Badges are a widely used item within the Promotional Gift Market – ideal for an event ranging form corporate promotion to fund-raising campaigns. They come in various guises dependent on the reason for their purchase.
“hard” enamel badge, also known as a pin badges or lapel stud, although relatively inexpensive, has a high-perceived value. Traditionally manufactured in Birmingham, almost all are now made in the Far East. Lead times can be as short as two weeks in these days when artwork is sent by email and the cost of air freight is not onerous on such a small and lightweight item.
Various other metals and finishes are available including gold, silver, nickel and chrome plate, bronze and “antiqued” silver and gold.
A range of less expensive of materials is used in their production these days. Hard enamel – ie traditional enamel – has a hard – wearing finish, being highly polished with epola. Choisonne enamels are also used. “Soft” enamel is a lower-priced option now widely used. The original die-stamping process does not differ from the original but the color-fill is ink-based. This type has an option of being protective epoxy-domed to allow for extended use. Less expensive still are base metal badges screen-printed and plastic domed. They offer the possibility of four-color process printing.
With the production of a specifically designed Stamping Die, bespoke shaped badges can be produced. These are commonly used for product launches and charity events.
At the lowest end of the price scale is the widely used Button Badge. Available in sizes from 25 to 100mm diameter, the printing method used is traditional litho. This allows the full versatility of the printing process to be used – from single color to four color process.
Part of this product group is the “Name” or “Identity Badge”. These are usually screen-printed with a corporate message and then personalized with an individual employee’s name. There a number of different styles – from the clear acetate badge which would have a typed name to metal badges where the name of the wearer would be engraved.
One of the most popular versions is the two-piece “window” badge where the badge is printed and the individual’s details are typed and inserted so that they effectively appear under the printing. Badges of this sort, in plastic or metal, allow for a turnover in staff as a simple piece of typing is all that is required for new employees.