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Articles on designing your own custom merch, growing your brand, and managing manufacturing as a small business.

Design Decisions that Affect Your Pin Manufacturing Cost

When you request an order of 300 custom lapel pins from a manufacturer, you could receive a subtotal anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand — why such a wide range? Because pins are some of the most customizable accessories on the market. Depending on your design choices, you could add or subtract hundreds of dollars from your total order’s manufacturing cost. Let us help you sort through all of those options so you can create pins that fit your imagination and your budget. 

7 Choices That Affect the Cost of Your Pins


The smaller your pin, the less you’ll pay in material costs. We usually recommend a 0.5” x 0.5” pin size for cost-conscious creators who need to maximize savings. At that size, an order of 300 pins could easily cost less than $2 per unit — while a size of 2.5” x 2.5” would cost more than twice that amount. 

pin manufacturing costs - size



Regardless of which manufacturer you choose, pins are more cost-effective to produce in larger quantities. An order of 1,000 pins always has a lower price per unit than an order of 100, and the overall price difference might be surprisingly small. That’s why most traditional manufacturers set minimum order quantities in the hundreds — a high MOQ is an “easier” order to make than a small one from a factory’s perspective. and usually leads to a lower per-unit price for you. But working with a factory whose MOQs are quite high requires you to pay more and order more units than you previously planned.  


Of all the pin styles available, soft enamel is the most common and the most cost-effective. However, if you’re looking to customize further, you’ll be pleased to know that any of the following styles can be swapped in for additional cost (listed in order of price, low to high):

– Offset printing 

– Hard enamel 

– Offset printing with thin epoxy coating

– 3D mold 

– Offset printing with thin epoxy dome


Pins can be manufactured with nearly every metallic finish you can think of — but some of those materials cost more than others. Gold, nickel, brass, copper, gunmetal, and silver finishes are all potential color options. Finishes can be further customized with shiny, antique, and sand-blasted options. You can also create metallic pins with a multi-tonal base by mixing two colors of the same finish. 

pin manufacturing costs - style


How do you want your pins to attach to hats, jackets, or lapels? Most people choose a standard butterfly clutch, or go for a softer rubber clutch as an alternative. There are more than five other custom pin backing options, including safety pins and magnets, which can be subbed in as well.


For every enamel color you include on a pin design, your manufacturer will charge more. At The/Studio, we give you the first five colors free. We also offer our clients the option to add more than 21 colors to their pins, which further extends the boundaries of their creativity at a small additional cost per unit. Of course, if you choose a printed design rather than an enamel one, you normally receive unlimited colors for a truly photorealistic result.   

pin manufacturing cost - color


Believe it or not, pins can be produced with even more additional features beyond these. Want the back of your pins embossed, engraved, or debossed with text or a number? No problem. Looking to wow with glitter or glow-in-the-dark enamel? Go for it. You can even add rhinestones! 

Comparing Apples to Apples

Using our online product customization tool, we experimented with the options above to identify representative packages at either end of the cost spectrum. For a 100-count order, here are two examples of what you could get for very different price points:

pin manufacturing costs

The truth is, both of these theoretical pin orders could be equally attractive in person. We’ve seen countless examples of creativity at both ends of the cost spectrum. You don’t need fancy extras to make a really fantastic product — but if you want to go the extra mile with premium customization, you have that freedom within the framework of custom, on-demand manufacturing. 

Optimizing Your Pin Manufacturing Cost 

First-time pin buyers should note that the design options outlined above are only one facet of your total pin manufacturing cost. In addition to the base price per unit, you’ll also want to take into account other logistical and soft costs that help get your pins across the finish line. For example, do you already have a designer in-house who can create a tech pack for your design? What MOQ does your factory of choice require? How much will it cost to ship, package, and make your pins retail-ready? The answers to these questions could impact the total cost of your pin order and your overall ROI. 

For small businesses or individual sellers without an established supply chain, optimizing all of these costs can be challenging. At The/Studio, we offer an all-inclusive end-to-end solution for creators that incorporates free design services, low MOQs, and retail-ready results. When you place an order with us, the price you see is the price you pay, with all of those extra logistics already included. If you’re ordering small batches of custom pins, on-demand manufacturing is the way to go. 

The/Studio is a custom pin manufacturing firm that helps creators reduce pin manufacturing costs without sacrificing creativity or quality. If you’re interested in seeing how our pin manufacturing cost stacks up, contact us today, or, if you’re ready to hit the ground running, you can create your product today.

Image Credit | AlexandrBognat | Shutterstock




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