By Craig Davidiuk - 12 August, 2020

Designing Enamel Pins: Assigning Base Metal And Painted Areas

Due to the complex nature of die-struck lapel pin...

By Craig Davidiuk - 27 July, 2020

DIY Enamel Pin Design: Electroplating

Enamel pin designers, take note. Many of you are leaving an...

By Craig Davidiuk - 23 July, 2020

Bronze, Silver, Gold and PINK? Electroplating Explained [video]

Electroplating is a complex process is used extensively in...

By Craig Davidiuk - 09 July, 2020

How To Make Enamel Pins

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By Craig Davidiuk - 29 June, 2020

DIY Enamel Pin Design: Pin Backs

There has never been more choices for the back of your pin....

By Craig Davidiuk - 21 May, 2020

How To Design Enamel Pins, Step By Step Guide

Our step by step guide walks you through the process to...

By Craig Davidiuk - 29 April, 2020

Custom Years Of Service Pin Program Guide

It's more important than ever to stay connected to your...

By Craig Davidiuk - 29 April, 2020

Enamel Pin Design Template

Our enamel pin template offers tips and tricks for...

By Craig Davidiuk - 21 April, 2020

Finishing Guide For Enamel Pins & Custom Medals

Whenever you buy pins or medals you'll have to select the...

By Courtney Driver - 21 April, 2020

Hard Enamel vs Soft Enamel Pins: What Is The Difference?

The main difference between these two lapel pin types is...

By Craig Davidiuk - 06 November, 2019

4 Tips For Designing Custom Puzzle Pins

The most sought after sport trading pin by any trader at...

By Craig Davidiuk - 18 October, 2019

Custom Enamel Pins .....No Minimum.

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By Craig Davidiuk - 16 October, 2019

DIY Enamel Pin Design: What Size Do I Make My Enamel Pin?

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By Craig Davidiuk - 10 October, 2019

Powering Over Pain At World Transplant Games

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By Craig Davidiuk - 12 September, 2019

The Silly Season: Deadlines You Need To Know About

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By Craig Davidiuk - 20 August, 2019

The Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Enamel Pins

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By Craig Davidiuk - 07 June, 2019

Designing Enamel Pins Without Paint

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By Craig Davidiuk - 21 May, 2019

Custom Race Medals And Runs For The Cure Medals.

Take a moment to learn about our experience in creating and...

By Craig Davidiuk - 06 May, 2019

Sandblasting & Engraving Textures

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By Craig Davidiuk - 03 May, 2019

5 Design Tips For Custom Medals

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By Craig Davidiuk - 03 May, 2019

What Size Should I Make My Medals?

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By Craig Davidiuk - 03 May, 2019

Attaching Medals To Neck Ribbons

There are two ways to attach your ribbon to the medal. With...

By Craig Davidiuk - 03 May, 2019

Stock Ribbon Choices For Medals

Our company offers three different ways to attach your...

By Craig Davidiuk - 03 May, 2019

Full Colour Ribbons For Medals

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By Craig Davidiuk - 03 May, 2019

Customized Logo Lanyards

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By Craig Davidiuk - 03 May, 2019

What Are My Choices for Custom Printed Lanyard Attachments?

Custom printed lanyards offer you more versatility and...

By Craig Davidiuk - 01 May, 2019

Custom Lanyard Badge Holders & ID Badges

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By Craig Davidiuk - 01 May, 2019

Custom Printed Lanyards Buyers Guide

Recent Order By The Flash TV Show In Vancouver Trade Shows...

By Craig Davidiuk - 01 May, 2019

Customizing & Engraving Medal Backs

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By Craig Davidiuk - 23 April, 2019

What Are The Different Types Of Custom Lapel Pins?

The first you need to make when purchasing custom enamel...

By Craig Davidiuk - 18 April, 2019

What is the difference between 2D and 3D Engraving?

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By Craig Davidiuk - 01 February, 2019

World Paranordics Medal Supplier Prince George 2019

----October 25th, 2018, For Immediate Release--- Ultimate...

By Craig Davidiuk - 31 January, 2019

7 Things To Look For When Selecting Enamel Pin Manufacturers

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By Craig Davidiuk - 31 January, 2019

DIY Enamel Pin Design: Silk Screen Enamel Pins

Silk screen enamel pins help you overcome the most common...

By Craig Davidiuk - 12 January, 2019

DIY Enamel Pin Design: Vectorizing Art In Adobe Illustrator

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By Craig Davidiuk - 06 November, 2018

DIY Enamel Pin Design: Before & After

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By Craig Davidiuk - 31 October, 2018

Custom Lapel Pin Design: Cheat Sheet

Our cheat sheet offers tips and tricks. Be sure to dig into...

By Craig Davidiuk - 30 October, 2018

DIY Enamel Pin Design: Illustrator Swipe File

Direct from the desk of our design team, this illustrator...

By Craig Davidiuk - 27 September, 2018

How Do I Specify Colours On Enamel Pin Designs? [Colour Matching...

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By Craig Davidiuk - 13 September, 2018

DIY Enamel Pin Design 101: Screencast

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By Craig Davidiuk - 15 August, 2018

DIY Enamel Pin Designer Master Class

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By Craig Davidiuk - 15 August, 2018

Custom Employee Recognition Pins

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By Craig Davidiuk - 15 August, 2018

Corporate Anniversary Pins, Years Service Pins and Volunteer Pins

It’s important to mark milestones in any organization....

By Craig Davidiuk - 13 August, 2018

DIY Enamel Pin Design: Clear Enamel

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By Craig Davidiuk - 13 August, 2018

DIY Enamel Pins Design: Textures

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By Craig Davidiuk - 13 August, 2018

DIY Enamel Pin Design: Colour Matching

Color matching is one of the more challenging concepts that...

By Craig Davidiuk - 13 August, 2018

Understanding Logo Imprinting

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By Craig Davidiuk - 13 August, 2018

What Is Vector Art?

Vector art is the preferred graphics file format in the...

By Craig Davidiuk - 13 August, 2018

DIY Enamel Pin Design: Glitter

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Finishing Guide For Enamel Pins & Custom Medals

Posted by Craig Davidiuk - 21 April, 2020

Whenever you buy pins or medals you'll have to select the metal colour (electropate), enamel or textures.  This article showcases the different ways you can decorate your order of custom enamel pins or custom medals. 

This sample card shows you what our logo looks like in a variety of finishes.  With some of the choices it's hard to see the difference. 





Hard vs Soft Enamel

Both of these pins are made using the die struck manufacturing process. There are a number of names for "paint" in the custom lapel pin industry. Some companies call it hard or soft enamel. In actual fact it's liquid epoxy.  Each pin is hand coloured using a fine tipped syringe. A foot pump that uses air pressure to move the colour from the syringe to the pin surface. The metal bases are arranged on racks and heated up so that the colour flows nicely between elements. 


soft vs hard enaml pins

Hard enamel costs about 40% more than soft enamel. The difference is the amount of paint used and the "look" of the finished pin. View Pricing

Soft enamel pins are very popular due to the price and the look of the pin. The enamel is not quite level with the surface and has a distinctive, eye catching look. View Pricing


What is Transparent Enamel? 

 We absolutely love trans-enamel. It's the most under-used design option. You can combine this with textured backgrounds  or regular enamel.  View transparent enamel choices.



Glitter Enamel

The creative and artist communities love glitter enamel pins!  The factory uses transparent enamels and then adds different gitter grains to the paint. 




We use textures on metal finish pins and on custom medals extensively. This is the part of design that is very different from print or web.  We can combine enamels and textures for a variety of eye catching looks. When you work with an experienced supplier like us, we'll often suggest these different approaches and elevate the look and feel of your designs. 


Sand Frost Texture

This is amazing metal finish that gives the item a dulled look. Prior to electroplating, the factory sandblasts the bases. After that, they hand buff each medal or pin so that the raised areas are shiny and the recessed areas are dull. It's very classy looking. It does add a bit of cost but in our opinion it's preferable to using a background engraved texture. 

PO-8492 Jasper Fire Dept Coin (1)Engraved Texture Backgrounds

For custom medals with a lot of exposed metal in the design, we can add a texture to the background when we engrave the stamping mold. This method of reducing sheen is free. Sand frost finish adds cost to your medal but in our opinion, looks better. If you are running a larger order of medals we may suggest this process over sand frost due to the time it takes to sandblast each medal. 




What is Antique Electroplate?

We use antique finish often on custom medals. A dark wash is applied to the base metal and then the raised areas are buffed off. It gives the metal a distressed or aged look. We often use this electroplate finish on award pins or historical pins.  This electroplate finish is also used a lot on custom medals. It helps cut down the shine on designs with a lot of plain metal. With bronze medals, we always antique them so that you can see the details easier. 



What is Dyed Metal?

In the past few years, we've seen this finishing option take the world by storm. When we stamp art into metal, there typically were compromises that needed to be made in terms of coloured lettering or lines in the art. Until this finish was invented, you could only offer gold, silver or gold raised metal. For artists and creatives who often design with black lines or coloured lines, it was problematic. The process involves an extra step in electroplating that literally colours the metal any hue you want. 


What are Offset Printed Pins? 

This is the one process we offer that has no restrictions. We combine die struck manufacturing with a print out of your design. Then we cover it with clear epoxy and affix it to a metal back.  It's not the most popular way to make a pin but sometimes people have logos or design ideas that simply do not work as a die struck pin.  View pricing and info for printed pins. 



About The Author


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.