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5 Design Tips For Custom Medals

Posted by Craig Davidiuk on 2019-05-03 22:21:16

The beautiful thing about custom medals is that you can have whatever you want.  Designing medals is totally different than design for print or web.  With medals, we get to combine enamel, electroplating, textures and shapes in multiple layers!

Think about it. Your athlete has worked for several months to win one of your medals. Let's make sure your award design is matching the accomplishment. We offer 5 tips for creating stunning custom medals. 

 

1) Jazz up your circles, ovals and squares.   

By all means use a circle or oval as a starting place, but add something that extends outside the circle to break up the shape and give the medal a more dynamic feel.  This medal design below is a great example. The baseball bats extend off the edge. The flames are waving and have a dynamic feel. 

 

foot-hills-fury-baseball-medals

 

2) Pick enamel colours that work in bronze, nickel or gold. 

The vast majority of the medals we sell do not have any paint at all and rely on electroplate. Sometimes enamel is an important part of the design. The trick with medals is they are typically done in at least three finishes, gold, silver and bronze. Bronze is always the electroplate colour that creates issues. Dark enamels get lost so brighter colours should be used.  Just keep this in mind when requesting enamel colours. Will your colour choice work on all three finishes?  This highland games medal below does a great job of using two enamel colours. In this case transparent enamels. 

 chda

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3) In most cases, text should either be raised or recessed metal. 

There are no hard and fast rules about what works better. This is why it's helpful to work with an established supplier who has designed lots of medals.  Keep in mind this is a medal, not a brochure. Text can be hard to read.  The medal example above also demonstrates how uppercase letters are a lot more legible when surrounded by enamel than lowercase are. This also holds true if you are using sandfrost on you design. The letters are shiny and the background becomes dull. It's a nice contrast that many of our customers love. 

 

4) Use the ribbon for some of your text

If you have a wordy event or want a lot of text, you should consider adding some of it to your ribbon. You could consider adding the date to the ribbon or minor details about the event (ie- the city) . 

 

printing-on-ribbons

 

5) Embrace Antique Electroplating

A lot of our customers find that regular bronze, nickel and gold is too bright.  If we add an extra step in electroplating called "antiquing" it gives the medal some contrast. It adds a bit of cost, but most people like it better. It all depends on your design really. The example below had a lot of exposed metal design elements that caused a reflection. 

 

antique-bright

About The Author

Craig-Headshot-18-temp

linkedinCraig Davidiuk has been in the promotional products his entire life. His family owned and operated a pin factory until 2002 and he eventually took over the company in 2012. He also has a diploma in Media Resources from Capilano University. Today his company is one of the leading suppliers of custom pins, medals and swag in Western Canada.

He is a father of one son with his wife, Courtney. Craig enjoys skiing, mountain biking, DJing, playing saxophone and world travel.  The Davidiuk family resides in 100 Mile House, BC.