Pin it Down
IT’S NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to prepare an article on badges and buttons without at least one reference to flair. Yes, “flair”—a term made famous by the 1991 cult comedy, Office Space. In the movie, Jennifer Aniston plays a long-suffering waitress who gets chided by her boss for not adorning her T.G.I. Friday’s-esque suspenders with enough buttons, or flair. As he explained: “They come to Chotchkie’s for the atmosphere and the attitude. OK? That’s what the flair’s about. It’s about fun.” And with that, flair’s place in the cultural lexicon was secured.
Cut to 2008. With nary a be-buttoned suspender to be found, can a distributor still sell the “it’s a party with a pin” angle? Maybe. But with the facts below coloring a sales pitch, who needs it? These eight are all the flair a distributor needs to sell badges or buttons.
1. Buttons require some fancy handiwork.
For a quick rundown on button creation, according to Dino Bartolomei, vice president at Broadview, Illinois-based Adco Litho Line, the design is printed on paper, then laminated, die-cut, put over a piece of steel (a shell) and finally crimped together with a back that has a pin in it. But with all the steps in the process, and in spite of the finished product’s simple appearance, “There’s labor involved no matter how you do a button. There’s a lot of hand labor,” he affirmed.
2. The shipping news is good for badges.
Most badges are lighter in weight and less substantial than buttons. “Say 1,000 2¼” buttons weigh 32 pounds, that same 1,000 [badges]—relative in the amount of square inches—can weigh 10 pounds. The shipping [costs for badges] is much better,” Bartolomei revealed.
3. Buttons are cost-effective in large amounts.
Overall, he noted, at quantities upwards of 100,000, button costs come way down. They have a greater price reduction because of raw materials used (steel as opposed to plastic), Bartolomei explained.