The Difference Between Hard and Soft Enamel Pins

Posted by Patrick Moyer | Friday May 10th, 2019 | Topic: Products

Deciding Which Works Best

Choosing between hard enamel (cloisonne) pins and soft enamel pins is a decision all of our clients have to face. Often times, the hardest part of making that decision comes down to understanding the difference between the two and knowing which one works best for your design. With this in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to go over the basics and show off a few good examples of pins that make the most out of each style. What you need to know right away is that cloisonne pins and soft enamel pins are not only going to look different, but they will feel different as well.

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Custom Lapel Pins That Look Different and Feel Different

The examples here are all meant to show the difference between a hard enamel and soft enamel pins, but when it comes to texture, it’s hard to describe the difference without letting you hold one of each in your hand. Be that as it may, we still want to make sure we give you all the information you need to make the right decision for your custom pins. 

When you slide your thumb over the face of a cloisonne pin, the smooth, even surface feels seamless. During production, a powdered resin is packed into the recessed areas of the design one color at a time and kiln fired at 1700 degrees. Once the pins are removed from the kiln and the first color sets, our production team packs in the second color, and so on and so forth until all the colors of the design are added. Each pin is then plated and hand polished to achieve that flat, glossy finish.

For soft enamel pins, the colorfill is added to the recessed portion of the design after plating is finished, and the raised metal in the design keeps colors from mixing together. The result is a layered design, giving depth to the artwork. While cloisonne pins have a smooth, even feel to them, soft enamel pins have a more textured feel because of the raised and recessed portions of the design.

Why Choose One Over the Other?

Our team has the ability to create beautiful designs for both hard and soft enamel pins, but each one comes with certain advantages depending on how you are planning to use your pins and what kind of design our team helps you create. 

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Cloisonne pins have a pristine, jewelry-like finish, giving them a higher perceived value. They also have a sharp contrast between colors that helps define even the smallest details in the artwork. This makes them perfect for capturing designs with complex patterns or small text. These qualities make cloisonne pins popular as gifts in employee recognition programs and as membership pins in exclusive organizations and clubs. If you are looking to create a meaningful and memorable gift that stands out from the crowd, hard enamel is the way to go.

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If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck, soft enamel pins are your best bet. Cloisonne pins are more expensive because they require more time and materials to create. Soft enamel pins have a classic look and are produced in almost any size or shape imaginable. This makes recreating team logos, emblems and mottos easy, and the layered design gives the artwork a certain depth unavailable in hard enamel pins. If you are looking to make trading pins, cause awareness pins, or company pins that capture branded artwork, a soft enamel design is perfectly suited for the job.

Choosing Between Custom Hard Enamel and Soft Enamel Pins

Our Signature Pins team has been making custom products for companies all over the country since the year 2000. We pride ourselves on our ability to produce one-of-a-kind artwork and the industry’s best quality pins for every customer. No matter what you plan on using your pins for, you can be sure our team will be here to help through the entire design process.

When it comes to choosing between hard and soft enamel, the decision will change both the aesthetic and texture of your pins. If you are unsure which style works best for your design, just remember the major benefits associated with each:

  • Soft Enamel Pins
    • You get the most bang for your buck
    • Familiar look and classic appeal
    • Layered design with depth
    • Can be made in virtually any shape or size
  • Hard Enamel Pins
    • Jewelry-like finish
    • Smooth, polished texture
    • Sharp contrast in color
    • Higher perceived value

Deciding which style works best for you is mostly a matter of personal preference. No matter what style you prefer, you can be sure our team will make something remarkable for you and your team. 

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Patrick Moyer Blog Author

Patrick Moyer

Patrick Moyer studied communications, professional and persuasive writing and marketing at the University of Central Florida. He is a full-time copywriter for Signature Promotional Group and spends all of his free time working on his next novel. Books, movies and late night brainstorming sessions around the kitchen table are his favorite pastimes, and his love of stories has him searching for the message hidden behind every custom design that comes through the office. If you think your Signature order deserves to be featured in a blog, give us a call or contact us explaining why at https://signaturecoins.com/contact