Enamel Pin Maker

High Quality Enamel Pin Making With Your Logo

The Monterey Company is known as one of best pin makers since 1989. We design the highest quality pins. We’re proud of the art that we create and we’d love to help you design and make your lapel pins. We specialize helping DIY pin makers create amazing designs.

enamel pins

Monterey Home » Enamel Pins

Enamel Lapel Pin Styles

Enamel pins are made by creating a die of a design that includes color in a logo. Enamel is added to the recessed areas of a stamped pin design. There three types of enamel used in the process of adding color to a lapel pin. The two most common options include soft and hard enamel. The third option is cloisonné, a 2000-year-old enameling process.

The Hard Enamel Pin Style

Made using almost the same process as soft enamel. The only difference between the two styles is the timing when the metal and color are laid. This style has a higher perceived value and was originally created to resemble the cloisonné pin style. The number one reason to consider this style is the surface is smooth to the touch and the hard surface makes this style more resistant to scratches

hard enamel pins
enamel pin maker

Adding 3D Under the Enamel

Transparent enamel pins look great in 3D! The metal under the enamel can be made into patterns or shapes to enhance your design. We can create textures and lines that can show through the color. Why would you want to see the metal? Let's say you want to see boulders in a river, we can create raised areas in the water that look just like rocks. There are no limits to what you can do with transparent enamel. You can mix and match enamel colors and by requesting samples, we can make samples in a variety of enamels for your review and approval prior to full production.

What Are Enamel Pins Made Of

Enamel pins are made to strict standards that include product safety rules set by the United States and Europe. Most pins are either die struck or cast from zinc. Enamel pins can be made from a variety of metals including iron, brass, copper or bronze. Most lapel pin vendors make their pins from iron as they have a lower cost. Iron also allows the use of a magnet back which lapel pin users like because of the way they attach to clothing. Enamel colors can match most logo colors using the Pantone matching system.

The Process of Making Enamel Pins

custom festival lapel pin

Enamel pins are made using a design or graphic that is transferred to metal. Enameling is the process of adding color to a design that includes a process of using syringes to the recessed areas of the metal. Colors are separated by the raised metals areas and the recessed areas are filled three-quarters of the way up the metal walls.

Lapel pins (also known as a "pin badges" in the UK ) is a metal emblem that is affixed to the lapel of a jacket or dress with an attachment. They can be worn simply as a decorative piece of jewelry or can make a statement about the wearer's social, political, or religious views. They can also represent a special accomplishment or status for the wearer, creating a feeling of belonging to a select group. Many businesses set up employee recognition programs and make use of lapel pins for this purpose in order to increase productivity and to help boost the morale of employees by showing appreciation for their employees' achievements.

hardrock guitar pin

How to Create Enamel Lapel Pin

Another common usage is to show affiliation with certain organizations and clubs. An example of this is the sorority/fraternity system within the universities. They use lapel pins to display the symbol that represents them. Lapel pins have also grown in popularity as a hobby for collectors. Animated themes and characters like those from Disney, Warner Bros, and Hard Rock Café have led to extensive pin trading programs and social events.

Several processes are involved in the creation of enamel pins. The first is creating the design of the concept or image. The design is done much like drawing a cartoon character. It can be either hand drawn or can be created using an appropriate computer program. All measurements, colors schemes and important explanations are written out with the precise drawing and then submitted for approval.

When deciding on the design, an important consideration, if there is a script on the pin, is font style. Block style fonts are most easily read because of the necessarily small size of the font. Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Veranda, and Georgia are common fonts used because of their ease of readability. For larger pins, fancier, more complex fonts can be considered.

When the details are finalized, a mold is created using separator lines to keep colors from blending. The thickness of these separator lines or walls depends on the design of the pin.

soft enamel vs cloisonne lapel pin

This Image shows a comparison between cloisonne and soft enamel

Hard Enamel - Cloisonne Pins

Cloisonné is a 2000-year-old technique developed in the Middle East. This process was originally used to make small items such as jewelry, weapons, and decorations. By the 14th century, China got ahold of this technique and started to make larger items such as decorative bowls and small statues.

At The Monterey Company, we use the same age-old process to make our cloisonné pins. We make our cloisonné pins from colored sand. The sand is melted at a temperature of 1700 degrees to create a jewelry-like appearance. A cloisonné pin feels like glass to the touch and is considered a hard enamel.

Cloisonné pins are very collectible and have a very high perceived value. Find out more about the artistic technique of cloisonné pins or request a free quote for cloisonne pins.

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Friends of Big Hunting Creep CAMPER transparent enamel pin

Transparent Enamel Pins

Pins with transparent color are a unique type of lapel pin. The transparent coloring is a clear material that shows the recessed metal through the color.

The price for transparent pins is the same price other styles. Although there are a limited amount of color options available for transparent pins. This style is perfect for DIY pin makers to make their design stand out. What makes transparent pins special? It’s simple: The colors—they are not like our standard colors and mimic the appearance of glass. These colors are truly transparent and become like colored glass, allowing the recessed metal to be seen through the enamel.

By adding features or textures to the recessed areas of your design and using transparent enamel can make your custom enamel pin really come to life. Imagine adding rocks to a riverbed, or using a pattern to show the ripples under the “water” of our blue transparent enamel. Please note that the number of transparent colors is limited, and matching to PMS colors is not an option. The Monterey Company can create a proof and actual sample transparent pin for your review prior to production, and we highly recommend that you do so.

How are the transparent pins created?
Your custom design is die-struck into bronze, leaving the individual, miniature reservoirs for each color that will be used on your transparent pin. We then electroplate with your chosen lapel pin finish, including silver, gold or copper, and then it is hand polished on all three sides. The soft enamel coloring is added to the recessed areas by hand, using multiple sizes of syringes to fill each of the cavities three-quarters full. The custom enamel pins are left to air dry, allowing the enamel to settle slightly, resulting in the colored areas being just below the metal surface. This creates multi-faceted detail and an embossed effect that you can feel when you run your finger over the pin’s surface.

Etched Soft Enamel Pins

Etching is a process whereby a corrosive acid is used to corrode or burn a design onto the metal. A design is designated by an outline of wax and the acid then burns everything that isn’t covered in wax. We use this method in our photo etched lapel pins, and it’s also quite popular in the creation of coins and medallions. This unique acid reaction process helps achieve finer detail then you would with a die struck pin and gives you the full range of color. It also leaves you with a lightweight product that is perfect for trading pins and giveaways.

Custom Photo Etched Soft Enamel lapel pins are great for obtaining impressively small detail and are the lightest in weight of all of the enameled pins we make. This style pin is created with a unique acid reaction process, instead of a die strike to fashion the cavities which will contain each color of the design. Finer detail is easier to achieve in the image and this custom lapel pin style will provide a lightweight alternative to die struck lapel pins, making them better for trading pins, promotions, and giveaways. The creation of Photo Etched pins is one of the unique processes known to the industry. Taking an image of your custom design, it is then transferred from a photographic negative onto the surface of the base metal. it is then etched into a brass base using an acid reaction process. Indentations left by the acids are then filled with enamel colors and then fired. When that is done, an epoxy coating is applied over the pin, creating a protective cover over the enamel color and the metal.

etched soft enamel

enamel pins custom


Not sure which style to choose?

When ordering, you’ll be given options as to the style of a lapel pin that will best showcase the appearance of your design. We’ll talk with you about creating a logo or design that represents the goal of your custom pin style.

Creating custom pins vs stock pins is an easy decision to make if you would like to see your logo reproduced in vivid color! The first step is to create a pin design and we are here to help you!

Part of the narrowing down process is selecting the color that will look the best with the type of lapel pin you’d like. We offer four very unique styles with different price points to meet any budget.

Soft Enamel Pin Pricing

1 1/4"2.692.221.651.311.19
These prices are estimated and are based on a simple logo design that includes 6 colors and shiny plating. Setup charges may apply on your first order, depending on the quantity you order.


5 years of service soft enamel lapel pin
enamel lapel pins with logos

Order Custom Enamel Lapel Pins With The Monterey Company

As an enamel pin maker, we are dedicated to providing high-quality lapel pins to our customers. We offer multiple types of customizable lapel pins including corporate recognition awards pins, awareness pins, support pins and event pins. We love working with our customers to provide uniquely special custom pins to fulfill their individual needs. We have low minimum quantity orders and we’ll work closely with you to create just the type of custom-made pins you’re looking for.