Getting Started Guide | Enamel Metal Pins

If you've made the decision to create custom pins for your company's branding and promotional needs, you've come to the right place! Below are all of the most common questions and answers regarding custom pins. If you have additional questions you'd like help with, or are ready for a custom quote, please send us an inquiry.

Metal Pin Types

  • Soft Enamel
  • Hard Enamel
  • Printed (no enamel)
  • Full Metal (no enamel)

What is the difference between soft and hard enamel?

The short answer is soft enamel has recessed enamel, while hard enamel is polished flat. Both are made from the same mold and the detail achieved is the same - they simply have different looks.

If you rub your thumb over soft enamel pin you will feel the metal ridges. Whereas if you rub your thumb over a hard enamel lapel pin (also known as cloisonné lapel pin) it will feel smooth and you will not feel the metal borders/ridges.

Why might I want a printed pin (instead of enamel)?

A printed pin is a great option when your design details are too small to be made with metal, or if there is a color gradient that you want visible. We add an epoxy coating to the top of printed pins.

What are my metal options?

  • Gold
  • Rose Gold
  • Antique Gold
  • Silver
  • Antique Silver
  • Black Nickel
  • Dyed Black (only soft enamel)

* If you're looking for another metal not listed, please contact your sales representative.

How thin can metal outlines be?

Using the stroke tool in Adobe Illustrator, the thinnest an outline can be is 0.15

What colors can I choose from on my pin?

We match to Solid Coated Pantones only. Please see our Pantone Color Chart if you need assistance with your color choice: https://waysandmeans.global/pantone-color-chart/

Can I have more than 1 pin backing?

Yes, this is entirely your choice, but we suggest adding a second backing to any pin that is longer than 1.25” in any one direction. Having a second pin backing will prevent the pin from rotating.

What is the production time?

14 business days (Monday-Friday), plus ship time from Portland, OR.

Getting Started Guide | Keychains

If you've made the decision to create custom keychains for your company's branding and promotional needs, you've come to the right place! Below are all of the most common questions and answers regarding custom keychains. If you have additional questions you'd like help with, or are ready for a custom quote, please send us an inquiry.

What types of keychains are available?

  • Metal with Enamel
  • Full Metal (no enamel)
  • PVC/Rubber
  • Leather

What are my metal options?

  • Gold
  • Rose Gold
  • Silver
  • Black Nickel

How thin can outlines be?

Using the stroke tool in Adobe Illustrator, the thinnest an outline can be is 0.15

What colors can I choose from for my keychain?

We match to Solid Coated Pantones only. Please see our Pantone Color Chart if you need assistance with your color choice: https://waysandmeans.global/pantone-color-chart/

What is the production time?

14 business days (Monday-Friday), plus ship time from Portland, OR.

Getting Started Guide | Lanyards

If you've made the decision to create custom lanyards for your company's branding and promotional needs, you've come to the right place! Below are all of the most common questions and answers regarding custom lanyards. If you have additional questions you'd like help with, or are ready for a custom quote, please send us an inquiry.

What are the standard options for lanyards?

All of our lanyards are priced with the following options included:

  • Double Sided Print
  • Black Plastic Clip Attachment
  • Black Nickel Keyring

What colors can I choose from for my lanyard?

Lanyards are made with a 4-color process, which means we print exactly from artwork proof. Artwork colors (Pantones) do not need to be called out and color gradients can be printed.

What is the production time?

14 business days (Monday-Friday), plus ship time from Portland, OR.

 

Getting Started Guide | Patches

If you've made the decision to create custom patches for your company's branding and promotional needs, you've come to the right place! Below are all of the most common questions and answers regarding custom patches. If you have additional questions you'd like help with, or are ready for a custom quote, please send us an inquiry.

Patch Types

  • Fully Embroidered
  • Twill Embroidered
  • Woven

Why would I choose a woven patch vs a fully (or twill) embroidered patch?

A woven patch is a great option for a very detailed design or small typography. A woven patch has a different look because it uses a thinner thread, similar to a woven label. It provides cleaner lines and a flatter look when compared to an embroidered patch that has a 3D lift to the fabric.

What is the difference between a merrow border or a regular (stitch) border?

Also referred to as an overlock stitch, a merrow border is the thicker woven edge that creates a border on many embroidered patches. Not only does a merrow border add a great look to many patches, it also provides longer durability and the best possible protection against shredding.

This type of border can only be applied on simple shaped patches. For patches that have a more intricate shape, the edge is embroidered and is then cut as close as possible to this edge, using thermal, hot cut technique. Click here to see examples of both types of borders.

Why choose heat seal adhesive backing?

The heat seal adhesive (also known as iron-on), you have the choice of sewing your patches on, but also the flexibility of being able to use a heat press or iron to seal the patches onto your apparel or accessory.

How small can text be?

Text can be no smaller than 4mm for CAPITAL letters,

What colors can I choose from on my patch?

We match to Solid Coated Pantones only. Please see our Pantone Color Chart if you need assistance with your color choice: https://waysandmeans.global/pantone-color-chart/

What is the production time?

14 business days (Monday-Friday), plus ship time from Portland, OR.

Getting Started Guide | Woven Labels

If you've made the decision to create custom woven labels for your company's branding and promotional needs, you've come to the right place! Below are all of the most common questions and answers regarding custom labels. If you have additional questions you'd like help with, or are ready for a custom quote, please send us an inquiry.

Custom Label Types

  • 50 Denier Damask Woven Label
  • 100 Denier Damask Woven Label
  • Satin Woven Label
  • Printed Label – satin, cotton, tyvek, or nylon

Label Fold Types

  • Straight Cut
  • End Fold
  • Center Fold
  • Manhattan Fold
  • Miter Fold

What is the difference between 100 Denier and 50 Denier Woven Label?

100 Denier is an industry standard while the 50 Denier is considered to be a higher quality because it has a better clarity and is softer to the touch.

Why might I choose a satin woven label?

Available in black, white, or off-white backgrounds, satin woven labels have a unique sheen that other clothing labels do not. Satin clothing tags are frequently used for formal wear and women’s apparel.

Why might I choose a printed label?

Printed labels are a great choice for very detailed artwork, as well as for customers looking for a more natural look, i.e. cotton printed labels.

How small can text be?

Text can be no smaller than 2mm for CAPITAL letters,

What colors can I choose from for my custom label?

We match to Solid Coated Pantones only. Please see our Pantone Color Chart if you need assistance with your color choice: https://waysandmeans.global/pantone-color-chart/

What is the production time?

10 business days (Monday-Friday), plus ship time from Portland, OR.

 

Getting Started Guide | Air Fresheners

If you've made the decision to create custom air fresheners for your company's branding and promotional needs, you've come to the right place! Below are all of the most common questions and answers regarding custom air fresheners. If you have additional questions you'd like help with, or are ready for a custom quote, please send us an inquiry.

Can my air freshener be any shape?

Yes, we can die cut your air freshener to any shape you’d like

What type of packaging is included with my air freshener?

Each air freshener will come individually packaged and sealed in a plastic bag the size of your air freshener.

Do you offer customer packaging?

Yes, we offer custom packaging, including adding a customer cardstock header. Please ask your sales representative for complete details and pricing.

What scents can I choose from?

Our standard scents include:

  • APPLE

  • PEACH

  • LEMON

  • ORANGE

  • STRAWBERRY

  • GRAPE

  • MELON

  • MANGO

  • COCONUT

  • CHERRY

  • GRAPEFRUIT

  • APRICOT

  • BANANA

  • VIOLET

  • LILAC

  • JASMINE

  • GREEN TEA

  • ROSE

  • VANILLA

  • COFFEE

  • PINE

  • SQUASH

WE CAN ALSO CUSTOM BLEND THESE SCENTS FOR A UNIQUE OPTION TO YOUR ACCESSORY LINE.

 

 

Getting Started Guide | Hang Tags

If you've made the decision to create custom hang tags for your clothing line, you've come to the right place! Below are all of the most common questions and answers regarding custom hang tags. If you have additional questions you'd like help with, or are ready for a custom quote, please send us an inquiry.

What are the standard options for hang tags?

All of our hang tags are priced with the following options included:

•    18 point card stock
•    Metal Grommet
•    String Attachment
•    Safety Pin Attachment

What colors can I choose from on my hang tag?

We match to Solid Coated Pantones only. Please see our Pantone Color Chart if you need assistance with your color choice: https://waysandmeans.global/pantone-color-chart/

What are my metal options for the grommet?

•    Gold
•    Silver
•    Black Nickel

What paper colors and paper weights do you offer?

We offer a wide range of colors and weights. Please speak to your sales representative if there is a specific color you would like to match. Our standard paper weight is 18pt stock.

Can you print double sided?

Yes, we can print double sided for a 10% price upgrade

What about embossed or debossed printing?

Yes, we can emboss or deboss your design, as well as incorporate printed features as well.

What types of strings and safety pins can I use?

We offer a wide range of strings and safety pins that all come in a variety of colors. Please speak to your sales representative if there is a specific type you would like to use for your hang tag.

What is the production time?

14 business days (Monday-Friday), plus ship time from Portland, OR.

Are there expedited options?

Yes, for $150 we can expedite your pin order in 6-7 business days (Monday-Friday), plus ship time from Portland, OR.

Emblematics | Embroidered Patch Art Show

Emroidered Patch Portland

from the PDX Monthly....

Used to cover holes in a sleeve, emblazon “John” on a uniform, or proudly portray a love for the Misfits across the back of a denim jacket, embroidered patches have long been an important part of fashion for functional and aesthetic reasons.

Todd Richardson, owner of local company Ways & Means, produces top-notch woven labels and patches for designers of all sorts, and knows how important patches have become to us on a personal level. “I had recently created some patches for other artists, and had this idea to try and make an art show around them. But I wasn’t quite sure how to bring it to life,” he says about the impetus for Emblematics, an art show on display at Yanagida Projects.

Richardson bought on local artist Adam Garcia and his company the Pressure to recruit 18 artists to each design an embroidered patch that represented something important to them. “Embroidered patches have traditionally been used to signify roles, status and organization—always rife with symbolism,” Garcia says. The idea of Emblematics is for each artist to create a new, custom patch that explores a personal story, to represent how artists communicate through symbols, explore catharsis, and project those stories into the public.”

Pulling together artists from around the nation–including Grammy-nominated Eric Timothy Carlson, Stacey Rozich, Erik Marinovich, Dan Christopherson, Thomas Bradley, and Nishat Akhtar–the show will feature custom patches, and the personal stories behind them. Each patch, manufactured locally in Portland by Ways & Means, is available for purchase, as well as a handful of custom satin varsity jackets, with each of the artist’s patches already applied.

Garcia shares the story of his own patch in a preview of the show: “Time is an ocean, slowly crashing waves against our shores. And it can erode our sense of self as experiences, moments; life can shift our own ideas of who we are. My last year has met a lot of change, a slow tide that has reached a point where I realized I needed to challenge my definitions of what I am, and what I’m supposed to be. The triangle, held by the hand, is the alchemical symbol for water, held in an askew peace sign. This patch is a reminder to find comfort living in the liminal, diving headfirst into change, and embracing formlessness. Like water.”

Embroidered Patch Jacket Portland

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The Emblematic Art Show happen on June 9, 2017, at our sister store, Yanagida Projects. With the success of the first event, we definitely plan on a similar event in the near future. We'll keep you posted!

Custom Caps and Beanies

Check out some of the latest custom headwear we've created for our clients.

Our PDX cap is an unstructured snapback with a custom applique sewn onto the front. We created the Polo Lounge snapbacks for the Beverly Hills Hotel. The 5 panel hats have custom front embroidery, custom metal logo pieces adhered to the sides, as well as custom leather snapbacks. The final cap shown is a real leather 5 panel snapback with custom 3D front embroidery.

The weather may be warming up, but beanies are a great accessory year round. We offer very competitive pricing with a range of color and customization options, such as leather patches, embroidery, metal, and custom labels.

Contact us today for a custom quote.

 

Metal Options for Pins & Other Metal Products

Ways & Means offers a variety of high quality metal options for every type of lapel pin and other metal products. Below is a selection of recent pins we've produced to provide sample images of the types of metals you can consider for your next branding project.

Contact us for a complimentary quote!

Soft Enamel vs. Hard Enamel Pins

A common question we receive when a customer is interested in designing a metal pin is what's the difference between hard and soft enamel.

The short answer is soft enamel has recessed enamel, while hard enamel is polished flat. Both are made from the same mold and the detail achieved is the same - they simply have different looks.

Soft Enamel

When creating a soft enamel pin, the enamel is laid in the recessed areas and put through ovens to bake the enamel hard. The enamel is only added once in this process which means when dry, the enamel clings to the edges and recessed below the metal die line (that stops the enamels from mixing). This creates a dimensional look, meaning the paint is at a lower level than the metal borders surrounding each color. If you rub your thumb over your custom soft enamel pin you will feel the metal ridges.

Hard Enamel

For hard enamel pins, not only is the enamel added over several times raising the enamel higher, it is heated at a very high temperature to harden and cure the enamel. It is then polished smooth so it can be at the same level as the metal die lines. If you rub your thumb over a hard enamel lapel pin (also known as cloisonné lapel pin) it will feel smooth and you will not feel the metal borders/ridges.

If you are interested in creating a custom metal pin, please contact us today. Our sales representatives can help you decide what type of pin is best for your design.

Client Spotlight | Imaginary Foundation

Who: Imaginary Foundation | San Francisco, CA

Background: From the Imaginary Foundation website: "The Imaginary Foundation is a think tank from Switzerland that does experimental research on new ways of thinking and the power of the imagination. They hold dear a belief in human potential and seek progress in all directions. The small clandestine team is headed up by the mysterious "Director," a 70-something über-intellectual whose father founded the Dadaist movement."

Product: Referred to us by a previous customer, Imaginary Foundation was looking to develop metal pins to correspond with their existing soft goods collection. They submitted a Venn Diagram style print to be made using soft enamel. After the first sample was created, we reviewed the results with the client and we decided to make a few changes. We went back to the drawing board, and the final result was a perfectly designed soft enamel pin that came packaged on a custom printed header in an individual plastic zip bag.

Verdict: The ability to sample prior to full production provides customers the assurance that they will always receive the perfect product that they envisioned. It's not uncommon that a digital design looks different when it's transformed into a metal pin, or other branding product. Have confidence that when you work with Ways & Means, you will always be satisfied with the item you order. Contact us today for more information!

Choosing a Fold or Cut for Your Woven Label

There are 5 common types of folds or cuts that you will want to consider when creating the woven label that's best for you and your brand. Ways & Means provides the highest quality high density damask woven labels available on the market.

Straight Cut Woven Label

Extremely versatile, a straight cut label has no fold at all and can be sewn just about anywhere on a garment. Typically a straight cut label is sewn on all four sides, however it can also be sewn on only the left and right sides, or top of the label because all edges have been heat sealed to prevent fraying.

Center Fold Woven Label

Center Fold woven labels are creased in the center and sewn into a seam. The crease in the center helps the label lie flat and simple care and content information can be included on the back of the label to serve dual purposes, if desired. Sometimes referred to as loop labels as well, however, loop labels do not have a firm center crease.

End Fold Woven Label

An end fold woven label provides an elegant way to add a branding label that does not need to be sewn into a seam. The end folds eliminate the corners of the label for a soft, itch-free result. Wide and skinny is the most common shape for an end fold woven label.

Manhattan Fold Woven Label

Manhattan fold woven labels are almost exclusively used for hem tags. The extra fold on the top edge eliminates exposed corners, for the cleanest look and softest feel. The fold in the center can be creased or looped, depending on the thickness of the fabric.

Mitre Fold Woven Label

A mitre fold woven label has each end folded up, creating two tabs that can be sewn into a seam. After applied, the label hangs down on the tabs and can double as a hook loop. Mitre folds labels work best with a short and wide logo.

If you have further questions about woven labels, please send us an inquiry.

Woven Label Fold Types

Woven Label Samples by Ways & Means

Client Spotlight | Joe King Art

Who: Joe King Art | Orange County, CA

Background: Joe King has a vast repertoire which includes illustrated and commercial art. Native to Southern California, he grew up skating the streets of Long beach and it’s surrounding cities. School was always an uphill battle, but after only a few semesters at his local junior college it became apparent that illustration and design were going to become his career. Since 2005 Joe has been working with iconic brands such as Crooks N Castles and OBEY, as well as forming his own company, Rook.

Product: When Joe first approached us to make custom metal pins, we were up for the challenge. The unique, and incredibly detailed artwork that Joe was creating, was like nothing Ways & Means had produced before. The first round of soft enamel pins, turned out perfectly, and since then we've created an array of both hard enamel and soft enamel pins, as well as embroidered patches.

Verdict: Don't let details sway your opinion about the branding product you would like to design. Sometimes with just a few small changes, or maybe none at all, even the most unusual and abstract designs can be transformed into a small metal pin, or other interesting product. Contact us for more info if you have a design you'd like to make today. 

What is a Woven Overlock Stitch?

If you are purchasing a custom embroidered patch, chances are you will hear the term "woven overlock stitch." Also referred to as a merrow border, a woven overlock stitch is the thicker woven edge that creates a border on many embroidered patches.

Not only does a woven overlock stitch typically create a better looking patch, it also provides longer durability and the best possible protection against shredding.

The only disadvantage to this type of border, is that you can only apply a woven overlock stitch on simple shaped patches. Here are some examples of both types of embroidered patches.

Embroidered Patches with a Woven Overlock Stitch

Embroidered Patches without a Woven Overlock Stitch

As you can see from the examples above, a clean edge is still possible on a patch without a Woven Overlock Stitch, it simply has a different look. For patches that have a more intricate shape, the edge is made using the same embroidery technique which is used to embroider the design. The patch is then cut as close as possible to this edge using thermal, hot cut technique.

Please contact us for further information on custom embroidered patches. Your sales representative will be able to determine all of your options to turn your idea into a beautifully made, custom patch!

Client Spotlight | Routine Baseball

Who: Routine Baseball | Franklin, WI

Background: Routine Baseball is a baseball-focused, lifestyle apparel brand, founded by people who have a passion for the game and wanted a high-quality brand that accurately represented the culture. Routine provides baseball gear for players to rep off the field, as well as clothing and accessories for the average, baseball-loving guy and gal.

Product: Routine Baseball has been working with Ways & Means for over three years, mainly focusing on their custom woven label and woven patch needs. Most recently however, we have produced a series of metal pendants that fit perfectly with the baseball lifestyle culture of the company.  Using thick, 3mm antique silver metal, three different designs were etched into the pendants. One particularly unique design was a “friendship” style necklace that came split in two with separate matching ball chains.  

Verdict: Custom metal items provide a unique branding opportunity for clients looking to standout from the crowd. Add custom packaging, like Routine Baseball, and you have a complete package that can be sold at retail shops everywhere.

Custom Metal Pendant Necklace
Custom Metal Pendant
Metal Pendant with Custom Packaging

Client Spotlight | Burnside Knives

Who: Burnside Knives | Portland, OR

Background: Burnside Knives creates essential tools for outdoor enthusiasts and working professionals. They source the highest quality materials for their knives and pride themselves on providing something you can be proud to own and carry. Burnside Knives looks to the future with an eye on the past. Each product they design draws from their roots. Dedicated to each customer, Burnside Knives are built to last.

Product: Burnside Knives came to Ways & Means to manufacture custom snapbacks. They decided on a black mesh-back hat with custom features throughout. Their front logo was done in both 3D puff embroidery and standard embroidery. The inside cap includes a custom woven label with company details, as well as custom printed taping with “Knife Vibes” woven throughout. The final touch was a small custom label for the back snapback to tie everything together.

Verdict: Custom snapbacks allow for multiple branding opportunities. From the front embroidery and woven labels to the inside cap features, Burnside Knives developed a great looking hat that matches the overall feel of their company.