Monday, 25 March 2013

What is the difference between hard and soft enamel badges?

People often ask us to explain the differences between the various enamel badge options on our website - so here we go: the definitive guide to hard, soft, imitation hard and printed metal badges!

Soft enamel badges are the most popular type of enamel badges. The material allows for full pantone colour matching and a quality finish at low prices.

In production, the coloured enamel is naturally slightly recessed beneath the surface of the raised metal. The enamel is not soft to the touch, but can be susceptible to scratch or deterioration over time. For a smooth and slightly convex finish, and also for optimum protection against scratch, an epoxy resin coating can be added to the surface.

In contrast, hard enamel badges are made using a higher quality of enamel which will be extremely durable over long periods of time.

With hard enamel  the surface of the badge is polished to a high quality finish, and the surface is highly durable, so there is no need for any resin coating.

Traditional Hard Enamel is a natural substance which has been used in badge making for hundreds of years.

Because traditional hard enamel is a natural substance the range of colours available is limited, and the colours are generally duller than with other materials. The final effect is a very traditional feel.

Imitation (new) hard enamel badges are a more modern alternative for hard enamel. This very popular solution offers the high-quality polished finish and durability of traditional hard enamel, but the enamel can be pantone colour matched. The price is usually lower than hard enamel but higher than soft enamel.

Printed Metal Badges are a slightly different type of badge. No enamel is used in production, instead the artwork is replicated precisely in print. These badges are commonly chosen when it is important to replicate your logo without making any alteration for the die-struck process or when gradients of colour must be included.

Monday, 18 March 2013

What is the difference between woven and embroidered badges?

A question we get asked a lot is “what is the difference between woven and embroidered badges?”

Confusingly, the terms are often sometimes used interchangeably, but in fact they refer to two quite distinct (though similar) types of sew on badge.

The technical difference is that woven badges are made by weaving together fine threads, while embroidered badges are made by stitching thicker threads onto a piece of fabric.

That in itself is not necessarily very interesting. However, the implications are! At least if you are interested in badges they are interesting....

Because embroidered threads are thicker and are stitched onto a piece of fabric, the effect is that the stitching has a raised feel. The raised feel of the stitching means that the end result is considered quite traditional.

To the left is a detail of an embroidered badge showing the raised stitching and traditional feel only possible with embroidery.

By contrast because woven badges are made by weaving threads together rather than stitching to a fabric, the surface of the final badges is very flat and smooth. Additionally because the threads themselves are finer, it is possible to achieve much greater detail than with embroidery.

To the left is detail of a woven badge showing the flat smooth surface and excellent replication of detail – possible because of the fine woven threads.

Because we can also pantone colour match woven threads (embroidery threads cannot be pantone colour matched), woven is a better choice for corporate logos or situations were exact colour replication is critical.

You can order either woven or embroidered badges through the Best Badges website, or email for more information.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

5 reasons why wearing name badges really works

At Best Badges we have been supplying name badges for many years. Ever popular, here are 5 of the biggest reasons that organisations and companies use name badges.

1. Approachability

Name badges don’t need to actually have the words “I’m Here to Help” printed on them. Regardless of the design, they say this loud and clear just by being worn!

Think about it from a customer point of view. If your employees or members are proudly wearing name badges, they are instantly identified as being available to help. Customers are more likely to ask questions and seek advice from people wearing name badges, because the badge immediately signals that the person is there to offer assistance.

2. Professionalism

If your company or organisation does not use a formal uniform, a simple name badge is a great way to ensure that each employee or member still gives a high level of professionalism in appearance.

Wearing a name badge effectively communicates that you are serious about your role, and take pride in your position within the organisation.

3. Inclusion

Wearing name badges is actually more than just about your customers or service users. It is also about having an inclusive ethos about your organisation. If you want your employees to feel as though they are a real part of your organisation and to be proud of their affiliation, name badges are a brilliant solution.

4. Branding

Companies go to enormous expense in managing their corporate branding, and to control and disseminate a particular image of that brand.

Name badges are a key aspect of the branding exercise, because they are worn on the very front line of the customer facing function. There is almost no other customer facing placement of branding to compare to the badges worn by representatives of your organisation, because the positioning is so much to the forefront.

5. Safety

The most basic and practical advantages of name badges is often overlooked. They actually have a very direct safety benefit in the workplace.

In the case of a problem (or a genuine emergency) it is an advantage if it is easy to quickly identify responsible individuals. Especially in an environment which mixes customers with employees, it is important for people to know who to approach in the event of an incident.

Additionally from a security point of view name badges can help identify non-official visitors from authorised members of staff.