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Hard vs Soft Enamel Pins

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You’ve decided to turn your designs into awesome enamel pin badges, but now it’s time for the big decision- Do you go hard or soft? It’s a common question and we’re here to help!

 

 

So, what exactly is the difference between hard and soft enamel pins?

 

Simply put, the names refer to how the layers of enamel are built up within the metal plating.

 

Soft enamel sits within the recesses of the plating making it slightly bumpy to the touch. Hard enamel pins are smooth, as the enamel layer is built up to the same height as plating and polished.

Discover how this works in more detail below.

Soft Enamel Pins

 

Don’t let the name fool you, soft enamel pins are still hard to the touch. When making soft enamel pins, the enamel is laid within the recesses which have been left behind in the metal plating stamped with your design.

The gaps are then filled with enamel that has been Pantone matched to your artwork. The enamel sits within these gaps, staying below the metal borders in your design. This leaves a bumpy feeling finish.

 

Hard Enamel Pins

 

Hard enamel pins also start out their life as a metal stamp like their soft enamel counterparts. Your design is stamped into your chosen metal plating, creating the base for your design.

The gaps are then filled with enamel that has been Pantone matched to your design. However, instead of sitting below the metal line, enamel is layered up, then polished back down to the same level. This gives the hard enamel pin a much more polished appearance and is smooth to the touch.

Our hard enamel pins are produced using the modern hard enamel pin method which don’t contain glass based enamels.

Five tips for designing enamel pins

enamel pin, enamel pins, pins

1) Create borders

When designing your artwork, remember that colours need to be separated by a metal border to prevent them running into each other.

2) Get your font size right

If you are going to use text within your enamel pin design, your text should be set to at least 5pt.

3) Go large

Make sure that your design file is saved in a large format. We advise that your artwork should be at least 300dpi to get a quality result.

4) Make your colours match

When sending over your artwork, you’ll need to make it clear which areas you would like to be filled with enamel and what colour they should be. Make sure that you have used the correct colour values alongside your artwork. An easy way to do this is to use the Pantone Solid Coated guide.

5) Be retail ready

If you’re going to be selling your enamel pins, why not make them retail ready with a custom backer and plastic wrapping?

Take a look at our Pinterest board for more enamel pin inspiration.

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