Badge Design

Badge Design

Badge  Design
Badges are things that you acquire without meaning to. Millions made each year, and for anyone looking for a cheap cn' cheerful collectable, badges fit the bill beautifully. But how do you choose which to collect?

Maybe the best way is to sort through those you already have to see if some kind of theme is emerging. Many people like to buy a souvenir badge when they visit a famous place. Not only do these make a fascinating collection, they are a constant reminder of happy jaunts.

Museums, theme parks, zoos, stately homes, places of interest, seaside resorts, even theatres, sell badges. If you're interested in the stage, a collection of badges commemorating famous shows would be unusual, and would surely increase in value. Lloyd Webber musicals such as Phantom of the Opera and Cats have commemorative badges for sale at the box office.

Perhaps you're a member of a club. Most societies want their members to identify each other, so whether you collect stamps, breed rabbits, grow cacti or keep tropical fish, you have probably been issued with a club badge.

Badge  Design

In the 1920s thousands of children joined the Wilfredian League of Gugnuncs, a 'secret society' inspired by the Daily Mails cartoon characters Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.

The thirties had them flocking to join the Ovaltineys League, while the fifties saw the growth of the News Chronicle I-Spy Tribe, ruled over by Big Chief I-Spy himself. All these clubs had badges.

Holiday camps such as Butlins and Warners used to run clubs for both adults and children, and pass badges were issued which permitted holiday-makers to use the bar or pool.

Advertising badges are another large field and should be free - manufacturers are only too eager for their products to be publicised. Exhibitions and trade fairs are the best places to obtain these. Or how about cartoon characters?

They would make an interesting collection, especially if you could get hold of badges depicting characters which aren't so popular now, such as Felix the Cat, Roland Rat or Andy Pandy.

Badge  Design
Another idea is to collect badges with your own name on. Gift shops sell these, and providing your name isn't too unusual you could build up an interesting and personal collection.

Important events such as royal weddings, exhibitions, space flights, elections, and, of course, the millennium, are commemorated by badges. Sports enthusiasts are spoilt for choice - all teams want their supporters to show their loyalty by wearing a badge. You could assemble a stunning collection based around one particular sport: football, tennis, cricket or sailing.

If you're a pop music fan, then a collection of badges would be a great slice of musical history.

Bands come and go regularly, and famous names are soon forgotten. Psychedelic badges dating from the sixties are now classics. Some people collect military or automobile badges, but these are expensive and beyond the scope of this article.

Train enthusiasts go for those beautiful enamelled badges in the shape of engines. Some of these are miniature works of art, in glowing shades of red, green gold and blue.

They look wonderful pinned to one of those peaked 'railwayman's' hats - though a large collection might get a bit heavy and give you a bad headache! Other possible themes are bears, slogans, cats, food, shapes, bikes, space, royalty, occupations or dance.

Badge  Design

Practically every subject has a relevant badge.

Many people collect the famous Robertson's golly badges. These have been sold since the thirties, and some of the early ones are now expensive, but you can still get the later ones cheaply. They are very attractive as most are golly-shaped and enamelled, rather than being just a plain metal disc.

There are all kinds of gollies, including footballers, knights, milkmen,policemen, cyclists and ballet dancers. If you save the tokens on the jars of jam, you can send to the company for the latest issues.

Badge  Design

Charity badges are a growing field, and the beauty of these is that not only can you build up an interesting collection, you have the satisfaction of knowing you're helping out a good cause. Amongst them are the Variety Club's gold hearts, which have been issued each February since 1991.

Each year the design changes slightly, and the earliest are becoming quite collectable. Look out too for Pudsey Bear's Children In Need, Great Ormond Street, RSPCA, NSPCC, Lifeboats and Scope.

A growing trend is for charities to offer artificial flowers, rather than conventional badges. Also nowadays, many of the traditional printed metal badges have been supplanted by enamelled shapes.

In years to come a common or garden round metal pin-on badge may well be a rarity - just as the old- fashioned paper badges on a pin which eager charity collectors once jabbed into your lapel, have become a thing of the past.

No doubt you've received age badges on your birthday. When you're small, you're proud to wear a badge which proclaims 'It's my birthday. I'm four today'. By the time you're in your teens you're not normally so keen! Age badges, however naff they might look pinned to your jumper, can form a marvellous collection - you could try to get one of each number up to a hundred, for instance.

The first 21 should be easy, and the milestones such as 30, 50 or 75, but many other numbers will be much more difficult to find. Another good way with numeric badges is to collect just one number - your lucky number or your door number - and to see how many variations you can find.

Perhaps the most coveted of badges are those that money can't buy, such as the famous Blue Peter badges, which need to be won by achievement.

Badge  Design
One of these shield-shaped badges, featuring the famous sailing ship, would be a prize in any collection. The round Blue Peter competition winner badges are even harder to obtain - but if you're young enough, you could enter one of the programme's competitions. You never know your luck.

Badges can be bought practically everywhere - try rummaging through the junk boxes on market stalls and at boot fairs. Charity shops normally have badge bargains, and they only charge pence. Gift shops, card shops and music shops have good selections too. As soon as friends know you're collecting, you'll be inundated with badges.

It's even possible to create your own with the aid of a badge-making machine, to give you something really unique. Often these machines are an attraction at fetes.

Most badges cost under a pound, so if you're looking for something to collect that won't break the bank, why not consider a themed badge collection?

They offer tremendous scope for display, looking terrific glued to a hessian covered board, mounted under a glass table top or pinned to a large cushion.

Badges Design   are colourful, cheap and collectable - what more could you want? 

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