3D can be one of the most effective ways to make your lapel pins come to life!

Three dimensional, or 3-D images, need not be limited to coins and medallions. 3-D can be effectively used on standard lapel pins. For example, a recent customer asked The Monterey Company to create a lapel pin for her organization with an elephant image in the middle.

“The elephant had many lines and creases on its head, trunk, and side,” said the salesperson working on the lapel pin. “We created a digital image of it in 2-D, and it looked fine, like a basic elephant.”

“But it could have looked much better if they had created the elephant in 3-D,” added Paul Stark, president of The Monterey Company, which has been creating lapel pins for 19 years.

Because of her budget, the customer was reluctant to go to 3-D, so they created the elephant image in 2-D. It was a ¾ inch silver die struck round pin. The text was put around the edges of the circular pin so that the elephant took center stage.

At The Monterey Company, 3-D imaging on lapel pins cost a flat $120, including set-up. It’s best to allow an extra 5-7 days for 3-D sculpting.

To create a 3-D image, the craftspeople at the factory have to create a mold of the image, and then fill it with metal. “It’s like creating a mold for a sculpture,” added Stark. “Only that on a ¾ inch pin, it’s a very tiny sculpture.”

Once the customer saw the 2-D pin, she was happy with the results. However, in the back of her mind, she knew it could look better. A few days later, she called her salesperson at The Monterey Company and asked her to create the same pin in 3-D this time.

“I don’t know why I didn’t do it in the first place,” the customer said. “The pin looks so much better because the elephant seems to pop right out of the center of the pin. We?re very happy with the results”

The customer kept both sets of lapel pins because her colleagues were divided in their preferences. Some liked the standard 2-dimensional elephant, while the others liked the sculpted, 3-D effect.

3-D imaging has its place, added Stark. For this corporate pin in which employees were going to wear every day, it made sense. “Keep in mind that 3-D images don’t have to be limited to animals, but we can do portraits, landscapes, and automobiles, aircraft or machinery. There is no limit.”