Which Enamel Should I Choose? | Soft Vs Hard Enamel
Have you decided to start your pin journey and aren’t sure where to start? There is no right or wrong answer when choosing your enamel finish. It’s all down to your personal preference. However, we’ve decided to compile the differences between soft and hard enamel to make your decision easier.
- The main distinguishable feature between soft and hard enamel is the texture. If you were to run your fingers over a soft enamel badge, you would instantly be able to feel the ‘bumps’ on its surface.
- Soft enamel pins can hold more detail, so we often recommend using soft enamel for more complicated and intricate designs, such as people and faces.
- Soft enamel badges have a more ‘dimensional’ look, as the enamel dries below the metal ridges of the custom mould, which stops the individual colours from running and mixing together. This process leads to the badges' slightly raised edges, giving the ‘bumpy’ texture.
- Price is a massive factor for most people when looking into purchasing pins. Soft enamel pins are cheaper, as they don’t take as long to make due to the manufacturing process. If you want a smooth finish on a soft enamel pin, adding epoxy to the surface is possible to achieve this. Epoxy is almost like a clear bubble over the surface of the badge to create a flat finish. If you want screen printing on your soft enamel pin, then epoxy must be applied first to give a level surface to print on.
- If you would like rainbow-plated pins, black dye plating or an antique finish, you must use soft enamel. Hard enamel is polished at the end to give a smooth finish, and the above options would rub off.
- Hard enamel pins (cloisonné pins) have a smooth and flat surface, meaning you won’t feel the ridges like soft enamel pins. Hard enamel badges may be more suited to you if you prefer a more smooth and polished look.
- Hard enamel badges usually come at a higher price point because the baking takes longer when made. However, they have some additional qualities, such as being scratch-resistant, being slightly more durable, and they won’t lose their shine or colour over time.
- If you want to add screen printing to your pin badges, then hard enamel is for you. Silkscreen printing is the perfect option for those who want to add more detail without the need for plating lines. This means you can also add additional colours to your design. Screen printing also allows you to add shadows and highlights, which aren’t usually picked up through normal enamel.
No matter what enamel option you choose, the option of backstamps remains the same! Get your own logo stamped on the back for extra brand recognition. We also offer 10% off your order if you choose to have Made By Cooper’s logo on the back, adding an excellent additional detail!
Get In Touch
Every pin is unique; therefore, the choice is ultimately yours. However, if you still can’t quite decide which enamel finish to have, our team of experts is always happy to help and assist you. If you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you’re interested in how your enamel pins are made, look at our previous blog post on how the different enamel types are manufactured.