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Nine Essential Considerations when Designing a Name Badge

Nine Essential Considerations when Designing a Name Badge

As with all print, to ensure your finished piece looks exactly as you intended it to, there are various things you need to consider when thinking about the design of your name badges.

1. What does it need to do?

What is the main purpose of the badge?  Is it for detailed identification of the person which needs to contain a photo, personal information and any permits or restrictions?  For example to show they can access a certain area on-site or have the necessary licence or authorisation to carry out a particular task.  Or is it for quick identification such as a networking event where you just need to establish a person’s name and company? 

Would the use of colour on the badge help with identifying certain groups of people?  Does it need to be eye catching so it’s easily identifiable from a distance?  This is particularly useful for events in large venues where you may have other events taking place at the same time.

Why not give it a second purpose?  By adding a ‘Year at a Glance’ calendar, list of annual sporting events, list of school holiday dates - something your audience will find useful – then they are more likely to keep hold if it long after then event has finished!

2. Does it represent your company, event and brand values? 

Make sure the design is true to your brand guidelines and also use it as an opportunity to convey any straplines or corporate messages.  You’ll find that attendees tend to hold on to plastic name badges long after an event so it can be a great opportunity to keep your message fresh in their mind.


3. Portrait or Landscape?

What information do you need to display and how will this sit best on the badge.  Just because your name badges have always been in landscape format doesn’t mean that portrait won’t work just as well or better for you. 

Landscape works better if the badge is to be worn on lapel and portrait lends itself well to event passes as you can fit an itinerary on the back.  Have a play a see what works best for you!

4. Single or Double Sided?

It doesn’t cost much extra to print on both sides of a badge so if you have a lot of information then consider using both sides to avoid the design being too cluttered.   Some companies use the reverse of a badge to include emergency evacuation procedures or contact details.


5. Are any security features required?

There are lots of different security features available, depending on what you need to achieve.  Whether it be personalised QR codes or barcodes, magnetic strips or chips to hold encoded information, signature strips, holograms or UV overlays.  Don’t forget to incorporate these in to your design!


6. How is the badge going to be worn? 

Depending on how the badge will be worn or displayed may have an impact on the design.  If you intend to use a lanyard, badge reel or locking clip then you will need to have either a hole or slot punch in the card.  Make sure you’re not going to lose an important part of your design or logo in the hole!

One way round this is to use a plastic wallet or cardholder so the badge itself is not altered in any way - just bear in mind that most card holders obstruct a couple of mm on the long edges of the card.

For name badges you may choose to go with a self-adhesive badge clip.  This will not affect the front of the badge in any way but will restrict what you can put on the rear of the badge.


7. Will you be using any images on the badge?

This could be background images, company logos, floorplans or even attendee photos.  For best results always use vector based artwork at a minimum of 300dpi and make sure your files are less than 3MB each.


8. What text will be on the card?

From a person’s name to a business address, company statement or event itinerary – there is likely to be a lot of text you want to include on the badge.  Consider who needs to be able to read the information and at what distance it needs to be readable.  You’ll most likely want the person’s name to be the largest text and visible at a distance, yet an itinerary that is useful for the wearer can be in much smaller font.

Also think about your company font, if it’s not a standard font you may need to provide the font file.


9. Safe print and bleed areas

To be on the safe side, we recommend that if you require full edge to edge printing (so no white space can be seen on the edge of the card) then include a bleed area of 3mm per edge in your design.  Also, to ensure that no vital information falls off the edge of the card, leave a ‘safe zone’ of 2mm from the cards edge.


For a comprehensive Artwork Guide and details of our Badge Printing Service, please click here.

Nic Posted by Nic

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