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Custom Badge Options for Your Team

Custom Badge Options for Your Team

Think about all the ways your employees use their ID badges — from secure access into the facility to time clocking to identification as part of the team. Given the prominence and ubiquity of custom ID badges, why not take advantage of the vast array of customization options available today?

In this post, you’ll learn about the myriad custom ID products available, how you can customize everything from badges to lanyards, and why customization matters for your team.

Ways to Customize Your ID Badges

The first photo identification card dates back to the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876 when Scottish photographer William Notman developed a “photo ticket” to promote secure and exclusive entry to the event.

It’s been nearly 150 years since Gilded Age patrons flashed their faded photographs to enter the event, but the humble photo ID remains a crucial safety and identification tool for events and workplaces around the world. William Notman had limited options when it came to customization — but thanks to a century and a half of advancements, you have a world of customization options at your fingertips.

ID Badge Design Customization

It all starts with the badge. Whether you print in-house using licensed or cloud-based software or work with an outside vendor to design and fill orders, your customization options are nearly endless.


You need your badge to clearly convey the intended information, like name, title, department or other critical information. It also needs to function, whether that means it’s swipeable, RFID-enabled or just providing simple visual identification. Functionality ensures that your badges serve their purpose, making things like tracking easier for you and access more seamless for your team. You can customize your badges based on how you need them to function.

  • Swipeable badges.PVC cards outfitted with magnetic stripes are ideal for payment systems allowing employees to swipe for payment at point-of-sale systems in dining areas. Information encoded into the magnetic stripe integrates with your company’s POS system, allowing you to report on who paid for which items.
  • Scannable badges. Badges with scannable barcodes or QR codes streamline the process of logging in and out, making them ideal for quick check-ins and attendance tracking.
  • RFID-enabled badges. RFID badges allow secure, contactless entry and exit to any door equipped with a scanner. RFID badges also allow you to track employee movements throughout the building for security and productivity purposes.
  • Smart chip integration. Secure and high-tech, smart chips can store employee data, including title and rank, enabling advanced access control and secure transactions.
  • Photo identification. It’s a classic that dates back to Notman’s first badge. Having an employee photo front and center aids in identification and adds a professional touch to custom ID badges. Photo badges are useful in large organizations and in any company where employees are client- or customer-facing.
  • Holographic overlays. Adding a holographic overlay makes badges more secure by preventing counterfeiting. Customize them with your company logo or a unique pattern.


The design of your badge is about more than just good looks. Your badge is a key branding tool for your organization. When choosing design customizations, consider the following elements to align with your brand identity:

  • Colors. Use your company’s brand colors to maintain a cohesive and professional look. You can also add complementary colors such as a border or decorative element to differentiate among departments.
  • Logos and graphics. Add your logo and any other visual branding elements that identify team members as part of your organization. Make sure to use graphics sparingly to avoid an overcrowded or jumbled look.
  • Shape. The typical ID badge is a horizontal rectangle, but that doesn’t mean yours has to be. Custom-cut designs can make your badges stand out. Just take care to think about functionality. Your employees need to wear these every day and feel comfortable in them.

ID Badge Accessory Customization

Your customization options do not stop at the badge itself. Accessories like lanyards, badge reels and holders can make your custom ID badges stand out.

Lanyards. Choose plain lanyards that align with your brand colors, or opt for custom lanyards printed with your logo, slogans or department names.

Reels.Retractable reels are a good choice for teams that need easy access to their badges but want them out of the way when not in use. Reels are also a perfect place for customization. Add a logo, choose coordinating colors, or even play with the reel shape to enhance your branding.

Badge backers. These cards, which hang behind your employee ID card or badge, can be customized in a wide variety of colors and printed with any message — whether you want your badge backer to identify the wearer’s role or serve as a quick cheat sheet with important codes or maps. These are especially helpful in healthcare.

Why Customize Your ID Badges?

Customization serves a number of important purposes.

Branding and unification. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, culture is the most important part of a company for job seekers. While matching badges can’t do the work of culture building alone, they’re certainly part of a company’s overall effort into team building and creating a sense of unity. Consider custom badges that identify employees as part of a unit with a large organization or that showcase a quote or personal anecdote from each team member.

Role identification. Knowing where each team member fits within the organization (especially in large companies or customer-facing organizations) can streamline operations and improve efficiency. For example, you might order blue lanyards for IT or green for marketing. This allows all team members to quickly identify roles and departments.

Enhanced security. One of the primary functions of custom ID badges is security. RFID, smart chips, holograms and other security features make badges harder to duplicate and ensure only authorized individuals can access secure areas. This keeps sensitive information and people (like patients in a hospital setting) safe.

How Will You Customize Your ID Badge?

From William Notman’s first “photo ticket” to RFID-enabled, holographic smart cards, custom ID badges continue to play a vital role in modern workplaces and events. Advancements in printing and technology now allow you to create custom badges and accessories that enhance your brand identity, improve security and foster a sense of unity among your team.

Ready to customize? Whether you’re looking to set up an in-house badge program or work with us to design, print and ship, we can help. Give us a call at (844) 443-7467 or reach out online.

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