Designing Your PathtagDesigning a Pathtag is fun and easy! The more you know about the tag process going in, the better your experience will be. There is a lot of information on this page, but we promise - if you take 15 minutes to look through it, you'll be ready to start designing your tag in a jiffy!
You're On The Team!You are the most important member of our team! As the creative genius, reviewing your blueprint for accuracy, clearly communicate changes needed, and approving your work in a timely fashion are all your responsibilities. We do the rest, but this key task is yours and yours alone! Do not approve a blueprint until you are 100% satisfied.
Understanding production constraints, ensuring your art is production ready before placing an order, and using non-subjective terms are all things you can do to help us get your design in production as fast as possible. This page introduces you to all these key concepts.
Get Inspired!The hardest part of tag design is coming up with an idea. Tags can be based on clip art, a forum avatar, or even a photo! Start with something personal or something you like. Go peruse the gallery to see what other people are doing. Drop by the Forums and check out the design forum. You can look around for free designs and/or ask for ideas from fellow taggers!
Still not coming to you? Our Design Partners often have Ready-Made tags for sale on their website. Find a design that you like and they'll add your name! Instant inspiration and gratification!
Tag Specification GuideMaking a Pathtag should be a fun and exciting adventure! Seeing your design go from concept to physical product is very rewarding!
Designing a tag is both a creative and a physical process. Sometimes our imaginations exceed the physical capabilities of the production process. Your art, no matter how awesome, will always be converted to a "blueprint" which you get to review before production starts and which will show any changes needed for production.
These are guidelines only. Glitter and Glow require color spacing 2-3x larger than noted below due to fill method.
|Face Thickness (one side)||1mm|
|Hole Distance From Edge||1.2-1.4mm|
|Hole Border Minimum Size (optional)||.25mm|
|Width of colored areas||.3mm for images, 1mm for colored text|
|Width (thickness) of raised metal features||.5mm|
|Spacing needed between raised metal features||.5mm|
If you need a tool to put your design together - check out our free Tag Editor Windows application. Tag Editor lets you import graphics, create "layers", add text, curve the text, choose a cool edge pattern, draw with your mouse, and simple graphics editing abilities. Click here to download! (login required for download)
Hot Tips For Great Tags
- Tags are small! Less is Often More! This is the #1 consideration for every great tag. Keep it simple for clarity and quality. Tags are roughly the size of a U.S. Quarter or a one Euro coin. Hold one when considering what you want on it.
- Be specific - interpretation leads to iteration! Avoid using terms like "slightly" or "bigger". Make sure you show where the hole should go. Feel free to mark up your original art with comments to ensure your design can be clearly understood by the blueprinters.
- You design the front, then pick the back. You can design (nearly) anything you want for your tag's front. On the back, we offer a library of Tag Backs you can choose from to further personalize your tag.
- No gradient colors. Pathtags are colored using liquid enamel, not printing. Designs which rely on gradients (photos, clipart) will be converted during the blueprint process. If the conversion is icky, we suggest engaging a DP for best results.
- Color is your best friend - and worst enemy. You can use up to 10 colors. We suggest using under 6 colors in your design for quality and clarity. Stick with a smaller set of bright eye catching colors for the best result.
- We don't do 3D. You can do "multiple levels" of metal if you are an advanced designer but this is not a supported process and voids the warranty we offer on quality. You accept the risk when using advanced techniques like this.
- Avoid fine colored detail. Colors are applied using enamel. The enamel is a liquid injected into tiny "canals" on your tag by hand with a syringe. Yes, a person puts color in those tiny recesses. Have mercy on this person! :) Designs with very fine detail may be simplified in blueprint preparation to address production challenges.
- 500x500 pixel JPGs at 72dpi is sufficient for uploading with your order. Higher resolution is accepted, but not needed. If you think we need a higher res image to see your detail - your design is definitely too detailed!
Pathtags.com ForumA great resource for design help is our online forums. Just sign up for an account to gain free access to the forums! Ask fellow taggers for their advice and input as you go through the design process.
You can also get free designs in the forums. Visit the free design forum!
Official Design Partners
PATHTAG CLUBS:There are a number of Monthly Tag Clubs you can join around the world. The most popular is The Pathtag Club owned and operated by us. There are a lot of other clubs offering monthly tag subscriptions around the world. Google for Pathtag Club or search on Facebook to find the one(s) near you.
JPG TemplateYou can use the template below as a start for your design. You can right click and save to your hard drive.
- Four plating are available. Shiny Silver, Black Nickel, Shiny Gold, and Shiny Copper. Silver is our
standard color and is available for no additional fee. The other platings are available for $.10 per tag
- Soft enamel colors as per your submitted artwork.
- 1 translucent color per tag at $.10 per tag additional. Use available translucent colors for things like water, or to make a jeweled effect.
- Tag backs allow further personalization of your tag. Choose from a variety of available back side designs. Select a "Give Back" and the extra you pay in your order goes to that organization or charity.
- Vanity codes let you choose any 7 character serial for your tag for a $20 one-time fee. 7 digit random serial numbers are provided at no additional charge.
Tag BacksIn addition to uploading your own custom front side design, you can further customize your tag by selecting a back from our library of back sides. Some of these are free but some cost a bit extra per tag. Pricing is listed with each tag for your reference. Give Backs cost a little extra, but that extra money goes to the organization or charity featured on that back. It's a great way to show your style and support your favorite group or cause.
Standard Tag Backs
Special Enamel ProcessesIn addition to just normal colored enamel, we offer Translucent enamel as a standard option. Periodically Glitter or Glow enamels will be available during promotional periods. You can review the available color options below:
Translucent Color ChartTranslucent enamels offer a semi-transparent look for your tag. Translucent colors are available all the time at a price of $.10 per tag for one color. If you select a Translucent color and a special is running for glow or glitter, you can also select one of these colors to achieve two special enamels on one Pathtag.
There are 10 available translucent colors. These photos are provided as a guide only. Many factors can change the final appearance of translucent enamels including lighting, thickness of metal areas, level of detail etc. Actual appearance may differ from what is shown here.
Glitter Color ChartHide Labels
Make your tag sparkle with Glitter! Add one of our available colors to your next project. Specify a color from below or simply mark the glitter areas on your uploaded artwork and the closest matching color will be used in your blueprint.
Glow Color ChartThese enamel colors are only available during special offers. To learn if a special offer is running, log into your Pathtags.com account. If you see a message about a special, you can take advantage of the special to make tags with the special features listed during a limited time.
The graphic below is animated and shows both the colors in light and glowing. Wait for the graphic to fully load to see the colors animate.