I’ve been shopping around for product manufacturers for donor rewards for the upcoming Kickstarter. One of the big-ticket rewards will be OACET badges. I’ve been looking for vendors who can make badges which look as authentic as possible. Ideally, they would be the same quality, size, and weight as traditional law enforcement badges.
Problem #1: Can’t use a traditional law enforcement badge company. There are many companies that offer badge templates, and you can just plug-and-play with an organization’s information. However, these companies won’t sell to anyone who isn’t an authorized representative of a law enforcement agency. I’m not about to test this, and I’m certainly not about to offer a product as a Kickstarter reward and then find I can’t deliver on it.
Problem #2: Most alternative custom “badge” designers offer shoddy products. Think gumball machine sheriff stars. Woo.
Problem #3: YOUR WORKMANSHIP IS BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD. Let me show you what happened when I approached some alternative custom badge designers which offered slightly higher-end products. This is the original design I sent to them:
This is what I received from one company:
A second example from another company:
I received a few more of these from various vendors. They are all nothing but the original art with some form of Photoshop treatment.
I was almost ready to junk the badge idea, but every so often you find a company that can deliver:
This last sample came from a jeweler’s company in Maryland who does custom decorative work for state and federal law enforcement. The final design will be tooled in 3D, cast as a die, and then reverse casts will be made. I’m hoping the Kickstarter goes over its cap, because one of the stretch goals would be to get challenge coins made, and this company does fantastic commemorative coins.