Case Study: "Snowflake Lane" Custom Blinky Pin for Greg Thompson Productions Inc.

Strap Yourself In and Hold Onto Your Hat

It's time for another riveting tail of the creation of a custom blinky light pin.

In June of 2008 (was it really that long ago?) Dominique of Greg Thompson productions emailed us:


Could you send us a sample of your Snowflake Body Light to 921 Elliott Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98119?
 Could we get a sample with a lapel pin and backer pin?  Are the prices the same?
 How long do the CR927 lithium batteries last? Run time? 
How much to buy replacement batteries?  In bulk?
How long do the blinkie lights last? Run time?
Thank you!! 



Naturally, We Responded

Hi Dominique,

I'm happy to send the sample today. Thanks for the inquiry.

I don't currently have a sample with a lapel pin. However it can be manufactured that way for no extra cost, especially since we have plenty of time. The ones I have now have a magnet back. Then there is the backer pin you mentioned. I'll include one of those so you can see what that is like. Those cost .13 each for 1000. The lithium batteries will last at least 8 hours in one of these snowflake body lights and indefinitely on the shelf as long as they are kept cool and dry. The replacement batteries are .09 each for 1000.

Any other questions please let me know.


The Life of a Blinky Pin

Dominique: What is the life of the blinkee lights on the pin?

Matt: 10000 hours - basically a lifetime

Now everybody's sampling. -Missy Elliott

Next, Dominique requested a sample snowflake body light from us and we actually had to get a sample from China for her.

Here was her response upon receiving the sample (she's very detail oriented as you can see)

Matt,  We received the samples and have a few questions to brainstorm how we would like to proceed.
Snowflake-Lane-Pin-Design-SketchDo you have any other snowflakes that aren't so sharp on the edges?
What would be the cost be if we didn't do the butterfly backs and did the magnets instead?
How much are additional butterfly backs?
What is the price if we order 2,000 instead of 4,000?
Can the flashing lights be changed to steady or on off instead of rotating pattern?
Attached is the logo and design we would like to consider doing.
 It will be a round pin with a dark blue background, light blue snowflake and white snowflake lane logo.
We really want the logo to pop!
What is the diameter of the button... I know the snowflake you sent us was about 1" round. Is that the biggest we can go for the 68 cents each?SnowflakeLaneArt
How many lights will we have.....3 like the sample?
Can we make the lights flash on and off together instead of rotating?
Did you find out if you can throw in extra backs?
Please send us a proof of the pin design ASAP to approve so we can begin production.

So Many Question

Since she had so many questions we wanted to avoid a long back and forth via email so we settled it all on the phone.

We avoided sharp edges on the pin by making it circular.

We quoted $.20 extra per pin for a magnet back.

We told her we would comp the extra pin backs.

We gave her a super low price of $0.68 per pin for the 4000 quantity.

We advised her that the lights on the pin could flash, fade slowly or just beam steadily.

We stuck with a one inch size for the pin and 3 lights.


Virtual Sample

The next step was to provide a virtual sample. This is where we make an animation of what the pin will look like when complete. We had to obtain artwork from Dominique first:

Here it is! 
The color on my screen looks right with the bright royal blue and light blue snowflake and bright white logo..... but when I print it it looks very blue... just want to make sure you are seeing the bright blues too! 
Please provide me with the virtual animated sample/ mock up showing where the lights will be located.
In summary, we would like to order:
4,000 at 68 cents = $2,720 Total
Shipping included?
3 Blue lights
We would like the lights to chase faster.
You said you would throw in 300 extra backs.
Please confirm the replacement batteries used are CR927
Delivery in 5 to 6 weeks from order date.



Hi Dominique,
Here's the LED diagram and virtual sample animation attached.

Like I Said Before, Very Detail Oriented


We are having issues with the color I see on the computer screen and what is printed.   

I want to be sure what you are seeing and printing is:

  • Back Ground Circle is a bright royal blue.  PMS Reflex Blue
  • The snowflake design is a bright, bold, baby blue.  PMS 305
  • The “Snowflake Lane” logo is a bright white.

To be sure we are all seeing and printing the same thing that the snowflake can been seen and the Snowflake Lane logo pops!  Are those the colors you are seeing and printing?

Can you print out a sample on paper as it will show up on the pin and send me a copy in the mail to: 921 Elliott Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98119.  So we know it’s right.  If you can pop it in the mail today, I should get it by Monday and we can finalize it then.



Just to clarify further and for a comparison... the light blue on the snowflake is similar in color to the light blue part of the sample snowflake you sent where the led lights are mounted.  The royal blue on the sample snowflake is way too dark.... ours is a bright/electric royal blue.  Hope that helps a bit more!

We were able to get that all ironed out in order to start a physical sample for Dominique. Sometimes we have a single pin made for our customers before they proceed to order their full order. Then we either deliver the sample to them or they just approve a photo of it.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Dominique was happy to accept a photo of their sample in order to save the time needed to ship the actual sample to her. However she was not pleased with the first photo we sent. It turns out, it was really just a bad photo and the next photo was much better and acceptable:

Hi Dominique,

I'm sorry I lead you astray on this point, but I was mistaken and there is no opportunity to change the artwork at this point. Attached is another photo that shows that the white should stand out okay against the blues. The lighting was wrong in the previous photo according to my factory. They've assured me that the pins are very nice looking. Therefore at this point we don't have much choice but to proceed with the current artwork.


Blinkees On the Way

Two weeks later their blinkees were completed and on the way via UPS:

Got them.. now we have to count them.  Did you throw in extra backs?


Yes Dominique, of course we did. And she saw that we did and she saw it was good and has been ordering these pins and snowflake wands with us for years, even as recently as December 2019!