So you need custom die cast medals for your next sporting or academic event? There are a variety of factors to consider to make certain you receive an excellent looking award medal at a great price. Consider the following when searching for customized die cast award medals.
Custom die cast medals can vary in quality based on the manufacturer. When contemplating a die cast medal’s quality, here are a few important questions:
1. Will the thickness of the medallion equal what was promised, or will the manufacturer decrease the thickness to save on costs? Will the medal feel “substantial” and have considerable weight in accordance with its size?
2. Are the letters and images likely to be clear, crisp and detailed? (Less Clarity can result 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 maker 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 applied to antique gold medals is unacceptable.)
6. Will each medal be poly-bagged and packaged properly?
Next, you will want 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 work with 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 the better. Always ask if the manufacture will keep the die for future use, and if you’ll incur a die charge for future re-orders.
The finish of one’s medal is another factor to consider. The finish and color of your medals depends upon the plating. Most medals can be purchased 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 tend to be more blackened. Also you can have your medals plated in bright gold, silver and bronze where there is no “antique” effect and the final appears bright and shiny overall. Typically, bright finishes cost a bit more.
Including color in your custom die cast medals really can add to the look of them. Medals can be color filled with enamel, but there is yet another charge. This extra charge is usually well worth it, particularly if you’ve got a logo or insignia where you want to maintain branding. You can be surprised how little color adds to the overall cost of your medal.
You have more than likely heard of 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 tend to be more expensive to make, but can really add that extra touch to the overall appearance of one’s custom medal.
Artwork will need to be provided by you, or created by another graphics person, or the manufacturer. Keep in mind that what is black on your medallion artwork is typically raised, and what it white will undoubtedly be recessed. You most likely will be asked to supply digital vector art in virtually any of the next formats: pdf., cdr (Corel Draw),.ai or eps. If you cannot produce your own art, be prepared to pay from $45-$150 per hour for art creation.
Your custom die cast medals are no good unless you receive them on time. Based on where your medals are coming from, be prepared to wait from 3-10 weeks. Most American and Foreign die cast manufacturers sort out dealers and reps that sell direct to the end user. Overseas artisans continually impress making use of 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 plenty of time.