Tips for Designing and Making Pins With Text

Political slogans to names. Snappy one-liners to serious messages. Institution names to information. A lapel pin can contain any of those, and look beautiful and leave a mark at that. Text and typography (or, the art of writing the text) have always been a big part of lapel pin design, and today we will give out some great tips for designing and producing nice pins with text. 

There are no ends to how a text design can be in lapel pins. In some cases, it is a line struck through the center of the art on the pin. In some cases, the text is all there is. Some texts are decorative, some are informative, and some yet are a combination of the two. But however, the design may be, the actual production method remains pretty much the same in the case of all of them. 

Issues with Text Pins

In the case of most pins, the text is created by raising the metal above other pieces of the design. Or it is recessed or embossed inside the design. Most designs choose to visually contrast the text, by choosing an option color fill for the raised (or lowered) portion.

When adding text to a custom pin, can be more complicated since it is a significantly more delicate process than simply changing the color options or getting a different plating. The challenges that you will often face when adding text to custom lapel pins are as follows.

  1. Readability: if you make the text too small, no one can read it with the naked eye, which defeats the whole purpose of having the text in the first place. If you make it too big, it won’t fit or even if it does, it will cover the actual image.
  2. Competition with Decoration: While there are plenty of lapel pins with just a line of snazzy text, a more pro customer will want some visual decoration to be included with the text. Or even, consider whether to use the text at all  since “a picture speaks a thousand words.”
  3. Deciding the bare minimum: this is an extension of the sizing issue. You can’t, of course, fit a paragraph of text onto a lapel pin. You have to figure out how the most you can say with the least words.

Tips for Designing Text Lapel Pins

Once the problems above once covered, you can then move on to the actual design of lapel pins with text. And here are some tips about that.

Decide the priority importance of the text.

Is the text the primary element of the pin? Or is it a supportive element underlining a logo or picture? Some pin designs are nothing much more than iconic texts, and some other pins use the text to add voice to the artwork or logo. Decide this quickly!

The text does not work on its lonesome. 

The text on a lapel pin is not just a piece of text. It works in tandem with typography, colors, positioning, shape, etc. to make a whole image. Altogether, they create an ensemble of pseudo-visual images that impacts the viewer. That’s the whole message. For example, the word “Nuka-cola” would not be so popular if it wasn’t written exactly that way.

Smallest sizes — of both meanings.

A minimum of 5 points is the literal size you have to keep for any text you add onto lapel pins or else it gets illegible.  On the other hand, the number of characters you can put onto a lapel pin is pretty limited too — more than 50-60 characters would be pointless. Even the largest pins can’t have too much space.

Use raised metal text for darker enamels.

Your dark-themed pin with dark purple, blue, or black sure does look impressive — but does nothing helpful for adding text. Use raised metal texts exclusively on such backgrounds, with silver or gold fill. This will create a grand effect and a bright contrast.

Send the font to your manufacturer.

This tip is for those who want mass-produced pins. If you are using a specific font and want thousands of the same pins, send the font file to your manufacturer so that they can absorb the actual characters from the real font instead of having to rely on art — which may not be precise. In the long run, this will be much faster in production. 

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