When you and your enamel pin maker complete the proofs, you’ll have a pin that is exactly as you imagined it. But if the process proves constrained or complex, your dream design can turn into a nightmare of rework and falls short of expectations.

Let’s dive into why proof is the key to turning your inspiration into reality. We then look at four other factors to consider when choosing which enamel pin manufacturer to be your pin production partner.

1. Why Your Enamel Pin Manufacturer Needs a Perfect Proofing Process

Proof of Production is a high-resolution mock-up of your enamel pin design. It is made from your creation by your enamel pin maker. The proof is the first time you see what your stunning designs look like in pin form.

The proofing process is the most important step in making a new pin because:

1) Proofs tell you what’s possible

Each artistic medium reveals a different aesthetic of its subject. A charcoal sketch of a tree will always look very different than a watercolor. Wood carving will be very different from both. The same goes for your enamel pins.

Your proof shows what you imagined the image to look like as a pin. You may learn that the stark contrast of black metal is too much for your intricate design, or that your color gradient works best with domed pins. High-res proofs created by experienced professionals are a great way to understand what you can use with your choice The best way to see what pushpins do and can’t do.

2) proof of no return

Obtaining the correct certification is essential to avoid additional costs. The digital design goes into physical production as soon as you approve a proof. From that point on, you will not be able to cancel your order for a refund or to change your design. The same goes for any pin maker you work with. After the proof is approved, the only way to get a different design is to place a new order.

2. What is the perfect proofing process?

Proofs are handled differently by each enamel pin manufacturer. Ultimately, the perfect process is the one that meets your needs. But before you commit to working with them, there are a few things to know about your manufacturer’s proofing process.

Unlimited freedom of proof. Great artists know that the real magic happens in the editing process. Even the best novelist can rewrite a page a hundred times. If you’re forced to approve a design before the third iteration, you risk missing out on creating your own masterpiece.

Freedom to make changes. You also want to ensure that small and drastic changes to the design can be made during the verification process. Adding or removing individual design elements should not be a problem for your pin manufacturer. Or, if the winds of inspiration blow you to a different trajectory, you should be allowed to submit an entirely different design.

Sometimes, even with the freedom of infinite proofs, you can’t express what you think in a model. Your pin manufacturer should allow you to cancel your order for a full refund. That way, you’ll never be stuck with a pin you don’t like (yes, that’s a pin pun).

#Pingame: Creamos refines its pin design to create an ideal symbol of equality

When you create a symbol to represent gender justice and inclusion, every detail matters. That’s what the team at We Create, a social entrepreneurship initiative, found and they decided to partner with SICpin .

The nonprofit provides job opportunities, education, and emotional support to a group of women in Guatemala. Without Creamos’ program, these women would have to support themselves by working dangerous jobs at local dumps.

Creamos wanted to create a series of enamel pins to promote its mission. Getting the design just right took some work; SICpin accepted the challenge.

“We had to make some tweaks to our designs throughout the process, and unlike other pin suppliers, SICpin gave us unlimited edits until they looked exactly the way we wanted,” says Creamos. “The patience and empathy we received from the SICpin team made this process such a pleasure. I will never design a pin with just anyone!”

Enamel pins are portable and inexpensive—a great combination for nonprofits that need exposure but don’t want to spend too much on marketing. Once perfected, Creamos pins are a great way for visitors and donors to take home a piece of the project and strike up a conversation with friends and family.

3. 4 more things an enamel pin maker needs

When it comes to making enamel pins, what you don’t know can definitely hurt you. If your manufacturing partner has these four things, you won’t be surprised when you unbox your next batch of pins.

1) Simple pricing

Pricing can be easily confused. Some pin manufacturers offer low unit costs but require large orders. Others charge shipping or tooling fees. Below is a list of what you should verify before placing an order.

No Tooling Fee
Pin manufacturers are required to pay to create new pin tooling. Some will charge you extra to cover this cost, but some will absorb it when you order a minimum quantity. Confirm that you do not need to pay a separate tooling fee in addition to the unit cost. But if you do, it should be deducted from future orders. Never pay for a second mold for the exact same pin.

Low Minimum Order Quantity
Whether it’s your first pin design or you just need a small group of pins, a small minimum order quantity (MOQ) will help you get into #pingame without the risk of excess.

For example, at SICpin you can order multiple sample pins as prototypes. We then offer bulk pricing starting at just 50 pieces. For many other manufacturers, the minimum order quantity for bulk pricing is 100 pieces. For many pin designers, this is a huge investment.

Free Domestic Shipping
High shipping costs can make buying pins at an affordable price a waste. To make matters worse, you may not know there will be a large shipping charge until you go through the rest of the ordering process. Surprises are for the magic, not the shipping costs.

Look for manufacturers of enamel pins, such as SICpin, that offer free domestic shipping. If you’re shipping internationally, make sure you get an estimated cost in advance.

Easy-to-understand Standard Pricing
You’ll never have to request a quote and wait days for pricing on standard pin sizes and types.

The cost to produce each enamel pin depends on size, material, and manufacturing quantity. You should rarely if ever, have to worry about your design affecting the price. Want eight colors and a custom shape? You should pay the same unit price for 50 pieces as you would for a round pin with two colors. So look for pin manufacturers who offer prices upfront for their standard pin sizes and styles.

2) Many product choices

One of the greatest benefits of enamel pins as an art medium is the variety of options you have to accentuate your creativity. Your pin manufacturer should have the option to make your vision a reality.

Look for a variety of styles
There are several different styles of pins, each of which will result in a different final product.

Antique molded pins, for example, add a bit of rustic flair to your designs, while soft enamel lets you incorporate vibrant colors into your finished pins.

See if they offer several plating options
The plating is the metal base of the pins. Most commonly, silver plating is used for the pins, but there are other options that can help accentuate your design.

For example, examine copper (bottom left). It’s an elegant choice that allows a bold color to stand out.

Make sure they can produce custom-shaped pushpins
There’s a lot you can do with standard round or square pushpins, but the real fun starts with custom shapes.
Even without the interior wave design (which we love), this pin articulates its aquatic theme. A good pin maker can make very intricate molds for the finest shapes.

Ask if they can supply custom backing cards
Backing cards are small pieces of cardstock that hold pins. Support cards are widely used in pins sold in retail stores. A custom card adds a personal touch to your PIN.

As a bonus, supporting cards also provide prime space for branding and shared contact details. That’s it info@sicpin.com with their card.

You can save a lot of time if your badge manufacturer is also your support card supplier. Not only will they make the cards, but they’ll stick the pins for you too. This saves you a lot of assembly time, especially for large orders.

3) Simple ordering process

You should spend your time designing pins, not managing complex ordering processes. Know in advance the steps you need to complete to get your finished product delivered to your door.

For starters, if a pin manufacturer asks you to fill out a long form and wait for a call to get a quote, run. You should be able to get instant pricing online.

In fact, you should be able to complete your entire order in one quick online session. That means getting your prices, uploading artwork, and placing your order. Easy Breeze Lemon Squeeze.

4) Praise

Until you work with a pin manufacturer, you won’t know if their workmanship and products are great. Unless you dig into their reviews.

At the very least, you should find reviews on the manufacturer’s website. After all, if they can’t find someone who can’t rave about their product or service, they could be in trouble.

Third-party review and reseller sites are great places to find unfiltered reviews. Product search or even Amazon are great places to start. On these types of sites, unlike their own, the manufacturers have no way of filtering out bad reviews and comments about the products.

4. Ask Lots of Questions Before Choosing an Enamel Pin Manufacturer

Whether you’re creating push pins to pass through your shopping or Etsy store, or you just want to give an unforgettable thank-you gift to employees, finding the right enamel pin maker will make the process fun and easy.

To find the right collaborators for your pin project, don’t be afraid to ask questions ahead of time. Observe how quickly and thoroughly they respond. This is a good indication of what you can expect after starting a project with them.

5. Common problem

What is the best enamel pin maker?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best enamel pin manufacturer for your needs will vary depending on your specific requirements. Some things to consider when selecting a manufacturing partner include lead quality, turnaround time, and pricing.