Once exclusively reserved for military and political uses, lapel pins are now widely used in businesses, charities, organizations, fraternities and sororities. Because of the rapidly increasing need for them, many businesses have started to manufacture their own lapel pins. However, only few satisfy the customer’s standards. When ordering for a customized lapel pin, the client has to contact the company and talk clearly to the design department and agree on a certain design. This will involve a lot of technical terms. This can make the client clueless and lost which can lead to miscommunication between the company and the client. In order for you to get a better result for your lapel pins, it is important that you have an idea about the manufacturing and design process.
The manufacturing process for each kind of pin regardless of the size is typically standardized. The more complex the design is, the more processes have to be involved. That is why most companies prefer wholesale orders over retail. The lapel pin starts with the certain design in mind. This includes the shape of the pin, the colors used and the graphics. Then the metal used will be specified. The printing method and technique should also be indicated. The kind of attachment at the back can also be specified. There are different kinds of metals used for any lapel pin. Copper, brass, steel and nickel are the common base metals. These metals are generally more affordable. Silver, gold and platinum are also used but they are reserved to lapel pins used by high ranking officials and generals because they are way more expensive. Brass and copper are most ideal because they are much softer than steel and nickel. Since they are not that durable, they are often plated with a much harder metal after the stamping of the design and cutting process. The stamping of designs can also be done at the back where the attachment pin will be soldered. The design stamp should have at least 0.3mm in order to prevent the colors from mixing into each other.
After plating, each pin will be polished until they are very shiny and highly reflective. However, the degree of shine can be specified by the client. Plated copper is the usual material that needs polishing. Then, the most crucial step in manufacturing lapel pins follows. Each pin has to be colored. This is a very meticulous process that requires proper attention. The color should not go beyond the stamp. It can be wiped but it would take more time and compound to several hours. Then, when all the colors have been set, the entire set of lapel pins will be baked. This is to ensure that the colors will stay permanently on the pin. Each color is based on the Pantone Chart. This chart is a globally recognized palette of colors that aims to standardize the colors in order to avoid confusion. Unlike usual colors, pantone colors are true colors and are not mixed from other two or more colors. They will be baked for about 15 minutes at temperatures high enough to set the color but not to melt the metals. After baking, they will be cooled. At this point, each pin is almost done and can actually be worn already. However, they are not protected from the everyday wear and tear. Therefore, each pin would have to be coated with a special clear epoxy coating to preserve the colors and the shine of the metal. This will also prevent the metal from oxidizing. Usually, only the front part of the pin will be coated to save money and time.