File Prep - Pins
If you understand Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. (If not, just email us what you've got)
- We need a real vector file to make the pins and if you can assign the proper color profiles from pantone+ solid coated, great. If not, we can get it done for you. EPS/PDF/Ai, whatever works and there's no need to lock your layers. We're going to dig into it anyway. In Ai, you can go in the color guides tab and add pantone+ solid coated as a color book or it's easy just double check the choices in Ps.
- If you have fonts in your design, please select them in Ai and go to Type > Create Outlines before sending so Ai doesn't auto swap it if we don't have that font
- The min line thickness for a mold line is 0.1mm for soft enamel and 0.15mm for hard enamel. The min thickness of a color area that will be an enamel color and not the metal is 0.3 mm in soft or hard. If you have a cutout area in the design, to have a clean cut with no recessed metal(cut goes all the way through as a hole), it should be 2.5mm min and they suggest 3mm for the cleanest cut.
- Hey! I use photoshop and it's pixels... 0.3mm in pixels is 0.85px at scale. You probably will have to do some math based on your PSD file(hopefully much larger than pin's end size). Let's say for the sake of ease that you want a 1" pin and your file is set at 10", that means at the scale you are working at, for the color to fit, the min space would be 8.5 px(0.85 x 10). You gotta do your own math based on your source file if in Ps, but thats how to figure it out.
If you can't make a vector, that's totally fine. Just send us a high res jpeg, PSD, whatever and we should be able to get it done smoothly.
- The factory uses Pantone+ Solid Coated and Pantone Pastels, so choose your colors from those Pantone group. If the closest match is ok, just let us know and we will assign the closest match and run it by you before it goes to the factory. Metallics (870s Solid Coated) and True Neons (800s Solid Coated/ 900s in Pastels) are not available. 800s/900s Neon can be color matched close in hue, but not the saturation and true neon.
- Check to make sure no colors are touching each other unless it is the key line/ outline that will be the metal you choose. There must be metal between each color. If needed, you could add a stroke around each color to separate them and that would be the metal. Check the FAQ section for an example. The colors start as a liquid, so mold lines are needed to keep colors in the right shape or else they'd bleed together.
- If you want to see your art properly with any strokes, simply size the art on your artboard in Ai and when needing to add a stroke, set it to 0.1mm/0.2mm depending on soft/hard enamel and it'll show you proper scale. Adding a 0.1mm stroke to a 6" design that will be a 1.25" pin doesn't help you see what it'll really look like.
- The outer edge must be the metal. Since the colors are a liquid, obviously they can't be the outer edge because they wouldn't hold a shape.
- Suggested Pantones to mock metals with - approx tones to metals in real life
Gold: Pantone 101 C
Silver Nickel: Cool Grey 1
Black Nickel: Cool Grey 11
Copper: 7591 C - this is a weird tone. it's not quite as dark as this and not as orange as other pantones, but this will get you close.
Brass: Pantone 100 C
Rose Gold: 7411 C
- If you'd like to speed up the process, send over with all Pantone colors, size and quantity you are looking for either on the artboard or on another one.
Information we need for your order:
- Quantity of pins
- Metal color choice (choices shown on faq and order page)
- Size of the pin(width or height/whichever is larger) For example, a pin that is 1.25" w x 1" tall would just be 1.25" w in terms of what they need to know
- Soft or Hard enamel
- Colors in pin (specific Pantones if you need them)
- Add ons you want (if any) - backing cards/ back logo stamp/ specialty colors/ different rubber back color, etc
If none of this makes sense to you and you do not need very specific Pantone matches, just email us and we will get you sorted. There is no charge for us to make a vector of clean art, but if a lot of work needs to be done, there will be a charge for art time. If all you have is a photo of a drawing you did, we can have an artist re-create your art properly, but the cost depends on the intensity of the work needed. Most digital files created in art software can be converted at no charge.
Choosing How To Execute Your Art As A Pin
There are two different common size options available - email us for other specifics like if you need 3 pins on a 4x4, etc. Custom sizes are available and it's more about making sure we have a bag that fits or can buy one.
Designs can be doubled sided - Rounded corners can be done on request. The cards are 300 gsm (similar to 14 pt stock), so they have some flex to them. A 600 gsm (thick card) option is available but they cost more.
Most Common Size - 80mm tall x 54mm wide (approx 3.25" tall x 2.125" wide) - little smaller than a business card
Larger size - 100 mm tall x 75 mm wide (approx 4" tall x 3" wide) +$15 per additional 100 pins due to extra weight and space in shipping
A flat PDF, TIFF or JPEG at 300 dpi is fine. Really any file type at print resolution(300 dpi) at full size works. We send it to the factory as a flat PDF in cmyk mode.
Tips for a successful enamel pin design
- Print out the art at home at the size you think you want the pin and hold the print out at arm's length. If you can't clearly make out the details, rethink the art or size. You may think a 0.75" pin is a good idea, but I'm telling you, it's not unless it's really clean and bold.
- Remember that this is a molded piece of metal and not a printed item, so sometimes your art may need to be adjusted to fit the medium. The pins don't get pumped out a machine. They are still a handcrafted item and have restrictions in the medium.
- Pins are colored in by someone by hand. If you print out your art at home at the size and couldn't have a chance in hell at filling in that tiny area of color that looks fine on screen, they won't be able to either.
- Thin areas or sharp cut in spots(armpit/hair, etc) in the design may require recessed metal as support. For example, whiskers or the gap in legs/arms in the design that is thin can't hold on its own. Either make it thicker or be ok with recessed metal in the nooks. Recessed metal doesn't look bad, but for whatever reason, people freak out about on a digital proof it until they actually see it in real life.
- If any changes to the art are made in the proof you receive, it's most likely because what you wanted to accomplish doesn't translate exactly as a pin and the best attempt was made to make it work. The proof you will get is the closest digital representation of your art as a real pin.
- Not every piece of art you have can become a pin easily. Each medium of products has its own advantages and restrictions. The number one problem in the art for pins that I get is people who made a shirt or print and expect it to match exactly, ignoring that the print was usually 10x larger than a pin and there are too many small details. Simplify your art.
- Lighter flesh tones can be a pain and if you use the eyedropper in photoshop, it's often wrong, so maybe this will help.