Sketch > Vector > Pin
How Pins are Made:
YouTube Video 1
YouTube Video 2
General Tips and Tidbits:
Assume nothing.Even if the art is coloured correctly, the written pantone codes, plating, measurements, etc. will be what the factory follows.Samples are not generally offered by default. Consider them an additional cost for the additional work (as otherwise your order would go straight into mass production). Best to request for if you are ever not sure of how certain colours or special effects will look.Molds can't be changed once made, but you can make multiple colour varients with the same design. However, if you need to change parts of the design or the backstamp, you'll need to have a new mold made. Molds also have a shelf life of roughly two years before your manu has to replace the mold.Glitter and Glow-in-the-dark powders are not always colour-matched to your pantones. Consult your manu for their glitter/glow offerings.Pin grading is subjective and will vary by maker. Here is an example of mine.
Re: Soft Enamel:
Glitter can fall off the enamel if there is no epoxy coat sealing it in place.Epoxy is not always offered by default. State it in your file if you want it for your pin.Screenprinting can be printed with or without epoxy present. If epoxy is present, the screenprint will be printed on top of the epoxy layer, which will cast a shadow underneath it.
Re: Hard Enamel:
Line thickness can vary due to the sanding process. Any areas with tiny colour spots risk over sanding, especially areas near the edge of a pin.Colours may come out slightly darker due to the baking process.
Re: Factory Errors/Worst Case Scenarios:
No manu will ever give a flawless order 100% of the time. The best manu rep is one willing to compromise a solution when an order does go wrong.Not all pin flaw types are considered reasonable enough for a refund/remake. Due to the handmade nature of pins, exercise judgement when determining what is within reasonable human error and what is a more obvious factory error.Very rarely will a manu ever refund an order 100%. More often, the refund amount would be based off the unit costs and not the mold fee.
Examples of flaws worth bringing up to a manu for orders with a high flaw ratio (~40% or higher):
Chipping/craggling platingIncorrect enamel colouring in more noticble areasVisibly large underfillingUnusually high numbers of dust particles/air bubbles, etc.
Disclaimer: Not all manu are guaranteed to remake/refund based on the listed flaw types above.
How to Format Pin Files for Manus:
Manu Preferred Format:
Vector AI or PDFPantone Solid Coated Colour BridgeHigh Res Image submission is still possible (with line art as a separate image)
All enamel-filled colours must have lines surrounding them.
Minimum Colour Space Needed Between Metal Lines: 0.5mm
Recommended Minimum Metal Line Thickness:
Soft Enamel: 0.12mmHard Enamel: 0.2mm
Minimum Clean Cutout Space Needed:
(Spaces smaller than recommended sizes may result in recessed metal areas instead.)
0.8mm Outer Cutout (between metal)1.5mm Inner Cutout
Minimum Screenprint Size:
Types of plating available:
Silver/Nickel, Gold, Rose Gold/Copper, Black Nickel(Soft Enamel/Dye Struck Only) Antique Gold/Silver, Rainbow/Anodized, Pantone Dyed
Example of File Submission Formatting:
File Submission (Cleaner Example):