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Enamel Pins: What's Right for You?

Ghost themed enamel pin is held in front of a holographic background

Written by Baylor Meche 

For years, Mindzai has helped artists with creating high quality merch their customers love. We pride ourselves in quality, expertise, and our staff's customer service. One of our most popular products, enamel pins, can be fully customized to whatever fits your creative mind. With so many options, it's only natural to be intimidated on where to start. Hopefully this article can break things down more clearly and get you on the right path to designing pins that stand out! 

First thing's first... What's the difference between hard and soft Enamel? This question is very common, and ultimately depends on the style of your art and how the pins will look in the end. 

Both hard and soft enamel pins start off with a die-struck mold. The big difference comes with the color of the finish. Hard enamel pins are more limited in choice of metal finish due to the grinding and polishing. Let's say you want the metal in your pins to be black. A hard enamel pin would be done with black nickel which is a very dark grey color complete with a shiny finish. However to achieve a true black, soft enamel would be a better choice since the metal will be painted over with a dark black color. 


Aside from the metal, hard and soft enamel pins are made in a different way. Most people go for hard enamel because of their higher durability and clean look. The metal plates are filled with your choice of colors, baked, then ground and polished to create a smooth surface. 

For soft enamel pins, the metal is treated before the colors are poured in and baked. This process gives a more textured feel and the metal creates a raised outline. The difference in surface texture can also bring in some added depth that you can't get with hard enamel. Luckily most designs can be done with either process so the final decision depends on which look you like best! 


There's also a third route you can go when designing your enamel pins. Full Color Epoxy pins are great when you have a design with gradients, a signature logo, or lots of colors. For this process, a metal base is carved out in the shape of your design. Then the design is offset printed onto the metal shape then coated with epoxy to give a smooth, domelike finish. Epoxy pins are also the most price friendly. 


Once you've decided what type of vibe you want your pins to give off, you can get funky with the customization options. Since your base will always be a metal mold, things like necklace pendants, cufflinks, bolo ties, keychains, and even earrings can be made using enamel. Want to connect two pieces with a chain? Add glow in the dark colors? Make your pins sparkle with a glitter background? All of those are possible! 


The only thing left to do now is sending in your art! We offer free mockups for every enamel pin quote submission so you can see what the final result will look like. You can request a quote here. Keep up with us on social media and sign up for our email newsletter to see more of what we do best and get some helpful tips along the way!


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