Size does matter when it comes to custom lapel pins. The most common custom lapel pin size is 1 to 1.25-inch. The most common trading pin size is 1.5 to 2-inch. Choosing the wrong size is the difference between being happy or sad about your custom pin order.
There are three main questions any good pin company will ask when you call to place an enamel pin order. How many pins do you need? When do you need the pins? What size pins do you want? This third question is so important that it is one of the first questions asked.
A person will sometimes call in and when asked what size pin do you want, they will say maybe 3-inches. That response always raises a red flag as a 3-inch pin is very large. To ensure the person is requesting the right size, the next question is how will the pins be used? A professional person would not want to wear a 3-inch pin on their suit lapel – they would stand out like a sore thumb. A woman would not want to wear a 3-inch pin because it would cause her blouse to droop and hang funny. You see why choosing the right custom lapel pin size is so important.
Before you can choose the right size, you need to know how to measure a pin correctly. Custom pins are sometimes symmetrical but often they are odd shaped meaning they are not the same measurement left to right as top to bottom.
Custom lapel pins are measured on the longest dimension, either top to bottom or left to right. For example, if you have a rectangle pin that is 1.5-inch left to right and .5-inch top to bottom you would say you have a 1.5-inch size pin because that is the longest dimension.
So, does that mean the other measurement doesn’t matter? Sort of. It will just default proportionally based on the longest dimension and is important in the artwork but doesn’t have anything to do with pricing which is based only on the longest dimension.
It is important never to reference the shorter dimension or a diagonal dimension when working with the pin company or you may end up with a pin much smaller or much bigger than anticipated.
Another important thing to remember is to always check the size listed on the artwork proof. This ensures the correct size is ordered.
Visualizing an exact size is very difficult, but visualizing the size of a familiar object is very easy. Below are some typical lapel pin sizes and the corresponding object that is similar in size. This will give you a reference point in determining what size is best for your pin project.
.75-inch – approximately the size of a Penny.
1-inch – approximately the size of a Quarter.
1.25-inch – approximately the size of a Half Dollar.
1.5-inch – approximately the size of an Eisenhower Dollar.
1.75-inch – approximately the size of a Golf Ball.
2-inch – approximately the size of the top of a V8 can.
3-inch – approximately the size of a Hockey Puck.
If you are still uncertain about size, a good trick is to cut out a piece of paper that is the size you are considering, this will give you an exact visual of how big or small the pin will be and help you determine if you need to go bigger or smaller.
.5 to .75-inch size custom pins – Typically .5 inch is the smallest size custom pin you can produce. Smaller than that and there is no room for details. You might consider these smaller sized pins if you want a subtle, simple distinguished pin without a lot of flash and flare.
1 to 1.25-inch size custom pins – 1 inch is by far the most standard size lapel pin. It is the size of a quarter. It is not too big and not too small. 1-inch is a great size for most professional pins. You might consider this size of a pin for trade show pins, corporate pins, employee recognition, awareness pins, club pins, school pins, religious pins, or giveaway pins.
1.5 to 2-inch size custom pins – Pins rarely get over 2 inches, but sometimes you just have to go big. 1.5 to 2-inch size pins are great for trading pins. Whenever a pin is used for something other than wearing, bigger is almost always better. Disney pins, Olympic pins, little league baseball pins, destination imagination pins, odyssey of the mind pins, all fit into the bigger is better category. In fact, if you were to attend a trading event with a 1-inch sized pin, you might leave disappointed as the 1-inch sized pin would not get much attention. We like to say in the pin world. Trade Big, Win Big.
So, size does matter in the custom lapel pin world. Hopefully you are now expert in determining the size of pin based on the purpose of the pin.