painted hands kid designer

Creating a Pin Design

Designing pins is an easy process and even a kid can do it. Pin design starts with your idea and your logo or sketch is incorporated into your design ideas. 

Designing Your Own Pins Is Easy!

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Custom Designed Lapel Pins

The Monterey Company specializes in designing custom pins for companies, individuals looking to sell their pin design online to nonprofit organizations. We have a graphics department with two full-time graphic artists that can create everything from 2D to 3d designs. The Monterey Company is an industry leader in creating custom made enamel pins. The high-quality materials and state of the art equipment are elevated by our team of skilled professionals and trained artists. Together, we create custom pieces for your business, with show-stopping designs as unique as you. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your event, your business, or your cause, take a look at some of our favorite pins. We’re sure to have a style worth going after.

All Pin Styles

soft enamel pin with cutouts

Soft Enamel

Soft enamel pins have raised and lower levels.

hard enamel

Hard Enamel

This style is smooth to the touch and has a high quality feel.

cloisonne custom pin

Cloisonne

Similar to hard enamel but made from glass.

printed lapel pin

Printed

Fastest style to make! make your logo in any shape or size. 

company pin

Company Pins

Custom company pins made with your logo.

Enamel Pin Manufactuered in America

USA Made Lapel Pins

USA & union-made pins die struck and printed with your logo.

cast dragon pin

Cast Lapel Pins

This style allows for details as they are made using zinc.

lapel pin with magnet attachment

Magnetic Pins

Need a pin that won't poke a hole in your clothes? This style includes a magnet back.

octopus pin

This custom shaped pin includes black plating and hard enamel color. The plating between each color is black making the artwork really stand out.

Cartoon Pin

Creating a pin with a face or Silhouette can be tricky! Shadowing must be done just right using darker colors for the shadow effects.

unique pin design

Plating can be used in the recessed areas that should be in the background, allowing the foreground to stand out.

cooperstown pin

Trading Pins

Team pins made in days for your next trading event.

5 year pin: boy scouts

Service Pins

Made with engraved years and gemstones.

fire-police-pins-los-angeles-county-sheriff-pin-300x300_c

Police Pins

Custom law enforcement pins with your department insignia.

custom nursing pins

Nursing Pins

Great for uniforms and graduation ceremonies.

2d vs 3d pin design

2D vs 3D

Add 3D to your pin for a realistic look.

enamel trading pins

Softball Pins

Made using soft enamel or in a printed style.

die-struck-lapel-pins

Die Struck

Struck using copper, iron or bronze base metal. They can include color. 

three ruby gemsone service pin

Gold Pins

Made using 24K plating and polished to perfection. Gemstones can be added to any pin style.

Plating can be used in the recessed areas that should be in the background, allowing the foreground to stand out.

Using black plating can enhance your pin design

Pink Cat Pin

Thin lines in this design are created by using the raised black plating. Colors are separated by the metal in this hard enamel design.

Animal Skull Pin

Custom shapes are standard practice when designing pins. Color filling the accent lines in these horns can add a little extra enhancement.

Multi Color Pin Design

Adding multiple colors in your design and wild imagery can turn your artwork into a collectible pin. Small text should always be raised and not recessed.

company awareness pin with seal

Volunteer

Award your volunteers with a pin that symbolizes your organization.

soft-enamel-awareness-ribbon-pin

Awareness

Ribbon and award pins customized with your nonprofit's symbol.

military pins

Military

Created for every branch of the armed forces. 

custom pewter pin

Pewter

Cast pewter has an antique silver finish and has a bit of surface texture.

Need More Information?

Request A Quote and We Speak To Your Dedicated Account Manager  

The Graphically Designed Difference

The makings of a perfect project come from years of experience, creativity, and an understanding of the critical elements of design. Our professional graphic designers can capture your company or cause’s tone and message, your brand personality, and your inspired ideas, all in a pin catered to your needs. They understand the visual, spatial, and textural elements that translate into emotions, making your product both aesthetic and captivating. Adding multiple colors in your design and wild imagery can turn your artwork into a collectible pin. Small text should always be raised and not recessed.

crying ey lapel pin design

The Art of Designing

Our graphic designers are artists, and their medium is the arsenal of colors, techniques, and finishing styles offered by The Monterey Company. When designing the perfect pin for your business, non-profit, or promotional event, your professional artist will draw on these mediums, creating a product with intentional effects to best tell your story. A popular technique used by our team is using black plating between vibrant enamel colors. In strategically using this plating, details come to life and shaded effects can be achieved. This same black plating can be used as an outline for the rest of the design, framing the colors and look within. These effects often encompass a pop-art feel or highlight the beauty of details.

Another incredible skill within the art of design is making something for 3 dimensions. In the understanding which materials and textures work best for casting, our team can bring your ideas as near to life as it gets. When crafting 3-dimensional images, our artists incorporate life-like details through their use of contouring, sculpting, and finishing techniques. From this, people, animals, buildings, and shapely objects can be accurately and aesthetically represented in your

Designing Without Color

Sometimes, the beauty of the materials can speak for themselves within your custom product. When considering a pin style that highlights the elegance of a base material, a designer will contemplate the way they can use raised and recessed areas to create their desired effect. In raising the focal point of the layout away from the base, the eye is strategically drawn to that area. Additionally, texture and finishing can be used to create lifelike and dynamic dimensions, without using casting in 3D. 

These mono-color pins often have a professional, important, and timeless look and feel, making them the perfect style to consider for your upscale events, milestone commemorations, and your most significant thank yous. And through incorporating raised or recessed text into the final piece, your message will shine through the material, creating a lasting impression that will never go out of style.

Silver jpl pin with a scooner ship

Are You a Graphic Artist?

If you plan on having us or a graphic artist create the final design, Here are some detailed specification on designing a custom pin.

designing pins

Not everyone can use software to design a lapel pin. But if you are able to create a sketch or let us know the shape and text you would like, then just send in your logo and we will do the rest.

  • Not an artist?

    No worries! Send us your sketch or logo and we will do all the designing for you.

  • Feeling artistic? Do you have software skills?

    Great! Send us your file and we will make your design ready for production. The artwork can be rough and we can clean up your artwork as needed.

  • Are you good at using Illustrator?

    We work with graphic artists that have the skills to create production-ready art. Many of the details you need to know are below. 

File Formats Used By Graphic Artists

When creating art designs for pins, the first important factor to consider is file format, and thus what program to use. Both to create our virtual proofs and for our factories to manufacture the final product, the pin design will eventually need to be a vector, not a raster. If you are unfamiliar with the difference, raster files are the more familiar ones like JPEG, PNG, and PSD that consist of an array of discrete pixels; while vectors are ones like EPS, PDF, or AI that consist of continuous abstractly-defined curves and lines. However, many vector formats can contain within them raster images, and when a raster image is re-saved in a vector format, all it does is embed the raster image in a vector file, which is no better than just the raster file itself. So simply re-saving a JPEG as PDF, for example, is no better than just sending the original JPEG.

Jeep Canoe Pin Design

What are the Best Programs To Use in Designing Pins?

Raster formats are created by programs like Photoshop, while vector formats are created by programs like Illustrator. If you have access to a program like Illustrator, it is, therefore, best to create your pin design in that. If you only have access to raster image programs like Photoshop, we will need to convert your image into a vector format before we can work with it. If you create your lapel pin design at an extremely high resolution, this conversion can often be done quickly and easily with automatic software features, but lower resolution raster images can only be converted to vector formats by re-drawing them by hand, which may introduce some delay into the process of getting you a virtual proof to approve. So if you can, it is best to create your logo in a program like Illustrator, but if you cannot, it is best to create it at an extremely high resolution so that it can be quickly and easily converted.

Understanding How a Pin is Designed

The next important thing is to understand how lapel pins are made and the limits that that places on the kind of detail that can go into the lapel pin design. The designing pins consists of a piece of metal that has been die-struck or die-cast to feature raised and recessed areas, usually only two levels (one raised and one recessed), though in some circumstances more are warranted.

The Details in Designing Pins

scorpion lapel pin design