Making Lapel Pins
Jan 20, 2019

Making Lapel Pins

Everyone is going 'ga ga' for the limited edition Sunshine Coast Pinup School lapel pins designed by local artist Jacqueline Creative. But who remembers that this artwork was originally submitted in the T-shirt Design Competition?


Jacqueline's design won second place in the final public voting round for the competition and I could not let such an amazing design go to waste. However, there was long road between turning an initial T-shirt design into one optimised for enamel pin manufacturing. 

It was in Jacqueline's artwork submission that inspired the idea to create lapel pins: 

"This design is based on a shield or coat of arms which many schools have, to me it symbolises the pinup culture as a 'club' or awesome secret society we all belong to. I made it specific to SCPS by adding the 'tools of the trade' for pinup hairstyling." - Jacqueline 

As soon as it was clear who the winner of the T-Shirt Design Competition was (Liz Pepper - you can get to know more about her from the previous blog here!), I immediately started researching the logistics of enamel pin manufacturing. When Jacqueline's design won second place, I asked if she would be up to working with me to optimise her design into an enamel pin with a percentage of the sales to go back to her directly. 

We then went to work finding out all the specifications needed for manufacturing the pins and started simplifying the design, for optimal and cost effective production. Ties and Cuffs, a New South Wales based manufacturer, was very helpful in the design process and sent through drafts of what the original design would look like as a pin. 


The original design, although perfect for a T-shirt design as intended, had small elements which would make the casting 'messy' and difficult for adequate flow of the enamel, leaving expensive cut outs or blank spaces. We knew some changes had to be made so I left the design process completely in Jacqueline's hands, as I wanted the end result to still be hers and an accurate representation of her artwork. 

Then the fun part began. We had to decide on which metal casting to have as the base of the pin. The two front runners were gold and black nickel. While the gold was fun and added a sense of glamour to the pin, I found the details of the ladies faces disappeared. 

Most default lapel pins are about 25mm in rough size. As the design (although simplified) had many details, I felt the 25mm size would not do Jacqueline's artwork justice, so we opted for the larger 40mm size. We had a lot of fun in the design process, sending many photos back and forth via social media. 

Best mail day ever! While our design simplification process took some weeks, the time from the green light for manufacturing to my doorstep was only two weeks!

As much as we were happy with the final lapel pin design, I wanted to incorporate some of the lovely design features that had to be removed. And that's where the backing cards came in. When you purchase one of these lapel pins, they are placed on a backing card that incorporates the original design features. 

I love the final result. These lapel pins are such great quality that you can physically feel with it weighing 27 grams each! Something I forgot to consider as they are made from dye cast metal. 


 (Photos by Madison and Co)

You can purchase a limited edition Jacqueline Creative lapel pin here, with a percentage of the profits going straight back to the artist. 

This design is also now available in your own custom t-shirt here


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