There Ain't Any Shame in Being a Nerd When it Comes To Nerd Pins

We caught up with Nerd Pins founder Joe Van Dyke, to find out what made him enter the pin manufacturing world. 

nerd pins

What is your main practice?
Did you study at University? 

I've always created different types of art, including 2 years in college. I left to tour in bands for over 10 years, but never stopped creating. 

How did you get into making pins? 

I was collecting them for a while, and in late 2015 a friend and I started designing pins together under the name Divided Youth. We still occasionally collab on a pin, but I launched my own brand Nerdpins in August of 2016. 

yoda pin

What pin design are you most proud of? 

It's usually whatever I'm working on most recently, but one of my all-time favourite designs is my frozen Walt snowglobe pin. 

frozen walt pin

Any advice for anyone that is thinking of starting their own pin designs? 

Go in with low expectations, and plan for the long term. It's a very slow climb over years of dedication and patience. 

What is your favourite pin design at the moment?
Do you have any favourite designers?

My favourite design at the moment is the Shining bathroom scene I just created the other day, with pins coming in a month or so. Some of my favourite designers are Lively Ghosts, PSA Press, Midnight Dogs, BBCre8, Lilly Baik, and Little Shop of Pins. 

little shop of pins


What inspires your designs?
Do you have favourite themes you like to focus on?

My designs are inspired by movies, TV, music, art, comedy, and other types of pop culture. 

How does the design process differ for the 3D pins you create?

I illustrate them flat like any other design and then use some bevel tools in photoshop to show the 3d aspects before they go to production. 

3d pin

Any cool collaborations lined up that we should watch out for?

I can't wait to get back to comic cons and events! That is a big part of my business until now I've done an event somewhere every weekend. I will be going big for LA Comic Con and DesignerCon in the fall if events are back by then. No collabs at the moment, but I'll be launching a lot of new designs over the next few months! 


Be sure to keep an eye out on Nerd Pins Insta and site for when the new collections drop! They're going to be insane 🤩. 

If you would like to get your own favourite movie scenes turned in to pins or have other designs and sketches you'd like to see come to life, we offer a high-quality manufacturing service. Email us at for more info!

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