Any advertising works best with a slogan so spend some time thinking of how you want to sell your cause. No doubt all the best ones have been taken, like Jeans for Genes or Save the Whales – but get the thinking caps on and do some barnstorming to come up with the words that you want your badge-buyer to think about. “Buy this Badge to support cardiac disease research” might be accurate, but “Have a Heart” is catchier! Pre-school group? What about “Kindy Capers” or “Kids are Cool”. Your slogan need not tell a full story, but if it’s catchy and has the right buzz-words, it will sell!
Remember you want the words nice and big, so don’t try to cram too many on the badge. Once you have your catchy slogan, don’t spoil it by squeezing too much else on. If you really want to have lots of information, consider having the badge pinned to a card that can contain further details. The key is to get one thought and make it have impact. Resist the temptation to put wording around the edge of the badge. It rarely works well and is more difficult to read. The golden rule is Keep It Simple – if you can get the message through in one glance, you’ve made that little badge pay its way!
Full-colour printing is cheap as chips nowadays, so don’t get caught in restricting the design to the school colours of blue and white. Talk to your badge-maker using the initials CMYK (that’s full colour to the rest of us) and not only will they be impressed, but they may even suggest how best to incorporate your colours in a spiffing design. Yes black and white may have had impact once, but now you have millions of colours to choose from. Try to pick a colour scheme that is going to stand out from the crowd but will be easy to read. The best colours are well contrasted but not dazzling to the eyes -eg don’t choose green wording on a red background.
Don’t scrimp of your badge size. Most button badge makers have at least three sizes to choose from and some have many more (Dandy Button Badges & Magnets in for example has 10 sizes from 25mm to 100mm diameter). Once you have your slogan and your design, don’t hide it! If you are expecting people to part with a dollar or two or five, they will expect value for money. Also, you want your badge to be seen and possibly read from across a room or over a counter, so don’t get too subtle. A common size for fund raising is 55mm diameter. You could go to 75mm, but 90mm is probably getting a bit big (and heavy). The 55mm button is probably the world’s most popular size, big enough to be noticed, small enough not to get caught in a revolving door!
Always leave a few millimetres of space at the edge of your badge so that the words or illustration won’t wrap around the back. If you have a big, bold graphic or logo then use it as long as it doesn’t cloud the meaning of your slogan. Colour backgrounds look great when they “bleed” off the edge of the badge. Imaging how it is going to stand out on someone’s tee shirt or jacket. And whatever you do, don’t add a border around the badge edge. The button is already round and doesn’t need a fence around it! A border will generally detract from the visual image and has the effect of making the badge look smaller.
Once you have decided to get button badges made, work out how many you will need. Don’t just think of selling your buttons to your group or club members, spread the net wide and set a target. Everyone has a local butcher, baker, newsagent, garage etc – they will all LOVE to buy a badge to support your cause. Not only will they feel good helping you, they will be proud to wear it or display it in their business to show how they are donating to the cause! They might even agree to you leaving a small tray of badges on their counter for sale. Like many other manufactured items, button badge prices are usually better priced the more you get. Ordering double the quantity is not going to mean double the cost, as the unit price will fall considerably with quantity. Ask your badge-maker for the best price breaks.
Now that everyone has a computer, graphic design is within the grasp of us all…but be aware, commercial artists do not get paid thousands of dollars for nothing. Producing a good visual graphic is not always as easy as it looks. Maybe someone in your group will have had some art experience, or has a friend in printing or web design. This is not to say you cannot produce a world-beating design yourself using the many computer programs available today, but consider asking advice first. Your badge- maker probably has a design service and they know what will work. Remember you are looking for impact.
Consider how much your fund-raising target is and how you can achieve this. Just because the button cost 50c, it doesn’t mean to say you can’t sell it for two, three or even five dollars. People know they are supporting your cause and will not begrudge the money – especially if they are getting a nice professional looking and colourful badge. Remember – no one throws a badge away. I bet you have a drawer or jar full of them. They are collector’s items after all!
All these tips will come unstuck if you decide at the last minute – so take your time. Best to start planning as early as possible so you can try your slogans out on friends and colleagues and decide on your theme. You’ll also want time to sell your product, rather than trying to get rid of the lot at once. And most of all, you will paying a premium price if you tell your badgemaker you need delivery in three days! At the very least, a badge company is likely to need two weeks to arrange your artwork, make a proof, manufacture your buttons and deliver them to you. You will then need to distribute the badges to members of your organisation who can in turn sell to the end buyers. Take your time, do your planning – and reap the rewards!
Good luck with your fund-raising campaign. And if you have some tips of your own to share, please email them to us so we can include them here.
Laurie Gordon (Laurie is the founder of Dandy Badges & Magnets in Sydney and has been in the badge business since 1976)
Dandy Badges & Magnets, Australia’s biggest producer of badges & magnets, offers state-of-the-art technology in producing name tags and name bars, including the highest quality custom magnets and promotional badges & button badges. With an easy online quote request system and magnets, badges & name bars delivered to your door, Australia wide, Dandy Magnets & Badges prides itself on quality and efficient customer service. For the best online magnets, Badges & Name tag deals place an order today by contacting us or simply requesting a quote online.
Read about the History of Button Badges.