Getting ready to place your pin badge order? Brilliant! The first step is to select the right badge manufacturer, and there’s a few things you should consider when making this decision. Pin badge production may seem like a complicated process, but once you have a good handle on what to expect – and what you’re looking for – the process is straightforward and even enjoyable! In this post, we’ll explore five key questions that you should consider when evaluating potential manufacturers. Keeping these questions in your pocket when you’re ready to have your pin badges made will help you select the best manufacturer, every time.

Question 1: Do you have a minimum order quantity?

Many badge manufacturers have a minimum order quantity. It’s important to ask this question early so you know if the manufacturer will fit your needs and budget. For example, if you only have a budget and need for 300 pin badges and the manufacturer has a minimum order quantity of 500, you could be paying for 200 pin badges that you don’t need. At Rocket Badge, we tend to have a minimum order quantity based on certain badge types. For example, our minimum order quantity for enamel badges is 250 units. This quantity changes for different badge types. For example, you can place an order for a very small quantity for sandblasted badges. Some manufacturers may not have a minimum order, but may charge exorbitant costs per unit if you want to order a smaller number of badges in order to cover their set up fee – something else to be aware of when you’re shopping around for a manufacturer.

Question 2: What are my options for custom materials and shapes?

At the most basic level, a quality manufacturer will allow you to customise your badge material. For example, you should be able to choose between hard and soft enamel. (Recall that premium quality hard enamel is a great choice for polished durability while mid-range soft enamel offers a lower cost, making them a great choice for giveaway items. Read more in this blog post on hard enamel versus soft enamel.)

However, the best manufacturer will also allow you to choose the colour and texture of your pin badges, including exact pantone matching and multiple finishing options. They’ll also be able to create badges in any custom shape you want. At Rocket Badge, all of this is our specialty! We know that the colour, finish and shape of your badge can really play up the story of your business or product. For example, here’s a collectable set of pin badges we did for a brewery. Each badge is perfectly shaped like a little beer can.

On a related note, you should also ask the manufacturer about the options available for the backing on your pins.

Question 3: Do you offer design assistance?

This may seem like a silly question. Of course all badge manufacturers will help with the design, right? Surprisingly, not all manufacturers do! No matter the level of design help you anticipate needing, be sure to inquire about the manufacturer’s design capabilities before you commit to your order.

At Rocket Badge, we’re proud of our always-free design help. No matter your level of design skill or your experience with badges (or any promotional merchandise for that matter), we are here to help you design the best possible product. Perhaps you have just a loose idea for a badge design, or maybe you have a design ready to go, but need a little help converting your image to badge specifications. Or are you a skilled designer or artist ready to talk about the best badge materials and colour matching? We can help in all cases, and it’s always free.

Question 4: What packaging options are available?

Most manufacturers will supply enamel pins in individual plastic bags. But are you looking for something a little more? Ask the manufacturer what packaging options they offer. After all, we know that the best and most affordable way to add that “little extra touch” to your badge is to incorporate the perfect packaging. In fact, did you know that adding a backing card can increase badge sales by up to 25 percent!?

At Rocket Badge, we’ve created a range of interesting packaging options for our clients, from branded backing cards to clear polybags to display boxes for retail locations. Keeping with the brewery example, here’s a great custom backing card we did with Brew Dog.

Question 5: How are your badges sourced?

At Rocket Badge, we take ethical manufacturing very, very seriously. But not everyone does. If ethically-sourced and produced products is important to you, be sure to ask about this before committing to a manufacturer, for your own peace of mind. For comparison, Rocket Badge is a socially responsible company. Ethical trading is one of our core values: Our factories have to pass strict auditing processes, we provide a range of merchandise made from eco-friendly materials and we closely follow the Modern Slavery Act to avoid any use of forced labor in our production process.

We wish you happy hunting in selecting your next badge manufacturer. Plan to ask these five questions to help you narrow your search and find the best company for the job. Obviously we think we’re a great choice though! We’re ISO9001 certified, and all of our badges come with a low-price and quality guarantee to take all the risk out of the process for you.

Good luck in your search, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions along the way!