It’s no surprise that pins and badges have become the must-have merchandising item in every savvy brand’s promotional arsenal. Pin badges are back in a strong, strong way, and for good reason. Custom pin badges are affordable, high value and they’re popular across a large demographic of consumers.

Just two years ago, Pinterest reported that searches for retro, pop-culture pins had increased 800 percent! A well-designed badge can help boost awareness of your business by transforming recipients into walking, talking brand ambassadors. In this increasingly competitive market, creating an eye-catching enamel badge is an effective tool to set your business apart from the crowd. Read on for our top five tips to design a custom badge that works.

Five Tips for Designing Enamel Badges

1) Limitless Shapes and Sizes

When we think of promotional badges, many people envision small, round button badges. While button badges are popular and cost-effective, custom enamel badges come in a limitless array of interesting sizes and shapes. Did you know that we create a bespoke mould for each and every badge we make to ensure an exact replica of your design, no matter how complex it is? If you can think of a shape, we can create it, from animals to logos to ice cream cones and pizza!

cheesy pizza slice illustration custom enamel badge

When designing the promotional badge of your dreams, size is also important. One clever approach is to go extreme. Try creating a super-size version of your logo or brand or, at the other end of the spectrum, create a collection of cute mini-button badges. There is no wrong approach here, so don’t be afraid to get creative with shape and size when designing your enamel badge.

2) Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!

You’ve built a brand that people recognise. Much of this has to do with consistent design, colour, placement and usage of your logo and messaging. Brand consistency matters because it projects professionalism, establishes authenticity and helps people recognise and choose your brand over others. While a brand is as much about who you are as it is what you look like, this consistency should carry  through in all of your merchandise, especially visible, wearable items like enamel badges.

Brewdog, for example, does a great job of extending the look and feel of the brewery brand across a wide range of beer merchandise, like these graffiti-inspired enamel pin badges.

Two custom llustrated enamel badges on brown branded backing card for Brewdog

Colour is key for brand consistency, too. When designing your enamel badge, take advantage of services like exact Pantone colour matching to ensure true brand consistency. Both our soft enamel and hard enamel badges are finished with precisely coloured Pantone colours for exact, true replicas of your cultivated identity. You’ll also want to explore and select the right type of finish for a special lustre that enhances your brand.  This could be a shiny finish, an antique finish or even a pearlescent finish. (Read tip four below for more.)

3) Hard or Soft Enamel?

An early and important step in the design process is selecting the right type of enamel badge, beginning with a choice between hard and soft enamel badges – two very popular and durable badge types. Here’s a crash course on the difference between the two.

Premium quality, hard enamel badges:

  • Style: Polished durability for year after year shine.
  • Great for: Daily use for employee uniforms or name tags, corporate gifts, service recognition awards, VIP customer gifts, promotional contests and events. High perceived value!
  • Look and feel: Enamel is layered up and then polished down for a flat, smooth surface.
  • Colour: Pantone matched to ensure an accurate extension of your brand

Mid-range, soft enamel badges:

  • Style: Cost-effective and versatile.
  • Great for: Promotional campaigns and event giveaways, small gifts for customers and employees and merchandise on a limited budget.
  • Look and feel: Raised metal lines and recessed enamel give these a “bumpy” feel. Despite the name, these are still hard to the touch with a precise and polished look.
  • Colour: Pantone matched to ensure an accurate extension of your brand as well as hand-polishing for a special lustre.

Still can’t decide? For more, check out this post on hard versus soft enamel badges

4) Finish Strong

Make sure you choose a finish that complements your enamel badge design and your brand. (Ironically, a badge’s finish is often the first thing people notice!)

A shiny finish is a great choice – it’s available in a range of colours like gold, silver, copper, brass and chrome and the bright, durable tone won’t tarnish over time, retaining  its original flash and lustre for years to come.

Another option is an elegant misty finish, which will lend a tasteful look and feel, perfect for pin badge jewelry or corporate gifts. Traditionally, there isn’t any colour on a misty finish badge. Instead, the recessed areas are left with a matte finish or are sandblasted, which creates a more textured background. The result in either case is a delicate yet ornate badge.

Or what about a vintage, antique finish for a distinguished badge in gold, silver, copper, brass, tin or gun? This is a great choice for retail or special occasion badges, perhaps to commemorate a product launch or special event. Here’s an antique badge we created to promote the Harry Potter franchise.

When deciding on finish, a good starting place is your intended purpose of the badge and your budget.  For example, a shiny finish is ideal for standard promotional badges on a tighter budget, whereas a distinguished antique finish would suit a higher price point.

5) Choose the Perfect Partner

Our final tip is about selecting the right manufacturer for your eye-catching enamel badge. Look for a partner who will provide free design services and work with you from idea to delivery to ensure you get a badge that you and your recipients will love. To help you select the ideal manufacturer, we suggest starting with these five questions:

  • Question 1: Do you have a minimum order quantity?
  • Question 2: What are my options for custom materials and shapes?
  • Question 3: Do you offer design assistance?
  • Question 4: What packaging options are available?
  • Question 5: How are your badges sourced?


We hope this post helps you put together the perfect enamel badge to add to your promotional arsenal this year, from small and cute to a unique accessory. We can’t wait to look for your wearable, eye-catching designs out and about this year!