Choosing the Best Lapel Pins for You

by Caryn Smith © 2007
When ordering lapel pins, most people mistakenly believe they are all the same.  You might be surprised to know that you have several options with regard to quality, materials, colors, styles and workmanship.  Before purchasing your next order of lapel pins, review the information below.  This way you can ensure you’re getting the best lapel pins for your particular needs.Cloisonné – The best of the best!  Offering the most definition, sharply separated colors and intricate details, cloisonné lapel pins give clearly visible text and design elements. Starting with a bronze surface, a custom die is created to stamp your design into the base metal.  Colors are hand-filled with a powdered glass-like resin mixture into the appropriate areas of the pin and then fired one at a time at a temperature of 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit.  This two-step process ensures that bleeding of colors does not occur.  Each pin is then hand polished (to create a smooth surface) and gold or silver plated.

Cloisonné lapel pins can be made into custom shapes and sizes.  Because they are of the highest quality, they can retain their beauty for years to come.  The brilliant colors in combination with polished gold or silver give them a high perceived value, much like fine jewelry.

Photo Etched – Similar to cloisonné, the creation of photo etched lapel pins begins with your photo negative.  An acid process is used to etch the image and text on to the metal base.  Enamel colors are then inserted into the appropriate spaces one at a time.  The entire sheet of metal is then fired at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Visible metal areas are polished and plated.  Photo etched lapel pins can benefit from the addition of a protective dome that can prevent the fading and cracking of colors over time.

Excellent for complex designs, photo etched lapel pins offer an easy-to-read logo and text on a highly attractive pin.

Offset Printed – Just as with offset printing of brochures or other materials, an image of your custom design is transferred from a photographic negative and then layered over the surface of the metal. Each pin is cut from the sheet of metal following the outline of your design. Non-colored (raised) edges of the pin are then plated in your choice of metal.  Because the colors are printed and are not fired, an epoxy protective dome is applied to protect the pins from scratches or other damage.

A medium perceived value and a sharply defined design make offset printed pins a bargain.

Die Struck – Regal, stunning, legendary, handsome… these are all words that accurately describe die struck lapel pins.  Stamped from a custom-created die on to a sheet of iron or copper, die struck pins are plated and polished, giving them a truly unique and elegant appearance.

Often used for years of service or employee awards, die struck lapel pins have a medium to high perceived value.

Soft Enamel – Using the iron or copper sheeting like die struck pins and the durable enamel colors of photo etched pins, soft enamel lapel pins give excellent value.  Custom designed dies are stamped on to the metal.  Enamel colors are then filled one at a time, and the pins are fired at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  An optional epoxy dome can then be applied for added protection if you desire.

With a high perceived value and very similar appearance to cloisonné pins, soft enamel lapel pins are a tremendous value for designs where text and graphics need to be emphasized.

Now that you better understand the particulars of each type of lapel pin, you can confidently make a decision on the best types for you.

Caryn Smith is Manager of Signature Pins. When you need promotional advertising products including custom-designed lapel pins, contact Signature Pins for creative ideas.  Visit today for custom lapel pins in just 10 days, guaranteed!

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