Custom Buttons vs Pins: What Is The Difference?

The differences between custom buttons and pins lie in the material used to make them, their shape and the mechanisms used to secure them.

Quite the mouthful, right? So let's break down what buttons and pins are first to then understand how they differ.

What is a custom button?

A custom button is also known as a pin-back button. It consists of a metal packing with a pin, the printed layer and a clear plastic casing. Their backing can be compared to a safety pin as it can be fastened the same way. You can find an overview of each material layer below:

Custom buttons are usually round and can feature your design printed onto colourful materials. Take a look at this example.

What is a custom pin?

Pins, on the other hand, consist of metal or acrylic and are die cut. That means your design will be stamped out of your chosen material and coloured with enamel paint for a stunning look. Pins also have a different type of clasp as they usually offer less space than a round button. Their packs usually include a pointy needle that can be covered with a metal cap.

The differences between custom buttons and pins

Okay, now that we know what we are dealing with, we can break down the differences between custom buttons and pins:

The material

Custom buttons include a metal backing, a printed vinyl layer and a clear protective front. Pins, on the other hand, can be made from metal or acrylic and are painted with enamel.

The shape

A standard button is usually round and comes in standard sizes. Pins are custom-cut into the shape of your design. This is often referred to as die cut.

The pin-back

Buttons have a fastening mechanism that resembles a safety pin. Custom pins have a smaller two-part clasp: a needle attached to the pin and a separate cap.

The similarities between buttons and pins

While they are very different, there are a few similarities buttons and pins share. Let's explore them.

Custom made

Custom buttons and pins can both be custom-made to feature your design. Whether you want a round button with vinyl printed or an acrylic pin cut into the shape of your logo, these two items are perfect for displaying your design in an eye-catching way.


Custom buttons and pins can be used to add a unique touch to any apparel or accessory. They can be attached to jackets, hats, t-shirts, backpacks and tote bags - making them incredibly versatile! Not only that but they also make great gifts for friends and family. So if you’re looking for something special to give someone this holiday season, custom buttons and pins could be just what you’re looking for.

When to use buttons

Custom buttons often give you more space for your design and are usually cheaper and easier to make than custom pins. Their fastening mechanism makes them easy to attach onto clothing or accessories. When it comes to buying custom buttons over pins, they are ideal for designs that require larger amounts of text or images since they come in standard sizes with plenty of room for your artwork. They can also be used as promotional items such as giveaways at events or conferences due to their affordability and versatility.

When to use pins

Pins are custom-cut, making them a great eye-catcher and perfect for displaying intricate designs. They are also a great way to add an extra element of detail to your apparel or accessories. Pins can be used as statement pieces, whether you want to highlight a special event or show off your logo in style. They are also perfect for adding a unique touch to your clothing or accessory collection.

Ultimately, the choice between custom buttons and pins depends on what you want to display and how much space you need. Knowing the differences between them will help you make the right decision for your project!

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