Celebrating Billy Elliot, the musical

At the Victoria Palace Theatre, the original home of Billy Elliot, the musical, when milestones passed, they were celebrated. Often by the production of a special "souvenir" lapel badge.

To mark the end of the first UK tour, a "do it yourself" effort is underway. (The whole project is entirely "amateur", with no connection with, or endorsement from, the show's "official" people.)

This is the OLD "index" page for the Billy Buttons project... left in place during a period of website evolution. Please try the MAIN "index" page, if you haven't already seen it. This is here to "cover" things that haven't yet made it to the "new, improved" site!


How do you show a white badge on a white background? The badge will be round. There will be no black ring on the 58mm badge.

(At least one variant of the badge will be like that! There's nothing to stop others creating other variants! Help is at hand, for anyone so inclined... see further down the page.)

Obtaining one of the badges

This is a work in progress!

I am hoping that at least a few people will be asking "how can we help get the badge distributed?" I'll address that question first.

If you are going to Hamburg, for the last day of the tour, 23 July, 2017, how much is that costing you?

For £37, you could add momentum to the "mementos for people who want one" programme. That's all it costs to order FIFTY of the badges, WITH expedited handling. (UK supplier and mfg. Price quoted is for delivery to a UK address. "Expedited" (£10) buys you a promise of 5 working days turnaround, for orders before 5pm.)

EVEN IF you order some badges, and they do not reach you before you head off to Germany, I expect there will be people hoping to obtain one after the fact.


I will "buy" "unwanted" badges from people who find them on their hands after 23 July. However, rather than giving you back your costs, I will make a contribution either to the charity the original London production supported on 9 April 2016, or MSF.org, or A.N.Other, if we find a mutually agreeable one. This is not an "unlimited" offer... send me an email, if you want to get in line to be "insured" thus. We can settle exact terms via that channel.

So! You can hope that "someone else" will do all the work, and a badge will fall into your hands. Or you can do a little bit of work, risk a little money and HELP... ensuring yourself of a badge along the way!

All you need to do is...

It's easy, and not expensive... if you act SOON. (It would have been easier still if the manufacturer were able to accept orders for a re-supply of what I ordered... but they can't. Understandable, when you think about it.)

Details of the process in a moment. First a few notes on the design...

The design

The design now has a page of its own.

For those who are not even considering trying to get some badges made, adding to the distribution effort, you can contact page's author, Tom Boyd via...

(graphic of eddress)

More information for people who ARE considering helping follows shortly, but that's all that's left on the page.

You'll have to copy the eddress above by hand. It is a graphic, to make things difficult for spam engines. Please start the subject line of any emails with "BB", for "Billy Badge".

Doing it

Remember: You don't HAVE to have any badges made! But if you want to CONTRIBUTE to the effort to celebrate the end of London/ First UK Tour, it isn't difficult, despite the number of words that follow. But you do have to Get Going Soon.

For now, all that is left for this page is the details of how you could get some badges made for giving out to those who would enjoy one.

I know I've said it, but I am going to repeat === TIME IS SHORT ===.

The badges can't be made "instantly". They have to get to you before you leave for Hamburg, if you are going to help add to the experience of the people at the last performances.

BUT! Maybe hang on just a few days... until perhaps 5 July, with luck... before you "press the button". About then, I should be seeing a sample of the badges, and be able to tell you "Go"!

Even so... you can be getting ready...

Fetch the artwork. If you are happy to "go with" the (soon to be tested!) artwork, you only need to fetch "Finish-Button-17623-10-55.pdf". (The "Finish" in that filename comes from the cry of "Finish" which is part of the "curtain call cabaret". And "Button" is what some people call what I've been called "the badge".)

Click this to download my file "Finish-Button-17623-10-55.pdf".

THAT FILE... the one with the .pdf extension... is what I sent off to the badge maker to get the ones I'm expecting any day now. Send the same file, and you should get the same results!

If the .pdf opens in your browser (instead of downloading as afile, straight to your hard drive), because of how your browswer is set up: Use the "download file" button on the .pdf viewer's toolbar to get the full, uncompressed file onto your hard disk. (Don't just "save" the version displayed on your browser.) The resulting file should be about 55 kb. (If you just "save" the image open in your .pdf viewer you may well downgrade the resolution along the way.)

(How to get the source file, for if you want to adapt the design, will be explained in a moment.)

Note that it isn't an "ordinary" .pdf. It was created "loss-less-ly" to give the badge makers the best possible (for me) starting point.

So. You have a copy of "Finish Button-17623-10-55.pdf" on your PC. (Depending on how your system is set up, you may not see the ".pdf", the "extension". If the file opens with Adobe Acrobat, all is probably well.

Next you need an account with a badge maker. This is my first venture into making badges! More by luck than design, I settled on AwesomeMerchandise.com to make my badges for me. It has been a very good experience so far, and I'm now at the point where I'm just waiting for two "trial run" orders to arrive. (I should say that AwesomeMerchandise is in the UK, and I will want my badges shipped to a UK address. If you are going to Hamburg from, say, Mongolia, maybe you want to get your badges made locally! Or take a chance on problems with customs clearance, and have your order shipped to your Hamburg hotel?)

Go along to the AwesomeMerchandise site... you can to this NOW... and "register". (It is all very simple and ordinary.)

Either now, or, if you want to be careful, after I've been able to post my "They came! They are great!" message, the next steps are as follows... (They are mostly *%$'ing "obvious", but there are one or two places you may welcome the comments in the following...)

Log into your account.

Do a search on "58mm badge" (or just drill down, "Products/ Badges/ 58mm")... that should lead to something like...


(The designs on the badges may, of course, change!)

I "went for" the simple one, the one on the left, the inexpensive one... the £12 would be cost of order of 10 badges... but 20 badges costs MUCH less than £24, fear not! (Only £16) (Prices as of June 2017). They include basic shipping to a UK address. The firm will ship worldwide. A typical detail: The firm asks you if the address you offer is residential... and adjust how they ship, depending on your answer. (I would guess they use Royal Mail to residential, and one of the independents to business, reflecting the different hassle levels of dealing with a "you were out" situation.)

Click on the image of the (basic) 58mm badges to proceed to the next page.

Tell them how many you want. Note how the price adjusts as soon as you go to the next box, where you tell them "how many designs". (If, say, your are doing a birthday party, and want 5 badges for boys, 5 for girls, that's allowed, "2 designs". I imagine for the Billy badges, you would be saying "1 design".

Then you click "Add to Cart". Don't worry! You tell them what design you want, and how to ship LATER. You are NOT ordering a bunch of badges with the image on their SAMPLE badges!

(DO rtfm, if you are doing something other than what this page was written about. They can't give you a good result without good artwork, and they go to great lengths to tell you what "works"... and are very accommodating. My badge was deliberately designed to avoid certain problem areas. In particular, if your badge has a photo of a human face on it, you will need to take extra care. AwesomeMerchadise will TRY to deal with files in any of the following formats:
File Format: PSD, AI, PDF, JPEG, TIFF, EPS

They request Colour Format: CMYK and File Resolution: 300dpi...

... but they managed to deal with the file I sent them. (I hope! This written slightly in advance of knowing that for sure. How I created it will be explained later. Short answer: if you want to use the .pdf offered for download above, you should be fine.)

... as I was saying, you click "Add to cart". A pop up invites you to proceed to checkout. Don't worry... you can still change things.

At checkout, because I was doing what I've been writing about as I typed this, I found that they thought I wanted 40. (I'd clicked "20" twice, along the road to doing this.) No problem! Just revised to 20. That worked fine.

And there was another mystery: The cart said something about £10 for shipping. This was only because the system remembered that last time, I'd used "expedited" (£10 charge for promise of 5 working days between artwork approved and goods shipped.) Shipping for ordinary orders, to a UK address: FREE- the charge for expediting goes on the bill as "shipping".

And no, you STILL haven't been meant to upload the artwork... that's still to come.

At this point I must "pause" the story, because to go further might result in me placing an order!! As soon as my sample batch arrives, I will order some more, give you the rest of the "blow by blow" account. There wasn't anything "tricky", as I recall... oh... apart from...

I had to be a little trusting/ careful to get the "I want to pay extra for expedited" bit on the order. Also, after I'd uploaded the artwork file, my browser (Firefox, with Windows 7) went a little weird, asking to "resend" a page. I did it, no hassles. The "preview" of my artwork was just a grey tile saying "pdf". Fair enough.

ANYWAY... the firm gives you a telephone number, if you really need it! And were pleasant to deal with in several exchanges by several channels.

Artwork: They are capable of/ willing to extract the "obvious" circle of artwork out of the middle of a rectangular page.

Don't expect miracles. If you put a thin-line circle around the outside of your design, hoping that it will occupy the 0.5mm closest to the edge of the face of the badge, I think you are expecting too much. I had a plain border around my artwork, to "wrap" around the edge of the face of the badge, tolerant of slight mis-alignments.

Your own version

If you want to adapt my design, you are free to do so.

I created it using the wordprocessor module of Open Office. (aka LibreOffice)

The following is the Open Office/ Libre Office wordprocessor file I used....

Click this to download my file "Finish-Button-17623-10-55-SOURCE.odt".

THAT FILE... the one with the .ods extension, and "SOURCE" in the name... is what I created the file I sent off FROM. (If you are happy with my design, you don't need the "SOURCE" file.)

Once you have the design as you want it, if you are creating it as I did, you export it to .pdf.... be sure, in the "PDF Options" dialog, in the "Images" section, to choose the "lossless compression" option.

That's it!

Thank you, if for nothing else, reading down to here. I hope you got whatever you came for? By all means contact me if you'd like something clarified.

To contact page's author, Tom Boyd...

(graphic of eddress)

You'll have to copy that by hand. It is a graphic, to make things difficult for spam engines.

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional Page tested for compliance with INDUSTRY (not MS-only) standards, using the free, publicly accessible validator at validator.w3.org. Mostly passes. There were two "unknown attributes" in Google+ button code, two further "wrong" things in the Google Translate code, and similar in Flattr code. Sigh.

-- Page ends --