We get asked this question a lot! What software do you use for designing custom enamel pin badges? There is a simple answer, and that is that there is no number one software to use. But there are favourites that are true, tried and tested.
We have a free design service in with all of our products, so no matter your skill level with art and design, digital design or making things look good, we have you covered. But, life is about learning, so allow us to introduce you to some industry standard software.
We are primarily looking at vector based design software here, as opposed to raster based design software. Photoshop is raster based (pixels) and Illustrator is vector based (images defined in terms of 2D points using mathematical equations). Photoshop is for EDITING pixels, Illustrator is for creating smooth vector images. Pixels have a limit on how far you can size them before distortion, vector elements are infinite.
Adobe Illustrator Design Software
Adobe Illustrator is the go to number 1 software of choice for most professional designers (OK there is Corel Draw, more on that later). There really are no limitations with Adobe Illustrator when it comes to designing premium hard enamel pin badges, printed keyrings, custom medals or bike head tube badges (and the rest)!
Illustrator is a vector graphics editor, which can be applied to anything from websites, magazines, brochures, product / CAD, traditional print media, motion graphics and much more.
As for learning how to use Adobe Illustrator, there is a huge variety of tutorial videos on Youtube and Vimeo, and we will be posting detailed tutorials on here very soon also. Our advice would be to find your method. Illustrator is an extensive program, with more options than what you will know what to do with. Figure out what you want to achieve then research then play. You can never go too far wrong with any of the Adobe software, the life saver CMD/CTRL Z will get you out of any tricky situation!
The Vector Take Away For Perfect Enamel Pins
The essential take away is you are creating VECTOR ART. Aesthetics aside, what it really means is your artwork files are easily transferable, not only from you to us, but in the manufacturing stages also. We are able to get 100% colour match using Pantone Matching System via Illustrator, and tell our machines EXACTLY how to cut the master mold for instance.
You can either transfer in rough sketches from your art book, and simply trace over them with the pen tool, refining your lines as you go, using the pathfinder tool combine, subtract shapes and more. If you are new to Illustrator, once you see how much freedom this program can give you as a designer you will never look back.
Client Sketch Using Adobe Illustrator Design Software
Studio Dais Rework 1
Studio Dais Rework 2
The program has been available since 1986 and here we are in 2020, now only available with monthly subscription. You would be best to check out the Adobe website for pricing plans, as these can change. The benefit of paying monthly, instead of in one large sum is that you will have a bug free experience, and have all the latest features as and when they are released by the guys at Adobe.
Corel Draw Design Software
On the surface, both Corel Draw and Illustrator are the same program, but there are some differences. Corel Draw has more desktop publishing features, and could be seen as a hybrid of Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. The layout / publication functionality in Core Draw can be really useful just to have it in the background, but as far as designing custom metal pins, custom jewellery, battle coins and faux leather vegan patches and badges, you really don’t need it. If it is a case of choosing between the two, we would advise you decide if you will ever need publishing features. If so, consider the Adobe Suite packages, you can combine different Adobe products. We think the best combo is Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and Lightroom.
Unlike Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw can be bought outright, as well as purchased on a monthly plan. Try it out for free for 15 days and see how you get on with it.
Adobe is more widespread across the industry, most likely due to the large array of products the Adobe Suite offers, the ability to seamlessly integrate and connect multiple Adobe products in one session is the real winner. Illustrator is fast, intuitive and very easy to learn.
If you are not so keen on learning any design software mentioned here, you are more than welcome to email in what you have so far. We have a strong design team with a flair for good design, this could be a sketch on a napkin, to a half finished Illustrator design file as shown above. We are ready for you no matter what stage you are at.