Prepping your files for pins
if you understand Illustrator/photoshop (if not, just email me 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 I 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 0.2mm in soft enamel or 0.3 mm for hard enamel. If you have a cut out 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 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, so choose your colors from that pantone group. If closest match is ok, just let us know and we will assign closest match and run it by you before it goes to the factory. Some colors from pastels and neon are not available.
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 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 2
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.
Info 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 I 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.
Tips for making a successful pin
1. Print out the art at home at the size you think you want the pin and hold the print out at arms 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 its really clean and bold.
2. 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 hand crafted item and have restrictions in the medium.
3. Pins are colored in by someone by hand. If you print out your art at home at 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.
4. Thin areas or sharp cut in spots(arm pit/hair, etc) in the design may require recessed metal as a support. For example, whiskers or the gap in legs/arms in the design that is thin can't hold on it's 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.
5. 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 a 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.
6. Not every piece of art you have can become a pin easily. Each medium of products have their own advantages and restrictions. The number one problem in 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's too many small details. Simplify your art.
7. Lighter flesh tones can be a pain and if you use the eye dropper in photoshop, it's often wrong, so maybe this will help.
There are two different common size options available - email me for other specifics like if you need 3 pins on a 4x4, etc
1ST 100 PINS: $50. EACH ADDITIONAL 100 IT ADDS $25 PER 100. The $50 for the first 100 covers card printing, materials, the labor to card them and some added weight to the airmail and beyond the first 100, it's a mix of labor/airmail.
Designs can be doubled sided - Rounded corners can be done on request. The cards are similar to 14 pt stock, so they have some bend to them.
Smaller 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)
A flat PDF, TIFF or JPEG at 300 dpi is fine. Really any file type at print resolution(300 dpi) at full size works. I send it to the factory as a flat PDF in cmyk mode.