Can I change the panels or lettering on my custom badge?
An explanation on how your badge panels and lettering work.
Can I change the panels or lettering on my badge?
Throughout your public safety career, there can be many changes to your position, title, and other defining characteristics. People often ask if we can change the lettering or panels on their badges to reflect these career advancements.
The short answer is no, but we have provided information below about how badges are constructed to explain why and offer suggestions for replacing your badge with the new information you need to display.
Can you change the panels on my badge?
Applied panel badges are constructed from a base/background with the individual panels adhered to the base with solder. The solder is melted with a torch or in a high-temperature oven. Once cooled, the panels and badge base are permanently bonded. Soldering panels to the badge base is the most durable method of construction and the most reliable way to ensure the panels remain securely attached to the base for the life of the badge.
To remove the applied panel(s), we must remove the finish. We would then heat the badge to over 1,500°F to melt the solder. Once the solder is melted and the panel(s) removed, the new panel(s) need to be applied and soldered to the badge base again. Once these operations are complete, the badge must be polished and a new finish applied.
As you can see, this is a laborious undertaking. The process of “un-doing” and “re-doing” the construction is typically more expensive than a new badge. More importantly, we do not offer this service because it can damage the badge irreparably or affect its long-term durability.
Can you change the lettering on my badge?
Most badges are personalized with engraved lettering filled with enamel. In many cases, the lettering appears to be printed on the surface of the badge, but there is much more below the surface. When a badge is engraved, the letters are deep cut into the metal using a rotary engraving machine. The letters are then filled with colored enamel. This deep-cut engraving and enameling technique ensures that the lettering remains crisp and legible as long as the badge is in service. Once a badge is engraved, we cannot change the lettering.
What if a panel fell off my badge? Can you fix it?
We know how meaningful your badge is to you. Because of this, Smith & Warren has the most extensive badge warranty available to protect your investment. In the unlikely event, a panel or other part of your badge fails due to a defect, we will repair it at no charge. For more information about the Smith & Warren Full Lifetime Warranty, or to request warranty service visit our Warranty Page.
How can I order a new badge?
VisualBadge by Smith & Warren is the most convenient way to design your new badge and ensure it looks and says what you need. All 1,500+ available badge models on VisualBadge are conveniently organized by category and include pictures and dimensions so you can reliably design a new badge that matches your current style.
Once you find your badge style, choose from various customization options, finishes, lettering styles, colors, and attachments and preview your design as you build. For more information check out our "How do I design a custom badge?" article.
If you need help identifying your badge style or have any questions about Smith & Warren products or services, please contact us anytime. Our entire team is happy to help you.