How to Make Your Election Buttons Stand Out | Special Finish Campaign Buttons Canada March 21 2019
We recently spotted an early 2000's Paul Martin campaign button in the archives of York University, and thought that this would be a good time to talk about special finishes for pins and buttons.
(Image Source: York University)
Although we don't know this for sure, we're pretty-pretty sure that this button was made with dura-lar and gold foil paper. To create buttons with a special finish like this one, we simply print the design on plastic acetate-like sheets that we can layer on top of all different kinds of special papers and foils.
For the golden Paul Martin button, the orange must have been printed on dura-lar, while the text was left blank/white. Once the dura-lar was placed on top of the foil, that eye-catching golden touch was created.
With this method, you can create a bunch of different finishes and effects for your buttons - it'll sure help the voters remember you!
What Is Dura-lar?
Dura-lar is a printable plastic film that works with most printers. When making regular buttons, we print the button designs on regular paper. The paper is placed on top of a metal shell, and on top of the paper we place a little plastic mylar cover before pressing everything together with the pinback.
But when we make special finish buttons, we print the button design on dura-lar and place it on top of the paper. Before printing, we mirror reverse the designs - so that we can place the print "face down". This way the ink ends up on the "back side" of the dura-lar, keeping it safe and protected from wear and tear, wind and weather.
Fun Foils Give Your Button an Eye-Popping Finish
Examples of some foils or specialty papers to use with button making and dura-lar includes:
- Holographic Foils - can make your buttons sparkle, shine and glitter.
- Metallic Foils - can make your buttons shine like gold, silver or bronze.
- Fluorescent Paper - when you're looking for extremely vibrant, neon colours, but your printer can't produce it, fluorescent paper will sure give you a satisfactory result.
- Glow-in-the-Dark Foil - NOW THIS IS FUN! With glow-in-the-dark foil or tape, you can create a design that lights up in the dark.
- Reflective Foil - make your buttons reflect the light! This doesn't just look cool - it can also help car drivers spot pedestrians from far away!
Button Design Tips for Dura-Lar and Special Finish
Designing buttons for dura-lar printing is really fun, and the finished product looks amazing. That being said, they are a trickier to design than buttons printed on regular paper.
Button designs with dura-lar and special paper or foil tend to be most successful when paired with simple clean digital artwork. Black and solid bold colours look great!
Here are some quick tips for making your dura-lar button designs stand out and look their very best:
- Keep your designs simple, with just a few elements and no small details.
- The fewer colours you use, the better.
- Make sure the shapes in your design aren't too small.
- If you play around with negative space, you can create some really cool effects!
- Outline your image with a dark colour for optimal image definition. This picture shows the same mermaid design with two different treatments. The design on the left has a transparent outline which makes it tricky to see the mermaid. The design on the right has a black outline, which makes the mermaid stand out and look extra awesome!