Buying Guide for Award Pins

A customized lapel or award pin is definitely a great way to have a unique representation of the message a person wants to convey.

With so many designs to choose from, deciding what lapel pin to buy can be quite confusing. There are certain guidelines that can narrow down the options and help shoppers choose.


The type of material used in making pins is the very crucial part because how the pin will look like greatly depends on it.

Laser printed cloisonné lapel pins are commonly used in commemorating high ranking officials in the military because the logo and text stand out on these pins. The sharpness of the contrast between the colors come alive due to its polished metal. Also, diamonds and other precious stones match the finishing of cloisonné pins.

Award PinsTo make detailed design and pictures stand out, offset printed pins is advised. These types of award pins are great for capturing intricate details on a smooth finish. Also, text on offset pins comes out clearly in bold typeface.

For outlined designs, die-struck pins are recommended. An antique finish can be best brought out by plating it with gold, antique gold, silver, antique silver, antique bronze and black oxidized.

For shoppers who have a limited budget, soft-enamel pins are the best option. These pins cater to simple designs that are emphasized by sandblasting and this is also the reason why soft-enamel pins are inexpensive.

Features and Effects

After choosing the material, it is also important to decide on the attachment or any other special feature to go with the pin. There is also a variety of options to choose from.


Dangles are little charms, could be bells, beads, figures, or stones that hang at the bottom of the pin.


This charm is placed on top of the award pin with a spring, thus to give a bobbling movement.

3D Effects

A three-dimensional illusion is achieved by bolting a pin on top of the base so that it will not look flat when pinned on a garment.


Movable pieces may be added at the bottom of the lapel pins so that it can be moved back and forth.


Spinners, on the other hand, are attached by a bolt screwed through the center of the pin to achieve the spinning effect.

LED Lights

With today’s modern technology, a digital message can be applied to pins using LED lights. A small battery is placed at the back of the pin to power the lights.


The back of the lapel pin is as important as its front. Butterfly and jewelry clutches, safety and metal clasps, and nuts and screw are among the common choices for the back attachments.

Butterfly Clutch

This design originated with the military, thus it is also called the military clutch. It is the most typical way of attaching pins. Wings are squeezed together to release the catch inside.

Jewelry Clutch

Jewelry clutch is similar to the butterfly attachment. The only difference is that jewelry attachments are more robust and less costly.

Safety and Magnetic Clasps

These clasps are basically safety pins and magnets at the back of the lapel pin. Magnetic clasps do not usually damage the garment because it prevents putting holes in it.

Nuts and Screw

This type of attachment uses a small threaded bolt that is inserted at the back of the pin.

Markings and Back Stamps

Special dedications may also be placed at the back of the pins. The usual markings state the award-giving organization, date the pin was manufactured, and edition numbers or release.

After taking into consideration all the additional features for the lapel pins, it would be a lot easier to choose the appropriate award pin that will stand out from the crowd but will also be effective in getting the message across.