Enamel pins have become a popular option for brands and businesses looking to create custom branded merchandise. Comparing enamel pins has never been easier. The vibrant colours and durable finishes make enamel badges an appealing choice. But how do enamel pins compare to other lapel pin materials like metal and plastic? Here we’ll examine the key differences, pros and cons to consider when selecting pin badge material.
Die-Struck, Enamel + PVC Vinyl Pin Basics
Enamel lapel pins have a metal base that is filled with coloured enamel. The enamel is cured and fuses to the metal at high temperatures creating a glossy, smooth finish. There are two main types:
Soft Enamel Pins
With soft enamel pins, the enamel sits slightly below the metal top layer leaving a small ridge around the edges. Soft enamel creates a particularly vibrant, 3D finish.
Hard Enamel Pins
With hard enamel pins, the enamel is precisely flush with the metal for a seamless fill. These have a flat printed look.
Enamel is ideal for full colour designs from logos to characters. It also provides durability for pins that will get frequent use.
What Plating Options Are Available?
Metal has long been the traditional choice for lapel pins and with that said, enables them to be plated in a vast number of different platings. Let’s look at some of them.
Bespoke Gold and Silver Plated Pins
Precious metals like gold, silver and platinum provide luxury pins with brilliant shine. The value also makes them suitable for important employee recognition pins.
Custom Copper and Brass Plated Pins
More affordable copper and brass metal pins still have an elegant, formal look. They develop a unique patina over time.
Custom Nickel and Pewter Plated Pins
Nickel silver and pewter offer durable and economical metal pins. Pewter provides a darker gunmetal colour.
Metal pins can come plated or enameled for accent colours. Etching and cut-outs also add contrast. The dimensional surfaces reflect light well for subtle sheen.
Custom Vinyl and Acrylic Pins
Plastic and PVC lapel pins are the most budget friendly option. Types include:
Custom PVC / Vinyl Pins
PVC pins are smooth with some light transparency that illuminates colours. They resist moisture and wear well.
Bespoke Acrylic Pins
Acrylic has a crystal-like transparency that makes colours pop. Laser engraving can add details.
Bespoke Vinyl Pins
Vinyl creates dimensional sculpted pins. These are very rarerly ordered so if you are looking to be different, consider these.
While inexpensive per piece, plastic and vinyl does not have the perceived value of metal or enamel. But moulded vinyl allows for 3D shapes and vibrant colours.
Comparing Metal, Enamel and Plastic Pins
Now that we’ve outlined the main options, how do they compare? We’ll look at important factors like appearance, durability, and costs.
- Metal provides brilliant sheen and gleam with light reflection. Etching and cut-outs add visual interest. Metal also has an allure of quality to it.
- Enamel delivers vibrant, rich colours and art with smooth or dimensional surfaces. The glass finish has high perceived value.
- Plastic can achieve full colour but the finish is not as deep. Simple foil stamping can look flat. But neat transparency effects.
- Metal pins are extremely durable due to the strength of materials like brass. They last through extensive handling.
- Enamel is also very resilient against chipping, rust, and normal wear-and-tear. The glass bonds neatly to the metal base.
- Metal conveys elegance and luxury, making it ideal for executives and VIPs. The heft provides a quality feel.
- Enamel is also seen as a high-end material thanks to its intricacy. Vibrant colours add excitement.
- Vinyl is obviously the most affordable option. And vinyl can look and feel durable.
Custom Design Options
- Metal customisation is very limited. Simple engraving and etching is possible but no colour.
- Enamel allows for full custom designs in any colours and level of detail. Great for logos, characters, art.
- Vinyl works for basic designs and text. Foil stamping provides some colour. 3D shaping adds appeal.
- Die Struck Metal pins can be produced quite quickly, even in small batches of 100 pins or less. 3 weeks is standard but 2 weks rush order with a 10% additional fee on top to rush them through.
- Enamel Pins requires longer production time of 4-6 weeks. Enameling is meticulous work and needs the time to properly dry before polishing and shipping.
- Vinyl Pins can be manufactured rapidly using injection moulding. Good for tight deadlines. We can rush these out of the factory within 2 weeks.
- Die Struck Metal pins have the highest base price due to the intrinsic value of materials like gold and silver. Even base metals are pricier.
- Enamel Pins have moderate base costs and price per piece due to the hand work. Price decreases with higher quantities.
- Vinyl Pins pins are the most economical choice. Even complex shapes maintain low per unit costs.
Let’s recap the core pros and cons of each pin material.
Die-Struck Metal Lapel Pins
- Brilliant lustre and shine
- Very durable and secure closures
- Highest perceived value for executives
- Classic, timeless style
- Expensive base price for precious metals
- Limited to simple text or engraving
- Longer lead times for small batches
Enamel Lapel Pins
- Vibrant, full colour.
- Durable with complex designs possible
- High perceived value for premium giveaways
- Custom shapes, characters and art
- Slightly higher base price over vinyl pins
- Longer production timelines
Vinyl Lapel Pins
- Very inexpensive per piece
- Simple text and logo designs
- Fast production with rush options
- Creative 3D plastic shapes
- Lower perceived value for vinyl
- For premium branded badges and merchandise, die-struck metal and enamel provide the most value and long term growth
- Enamel is best for full colour logo and branding pins
- Economical vinyl pins work for giveaways and trade shows
- Consider durability needs for regular wear vs occasional use pins
- Match pin material to design complexity and production deadlines
The right lapel pin material comes down to your budget, use case and design preferences. Evaluating the pros and cons will ensure you select the very best pin material for your organisation.
So, What’s Next?
If you are still unsure why you should be considering custom soft enamel pin badges for your next big marketing push, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today! We love to discuss creativity and business. It’s in our DNA. If enamel keyrings are not for you, why not consider our soft enamel pins, hard enamel badges, die struck pin badges or enamel coins?
Get in touch today, CONTACT US HERE.