Handcraft Strikes Back: Buttons, Badges, Pins and Clips


Buttons, badges and pins stand for a medium which is often underestimated and not taken seriously. That’s a pity, because designed properly, badges and buttons can effectively communicate ideas to your potential customers and impress them with something creative and beautiful.

In this post we cover some interesting ideas for design of buttons, badges, pins and clips — traditional handcraft which can be attached to cloth, bags, documents and whatever you can think of. You may use them to deliver some idea or message, in web design (e.g. Missy makes use of them) or in the merchandise for promotion purposes.

Not all examples presented below fit to all environments; some of them are more likely to be used in informal environments. You don’t want to have a Bart Simpson screaming at your boss during the job interview, do you? You may want to check out some ideas for laptop sleeves, skins and stickers1 as well.

Why buttons?

Buttons are powerful because they show what is important to the person wearing it, which ideas he or she supports and what kind of a person you are dealing with. Some buttons can make people pass away with a subtle smile, the other ones can send a message to the world, and as such, pose a very powerful medium to explore. Which is why we, designers, can make use of them, packaging ideas in small and “portable” objects of daily life.

So why not surprise your clients by handing in some pretty and creative pins, buttons or stickers one can attach to cloth, bags, laptops or personal documents? In most online-shops you can upload your own designs and produce dozens of buttons at a very cheap price. Therefore we want to focus your attention on the power of buttons and badges and give you some ideas for your future designs.

Buttons and Badges

Toy Robots – pinback buttons2
Robots in the town! And they are pretty sweet, too!

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Toy Robots - pinback buttons3

We steal your mail to keep you safe4
“Just in time for the postal rate increase.” Sometimes, buttons can make something think or laugh. This button may not make any sense, but it is provoking and as such desevers a place in our selection.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - pseudotecnico:blog » Il fotografo della domenica #445

Ampersand button6
If you love ampersands, you’ll love this button, too.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Ampersand7

Bird Talk (Red) badge8
A twittering button for Twitter users. Or maybe talking about birds is one of your favourite subjects?

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Bird Talk (Red) badge9

Cassette Tape buttons10
Cassette Tape for record collectors. You can show what is important to you without saying a word about it.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Cassette Tape buttons11

Angel Tea badge12
“Tea is a gift from the gods. Coffee is a gift from the ninnies.”

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Angel Tea badge13

Simpsons badges14
Badges: good. The Simpsons badges: better.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Simpsons badges15

Buttons for Designers16
Nintendo DS Lite button, Mario, Adobe and… do you recognize the man at the right in the second row?

Pins, Badges and Buttons - IMG_118617

BSW Buttons by ~thagerott18
Pure typography can also be used for badges and buttons.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - BSW Buttons by ~thagerott19

Mozilla and RSS buttons20
The promotion of your products can be done with badges. In the examples below Firefox, Thunderbird and RSS buttons are presented. Well, literally RSS-buttons.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - pseudotecnico:blog » Il fotografo della domenica #4421

Dessert K: Kiwi Jelly22
Mmmmm, tasty! Dessert Kiwi Jelly and Apple Pie. This fruity dessert is really happy. Dessert A-Z button series23 by hakee+ from Hong Kong.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Dessert K: Kiwi Jelly24

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Dessert A: Apple Pie25

Hello Jupiter Four Buttons26
Buttons can also be pretty colorful.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Hello Jupiter Four Buttons27

sketchBot Buttons28
These characters are pretty tough and sweet.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - sketchBot Buttons29

“i love u…” button30
That’s an interesting idea. Two characters communicate via, well, external medium — a piece of thread.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - 31

Pop Labs Buttons32
Pop Labs buttons have the form of a bottle cap.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Pop Labs Buttons33

Pins, Badges and Buttons - New Pop Labs Buttons34

buttons by ~scrape35

Pins, Badges and Buttons - buttons by ~scrape36


Pins, Badges and Buttons - Love38


Pins, Badges and Buttons - badges40

Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel Buttons41

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel Buttons42

Bota Fora Goma!43
Buttons have a form of a cloth button.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Bota Fora Goma!44

Pins, Badges and Buttons - My buttons available @ Prickie45

Space Invader badges46
Space Invaders are coming back. Pixel art can be used for badges as well.


Geek Set48
Have you even been in love with the square root?

Pins, Badges and Buttons - My buttons available @ Prickie49

Uber Geek Badges50
Have you even been in loved with the square root?

Pins, Badges and Buttons - My buttons available @ Prickie51

Empressr Buttons52
Icons can communicate ideas in your design projects. They can communicate ideas through your buttons as well.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Empressr Buttons53

1 + 1 = 254
Well, that’s kind of clear, but cute also.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - : buttons55

Stencil Graffiti Button Set – Star Wars Fighters56
Grunge and Graffiti art applied to buttons design.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Stencil Graffiti Button Set - Star Wars Fighters57

Bookworm buttons58
Sending the message in the office.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Bookworm buttons59

TV Dinner Monster Pins60

Pins, Badges and Buttons - TV Dinner Monster Pins61

Skull Rock 6-Pack62
Skulls don’t have to be scary. They can be sweet, too.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - (Another) ☠ ★ Skull Rock 6-Pack ★ ☠63

Hand-drawn Buttons64

Pins, Badges and Buttons - hand drawn 165

Fabric buttons66

Pins, Badges and Buttons - fabric buttons67

Spock pins68
Made from 1960s Star Trek comic book.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - spock pins69

Cassette Badge Sets70

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Cassette Badge Sets71

Pop art collage. “Get on your knees and confess”.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - ajoelha73

Birthday Surprise!74

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Birthday Surprise!75

New Pocket Mirrors!76

Pins, Badges and Buttons - New Pocket Mirrors!77

Radial Pattern buttons78

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Radial Pattern buttons79

Toilet Paper Buttons80
Hm, this is an unusual theme for buttons design. But that’s exactly what makes them different. We don’t know what is the idea behind, though.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - : buttons81

DeathGob Badges82

Pins, Badges and Buttons - DeathGob Badges83


Pins, Badges and Buttons - DSCN293285

Filter017 Pins86

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Filter017 Pins87

origami badges88

Pins, Badges and Buttons - origami badges89

I Love Pirates button90

Pins, Badges and Buttons - I Love Pirates button91

Hey Cupcake! pinback buttons92

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Hey Cupcake! pinback buttons93

Mi prima Carnal94
Love is in the air. And on your button.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Mi prima Carnal95

Reading is Sexy button96

Pins, Badges and Buttons - DSCN2390-97

Proud to be green98
Simple, nice and clean pattern on greenish buttons.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - DSCF015399

Sweet Skull 6-Pack100
Unusual design: these pinback buttons with Japanese skulls and sweets on silver and red shiny, sparkly hologram papers.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - ★ Sweet Skull 6-Pack ★101

Rob Jan’s “Fantastique” badge cloak102
This is the back of a Star Trek Klingon patterned Science Fiction and Fantasy trophy cloak. This view shows the back and two side panels fully deployed. All of the badges are either drawn in the computer, obtained on line or hand drawn and painted by Rob Jan. Impressive.

Pins, Badges and Buttons - ROB JAN'S 103


bt2 pincushion104

Pins, Badges and Buttons - bt2 pincushion105

old pin cushion106

Pins, Badges and Buttons - old pin cushion107

pin cushion 2108

Pins, Badges and Buttons - pin cushion 2109


Pins, Badges and Buttons - Pincushions111

Le Ragazzine112

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Le Ragazzine113


Pins, Badges and Buttons - Buttons115

Blossom badges122116

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Blossom badges117

Petit Petisserie118

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Petit Pâtisserie119

Warm ‘n Fuzzy Flower Buttons120

Pins, Badges and Buttons - - Warm 'n Fuzzy - .: Flower Buttons:.121

Blossom badges122116

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Blossom badges123

drought relief – felt art124

Pins, Badges and Buttons - drought relief - felt art125

‘Strawberry Sundae’ wall art126

Pins, Badges and Buttons - 'Strawberry Sundae' wall art127

Crafting 365, day 173 – pink teacups128

Pins, Badges and Buttons - Crafting 365, day 173 - pink teacups129

Last Click

Bee buttons130

Pins, Badges and Buttons - bee buttons131

Cupcake buttons132

Pins, Badges and Buttons - cupcake buttons133

Plates of tarts134

Pins, Badges and Buttons - plates of tarts135

Sources and Resources


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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    I never really paid much attention to button design before. But now that I see the samples you provided; it would be a great way to market your brand/identity/self! I think I may just look into creating some buttons for myself. Thanks :)

  2. 52

    Some really cool button badges on show in this article. If anyone happens to have the time and a slight interest check out my button badge website at badgebeast.co.uk

    Designing and making button badges is our passion and i love everything that goes into a good considered design. Some awesome ideas here, think the radial ones make a real impact.

    Thanks for the article.


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