Printed Guitar Picks for the Picky Picker: Three Top Options

 

If you’ve ever been to a Cheap Trick concert, you’ve probably showered in the flurry of guitar picks emanating from Rick Neilsen’s presence. I’ve got one, all of my friends that love Cheap Trick have got one, the girl in the video below got a bunch of ’em. There’s something inspirational about walking home from a concert with a pocket full of picks that the band’s guitarist threw at ya. We’ve all wanted to be that guy or gal at some point, tossing a handful of picks bearing our own beautiful portrait at the mob trying to storm the stage.

 

It’s never been easier to get your own printed guitar picks and the options are pretty numerous. It can be daunting sifting through the different options. In this article we’re going to take a look at a few high-quality options for purchasing your own custom printed guitar picks.

Dunlop

Starting with the guitar pick titan Dunlop, you can get a wide range of customizable choices all printed on their high-quality picks. Dunlop requires a minimum order of 4 bags of 200 picks (800 total). You may vary the color, gauge, and materials for each bag, but whatever artwork you choose to imprint must remain the same. Dunlop currently allows you to choose from these parameters:

  1. Type – Choose from Tortex, Gator Grip, Ultex, Delrin, Celluloid, Poly, Gels, and Nylon.
  2. Shape – See choices below (Tortex selected in the example) 
  3. Gauge – The thickness of your pick
  4. Color – Each type of pick has a specific set of colors that you may choose from. If you can’t find your desired color, you may need to go back and choose a different pick type.
  5. Print Method – Choose from Hot Stamping or Digital Printing. Hot stamping utilizes one color to imprint an image onto your desired pick while digital printing utilizes the CYMK color scheme (commonly used in most printers) and white ink to achieve more colorful artwork on your pick. There is a difference in price as well, with hot stamping costing $50 per side + the cost of picks, and digital printing costing $75 per side + the cost of picks. If printing both sides, there is a $10 setup charge as well.
  6. Final Choices – Based on your selection of either hot stamping or digital printing, your choices will vary past this point. You will upload your image to be printed on the picks, other color choices, whether to print both sides, and how to divide your order (if you’d like different bags of 200 each to be different colors and other variations).

Dunlop is considered to be an industry standard when it comes to guitar picks, boasting an army of loyal musicians who use their picks. After making your selection and submitting your artwork and specification, Dunlop will contact you with a quote and mock-up of the proposed pick. These picks are quality and can cost anywhere between $200 to $1000 for 800 picks.

D’Addario

Another well known brand, D’Addario offers custom printing of picks on their excellent plectrums. Similar to Dunlop, you will choose from printing type (multi-color laser printing or one-color pad printing), pick type and material, gauge, color, and image. D’Addario offers an intuitive Build A Pick interface that is easy to use and shows you exactly what you are creating (see image below).

D’Addario custom printed picks must be ordered in exact increments of 100, with 100 being the minimum order, so if you’re looking for less picks than the 800 that Dunlop requires, then this may be an excellent choice for you. An order of 100 can run anywhere from $29 (for the most basic options) to $69 (lots of pizzazz).

Clayton

A little less well known, these guys do some amazing work! For 35 years, Steve Clayton USA has been pumping out top-notch plectrums and have it down to an exact science. Part of their appeal stems from the fact that they advertise a 48-hour turnaround from order to shipping and can accommodate a smaller order (starting at 30).

Clayton’s website also features an excellent interface where you will choose pick type, gauge, color, printing method, materials, and shape. Clayton even manufactured a sick Tenacious D Pick of Destiny! So whatever your need, Clayton should be able and happy to accommodate you! Clayton guarantees to match any deal that you can find PLUS give you an addition 10% off! This effectively guarantees that Clayton will be the best deal you can find anywhere on custom printed picks price wise! If you only need a few picks and money is an obstacle, than you owe it to yourself to give Clayton a try!

What Are Your Picks?

Got a favorite company that you trust to create the perfect pick? Leave a comment below explaining why and we might just add it to this list! Happy picking!

8 Comments

  1. Thank you for a great article on picks.

    I had not heard of Clayton’s website so I think I am going to give them a try as you say they will match any deal and give an extra 10% off …

    1. Author

      You owe it to yourself to check out Clayton’s. To the best of my knowledge, they were the first to offer custom picks so they know what they’re doing!

  2. I like how you listed 3 great options for website to buy picks. I admit…I’m a picky person, and I always search around for the best deals. It seems like Clayton’s and D’Addario would be the best choice for someone looking to start out buying personalized picks! Thanks for the information!

    1. Author

      Of course Andrea! Let me know if there is anything you would like advice on in the future!

      -Christian

  3. Christian,

    I never realized you can order custom picks. What a great gift idea or give away. I remember way back when (like circa 1986) I got close enough to a stage in New York to catch a Chrissie Hynde pick and still have it to this day.

    1. Author

      Now that sounds like one helluva show to be at. Happy picking Jim!

      -Christian

  4. I wasn’t aware you could order custom-made picks either, that’s pretty interesting. Your article reminds me of the time when I was in college, and the girl I was dating at the time had a media pass because she worked at the college radio station, and I got to escort her to the Beatles concert in New Orleans. Backstage we got to interview Paul McCartney and he gave this girl one of his guitar picks. She wore that pick around her neck as long as I knew her after that!

    1. Author

      I am so jealous of you right now! I was many years too late to ever be able to see the Beatles!

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