What Is A Custom Pin?

October 16, 2023

Custom pins are seeing a resurgence in popularity recently. Partly, because their retro-ness has started to make them cooler. And partly because of the Coronavirus. Companies and health organizations are using custom pins to spread awareness and show their support to those affected. If you are a little unsure what a custom pin is, how they can be used, or how much they cost you have come to the right place. This article has all the answers you might need!

Table of Contents

What is a custom pin?

A custom pin is a small pin that is specially designed to serve a unique purpose. Custom pins are a cool way of getting a message across. That's why sports teams, businesses, clubs, etc, like to create their unique pins. They offer a way for fans, clients, employees, etc to show support for their organization. Not all pins are used for business reasons, many people collect pins simply because they look cool and interesting. The pin is often enamel based, meaning it is pretty good for displaying a variety of colors, designs and patterns.

What are they typically made of?

Most enamel pins are made of iron, at least the fastenings of the pin itself are. The flat surface of the pin itself is often enamel based. This is why there is so much variety in shape, size, color, and pattern.Enamel is very workable so you should be able to get precisely what you are looking for. The face of the pin is often hammered into a smooth workable shape, making them cost-effective as well as high quality. There is a reason enamel pins have almost entirely cornered the custom pin market. They are simply better.

What are the most common types of enamel pins?

There are two types of enamel pins that you are likely to bump into. Hard enamel and soft enamel. Both are pretty sturdy and reliable, yet shine in different areas. Soft enamel pins are a little rougher, they tend to have raised edges. Since both types of enamel are molded metals you don't lose any freedom in terms of shape and size, but you will see a variation in finish. Hard enamel pins are often smoother, with no rough edges, and are "flatter". The difference is minimal but noticeable.The biggest differences when it comes to design are brightness and texture. Hard enamel pins, whilst smoother and sleeker, lack any kind of texture and simply don't receive some metallic materials or colors quite as well as their soft counterpart. This is why custom pins that are supposed to be used for professional settings are almost always hard enamel. Whereas ones for fun and creativity are regularly soft enamel. This is not a hard rule that you must follow, this is just generally how it goes.

How much creative freedom do I have to design my pin?

Custom pins are named pretty accurately, they have an amazing ability to be whatever it is you are looking for. Of course, with different enamels, you will get slightly different finishes. But between the two, there are very few things you would not be able to do.If you want to create a bright, colorful, beautiful custom pin with all the colors of the rainbow, go for soft enamel.If you want a sleek, professional, metallic based, simple but elegant pin - then choose the hard enamel.Most companies will allow you to have full creative control when designing your pin. They have to point you in the right direction in terms of limitations, but for the most part, you will be a free spirit.

What are some cool uses for custom pins?

Custom pins are pretty amazing with their flexibility to be used in almost any situation or setting. From fancy functions to kid's parties, they will always find a way to fit right in. So long as the designer has a good sense of style and occasion, the pin will fit perfectly. Many companies choose hard enamel pins to create plain metal pins to generate brand awareness. They are clean silver or gold which looks smart and sophisticated. Professional pins should always sleek and elegant. If you are planning on creating pins to sell, then go with soft enamel. You can express yourself far better this way. Besides, most people who buy pins for themself want cool designs and patterns. They care less about professionalism and more about creative flair.

How expensive are custom pins?

Despite how amazingly versatile they are, custom pins don't cost all that much. Like any wholesale item, buying in bulk is the most cost-effective way to purchase them. You can expect to pay between about $0.60 to $5.00 per pin depending on the size of your order. You can see all of our transparent, all-in pricing here.If you are trying to collect unique and interesting individual pins, you may be paying anything from $10 to a few hundred. Some pins are very rare and are no longer being produced. Olympic pins can be super valuable for this reason alone. If you were looking at designing, buying, and then selling your line of pins you are probably going to want to look at moving at least a few hundred of them, if not a few thousand to increase your margins.


As you can see, custom pins are super versatile. No matter who you are, what your company does, or how much money you are looking to spend - custom pins will always fit in just fine. There are very few other items that vary so greatly in both style and purpose.Whether you are looking to promote your business, show support of a great cause, or simply show off your creative flair; custom pins might be just what you are looking for.Just because custom pins can be a little pricey when you are buying smaller quantities, doesn't mean you should feel compelled to buy more than you need. You can make a decent profit on even the most expensive pins. They don't go out of style, they don't go off or deteriorate, they don't even lose value in most cases.

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