Comparing Stock and Customized Awards

Samantha Mikos

Ready-made and custom-made products seem to be in two leagues of their own. For example, a personal chef can cook something truly special for you, while a restaurant cook works with a prepared menu. A personalized meal is a unique experience, but some of us can’t afford or are perfectly happy with something preplanned. In the world of recognition, stock and customized awards are like prepared and personal meals. They are specialized to varying degrees, but both still deliver a quality product and make people happy.

At Cristaux International, we qualify every client for custom or stock work. This distinction is the first, crucial step of every program’s development. While both types of creations offer different benefits, they both serve as the center of flawless recognition programs. With a client’s budget, timeline, and vision in mind, we can lead the creation process with confidence.

Stock Crystal Safety Cone

Stock and Customized Awards: Definitions

Stock pieces are readily available creations including gifts, trophies, and more. To get a better idea of what stock pieces a recognition vendor may offer, browse our stock collectionThere, you may find awards of various styles, personal photo frames, and lead crystal vases.

A common misconception about stock pieces is that they are too limited. However, there are many designs available and endless ways to personalize these pieces. By featuring recipient information and company branding, stock pieces can take on a life of their own.

On the other hand, custom awards are recognition pieces created from scratch. They feature one-of-a-kind designs to showcase an organization and its brand. A custom piece consists of anything made from its own design. This may include corporate gifts, event awards, and employee recognition pieces. If a client dreams of something that can’t be found in our stock catalog, then we’ll create it for them.

Get custom design inspiration from our portfolio.

3D printed ”4R” custom trophies on black personalized base

Qualities of Stock and Customized Awards

Stock and custom awards both give honorees the recognition they deserve. However, they go about it in two different ways. Knowing the key differences between stock and custom creations will help inform recognition program decisions.


Custom awards use unprecedented designs, while stock pieces repurpose existing concepts. However, both kinds of creations are flexible enough to be personalized and branded. While a custom design may be unique and innovative, stock pieces are often classic and simple.

Creation Process

To make customized awards, a client will collaborate with our creative design team to discuss the details of their program. From there, our designers will share special design concepts with the client who will choose one idea to move forward with.

When working with stock pieces, the client chooses designs from the stock catalog. They will not meet with our design team and will instead move ahead in the creation process.

Learn more about Cristaux’s creation process timeline.


Creating custom awards requires more leg work at the beginning of the creation process. Additionally, the pieces need to be sourced and manufactured. This takes more time and lengthens production.

On the other hand, stock pieces are readily available and more quickly sourced. Ultimately, stock orders may be fulfilled within one or two months, and customized awards may be fulfilled within four to six months.


When compared to stock pieces, custom awards are often a larger investment. Clients can use cost-effective materials. However, highly specialized services call for a more flexible budget. To be frank, you get what you pay for. For example, you can buy a suit off the rack, and it may fit well enough. However, a suit tailored to one’s body fits much better, but it comes with a bigger price tag.

Stock pieces are often more cost-effective because they do not need as much specialization as their custom counterparts. Ultimately, it’s easier for a vendor to source and produce pieces they’ve made before. Recognition manufacturers can fulfil orders more quickly when using tools they already have and methods they already know.

Regardless of what kind of creation a client decides to work with, personalization contributes to the cost of a program. Different kinds of personalization methods are more intricate and thus a larger investment. Our team is happy to speak with anyone who wants a better idea of what is possible within one’s budget. We believe everyone deserves meaningful recognition, so we will do everything we can to bring a client’s vision to life.

Consider meeting us in our virtual showroom.

Custom Marble Crystal Number 50 Workplace Award


Custom awards typically consist of more specialized methods of personalization. For example, we can elevate company branded recognition pieces by perfectly matching company colors, lasering 3D product replicas into crystal, or creating molds of logos. With customized awards, the sky is the limit.

For stock pieces, personalization typically consists of using one method to incorporate traditional award information. These details may include the award recipient’s name, program name, company name, and date. Beyond this, stock pieces can be highly personalized with other methods. We can use etching, engraving, and digital printing to make a stock piece truly unique to an organization and its honorees.

Whether working with custom awards or stock pieces, it’s important to know that personalization methods are often determined by the materials used in the design. For example, wood and acrylic can be engraved, but crystal cannot. Our experts are more than happy to guide our customers through this process and to offer advice.

Key Takeaways

When building a recognition program, it’s essential to decide one’s budget, timeline, and vision early on. These key factors will often qualify a client for custom or stock work. To help guide the decision-making process, consider the following takeaways.

  • Stock orders are often more cost-effective and can be fulfilled more quickly.
  • Customized awards are highly specialized and take longer to be manufactured.

Both realms of recognition offer great benefits and designs. Regardless of the creation you choose, we are eager to bring your vision to life.

Contact Cristaux to begin designing your recognition program today.