So you need custom die cast medals for the next sporting or academic event? There are numerous of factors to consider to be sure you receive a great looking award medal at an excellent price. Consider the following when shopping for customized die cast award medals.
Custom die cast medals may differ in quality depending on manufacturer. When contemplating a die cast medal’s quality, here are some important questions:
1. Will the thickness of the medallion equal that which was promised, or will the manufacturer decrease the thickness to save lots of on costs? Will the medal feel “substantial” and have considerable weight relative to its size?
2. Are the letters and images going to be clear, crisp and detailed? (Less Clarity can derive from a rubber “spin cast” mold)
3. Will the buffing and plating be consistent across all medals?
4. On antique finishes, will the medallion’s edges be buffed, or will the manufacturer cut corners by leaving all of the edges blackened.
5. Will the ribbons/neckbands be attached with clips and jump rings that match the medal’s plating? (For instance, polished gold jump rings used on antique gold medals is unacceptable.)
6. Will each medal be poly-bagged and packaged properly?
Next, you will need to evaluate the medals manufacturing process. Custom medallions are usually liquid cast in a steel mold or die. You will typically incur a die charge. Medallions cast in steel molds/dies show amazing detail and quality. Beware of companies that use a disposable rubber mold (spin cast) which decreases mold/die charges and overall costs but produces a less detailed medallion. Rubber molds can be a very cost-effective alternative for simple medals and quick deadlines, however if your medals have detailed imagery and art, a steel die is a good. Always ask if the manufacture could keep the die for future use, and when you will incur a die charge for future re-orders.
The finish of your medal is another factor to consider. The finish and color of your medals depends on the plating. Most medals can be found in antique gold, silver and bronze. Antique finishes will be the most popular. A typical antique finish is where raised areas of your medal show a far more bright or shiny appearance, and the low relief areas are more blackened. You can also have your medals plated in bright gold, silver and bronze where there is no “antique” effect and the finish appears bright and shiny overall. Typically, bright finishes cost a bit more.
Including color in your custom die cast medals can really add to the look of them. Medals can be color filled up with enamel, but there is an additional charge. This extra charge is usually well worth it, especially if you have a logo or insignia where you intend to maintain branding. You can be surprised how little color adds to the overall cost of one’s medal.
You have more than likely heard about 2D versus 3D custom cast award medals. Two dimensional custom medals maintain 2 or even more flat plains or levels. Frequently, a 2D medal has a low recessed level and an elevated higher flat level (raised text). Three D or 3 Dimensional medals have variations or graduations in levels making images look more realistic. 3D Molds are more expensive to make, but really can add that extra touch to the entire appearance of your custom medal.
Artwork should be provided by you, or created by another graphics person, or the manufacturer. Keep in mind that what is black on your own medallion artwork is normally raised, and what it white will be recessed. You most likely will be asked to provide digital vector art in virtually any of the following formats: pdf., cdr (Corel Draw),.ai or eps. If you fail to produce your own art, expect to pay from $45-$150 per hour for art creation.
Your custom die cast medals are no good if you don’t receive them on time. Depending on where your medals are coming from, be prepared to wait from 3-10 weeks. Most American and Foreign die cast manufacturers work through dealers and reps that sell direct to the finish user. Overseas artisans continually impress with their focus on detail and quality at unmatched pricing, and North American manufacturers can be great at meeting quick turnaround deadlines and requiring lower minimums. Give yourself the required time.