5 Ways to Save Time When Designing Enamel Pins

Here are five tips (plus a bonus!) for how to really save time when designing and making enamel pins. These are part of my business strategy when I want to make enamel pins and I hope they're helpful for you!

 1. Use a template for your mockups.

There's no reason for you to be starting from scratch every time you create an enamel pin. not to use a template. Download my template here for an example. I have a couple of other videos about designing with Adobe Illustrator and using this template, so definitely grab it and toss your design in there so everything's good to go!

2. Edit your colors in Illustrator.

I've mentioned it before, but it's so important I'll say it again! If you're in Procreate and you've found colors you like, but you don't know the Pantone for it, check out this video to learn how to do it. It's one of my favorite tricks --it will take the color you picked and convert to the closest Pantone solid-coated color that exists!

3. Print out your designs in multiple sizes.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but I promise it will save you time! Print it true-to-size, and a variety of other sizes (such as one inch, inch-and-a-quarter, inch-and-a-half). This will help you decide really quickly which size you like best, and move forward from there -- instead of waffling about it so much.

4. Organize your files with Google Docs.

I love Google Docs. If you have another way or use something else like DropBox, that's fine. Just keep all of your files in one spot. Put your finished mock-ups in one spot, put your master files or vector files in one spot. That way you can grab them whenever you need them so if you want to make something else from those vectors or reorder something, you can grab them really quickly. Being organized with your files just makes everything easier, I promise!

5. Make a checklist.

I like using Asana (you can see my video about using it for creative business here). You can create a project like, "Design New Pin," and write out all the steps that it takes to make that pin. For example:

  • Sketch your design
  • Vector your design
  • Put it in your mock-up
  • Send it to your manufacturer
  • Approve the manufacturer mock-up
  • Pay for it

And when they arrive, you can add:

  • Process pins
  • Package pins
  • Photograph pins
  • All that stuff!

If you have that checklist in place, especially in the early stages, then you can knock it out really quickly and know exactly where you are in the process. It's also great when you're batching work, like a collection of pins. You can have the same setup.

It's really easy and it's a great way to organize your time and your brain, making sure you're checking everything off so you don't forget something. It just helps make sure you don't forget anything, you've got everything right there. Being prepared saves lots and lots of time.

Bonus: Have your manufacturer vector your designs.

Sometimes this is an extra cost, but if it's worth it to you, you're not comfortable with Illustrator, or it stresses you out, just have your factory do the artwork for you. 

In that case, you can put your design in your mockup, not vectoring it but just indicating what pantone colors you'd like -- and that's it! Just send that to them and they'll take care of the rest.

The pricing structure really ranges between manufacturers. Sometimes it's free, sometimes it's not -- so just ask your manufacturer.

And if you're really ready to get started growing your business with enamel pins, enroll in Enamel Pins: 101 today! This is everything you need to know to start your pin business. From launches to site set-up, I've got you covered! 

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