Button badges move across the pond

​By the 1960’s in the UK, the same process for producing button badges had long been adopted. Queen Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee in 1897 with a series of commemorative badges which were sold globally, remarkably close to the Whitehead & Hoag button-boom. Companies nationwide had jumped on the button bandwagon as a means of cost effective advertising, as had schools, clubs and societies.

Button badges become a marketing tool

​Companies nationwide were utilising the affordability and creativity of the badge, with marketing campaigns like ‘travelling at 125mph’ with British rail (pre-privatisation) and ‘making someone happy’ with British telecoms and their mascot Buzby. From subscription membership badges to scouts and girl guide badges, providing positive exposure for charities to TV classics like Doctor Who and Z Cars – badges became a reflection of popular culture in post war Britain.

​God save the Queen

​Perhaps one of the most popular uses for button badges has been within the music industry. Bands throughout the 60’s saw the opportunity and began producing badges as an affordable and versatile form of promotional merchandise, but it wasn’t until the 1970’s and the Punk explosion that badges and their musical connections would be cemented forever.

London was the hub of the Punk movement in the UK, home to infamous venues and establishments such as The Roundhouse, The 100 Club and the NO.TOM guitar shop on tin pan alley. One of the most recognised areas being Portobello road, widely regarded as the epicentre for the punk movement in 70’s London. Here, ‘Better Badges’ was formed. Another punk landmark famous for their affiliation with such bands as the Ramones and the Sex Pistols.

Yes badges and zine’s – often manufactured and printed under the same roof – were essential, customary for Punk and its many sub genres. As we shuttled through the 20th century badges really came into their own, increasingly adopted by an array of acts from Joy Division, Elvis Costello to Blur – crafted with increasing intelligence and detail.

​It’s a digital world – but not completely

​Many industries that enjoyed a ‘hay day’ or ‘golden age’ in the 70s and 80s suffered from a decline or collapse as the digital age and technology took hold. Thanks to sub cultures, the music industry, their affordability and their uniqueness – badges have stood the test of time. There will always be a place for an attractive design or clever motto, as there will always be a place for the humble button badge.

Button badges at Badge Base

​Badges are only limited by the creativity of the designer, adopted by artists, designers and bands alike for decades. Should you be looking for an affordable and reliable service, producing quality badges time and again – look no further than Badge Base. We produce a wide range of fully customisable products at a competitive price point. For more information or for a personalised quote, visit the contact section of our website or email us at info@badgebase.com.