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Soft Enamel//Most popular As Low as $0.55

68 reviews Customize Now

Offset Printed//Glossy finish As Low as $0.56

49 reviews Customize Now

Hard Enamel//High perceived value As Low as $0.70

89 reviews Customize Now

3D Cast//Intricate outer shapes As Low as $0.58

47 reviews Customize Now

The 2019 Gist of Custom Soft Enamel Pins

What is a Soft Enamel Pin?

vivipins hard enamel pins

Soft enamel pins are one of the most popular pin designs. A soft enamel pin pairs the traditional hand-crafted manufacturing of enamel pins with a more versatile, 3D-like surface. And that’s why it’s guaranteed to grab people’s attention.

As opposed to hard enamel pins, soft enamel pins have recessed enamel. The vivid enamel only fills the enamel pin mold about 75%, creating more depth to the pin design.

Because of the added depth, the surface construction of a soft enamel pin allows for more intricate detailing and texture. When the light catches the recessed areas from different angles, it makes the colors of the pin more dynamic.

Soft Enamel Pins Vs. Photo or Printed Pins

Offset printed pins are inexpensive, lightweight pins that are created by digital designs directly onto a cut-out pin shape. Offset printed pins do not adjust or modify your pin design. With these pins, you can keep color gradients, special fonts, shadows, and other details.  

Your design is printed directly onto the surface of the pin. And can be covered with an epoxy resin to give a glossy effect and protect it from any scratches. However, offset printed pins are of lower quality, and therfore, they are not as durable.

Soft enamel pins are more durable than offset printed pins. They have the advantage of a die-struck metal layer and a hardened enamel layer. Soft enamel pins also have more depth than printed pins.

A printed pin is just a single image, whereas a custom soft enamel pin has a textured surface. The printed pin lets you keep smaller design details like color gradient and shadowing. The intricacies of a soft enamel pin lie in the lines of the cast.

vivipins science pin 1

Hard Enamel Pins Vs. Soft Enamel Pins

While both will deliver vibrant and high-quality design, hard and soft enamel pins differ in two regards: texture and durability.


  • Soft enamel pins do not have as many layers of enamel and are, therefore, less durable than hard enamel pins.
  • Soft enamel pins have a “raised”, textured surface that allows for more detail. Whereas, hard enamel pins have smoother surfaces.
  • Soft enamel pins are typically more affordable.

How are Soft Enamel Pins Made?

A soft enamel pin shares the same basic construction as hard enamel pins. The enamel pin first starts with a thin sheet of metal that is hammered. And pressed into a die-cast or mold.

Each soft enamel pin then receives a hand-applied, single layer of enamel in the recessed areas of the pin. The pin is then put through ovens at high temperatures to bake and set the enamel.

Unlike hard enamel pins, soft enamel pins are only given one layer of enamel. When it dries, the enamel sticks to the edges and remains below the metal die lines. This is how soft enamel pins get their characteristic depth and embossed texture.

An epoxy resin can be added to the recessed areas to ensure a smoother feel. When the soft enamel pin is baked and dried, it’s polished and plated to give it an extra high-quality touch.

Automated Polishing

What are the Advantages of a Soft Enamel Pin?

  • Soft enamel pins have texture and depth to them.
  • The recessed surface allows for more intricacies in design.
  • Embossment and a polished plating make the soft enamel pin stand out.

What are the Disadvantages of a Soft Enamel Pin?

  • Because they only have one layer of enamel, soft enamel pins are not as durable.
  • Unless you ask for an epoxy resin layer, most soft enamel pins come without the layer. That helps to make the recessed areas smooth.
  • Most of the detail you can add are in the metal lines of the pin.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Custom Soft Enamel Pin

With a custom soft enamel pin, the intricacies of the design are in your control. You can play around with the metal lines created in the mold and the vibrancy of the colors.

By adding thinner, metal lines through the pin’s mold, you create more detail and more space for color. By adding creative color combinations, you bring more vibrancy and life your custom soft enamel pin.

Moreover, you will automatically create more depth. The added lines will help create different shadows and depth to your pin design.


Soft Enamel Pin Size

Picking the right size for your soft enamel pin is important. You want to have enough space to show off your design. At the same time, you do not want to create a pin that is too gaudy and loud.

This chart from pin maker is a great place to see the available pin sizes. In case you’re unsure about the sizing.


Enamel Coloring
For more help on sizing your pins, refer to How To Properly Measure Lapel Pins.

Soft Enamel Pin Colors

With soft enamel pins, you have more room to experiment with color. Granted, it is always safe to stay within the color palatte that accentuates your pin design. Colors are strategic details that can either help your pin stand out or fade into the background.

If you are not sure how to build your color palattes, you can use Pantone color matchers. First, Pantone is the go-to color matching system for printers and most pin manufacturers abide by their colors. So, if you do not know where to start, you can always ask the pin company to help you.

To read more about Pantone’s influence on the color world, try “What is the Perfect Color Worth?”.

The Many Uses and Applications of Custom Soft Enamel Pins

Custom soft enamel pins are ideal if you have a simple or moderately complex design. This type of enamel pin gives you more freedom to create a variety of designs for a variety of causes.

You can use a custom pins to commemorate a special event, like a festival or conference. Design a bunch of these enamel pins give to guests at a conference. Or to put in the gift bags for a wedding or a birthday party. This is a great, subtle way to mark special events.

vivipins offset print pin maker

Show Support for A Charity

You can create custom enamel pins to show support for a charity. A custom soft enamel pin decked out with a charity’s logo is an effective way to draw attention. And awareness to the cause. You can hand these out as free giveaways. Or you can use them in a reward system for people who donate.

 Soft enamel pins are also great for creating trading pins. From your favorite sports athletes. Or teams to your favorite music artists. These lapel pins are a great way to show off the vibrancy of all your favorite.

These pins are also a great way to build brand awareness and a company identity. When you hand out a custom soft enamel pin to team members, you’re giving them a sense of belonging.

On that note, use a custom soft enamel pin as a unique, personalized award. If you’ve team members or employees with major achievement, custom soft enamel pin is a great way to honor them.


A lapel pin is a versatile accessory that never goes out of style. Now, more than ever, lapel pins do not just have to be for professional settings. Soft enamel pins show that you can have high-quality pins for both your coporate events and to decorate your backpack.

With such a little package, a custom soft enamel pin shows off the best side of your business. And the best side of your personality. If you have any thoughts on this guide, let us know!


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