The Button badge may have older beginnings than you first thought

Badges have been around in one form or other since the Bronze Age, their initial use would have been functional, acting as a sort of safety pin to hold garments together, known as Fibula. But as processes evolved, their appearance would become more decorative and their importance in expression would diversify immensely.

The birth of the badge

​From the ancient Greeks and Romans to the late medieval period and Celts, brooches became more expressive, closer to jewellery. A great example of how decorative brooches became is the Dunstable Swan Jewel, dated to around the 1400’s.

At a similar time, processes began to allow for bulk production of simpler designs made from cheap base metals. These simpler brooches would have been issued to mark completion of a pilgrimage or as livery or heraldic insignia, stating your allegiance to your chosen house.

In the renaissance period, the wealthy elite across Europe started a trend creating ‘personal devices’ which took developed countries by storm. They served as a means of expressing yourself, typically containing an image with a combinations of words that best described your personality.

Making a statement with badges

So brooches moved from function to form and became a means of making a statement. Whether that meant belonging as one part of a group, as a belief in a faith, a statement of wealth or in your earned position within an organisation – such as the army – lapel pins and ceremonial brooches have been a part of military insignia for hundreds of years.

It was this shift to wearing pins and brooches regularly to express yourself, and the increasing ease of which they could be produced that defines the term badge. But who actually coined the phrase ‘button badge’?

Only Badge Base have the answer

Tune in next time folks as we enter a new era for the badge and find out where that humble designation came from. In the mean time, for further information about our button badge creation – whether in design, manufacture or both – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our helpful team via the contacts section of our website.