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Custom Pins 101: Creating a Lapel Pin Color Palette

Posted by All About Pins | May 20, 2019 at 12:49pm | Topic: All About Pins

More than any other design element, our artists at AllAboutPins spend much our changing color schemes and helping our clients experiment with different shades to give their custom pins the exact look they want. You don’t need to be a professional designer to make a color palette for your custom pins. A little knowledge of color theory and a spark of imagination are all it takes to effectively use color to express personality and personal creativity in your custom pin designs.

Getting Started With Color at AllAboutPins

With custom pins, picking an effective color scheme is more than an aesthetic choice, it builds an emotional connection with your audience, sets the mood of your design, and whether you like it or not, frames the first impression people get when they see your custom pin. Getting a clear idea of what colors you want on a pin means identifying what visuals are essential to the design. Pay attention to the most important details in your design and use colors that complement each other and highlight the most important details on your custom lapel pin.

The perfect color scheme is going to be different for every client and every organization. External and internal factors like how your pins are being used, design requirements from your organization, and personal taste can all influence the ideal color choice. Luckily for you, AllAboutPins uses the Pantone color system to ensure your color choice will always match what you see on our artwork matching whatever shade you need. Whether you need a specific color for branding or organizational purposes  we can always find the right shade to visually match your exact needs. Knowing which details on your pin are most important will help guide you to choose colors that will naturally focus around those details.

Color and Custom Lapel Pins

Does your design have important text? You’ll want the text colored to stand out from the rest of the design at a glance. Does your pin feature colors from a flag or organizational emblem? Find ways to complement those intrinsic colors. Identifying the main features of your pin and any existing colors you’ll have to use give you an easy starting point for your overall design.

However, unlike a blank canvas, when creating a color scheme for your custom pin you’re working with a number of physical limitations you’ll either need to work around or find a way to implement.

The significant of these limitations include:

  • Custom lapel pin plating: The metal finish of your pin. The color and look of your pin’s plating set the color of your pin design’s canvas. Black or dark metal can be used to simulate black linework, while a bright high-polish metal can add a gleaming effect to your design.
  • Size of a pin: As inherently small wearables, custom pins are rarely larger than 2” and usually around 1”. This means most monochromatic and dull colors are going to have a hard time getting noticed if you don’t have a few colors to help make a design contrast and visually pop.
  • The enameling process: Color is added to a custom pin through enamel paint placed into the pin’s recesses. However, this process works like the paint bucket tool in Photoshop allowing only one solid color at a time to be added to within a pin’s linework. This means no natural gradients and each spot of color needs to be clearly defined within a recessed area.

Creating Focus With Color in Custom Pin Design

After identifying the most important parts of your design, it’s time to create a visual focus around the details you want people to see first. With AllAboutPins, you can create a color palette with up to seven different colors giving you potentially hundreds of different options for an effective color palette.

However, based on our own experience designing coins for clients and working with them to get the perfect shade there’s a few solid ways to get the most out of your color palette.

  • Contrast is your friend: With a visual surface as small as a pin, you need to take advantage of every shade to create maximum visibility. Highlight details such as text or specific images to bring those details into focus at a glance.
  • Dark or light background colors: Your background color is the most prevalent color on the pin so make sure it’s distinctly dark or light so you can build contrast or highlight with your other colors. For example, using a light color scheme means dark-colored text standout and become much easier to read. While using a black backgrond allows you to use bright colors to highlight the most important details.
  • Use your pin’s plating as a color: From polished silver to dull black metal, your pin plating is more than just a canvas it’s a quick way to add dark linework or metal detailing around specific design elements in your custom pin. For pin designs based off of artwork with dark ink lining, you can use black metal to replicate the lining effect and create a sharp visual.

Custom Pin Color Inspiration

Like any visual medium, custom lapel pins have their own unique set of design parameters and goals. But custom design isn’t supposed to be a headache and AllAboutPins is dedicated to helping you create colorful designs that match your exact needs. If you still can’t decide, don’t be afraid to ask any of our expert staff! With over 15 years of experience in the industry, we’ve seen designs in every shape and color. And remember, if it’s not the right shade the first time, we offer free revisions on our artwork.

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