One of the most rewarding parts of completing an event or participating in a competition is getting an impressive award for your efforts. It can be a constant physical reminder of your accomplishments, which is why many people display their favorite, most important ones for years after.
With that in mind, you definitely want to avoid being known as the event director who gives out uninspiring or poor-quality medals. Or, even worse, the event director who hands out no medals at all because they didn't get done in time.
To reduce the stress centered around the medals for your event, check out these five mistakes event directors make when designing custom medals—and how to avoid them.
1. Not Starting the Design Process Early Enough
It seems obvious, but this happens far too often. If you don't allow enough time for the design process, then you'll either have to sacrifice quality or pay extra for faster turnaround and delivery times to accelerate the process and hit your deadlines. So, start early and leave time for the revision process!
2. Try to Design the Custom Medal on Their Own
Let's face it—you're probably not an expert in custom medal design, and that's okay!
In fact, when people try to design their own medal, they end up cramming too much in the space provided, lacking a sense of hierarchy, focal point, and negative space.
You don't have to create the unique artwork or piece together the complete design of your medal on your own. The best results happen when you provide clear direction to a medal vendor that specializes in the design of custom medals and awards.
3. Overlook the Advice of Medal Design Experts
You can rely on medal design experts - they know what works best and are familiar with medal production capabilities and specifications.
Even if you have a background in graphic design, the rules are completely different for creating designs for print versus metal materials, and they rarely translate. For best results, seek the advice of medal design experts.
4. Design by Committee
A common mistake is getting input from too many people and accommodating everyone's wishes. While a noble idea, it's often counter-productive. The adage of "too many cooks in the kitchen" may apply.
Design by committee can lead to conflicting ideas about your design, unnecessary revisions, and delays. People won't agree on what they like, and you'll go crazy trying to please everyone. Appoint a single person to make design decisions and let that designated person handle them.
5. Fail to Realize How Features Impact Cost
You might come into the project with brilliant ideas, a color scheme you love, and a preferred material like metal or acrylic.
However, if you're not aware of how things like size, weight, shipping, quantity, and ribbon style affect the cost, then you're probably in for a rude awakening. Start with a budget in mind to help you make the best design decisions for your unique award!
Ultimately, Knowledge Is Power
Most mistakes come from a lack of knowledge and understanding, and this concept applies to designing custom medals as well. People make assumptions about how the process works and how they want the medal to look without ever speaking to an expert. This can lead to poor design quality, budgeting nightmares, delayed orders, and overall disappointment.
You absolutely don't want your participants or sponsors to feel underwhelmed by the medal because there's a chance they won't come back again. Start early and rely on the custom medal experts to walk you through the ordering and design process.