8 Factors to Consider When Buying Custom Awards


Certain occasions call for special recognition – and custom awards are a wonderful way to honor an individual (or several individuals) for doing great work or going above and beyond their expected duties. Award designers can create just about anything you dream up, so you can craft an award that truly represents both your brand and the person receiving it – but great awards don’t just appear. If your organization is planning to hand out custom awards to worthy recipients, here are eight factors to keep in mind when purchasing them.

  1. Where to purchase

Before you order your custom award, make sure the store you purchase it from can craft it to your standards and deliver it on time. If there’s a brick and mortar store near you that makes custom awards, you can visit before ordering to speak with designers and see examples of their work in-person.

If you don’t have an awards store near you, head for the internet, which has countless digital shopfronts that sell custom awards. Just make sure to do your homework and investigate the store before committing to a purchase. Look at customer reviews and shipping/return policies and dig a little further to ensure the store has a good overall reputation.

  1. Pricing

Set a budget before you start shopping so you know exactly what your spending limit will be. There are many categories of custom awards, and they can range from under $50 to well into the thousands of dollars. For example, crystal awards are often highly expensive.

If you cannot afford the custom award you had your eye on, you can always scale down and find something that still suits the occasion without breaking your budget. Don’t forget to consider how many awards you’ll be giving out – if you’re honoring multiple people, you’ll need to multiply the price of one trophy by that number. Some shops provide discounted rates for a bulk order, to make sure to inquire when making your selections.

  1. Purpose

What is this award for? Its purpose dictates several things, including the amount of money you’ll spend on it and what kind of design you’ll select. After all, an Employee of the Month plaque should look quite different from a Designer of the Year award! The final product must also be appropriate for the ceremony that it is intended for and representative of your organization’s brand.

  1. Materials used

You can order custom awards made from a variety of materials; the one you pick will impact both the pricing and design of the item. Common materials used today include glass, wood, crystal, acrylic, bronze and steel, among others. Some materials will last longer than others, or be more easily damaged, so keep that in mind while designing a custom award.

  1. Recipient

The person you’re giving the custom award to is one of the most important factors to keep in mind. Consider their age and personal preferences. If you are awarding a group of people, then make sure the award represents their values and the contribution they’ve made to your organization.

  1. Logistics

Your job isn’t done after you’ve selected and ordered a custom award. You still have to get the award to your office, venue or wherever you need it to go. If the items are to be shipped from the manufacturer to you, consider issues like potential breakage. If you’re worried about damage in transit, you may want an award made from sturdy material to ensure that it gets to you in one piece.

You’ll also need to think about how long it will take the award to be shipped to you and how much time you have before the awards ceremony. If you have plenty of time between when you order and when you present the award, then you can get a custom-designed piece, or even several pieces. If you are making the purchase last minute, though, you might want to look at online and brick and mortar stores that stock ready-made versions of the items you are looking for.

  1. Design

Make sure the design you pick is relevant to the recipient and the occasion. Shape, size and color are among the design elements you’ll need to select, along with material. For example, if the award is for the star player of a hockey team, then the award can be shaped like a hockey stick or puck. No matter what design you choose, make sure it captures the achievements it’s celebrating uniquely and memorably.

  1. Size

The last factor you need to consider in your custom award is size. It ought to be age-appropriate and in sync with the event of the day. If you’re issuing awards to multiple participants, then you may want to pick awards of different sizes to indicate positions or roles. If the event is a children’s marathon, for example, the first, second and third-place finishers cannot receive awards that are of the same size. On the other hand, academic and professional trophies need to be able to fit on a desk or bookshelf.

Remember that size has a direct influence on the design, the materials used and the overall cost of the award. Additionally, size will impact the amount of time that it will take to get your custom award ready.


Purchasing the custom award can be easy and straightforward, but do your research before committing to a vendor. By keeping the aforementioned factors in mind, you’ll have a beautiful and fitting award the recipient will admire for years to come.