lower than the metal outlines, this gives your pin a rigid finish. Due to the recessed areas of the pin, the main difference of soft enamel is that you can feel the different areas when you run your fingers over it, it doesn’t have a smooth finish. But it’s still a great quality pin!


In comparison, hard enamel is not much different in terms of the initial production process, it’s the overall finish that is a much higher quality. When adding the coloured enamel to your pin, it will be added at multiple stages. Each colour must be set before adding additional colours. This is so that once all of the colour has been added, the pin can be polished down so that the pin’s surface is smooth and no colour will run into others. There are multiple different finishing techniques which are completed when making an enamel pin. From washing and electroplating, to polishing and shining. Hard enamel pins are of a much higher quality due to the additional steps which are taken in the finishing process. 



So, that only leaves one question – what enamel will you choose? 


Here at Awesome Merchandise we also have a number of different factors to consider in addition to what kind of enamel you would like. We have either rubber or metal clutches available for you to choose from. Along with a large selection of different coloured plating options for both types of enamel available, your pin can be fully customisable!


For more information regarding Enamel Pins, including our full product range, click here



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