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Die Struck Pins Artwork Guidelines

Die struck artwork needs to be submitted in vector format, with no overlapping lines, and with a metal border between all colors.

It is critical that you either convert all fonts (type) to outlines whenever possible, or include the fonts with your file. Not doing this will result in a delay to your order as we will request that you resubmit art with the fonts outlined or included.

When designing art for die struck pins, it's important to keep several factors in mind:

  • If you have lettering, it may be too small (depending on how small and detailed the font is) to be made into a pocket and filled with enamel. In these cases it is better to make the lettering raised metal, or to create a raised area where colored letters can be screen printed on afterward.
  • It's also critical that there is a metal border in between colors. To maintain the strength of the die while your pins are being struck, we suggest that the metal border between colors be at the very least .010" and closer to .012".
  • Lastly, when designing art, be sure that there are no overlapping lines. Overlapping lines will corrupt your design when the die is being machined by our equipment.

Here’s an example of the die struck art design process...

When using Illustrator, it's important to press Ctrl+Y, which will change your view from Preview Mode to Outline Mode (press Ctrl+Y again to toggle back to Preview Mode.) This will show you the underlying structure of your art, which is what we use when machining your die.

Die Struck Pin Artwork Guideline 1

In this example art, it becomes obvious in Preview Mode that there are several issues. First, there is no separation between the colors. As no metal borders have been designed into the art, there is no way to separate the colors from each other. Also, the text is in a serif font and is too small and detailed to be made into pockets where white or black enamel could be used to fill in color.

Die Struck Pin Artwork Guideline 2

When we look at the art in Outline Mode, we see that in addition to issues above, there is also a problem with overlapping lines at the top and bottom of the hockey sticks.

Die Struck Pin Artwork Guideline 3

When overlapping lines are corrected, the Preview Mode image looks no different from before.

Die Struck Pin Artwork Guideline 4

However, it is clear from the Outline Mode view that much work has been done to eliminate the overlapping areas. But there is still much work to be done to create a die from this art. The fonts will need to be changed to make the text work in a die, and borders need to be created between all colors.

Die Struck Pin Artwork Guideline 5

Finally, we have an example of this art having been fully corrected in its design in order to be die struck. As you can see, the font is less detailed and is now raised metal instead of colored enamel fill. And there are now pockets for each color and borders between different colors.

Die Struck Pin Artwork Guideline 6

Here, you see the final art in Outline Mode, showing the end result of all of the work.