Determining Custom Pin Size

October 16, 2023

Custom pin size.  Do you remember your first experience learning to measure? Think elementary school and that wooden ruler.  Were you good at it or did all those little hash marks between the numbers cause great confusion?  My guess is there was a little confusion for most and given that rulers are not used every day by most people they still cause some level of confusion today.

In the custom pin world “size does matter” therefore measuring becomes essential. Every day we receive calls from potential customers excited to make custom enamel pins and then we start asking hard questions like: “What size do you want?” which is usually followed by silence on the other end. They have no idea. Our years of experience has shown that identifying the right lapel pin sizes is one of the least understood factors when buying a custom pin.

Sizes range from .5 inch up to 3 inch and every eighth inch in between. That is a lot of pin sizes. It’s like trying to pick one ice cream flavor from over 50 different choices. Because most people are not familiar with pin sizes here are some points to consider in determining the right size.

Table of Contents

A standard professional size is 1 inch.

Standard means most common. Professional means it is warn on a suit lapel and is intended to be classy and subtle.  An example would be a flag pin often worn by the President of the United States.  Flag pins are typically .75, .875 or 1 inch in size.  It is small, professional looking and classy.

A large size is 1.5 inch or bigger.

Pins can be made any size, but if they are worn large pins become gaudy, bulky and pull on clothing and people will not wear them. If they are not intended to be worn, then size is less of an issue.

A small size is .5 inch to .75 inch

Pins that are .5 to .75 inch are considered tiny. They are perfectly acceptable, but you cannot put much detail on them or it becomes to small to read or recognize.

A trading pin size is generally 1.5 inch to 3 inch in size.

Trading pins is a very popular thing to do amongst little league baseball, youth hockey, youth basketball, youth soccer, youth figure skating, destination imagination, odyssey of the mind, and many other similar type organizations or events. The bigger the pin, the bigger the impact and trade ability. These pins are not meant to be worn so size is a status rather than a practicality.

A long horizontal corporate logo or design requires a longer pin.

Designs that are long, but not very tall require a longer pin to ensure the design is big enough to be legible. Typically, we see this with logos that include a company name.  For example, if Bank of America wanted to have their name all spelled out on a 1-inch size pin the words would be so small it would not look very good.  So in this case we would recommend 1.25 to 1.5-inch-long to try to get the words as big possible.  The pin will be 1.5-inch-long but may only be .125 to .25-inch-tall so it still gives the appearance of a smaller pin that could be worn.

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