Metal Products we offer:

Lapel Pins

A lapel pin is a small pin worn on clothing to show affiliation with an organization or cause. Pins have one or more post with some sort of attachment, usually a butterfly clutch or rubber backing.

Metal Lapel Pin Kendallville Police

Keychains

A metal key chain can be a smaller version of your patch or logo. These make a great gift idea, too!

Coins

A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion, bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. They began with the Military but are now used across Public Safety and other sectors. Traditionally, they are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members.

Base Metals

ALLUMINUM
The least expensive and thinnest, most pliable base metal.  Often used for printed pins.

ZINC ALLOY
The lightest and most versatile base metal.  It works well for the base of printed pins, and is very cost effective.

IRON
The most used base metal, most common in die struck designs.  It will have a heavier feel than zinc alloy.  Thickness can be requested to increase / decrease weight and cost.

BRONZE
The heaviest and most expensive of the base metals – has some limitations but works best with die struck designs especially coins.  Bronze is recommended for larger designs (over 1.75”) because product will hold up better.

Methods

Die Struck

Die Struck without Coloring
Most Popular for service years and awards and offers a classic appearance. Without color, and raised metal detail that you can touch.

Process:

  • Die struck pins begin as a simple sheet of metal. A custom die in a mirror image is created for your design then stamped onto the metal. This leaves an impression on the sheet.
  • It can then be sandblasted and polished and plated for a monochromatic look.
  • Or you can add color with Soft or Hard Enamel.

Die Struck with Soft Enamel
Most popular type of metal process. Raised metal detail to the touch.

Process:

  • Soft Enamel Pins start with the same process as Die Struck Pins – a flat metal sheet is struck with a die to imprint your design on the surface of the pin.
  • Colors are then placed (one at a time) into the recessed areas using enamel paint. This is done usually by hand with a small dropper.

Cloisonné [kloi–zuh–ney] or Hard Enamel
Top of the line, jewelry quality pins. They have a smooth to the touch, hard polished look.

Process:

  • Cloisonné pins also start with the same Die Struck process.
  • Then each color is placed, as a powder, one color at a time by hand. The pin is then baked until the cloisonné becomes glass. This is then repeated for each color, making this a very labor intensive product to produce.

NOTE: ALL COLORS IN DIE STRUCK PINS MUST BE SEPARATED BY RAISED METAL.  THIS GREATLY LIMITS DETAIL AND PROHIBITS THE USE OF GRADIENTS.

Print

Print (also known as screen-print, offset print, silkscreen or photo-print) are the most versatile. They can recreate a design exactly, down to the smallest detail. This pin does not need raised metal separating lines around each of the colors.

NOTE:  IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT WITH PRINT OUTPUT WILL MATCH INPUT.  HIGH QUALITY VECTOR ART IS NECESSARY TO PRODUCE REQUIRED RESULT.

Process:

  • The shape of your pin is first cut from a metal sheet with the surface of the metal being left smooth. A base color is then spread over the pins, providing something for the printed design to adhere to.
  • Next your design is offset printed onto the lapel pins and a clear, epoxy coating is applied to protect the pins from scratches. The process is the same for laser printed lapel pins with one exception. The design of laser printed lapel pins is lased onto each pin rather than being printed. The finished products are truly remarkable with photograph quality results.

Combination: Die Struck Enamel WITH Printing

A combination pin can give you the best of both worlds. You can have the die struck look and feel to large text and objects, while smaller detail in one area can be printed onto the enamel or base metal.

NOTE: THIS TYPE DOES HAVE LIMITATIONS AND IS BEST TO SPEAK WITH SOMEONE IN PURCHASING WHEN REQUESTING A COMBINATION DESIGN.

Process:

  • Start with the same Die Struck Process, only details in area that are to be printed are left as a plain recessed area.
  • Once enamel is added and cured it will move to printing.
  • Image to be printed is then added on top of Enamel or Metal.
  • This process will add to production time.

Dimension

You can choose the Dimension in which you want your product, either 2D or 3D. The dimension is whether the design protrudes from the top of the product.

2D – Standard Die Struck product. It will have raised and recessed areas – but if looked at from the side it will be flat. This product offers versatility with colors.

3D – Adds an addition dimension to your product. On top of the normal raised areas – it is a separate mold that can be seen as raised from the side. This product offers versatility in fine details such as buildings statues, and facial features. However, because of the way the mold is created – it CANNOT have color fill in the 3D area.

Plating

The Metal Color you want your product to appear.  Not to be confused with the base metal (i.e. Iron, Bronze, or Zinc-Alloy).

Attachment Options

For Metal Lapel Pins

Butterfly Clutch

SAFETY PIN BACKING

Safety Pin Backing

Tie Tack Backing

More Options

Gritty or Texture
Used in blank spaces of recessed areas. This helps add detail to unused space which can look vacant.

Foggy Painting
Used especially in die struck – non-colored designs. It adds depth to the recessed area so raised detail or text is more visible. It also adds character, like in antiquing.

Epoxy
A clear, plastic covering used for protection.

  • Print is highly recommended to have an epoxy coating to protect the print from fading or wearing off with use.
  • Hard Enamel or Cloisonné should never have epoxy.
  • Soft Enamel – here is the question: One has to remember, epoxy is used as a protective covering. Oftentimes when lapel pins are going to be worn and exposed to being damaged (such as on a uniform), epoxy is a good idea. Remember that some details will be lost when the epoxy coating is placed on the lapel pin, because of reflections and depth perceptions.

Design Tips and Suggestions

  • When creating a Die Struck design (either enamel or cloisonné) – all colors must be separated by raised metal.  
  • Raised metal text needs to be 1/8” to be clear and legible.
  • Smaller text can be Printed
  • Fill a blank metal area with texture to add visual appeal.
  • Add foggy painting to make raised metal on metal stand out.
  • Gradients and fine details should be done as print.
  • Large bold details work well as Die Struck.
  • For larger Lapel Pins – 2 Butterfly Clutch Backings can be used to prevent spinning on clothing.
  • Epoxy is needed on Printed pins to prevent fading – however it will cause a dulling of the printed colors.
  • Size is determined by the longest measurement only.

Get a Quote on Promo Items

Please contact us for a quote on custom promotional items such as lapel pins, challenge coins, keychains and other items.

For security purposes we at The Emblem Authority only sell to authorized department personnel.