How to Design Your Own Pins: Things to Keep in Mind as You Begin Your Order

Posted by Patrick Moyer | Friday August 30th, 2019 | Topic: Design

Best Practices for Pin Design

Here at Signature Pins, we know a thing or two about custom pin design. Over the years, we’ve refined our process and learned the ins and outs of how to make beautiful, high-quality pins for any occasion.

No matter what you’re looking for, you can bet that we’ve got the experience and the know-how to bring your vision to life. But, it helps to have a little insider knowledge before getting started. With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to outline some of the best practices for pin design and talk about how you can implement them in your own project to create the best possible custom pin.

Going Over the Basics of Pin Design

There are a few things to cover right away when it comes to the dos and don’ts of designing lapel pins. Firstly, if you’re planning on adding a message to your design, recessed text is not always the best option. For a standard 2D pin design, there is a raised and recessed layer to the artwork. Any text you add can either be pressed into the recessed portions of a design, with raised metal all around it, or the area around the text can be recess so that the letters are raised above the rest of the pin.

The latter option will always provide the most legible text. To help add contrast to a design, it’s a good idea to consider adding color to the recessed portion around the text. This will help the text stand out even more so no one will have to squint or put their pin under a bright light to read the message.


Secondly, it’s important to keep in mind that bigger is better and less is more. This might sound a little backward, but it’s easy to explain. Bigger being better refers to the size of your pins. While you don’t need a massive 2” pin to make a great design, creating something that’s too small makes it difficult to appreciate any type of design. 

Our production team is capable of creating minute details in even the smallest of pins, but if the recipient can’t read the message without a magnifying glass, or make out the details of the artwork, then what’s the point?

The average size for lapel pins is about 1” - 1.25”, and that’s where we recommend our customers should start when considering how best to design lapel pins. We can go as small as .75”, but for a more detailed design, especially those that incorporate text, we don’t recommend anything smaller than 1”. Our production team has the ability to press detailed artwork into our smallest pins, but sticking to an average size will ensure your artwork and text are legible.


When we say less is more, we’re talking about how best to use the available space on your pins. Sometimes, our customers want to include as much information or as many details as they can into the design, but a lapel pin only has so much room to work with. To use the space to your advantage, creating custom shaped pins designed to look like crests or logos can go a long way. An overly busy design will not make the same impact as a tasteful emblem shaped pin, an intricate flag pin or colorful shield design.


Creating a more complex pin is by no means a bad idea, but if your goal is to create a traditional 1” lapel pin, less is definitely more. Try to let either the text or the artwork take up most of the design, unless you plan on making a bigger pin with more room to play around with.

Design Your Own Pins

Those are the basics of knowing how to design your own pin. Avoid recessed text and remember that bigger is better and less is more. These are general rules of thumb that we tell our customers to follow, and no matter how complex or simple your design may be, you can bet that our art team will be able to help bring your vision to life. 

If you aren’t sure what will work best for your lapel pin design, we’re here to help. Just fill out a quote request form, email us or give us a call. We’ll take down your ideas and work with you every step of the way to craft the perfect lapel pin design for you and your team. 

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