Stamped Enamel pins are the most popular of all lapel pins. Your design will be pressed into a flat piece of metal, leaving raised and recessed areas. Visualize a child's coloring book with the black outlines as the raised metal. Instead of crayons, liquid enamel fills the white areas between the lines and "traps" the colors to prevent them from running together. The image is then baked to harden the colors and produce the final product, which is highly polished. The color remains slightly recessed between the raised metal lines, giving the pin a tactile surface.
Advantages: Economical. Fine detail. Complete range of color.
Cloisonné (sometimes referred to as "hard enamel") is the granddaddy of all pins. It was developed in China more than 1000 years ago. Cloisonné is the fine art process of fusing colored minerals to a metal base by firing powdered glass in a kiln. The baked design is then ground and polished to achieve a flat surface and an eye-catching luster. Since only natural minerals are used, the color selection is somewhat limited. Due to the grinding process, this method is not the best for reproducing fine lettering. Because of its durability, distinguished history and high perceived value, cloisonné is the most expensive type of pin to produce.
Cloisenamel (sometimes referred to as "imitation hard enamel") pins are a modern version of the original cloisonné. These pins are just as durable and indistinguishable from cloisonné to the naked eye. The ability to hold finer detail and availability of a complete PMS color selection are advantages of this type of pin. Due to less complex production and more readily available materials, Cloisenamel pins are less expensive than their Cloisonné cousin.
Advantages: High perceived value. Iridescent luster.
Die Struck pins are basically the same as stamped enamel pins, but without color. Your design will be pressed into a flat piece of metal, leaving raised and recessed areas. Various finishes, including polishing, antiquing and sandblasting let the beauty of the metal to speak for the design. The raised and recessed areas give the pin a tactile surface.
Advantages: Sophisticated look.
Casting is achieved by pouring molten zinc or pewter into a mold, rather than stamping the design onto a flat piece of metal. This makes it an ideal process to make truly 3D, deep relief sculpted pins of jewelry quality. It's also a more economical means of making pins that have multiple interior cut-outs. Most cast pins let the polished metal make a statement, rather than containing color. Manufactured or precious stones can be added. Cast pins are less dense and lighter than other metal pins of similar size.
Advantages: Deep 3D. Economical interior cuts. Fine jewelry look.
Photo Etched pins are photographic images that are acid etched, rather than stamped onto a metal base pin. Since there aren't the deep raised and recessed areas like the pins above, they are able to hold a finer line than cloisonné or stamped pins. Thin and light weight, these pins are polished to a flat surface and may or may not be coated with epoxy or varnish.
Advantages: Fine detail. Light weight.
Printed pins are used to reproduce photographs or when continuous color is needed. Since a raised metal line is not required between each color, unlike other processes, colors can touch each other and gradient color is possible. A printed piece of vinyl is fused to the metal pin base and then coated with a thick clear epoxy or protective varnish. 4-Color Process printing is used when many colors and shades are needed. Silk-screening is used when fewer, more vibrant colors are needed. This feather-light weight pin will have a flat, high gloss surface. It can be printed edge-to-edge or have a metal border.
Advantages: Continuous color. Lightweight. Economical.
Rubber (Soft PVC) pins are relatively new to the market and very popular for a more whimsical look. These soft, flexible and lightweight pins are manufactured by mold injecting a rubber-like synthetic and baking the individual colored "puzzle pieces" into a final design. Soft PVC pins have a carved look, with recessed, rather than raised color separations and can be manufactured using several levels for a 3D look.
Advantages: Whimsical. Dimensional. Inexpensive.
Plastic lapel pin designs are initially cut into steel and then injection molded with molten plastic. Designs are raised and hot stamped, giving texture to the pin.
Advantages: Economical. Light weight.
Buttons are most often associated with political campaigns and the counterculture of the 1960's. Made from aluminum with a paper design protected with a high gloss Mylar coating, they have a safety pin back. Although different shapes are available, the vast majority of buttons are round. 2.25" is the most popular size and can be produced in our facility in as little as 24 hours.
Advantages: Large message. Lightweight. Fast production.