4 Tips For Designing Custom Puzzle Pins

Posted by Craig Davidiuk on 8/12/18 8:02 PM

 The most sought after pin by any trader at the Arctic Winter Games or Canada games, is the custom puzzle pin. Coming up with an effective custom puzzle pin design can be quite puzzling in its own right! Fear not because we have hundreds of puzzle pins to our credit. Use these tips to help you plan your next puzzle pin project. 

custom puzzle pin experts




1) Have a good reason for ordering a custom puzzle pins. 

The biggest challenge that puzzle pins present is creating a design looks good when its split into parts. Unless the designer has some pin design experience, it usually doesn't work in our opinion. Its a very creative process that requires an understanding of metal finishing, enamel and mold making techniques. Sometimes our designers are shackled by poorly thought out puzzle pin ideas. As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. Our advice, if you don't have a really good reason or design concept for a puzzle pin, don't do it. 


2) If you are designing custom puzzle trading pins in-house, ask a pin supplier for advice prior to getting your organization to approve the final design.

Here are some tips for professional designers:

  • Submit designs at actual size in adobe illustrator .ai format.

  • Design at actual size and PRINT IT OUT to ensure legibility.  Print and web designers often use a canvas that is 6-10x actual size to showcase art to host committees. When the design is reduced you often lose text legibility or space to inlay colour. 

  • Text should be shown in an UPPERCASE plain font like arial with a tracking or spacing of 50 or more

  • Text should not be coloured. Instead render it in raised metal and surround it in color or metal

  • Read more design tips for lapel pins here  or email your art questions to art@ultipromo.com for a "no strings attached" opinion

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3) Use designs and techniques specific for lapel pins. 

We really like making our custom sport trading pins in sandblasted finishes or use semi-transparent enamels. Stay away from circles and squares with a logo set in the middle. Make the art protrude off the edges. Check out this example. You are looking at one part of a multi part puzzle pin.

  • as a stand alone pin, it works

  • the shape is interesting and features the graceful lines of a polar bear

  • there is not an excessive amount of detail 

custom sport trading pin art

4) Avoid "design contests" for puzzle pins. 

Puzzle pins are just too complicated. Design contests are great in certain situations. But in most cases kids design using crayons or felt markers. That limits your pin choice to the printed pin process. In our opinion, printed pins come off as "cheap" in most cases. 

 Free Enamel Pin Design Course And Tips


Tags: die struck pins, enamel pins, hard enamel pins, logo pins, Pin Trading, Video, Custom Lapel Pins, EnamelPin.Info


About The Author


Craig 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. 


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