More Than Metal: The Art Of Designing Your Own Enamel Pins | Richard Carr | Skillshare

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More Than Metal: The Art Of Designing Your Own Enamel Pins

teacher avatar Richard Carr, Graphic Designer. Creative. Entrepreneur

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (1h 4m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Welcome

    • 3. Let's Talk Enamel Pin

    • 4. Where Do I Start?

    • 5. Finishes and Accessories

    • 6. Understanding Pin Design: Lesson 1

    • 7. Understanding Pin Design: Lesson 2

    • 8. Understanding Pin Design: Lesson 3

    • 9. Best Kept Secret

    • 10. Create A Project

    • 11. Finding Pin Suppliers

    • 12. Packaging

    • 13. Put A Price On It

    • 14. Get Your Pins Out There

    • 15. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Hop on with me in my Costa Rican based home studio and learn the basic principles of designing your own enamel pins.

In this Class I will show you how to think in terms of enamel pin design, and find the best way to adapt your ideas or finished designs to fit the limitations and specifications of a metal made timeless icon.

By following the steps in this course, you'll learn:

- The different materials and finishes used to make pins

- How to choose the pin type

- Difference between the most used pin clutches

- The basics involved in making a vector design for an enamel pin in Adobe Illustrator

- Tips and guidance when setting up your enamel pin project sheet

- My best kept secret to close enamel pin projects with clients

- How to find suppliers and pin manufacturers

- Choosing the best packaging for your enamel pins

- Setting up your price and marketing your pins

Not only I will share with you a great story of how I started my own pin brand, but I'll also give you all my feedback, tips and experience behind turning my passion for pins into a full-time business.

Pura Vida!


Meet Your Teacher

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Richard Carr

Graphic Designer. Creative. Entrepreneur


Hello, I'm Richard. 

I am a self-made graphic designer. I studied Advertising and Marketing Communications but through the years, and without realizing it, I ended up becoming more of a product designer. Specialized in graphic areas such as t-shirt design for screen printing and, most recently, enamel pins.

I am based in Costa Rica, and currently run my own brand/company of Costa Rican folklore theme enamel pins, called Gallo Pin®. I’ve been blessed enough to start my own enamel pin business from scratch since 2017 (after spending more than 10 years in the clothing industry), now selling online through the shop’s website, as well as selling wholesale in more than 30 retail shops, restaurants and hotels nationwide in Costa Ric... See full profile

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1. Trailer: So the way started with enamel pins was that every time my wife and I would travel, I would collect all kinds of souvenir stuff from the CDs and countries we visited. Any one of those trips, I've found a pain that changed my life. Hello there. My name is Richard car, am a graphic designer based in Costa Rica. I know, but I'll talk about this natural paradise in another video. I am the founder and creator of my own enamel Qin brand called Gerben, where I designed my own pins, inspired in the local Costa Rican pop culture and folklore. But I've also had the privilege to web read Latin American companies such as Toyota, Coca Cola, Sony Music, and the Humane Society International. In this class, I will show you the art of designing your very own and now opens from the basic steps of how to design them. It's different applications, find its suppliers, and how to market your pans out there. So let's get started. 2. Welcome: I've been a collector if almost all of my life. I remember being 12-13 years old. And I would get by savings and put them on comic books. I would buy action figures, trading cards, all kinds of things. And maybe now as an adult, I think collecting pins and having all kinds of little souvenirs from trips. It's kinda like an extension from that 12-year-old Kate. The weight started with pins, was that my wife and I would travel and every time we visit a new country, a new city, I would get this little souvenirs from that local region and then I would bring them home. And I would do sort of like this little DIY memory frames. And the enamel pins would be always the cherry atop. In one of those trips, I remember we were in the Netherlands where we're doing like a backpacking trip. And the final destination was Amsterdam. And I remember just going inside this little kind of gift shop, but it was particular designer gift shop. We all kinds of products in there. So we spent they think about one hour just going around back and forth in the aisles and looking at products. And just about where we were leaving the shop, I remember noticing a little pin display. And I found this particular tiny bike enamel pin, which really caught my attention. And as some of you may know, Amsterdam has a particular culture around bicycles being this one of the most iconic and popular ways of transportation in the city. So I immediately thought what a cool thing it would be to get this iconic things about coaster Rican culture and transferred those things into the shape of an enamel paint coaster weaken the enamel pin. And of course, there are tons of enamel paints about Costa Rica. Most of them you will find them in probably the airport or hotels, tourist spots. But most of them I think, are just souvenir clutter pins. I wouldn't use any graphic references. So nobody gets hurt. But you get the point, not much behind them. So I felt the need to get my hands on this project and design my own enamel paints. This little buddy is they're responsible of me coming back home after a three-week Europe trip to start my own business. I started got Jobin when I got back from that trip with my wife. I think it was late 2017. And I slowly became obsessed with everything related to enamel paints. I just wanted to learn how I could turn my own ideas into these little metal shaped icons. And since I have a background in graphic design, I think it was very natural and very easy just to make that step further and get my designs into something physical. I went through a lot of research, months and months, just find in different suppliers and ordering a lot of samples. I think it took me about seven to eight months of research. And I wanted to replicate the exact same look of this bike pin starting from its Polish cold look, finish to the robber backlog. I wanted my pins to look exactly like it was one of them. 3. Let's Talk Enamel Pin: First, let's talk about the longevity of the enamel paints. This is a product that has been around forever. And I mean, from Asian History of the Egyptians to Asian Dynasties, all the way to becoming part of the soldier's uniform during battle. And nowadays it's fashion accessory. They are made from diestrus metal, iron, copper, brass, stainless steel, sink alloys, and aluminum. To mention some of the most popular materials. This means that the enamel pins are being made from materials that aren't going to last for years and years. You wanna make sure you make the best possible design ever, as you will feel proud of your work ten years from now, 20 years from now, there are tons of different applications where you can use a Pandora, you can make a pain, for example, accompanies anniversary, and a special event to give as a gift to your customers as a theme recognition, I can branding, corporate gift, music, band merchandise, retail product, souvenir item. You name it. I mean, why wouldn't you make a pan? There's a freaking awesome. And the best of all is that this panes are fairly small. They are affordable to produce, affordable to buy for your potential clients. The lightweight allows them to be shipped. Very low cost. If you're shipping worldwide and you want to sell online eventually. And the size allows them to be carried anywhere. Everywhere is just a cool line. And my man, it becomes a collector's item. There's our worldwide culture around pins and people love to collect them. I think pins are like that too. So you get, I think that to them. You can wear them in your denim jacket, hat, pouch, backpack, hanging pennant, cameras strap, guitar strap, even framed in. I even have some of my own pins. And this Costa Rican farmers traditional Has Cole shown in pink. I like it. 4. Where Do I Start?: Looking for ideas. Think about your hobbies, your passions. Maybe your favorite food, pop culture, maybe you're a pet lover. There are tons of themes and topics for you to start sketching your first ideas. Just make sure that whatever you choose a something you like, something you understand. For example, what about taking your town CD or countries? Iconicity? Is that even that word? And take it one step further, does exactly what I did with Guy opium, my pin brand. I took something that I like and loved, something that I understood. And took all of the pop culture icons from Costa Rica and started turning them into this little enamel paints. 5. Finishes and Accessories: There are tons of different variations of metal plating. But here you will find a summary of which are the most common. The most common are a goal, Nicole, brass, copper and black finish. So you can see most of them have sub variations such as antique finish, which gives the mantle a darker look. I personally always go with the Polish goal because I think it gives your pin the premium and fast outlook that calls peoples attention. On the other hand, if you're looking to go for a more cartoonish or comic book look, then maybe a black finish will be a great choice. Regarding the meantime, there are a lot of different pain types. Soft enamel, hard enamel, die struck, 3D cast, scram printed photo dong. I mean, I could go days and days with the list. But for this particular class, I'm going to focus on the three most common types, which are soft enamel, hard enamel, and diestrus. Ok. I'm going to start off with the diestrus. These pins are made usually with copper or brass. They don't include any color. Just erase metal design similar to a coin appearance. As you can see, this particular pain has a sand blast and finish in the lower metal while their base metal part is polished so that it stands out nicely. Now, heart enamel pins, this is definitely one of the most common types of pin. You'll be able to identify them by looking at the almost flat metal finish. If you say a closely, there's no major difference between a lower Medal and the race part. They go through a process that makes them more durable and scratch resistant compared to other types of pants. They also allow for small metal detail and have a faster turnaround time in terms of production. And finally, soft enamel pins, my personal favorite type in some ways similar to the hard enamel, but the main difference is that they have a race metal detail in the lower metal surface, also known as the recessed area, which allows the painter set. This is a very popular pin because of the texture finish by varying colors in detail. Look. Now let's talk about pink clutches, or also known as backlogs. So this little part here is what you're going to use in order to keep your lapel pin in place. There are tons of different types. But for this class, I'm going to talk about the three most common paid clutches. Metal butterfly cloche. This is probably the most popular type of back lock. These are very cheap and have a nice grip to keep your opinion place is probably going to be the first option the factory chooses when you order your set of custom pins. In just in case you don't specify what kind of backlog u1, this is going to be the one that the factory sends you. That rubber clutch is more aesthetic, but sometimes it tends to make the pain a little bit loose. It is more comfortable when wearing it. For example, if you use it in the hat than the rubber is definitely the best way to go. I mean, you don't want to have a metal piece rubbing against your head. And finally that the Luke's lapel pin back, as you can tell, it is slightly more expensive, around $0.30 more, but is definitely worthy if you wanna give European greater value. Just as an extra bonus. This is a custom clutch. Just to consider that you can also think about doing a custom backlog in case you're gonna do big amounts of pins, a higher quantity. So once you get big and fancy, you can even consider making your Customize back locks. A cool thing about the pants is that you can customize the back with your own brand name or a website. Some brands like to place their logos for branding purposes. So here you will find a sample I did for this limited edition run, I wanted to make sure my brand guide, your PIN, was associated with this pink sands. A was a collaboration I did with a very popular former soccer player in Costa Rica. 6. Understanding Pin Design: Lesson 1: First, we need to understand that the way we're going to design for a pin, it's going to be very different than the way we design for a printed medium. For example, paper, T-shirts, mugs, or any other material, even digital. The way I see it is like this. The design has to serve the pen. In this case. Since we're gonna be using a metal main material, we have to understand that all of the color that we're gonna use have to be placed within a delimited area. So picture them as little pools of ink. Each of them are going to be contained within small lines of metal. So let's head over to the computer. I'm going to be using Adobe Illustrator software to make the vector designs. Let's get our hands dirty, old writing. So what we're gonna do here is open our Adobe Illustrator software. Now let's go to create a new file. As you can see, the first option I have here is a custom 1.25 by 1.25 inches, which I've also included in the resources area for you to download it. This is usually the average size I use for pins. You can go lower than that you can do. I think the minimum suggested would be 0.75 inches for a pin and the maximum suggested would be probably around two inches if you do it too small, sera points 75, I think you would have to consider sacrificing some of the detail on the design. Or if you go to the opposite way and you make them two inches size, then it might be a little bit too big. It can come out a little bit too bulky. Think about where you are going to wear it. What size would you like to have it? You can do different experiments. I personally like to use a ruler. It gives me, i have a very basic one, which comes with inches on one side and centimeters and the other one. So usually when I'm about to do new pen, I usually go in, have the measure, the real measure. And just to figure out if their pain could do a little bit more than 1.251.3 or less. Can we do one inch? So I might just do the real cut with the little piece of paper and then do the sample on my my jacket had just to kind of get a sense of what the real pain is going to look like. So I would suggest 1.25 square inches being the sweet spot for enamel paint design. So just click Create. We're going to start with the beginner's level just to show you the behavior of the color when you are designing for animal pins. We're gonna start this example using geometric shape. I will draw a circle shape using the Ellipse tool in the left side of your screen. And I'll have it aligned to our boards so that it's well centered. Okay, here's my circle shape. So I want to make sure you understand that when you are sending your enamel paint design to the factory or paint supplier, you shouldn't use the CMYK or RGB color formats because most of the factories, if not all of them, work with Pantone color format. So if you send the design in a different format, they are going to transfer the color that they are seen into what they think is the closest pants on color. And basically they will be choosing on your behalf. So make sure you always use Pantone colors. The format I use is plantain solid quoted by going into the Window menu, Swatch Libraries, color books, and then look for pantheon, solid quarter in the bottom. So I'm going to put this window on this side. I'm going to choose the circle shape color from the Pantheon solid quoted palette. I'm probably going to go with a light yellow color. So you can see you in your color tab. It shows it's in pantheon color firm and said that's perfect. And then I'm going to add a second figure, probably a triangle on top of the circle shape. What we'll be doing here is just playing around with these two geometric shapes and then apply them different colors. There's one to show you very quickly how to sit up and multicolor graphic into the paint format. I wanted to take the time to encourage you, if you're just starting in graphic design, to go over it. The dozens of courses within sculpture that can be incredibly helpful to get you started in Adobe Illustrator. I'll be including some links to some helpful graphic design classes in the Resources tab. This class. So what I did here was just play around with these two shapes and had this big circle cut into three different slices using the shape mounts in the Pathfinder tab. Now going to have this randomly design shape, I'll add some color. I'll go with different tones of green from a lighter to darker green. So as you can see here, I have the first color abandoned, 350 to see. And the Pantheon 350, 40, pantheon 357 C4, the darker tone, and finally the light yellow pants on 601. See for the main shape. Now, if we notice in the layers tab, there's only one layer, the default layer where we've been working on, but we are now going to create a new layer for each of the colors. I'll start renaming this one being the Panthalassic, so one C layer. And then I'll have the yellow shaped locked so that it stays there. I'm creating a new layer for delight green shape, doing Command caught in the Mac and renaming the layer as Pantene 350 to C. Then I'll have it paste in front, which is Command F on the Mac, and then have it lock so it stays in this layer. Same thing with the next green shape, creating a new layer, rename it as the Pantheon cholera 3-5, 4C and pasting front. And finally, the last dark green shape in its own layer name as pantheon 357. See, if you go in and check each layer, you will make sure that each shape belongs to a separate layer. I was double-check to see if everything is in its proper place. Now remember that a pain has metal lines separating the colors, right? If you're doing a soft anomaly and harden AML specially. So we have to create a layer that it specifies where those lines are going to go. And the way that we pull them is by simply copying all of the shapes command a in the Mac, I'll create a new layer in name it raised gold, assuming we are designed in a soft enamel gold medal pin. Check the rest of the layers that we don't get all mixed up with the rest of the graphic and paste it in front. Always check that you're working in the correct layer for the stroke color, I'll be using a goldfish tone so that it resembles the rays gold medal. Look, I recommend the Pantheon 10 3C, which has a very similar tone to the real gold look. And it has a nice contrast with the rest of the colors. So you can see the entire shape was filled with the selected Pantene color, but we actually just want the stroke to be gold. So the way we change it is by heading to this little arrow which swaps the fill and stroke. Or you can also use the shortcut shift x on the Mac, then head over to the stroke death, which is going to tell you the thickness of your stroke that the full measure I usually get is 1. But I think I want to have the metal lines thinner. So I'll maybe use a 0.75 stroke. There's no right or wrong stroke measure. Just play by whatever thickness looks best for you. Now, go ahead and bring back the rest of the layers to see the full color graphic. And let's not forget to convert our stroking to outline so they don't get messed up when you are doing the resizing. First, locked the color layers and always within the race metal layer, select all the graphic and head over to the object naming, path and outline stroke. If you take a close loop, you'll notice my outline stroke whilst left with some weird intersections. This is because of the merging of different shapes. You get rid of this by choosing the Unite shape mode in the Pathfinder tap. Great. So we have our final rays goal layer ready. I'll show you one extra step to make your final art as detailed as possible, which is to include the Pantheon colors used on your right side. This way, the factory or pin supplier doesn't have a chance to convene a mistake with the colors. I'll simply add a little square with the pantheon name right next to it. I'm gonna do this very quickly with each color. Perfect. So I went ahead and added their respective color inside each layer so that everything is properly specified. I notice my graphic is smaller than the 1.25 h squared r board. So while just increase it a little bit to fill up the entire area. Great. So I think I'm ready to save it. I'll name it sample pin one, safe. Okay? And final step is taking this finished graphic or you're finished graphic design to your enamel pin project sheet. I use this template to send the factory all of the specifications in details regarding a new pin project. I've also added this template in the resources tab of the class for you to download it, you have to project title, that main artwork area with the measure well-specified in a little box to set the pain back preview. You'll notice on the right side of the cardboard a set of colored round rubber caps, which is the backlog type I always use. So I have some samples to simply drag and drop in front of the back view. And finally, the area where you will specify the Pantone colors, quantity, metal plating, and any additional observations. Let's go back to our file where you are enamel paint design is copy o and head back to the project sheet template to have it paste. Just notice in the layer tab that we have two layers. We're gonna be working in the place artwork layer. So make sure you're pasting it inside this one. This one contains decide elements like the boxes that will help you to place your artwork and back previews, as well as including the little rubber caps samples. Let's lock the one that says guidelines so we don't get confused. And let's plays the main graphic into the big artwork guideline. Resize it so that it fails the whole area. Now, let's bring the colors into the color section, resize them. Usually you had a black stroke to the colors so that the lighter tones are still noticeable and simply leave the rays gold tone as it is. I'll probably have it in bold texts different from the rest. Now, getting the back Mu shape is going to be very easy. Just pulled the graphic, stroke and delete one of the anchor points to start filling in the entire shape. I'll have it resized and place within the little bag Bu box. And finally, you will choose one of their round rubber caps, probably the green one, so that it matches with a whole design habit copied to the yard work layer we are working on. Now I'm just going to align their rubber cap. We'd my back pain shape by using the align tool bar in the top. The back views ready. Now I am going to fill the quantity space, assuming this is maybe a 100 unit production for the metal plating, I want this paint to be made in policy gold. And in the observations line, I can specify that the back box should be a green rubber cloche. You can use this space as well to add any additional specs to the factory. Now that I have all of the information filled in, I'll go ahead and uncheck the guidelines layer. I almost forgot the project title. I'll name mat sample pin one, soft enamel and usually include the pain type in the title so the factory knows what kind of pain I'm looking for. Either harden animal soft enamel or die struck. And the most important part, save your file, double-check that the title read as a chewed and that you are in the correct folder. Format should be Adobe Illustrator before clicking safe. And also have it's saving the Safe Web for JPEG version makes sure that the size is big enough so that the factory or a pin supplier clearly sees all of the project details in notes. I'll choose jpeg formatting high-quality. Once you're ready, just click Save and look for your destination folder. And you're done. 7. Understanding Pin Design: Lesson 2: We have seen some of the basic principles of understanding how the colors should be handled when making a pin, each color has to have a stroke that resembles the metal lines. They're going to be erased and containing the color wheels and know that the colors need to be set up in the pan tons solid quoted format. And so now what I wanna do is I want to go one step further and just show you what happens if you have a, for example, a client, we take particular logo or you have a logo yourself that you want to adapt set up as enamel pin. So let's take a close look for this second lesson. I want to show you how to adapt a conventional company logo into the pin format. So you can see this logo contains not only different shape elements, but they are all separate shapes. You have three leaves on the top and the brand name in the bottom. And the leaves even have a gradient mesh effect, which clearly cannot be used in a pan design. If you're thinking about making soft enamel or hard enamel pins, always go for the solid colors. So I'm gonna pull the, the plantain solid coated palette by going to the Window menu, Swatch Libraries, color books, solid quoted palette. In this specific case, since there's already a green tone reference, I'm just gonna use the same green as the text color, which is the Pantene a, o to c. Once the color is unified, I'll head over to the first format option, which is containing the design into a square shape pin. Here we are looking at two colored pin being the white background, the first tone, and then the green, the second collar. I went ahead and had the colors separated by layers. So if I uncheck each layer, you will see them disappear from the cardboard. And the top layer always being the metal stroke. I'd like to use the Pantene 103 c for the Polish gold medal reference in case you are going for a gold pin called Finished pin. Another very common option is to enclose your design into a circle shape pen. Again, we're looking at the same two colored design with white background and green logo where nothing has been affected, just the overall shape of the pen. Now, if I scroll down, you'll notice I have a very different option following the logos, silhouette, or contour. This particular option is usually the one I always lean too, because I think that design shape breeds a little bit more. And following the same concept. You can also consider leaving the main logo color, assuming it's a green logo. But now you're giving it a different approach by filling the white area with the Polish gold finish. Not only you're making the design cleaner, but you are also saving some money by reducing the amount of colour used. I'm telling you a pin like that would look amazing. But again, it's a matter of taste and what you think it looks best. So in the end, you've got all these different options under your sleeve when it comes to turning a pre-made logo into a pin. For this example, I'll grab this design option to complete the rest of the exercise. I'm going to set up the final artwork file for design, have it all cleaned and finish for the pin supplier. So I'm going to hit Copy command C on a Mac. Then I need to pull my 1.25 square inch file. I'll go to File New here you'll see I have as a first option D square template. Again, you can download this template directly in the resources area of the class. 1.25 inches is the size I prefer when it comes to making pens, but you can always choose the size of your convenience. So let's go ahead and click Create, then hit paste Command P on the Mac. And what we'll be doing here is pretty much resizing, cleaning the graphic from any unnecessary shapes are elements, setting the strokes as well as the texts into outlines. Remember to check all of these details in your final artwork so that all of the elements, colors, texts are properly delivered to the pain manufacturer. Once I have the graphic centered and place where I needed to be, I'll start the layer separation process, which means that each color is going to sit on a separate layer. Now, here's a great example of unnecessary shapes. If you notice closely, as soon as I click on the white collar, I get this hidden shapes which are not bringing any value to my graphic. So you've got to make sure you remove all unwanted elements in your design. I'll double-click this layer and select this heating shapes to start deleting them. We got that out of the way. Now, I'll continue setting the white color layer as well as the goal stroke layer. I'll make it a bit fast forward because it can take some time and I don't want to hold you up. I want to stop for a second in the race gold metal layer because I want to show you another example of clutter elements in your graphic design. As soon as I turned this shape into an outline stroke, you'll notice all these lines appearing. Well. In order to turn this whole mess into one single shape, you simply go to the Pathfinder tab, look for a shape modes and pick the first icon, which is Unite. Now we have a clean shape. Remember, this golden graphic will be our metal stroke. So what I need to do here is I need to grab the main white area. Remember this big white contour? Well, we need this shape to intersect our gold medal graphic in order to get justice stroke that we need, have it copied and pasted in front inside there raise goal metal layer. I'll select both shapes and then head over to the Pathfinder tab ones again, look for the second icon from left to right, the one that says minus front. This will create a compound shape and subtract the white area from the goal one. There we have our clean, nice stroke. Just for visual references. I want to have the white area colored so that I know it's there. We'll bring it back to white in just a second. Let's add the final stroke detail, which is the green shapes stroke. I'll copy all of the green area and then pasting front. And using the eye dropper tool, the I key on the Mac, just click on the outline gold stroke. This will fill the whole area, but you simply hit shift x on the Mac to swap the fill and stroke callers. And there it is. I think I'll bring the thickness down a notch, maybe down to 0.75. Now that we have that clear, I'll convert it to outlines by going to object path outlined stroke. Now if you noticed, we've been working in the green color layer, but this element actually belongs to the rays gold metal layer. Simply select the whole stroke, then do a cut and go inside the metal layer pasting front, everything is now in its proper layer. If I uncheck the layer, you'll see that all of the strokes, these appear, and that's exactly what I want. I'm heading over to the second layer where the green logo is on checking. Everything looks good. And finally, the white layer, which I early on had it colored in this light yellow just to see what was going on. So now I can turn it back to why does he choose b? I'll use the eyedropper tool to clicking any white area. I'll make some final checks to my artwork. I'm noticing that I need to adjust this sides because they are coming out of the art board area. So I will adjust that and have it center just a little bit. Okay. So it seems like I'm ready to have it saved. I'll hit Save As, which is Shift Command S on the Mac, and I'll call it sample pin to. Now, final step, copy your design to paste it into your project sheet template. Remember you can download this file in the resources area of the class. This is the file that we'll tell our pain supplier everything about our project. Make sure you're editing inside the place artwork layer. Here, you'll specify what the main graphic is, the size collars, how the back BW is going to look like everything. In order to get your bag bu shape, simply drag the outline stroke and have one of the anchor points. Delete it so that it fills back the entire area. Once you have that, apply the Reflect tool in the vertical axis so that the back Bu orientation makes sense. This one goes here. Now I'm going to unlock the guidelines layer to pick one or the back rubber caps. Again, this is usually the kinda cap or rubber collection that I use for my pants. So I always have this graphic elements in hand to drag and drop. But again, if you use a different back lock, you can also use your own graphic. Just hit Copy and Paste in DR. Gray layer, I need to fill the text lines first, the title, I'll name it sample, pin to soft enamel. Dan the quantity units, the metal plating. I want it to be polished gold. And in the observations area, I'll include the backlog type, and color for the suppliers reference. Once you're done, simply save your project sheet, just like we did in the first lesson. 8. Understanding Pin Design: Lesson 3: Ok, so we have now accomplish a second step on understanding how's a graphic design should be adapt for enamel pin. And then we also understood that if we have different elements within a logo or a graphic design, they have to be contained within a shape. So now what I wanna do is I want to show you different scenarios of things you can do within an enamel pin. For example, what happens if you have an empty area or a cut out? And also want to show you what happens when you have a die struck enamel pin. How can you set up the colors and the shapes in order to make it a die struck enamel pin. And I also want to show you some of my personal enamel pins that I've designed in, which I think are some of the most complex and the ones that have more colors in it, just two, have an idea of what you can do with them. Okay, so first let me show you an example of what happens when your pen design has an empty space. And by empty space I'm referring to a cutout area. This is a mug I designed for my pin brand in which I wanted to mug handle to be cut out. I could have done it by adding a different color or even as resists metal with the same material. But I wanted to have this extra detail. So where your design requires to have a cat out, you can specify it to the pin supplier by placing and x inside the area. This pin design is one of the very first I made when I started the brand. I design it using different variations of blue to give the pen some deft and shadows, as well as taking the white collar to replicate some highlights. If we uncheck the layers, you will see how all of the colors have been separated in their own layer. Now, let's pull the project sheet file, which is how you tell your pin supplier what your project is about starting off with the project title, the pain size, in this case, one-inch. Then you have the back Bu detail including the rubber clutch type on the right, I specify the colors to my supplier. Below is where I tell the factory how many units I'm going to produce, the metal plating which you'd be polished gold. And the observations usually where I detail the backlog type and color. If the design includes a cutout area, I will also include that feature in this section. The factory should be able to see it in the main artwork, but just in case they have a second backup for this specification, we're going to show you the preview of their real pin. The great thing about the mental pens is that the final product is incredibly loyal to the original design. Of course, I had to show you my version of this loss enamel open first. I wanted to have this loss in its classic posts, which is crawling off of our branch or a tree. And this required to have not one but two cutout areas. Check out the final pin preview. This is the soft animal version. I think the cutout areas definitely give the panel a totally different look. Here I have a great example of a die struck metal pin. This is how the original artwork would look like. Where you have the recessed area in the bottom with the dark gold and the res gold medal in a brighter tone. This was a PIN made for the 70th anniversary of the Government Accountability Office hearing Costa Rica. Now, one of my very favorite pins, if you're not familiar with this graphic, this is a Costa Rican ox cart wheel. If you ever have the time, you can Google it to find out more about it centuries ago, how the coffee would be transported from the coffee plantations across the country, layered on the net only became an art expression due to the hand painting process, but they also became a national symbol. So instead of making the whole ox cart as a pin, I decided to focus on the wheel, which is very iconic and beautiful by itself. Again, I always like to work the colors in layers. So if you notice every pant on cholera has its own layer, making it a six color design. It could have gone for more, but I think six or seven colours should be enough for a pen. I went assume a bit more so you can take a look closely to the detail into different shapes and triangle patterns. And now here's the final product. Finally, I want to show you another example of a six color pen design, the scarlet macaw, a very popular bird in Costa Rica. You have white, black, light blue, yellow, royal blue, and red. This was also a tricky pin to make because of the detail in the feathers. But it's a great way to show you that you don't have to be limited by the complexity of the graphic because the middle pin will pick up as much detail as possible and was very happy with the final result in how the combination of the bright colors and the gold medal played out. 9. Best Kept Secret: Now, this is my best kept cigarette and I'm going to share with you for the very first time. And I call it the preview, also known as the mockup. This is my best kept secret. If you are doing a project for a company or a collaboration, any kind of work where there's an approval required and you need to show that pain to a customer or a client to exactly the closest look or preview as a going to be on the final result, then this tip is going to give you all the tools that you need. So let's say you finally have your graphic design, European design finished. I'll use my previous pin artwork to follow this exercise. What I'll do first is select entire graphic and habit resized, probably about ten times bigger because we have to take it to Adobe Photoshop where all the preview editing is going to take place and the file will be bigger than the 1.25 square inch file we have here. Then I'm going to separate the artwork into two grips. First being all the color layers and the second raise gold medal by itself. So lock the race middle layer and copy only the collar layers, all of them. Then head over to Adobe Photoshop. I'm using a 900 square pixel file for the editing purpose, you can choose the size of your convenience. I've noticed 900 by 900 pixels is a good size for this kind of editing than simply paste your artwork into the canvas, you'll probably get a pop-up window asking the paste format. So make sure you're choosing pixels, ones, I make sure everything looks okay. I'll have this new layer renamed as colors layer. Now, I'm going back to my Adobe Illustrator to grab just the race metal layer. So I will have it unlocked and I'll actually uncheck the rest of the layers. Select copy back to Photoshop. Again, when you pasted, make sure you select pixel format, that graphic should be paste automatically in the center of the campus in case it doesn't make sure both graphics are aligned perfectly. And I'll rename the layer as rays gold. Now, select the colors layer and look for filter gallery under the filter menu. And once inside, select the plastic wrap effect. Just by applying this, you will see how it's starting to get that glossy enamel look. Here you can see it shows three main variables which are highlights, strength, detail, and smoothness. I would suggest to play around for awhile with the different levels until you reach your desired look. I'll live to highlight strength a bit low and bump that the Tel and smoothness. Let's click. Okay, so you can see the effect is now applied in our graphic is looking very fancy with some enamel highlights. Now let's change the layer and double-click the rays gold. Once inside that pop-up window, select babble and emboss and click to pull the options. We will find the few options within the style such as outer level, which is looking pretty good if you're trying to achieve this soft enamel look with the raised lines, or you also have Aigner bevel, which makes the look of a hard enamel pin. And then boss, which is probably the one I'm going to pick. This gives me a similar look to the outer bevel racing the metal lines. The main goal is to play around with the different variables in order to achieve a realistic look, notice that if you push the levels way up, the effect will probably look saturated and unnatural. So always try to keep the levels mother rated. In the bottom, you will find this shading section where you can choose the shadows, orientation, or angle. If you change the angle too much, it can affect the overall aspect of the graphic and lose the original effect you are looking for. So I always preferred to leave this section as it is once you are happy with the fact look, click OK. Now we're going to duplicate the caller's layer in order to create the effect of the metal thickness. Double-click it. And when you're inside the Layer Style window, look for the color overlay effect. We're going to have it colored with the dark metal color to give the material a little shadow aspect. In last, make sure you add a drop shadow to give the pin some DEF. Remember that the paints have the backlogs which lift the metals from the surface, producing a strong shadow. So don't be shy to play around with capacity, distance spread in size until you've reached your desired look. I'll move around this layer so you can see what I've done, But this layer is doing is adding the pin, a little bit of body to reproduce the materials thickness. Again, try not to exaggerate things to keep it natural and realistic. So just like that, you can level up the look of your vector enamel pin design and make it as real and convincing that's possible. I really hope you find this awesome tip helpful. 10. Create A Project: Okay, so the project part, this is probably one of the most exciting parts of the class because it's now it's your turn to do the work. And it's gonna be very exciting to see what you guys come out with. We can start by going to Adobe Illustrator and creating a new file for graphic design. Hit over to create a new document. And oh, wait a second. I think this is way too predictable. What do we do it all the way basic. So that is easy to see. I can tell you it's true in this way. Using the standard DVD. Cd. Well, I really hope you enjoyed this fast forward process of creating a project. This was a quick guide of the basic steps you can follow to turn your idea into a vector design pin. Don't forget to upload yours into the project section of this class. I really can't wait to see your creations. 11. Finding Pin Suppliers: This is one of the key steps in the whole process because you wanna make sure you find a reliable source that can help you to make your graphic design into the final product. There are a few ways to approach it. Either just going online and searching for a company that offers the service. You can do this by heading to Google and type in search terms like costume and AMOLED pins or enamel paints manufacturer. Once you get to the search results, you're going to be able to find a lot of companies, most of them within the United States, other are going to be either on Europe or Australia or different parts. But I want to make clear that most of the companies that are going to be in charge of making and producing the enamel pins are gonna be located in Asia, probably China. So that means that if you find a company located in America, it's very probable that they're gonna be outsourcing the production outside in China. So the other way to do it is that you venture yourself and you go directly to a manufacturing source such as Alibaba and find this enamel paint factories, there are pros and cons of working directly with china factory. The main pro is lower prices as you were dealing directly with the factory, cons would be mainly the time difference depending on where you're located. For example, in America, you could be talking about a time difference of 12 hours, approximately the communication barrier, the sales agents, right in English. But most of the time the ideas are not express clearly. So you might find yourself going back and forth just to make sure they understand what you're referring to. A good tip would be to be as precise and brief as possible. Also, you can consider attaching photos as references so that they know what you're talking about. A few things to consider when choosing a supplier are simply, just feel free to ask them what their pricing costs is, what their minimum order quantity is going to be. Do they start with 100 units or can they do less for the same cost? What's their turn around time? And also, do they offer free samples when it comes to choosing a supplier, I would say that you want to go slowly, you wanna take your time. Don't feel pressure to choose the first one you find have at least five different options. See what their prices are, what their terms and conditions are. Are you satisfied with their customer service? You get along with the sales agent? Are they professional and are they giving you what you're asking? You can even ask for a free samples. If this factor, your supplier is very interested in doing business with you, they will definitely say you samples. 12. Packaging: The packaging you choose for your paints, it's going to be a personal matter, mostly because it's gonna manifest the DNA for your brand. Just make sure that packaging is complementing and enhancing your panic instead of competing and overlapping it. I want to share with you a few examples of some of the pain brands I've collected over the years. Starting with this pen from rifled paper company, which needs no presentation. Who've got the branding, the top in a gold foil finish, and the flour ping along with the same theme in the background, perfect execution. Then we have the Baghdad pan from cluttering. I can't get enough of this pain and package. I mean, this simplicity and minimalism really got stuck in my head when developing my own brand, the pen name on the top and the brand's website into bottom. You don't need anything else, not to mention the color choice, which definitely makes the pen to highlight even more. Then we have this dark theme kind of comic book look, pain from netherworld arcade, clever way to browse your social media following by simply featuring your Instagram or Facebook account and the front side of your attack. You can also choose to back them using cellophane bags. She's a great way to add a layer of protection, avoiding any scratches between the pins while being moved around or even stored. And it even gives the product a polished look. I want to show you the evolution of my own pain brand packaging. I first started using a 2.5. square inch tag inside a cellophane bags in order not only to keep them protected, but also to display them in retail stores. Very simple, just a flat thing, cardboard in a blacking. Than months later, I realize I needed to do some improvements. First I remove the cellophane bag because in Costa Rica, Not only do we have an eco-friendly culture and mindset, but also because it wasn't bringing any value to the brand or product, I ended up adjusting, decides to fit the top single whole varietal display, as well as reducing the width so that more pins could fit in the display space. And I introduced their gold foil in the brand. Then several months later, I finally got to the current version, which uses a thicker, recycled cardboard in craft paper and also comes in a natural darker colour given the pins and gold foil, a better contrast. And in the back, I had the brand's texts in Spanish and English, as well as the social media outlets. And this is a bonus package. Here I have a collaboration pen I did for Toyota Costa Rica. Simple, clean, but very effective. 13. Put A Price On It: Okay, so we have seen so far the basic process of what to make, how to design the pans and work to make them. Now one of the most important steps is going to be setting up your retail price. There are different variables related to the cost of the pin. Usually the company or the factory will give you a quote based on the size, the quantity, and the complexity of the pen. For example, if the paint shape a symbol rammed it 4x squared, it's going to be easier to make rather than if it has a centre hole or empty space and outline cutting, you need to consider that pins are usually made with large runs. So for example, a factory will tell you that they have a minimum order quantity, usually of 100 units. If you're lucky, you might find a supplier that can offer 50 minimum order quantity units. So just having in mind that the larger the quantity, better the price. And if you make less units, the cost is going to be higher. The average unit cost for a 100 minimum order quantity R1 go between 125.25, $0.$2. It's going to depend on these many variables that we have mentioned. That's an average range so that you know in advance how much you have to budget. If you're doing a first-time run, then you have to consider the cost of the mold. The mold is usually done on the first production once you have paid for the mole, which is usually around $50 or $65, and you don't have to pay it again. So every time you do a wrong or a production, you already paid for that mold. And last, you have to consider the shipping costs. So when pricing your pins, just considered these many variables that we have talked about, the unit cost, mold, if you're doing a first run, the shipping cost and the packaging. A great thing about this product is that you can easily set up this business as an scaled business, which means that the more quantity you produce, the cheaper the product cost, which allows you for a bigger profit margin when setting up your retail price, you can also do a little research, go and check your favourite shops online or go to your favorite pain brands and just check the prices. I noticed there's a range there is an average range between 8.20. So I decided to put my pins at nine bucks. And if I happen to have a specialization released, then I will launch it to 11, maybe $12 because usually specialization and our last quantities, so the cost is higher, but just have that in mind. Also, know your audience. Don't know who you're targeting too. Maybe if you go over $10 or $12 and you're just starting, maybe you could be taken as an overpriced products or pen. And so you can have maybe a first line of paints that could go around 8, $9. And as soon as you start to make yourself some brand name and you have more audience and you're building more designs, maybe you can set up a higher price on the next runs. 14. Get Your Pins Out There: Putting your pins out there, you have your pins a, you're just ready to launch them and show them to the audience and market. So there are a few ways to go about this. You can choose to go into marketplaces online and retail platforms such as Amazon, setting up a seller that account where you can reach millions of potential customers. Also a place like Etsy, it's a great way to promote your pens and launch them. Ebay, or even store envy, to mention just a few. Or you can also setup your own website, which is what I did. I personally chose Shopify as an e-commerce platform. But you can also find other options such as Squarespace and big Commerce. Also another great opportunity is to reach out to your local shops, your favourite shops, and you can just go and show them your pain line. I would suggest dropping a few free samples of your pins so that they can get a hold of them. They can feel what you're hoping is about and also pitching them to their customers to seal how they sale, how do they move? And after that, if you happen to get an agreement, then you can negotiate selling terms such as leaving their main consignment or also making the upfront purchase. Also consider scouting around your area to find any craft fairs going on. This is a great opportunity that only to expose your brand new Europeans, but also it's a great way to build your audience, build your brand, meeting in person, in your potential clients so the people can engage with you. And what better person than you to tell the story of how the whole business started. 15. Final Thoughts: So congratulations, you have completed the course of how to design your very own enamel pins. As a final advise, I would tell you to go with the smallest Ron possible. Maybe once you find a supplier that makes click, you can talk to them and see how you can negotiate. So they can give you the 100 minimum order quantity price for the production of 50. See how you can also offer them a long-term business relationship. This way, you will be able to maximize your budget and have more variety of enameled pins instead of having fewer designs and a lot of quantity. But most of all when it went to do is I want to encourage you to follow your intrapreneurial gut. Follow your instinct. It's pretty much what I did when I started my own enamel pin brand. I also want to tell you that this has to be a project that you'd do it for the sake of love. Love for design, law, for pins. Love seeing your very own graphic design turn into a commercial product. I'm telling you, if you do it for log, the monetary reward will follow, then you're going to be delivering more than what's expected. You're always going to be one step ahead. You're gonna be focusing on details, feeling inspired and motivated. I can't wait to see what you guys come out with. Don't forget to upload your project in the project section. If you innate to reach me, you can bribe me into discussions area to get some ideas. Ryan, wish you all the very best. And let's go make some pens.