Badges can do more than just identify staff members. A badge program can also be used to enhance your company’s security measures, contact tracing options, parking access enforcement and branding. Depending on the size and needs of your organization, an in-house badge-printing program could be the right option for you.
If you’ve never implemented an ID badge program before, you may be wondering what specific steps you need to take. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to set up a program that can be run by your staff. Once you have everything set up, you’ll be able to print badges in just a few minutes! This post will take you through the step-by-step process of printing badges.
Benefits of an In-House Badge Program
Do you need to print IDs on demand as new staff or guests enter the building? Do you struggle to meet a third-party vendor’s minimum order requirements? Printing in-house means that you can create any number of badges, whenever you need them, and you don’t need any special skills or training.
You’ll also be able to completely customize the design of your badges, rather than relying on pre-fabricated templates available from third-party vendors. Security accessories such as RFID chips or magnetic stripes can be included in your printing process. Other options include security and hologram labels, bar codes, magnetic stripes, fluorescent overlays, microtext and more.
Schools, hospitals and facilities can all benefit from the instant results of an in-house badge-printing program. New students, staff or vendors will receive their badges within moments of walking through the door. This can help keep your staff and/or students safe, since it makes it easy to identify people who may not be allowed within certain areas or buildings.
ID badges not only create a professional atmosphere, they also help facilitate positive interactions between staff and clients. When your employees are easily identifiable, clients, vendors and other staff members can quickly locate the person they need to speak to — and notice if someone is in an area where they shouldn’t be. Security options built into badges can give peace of mind for those working in buildings where access and clearance are necessary.
In addition, touchless access systems that use badges can help prevent viral outbreaks by reducing the number of hands that come into contact with surfaces such as keypads and door handles. In our COVID-aware reality, the creation of a health- and safety-focused badge system can provide peace of mind to both your staff and clients.
Badges are key to promoting events and brands as well. Official coordinated badges and lanyards double as a sign that a person represents your company or school. They can help create a sense of uniformity that allows clients to ask questions and strike up conversations with people from your organization.
Tools Needed for an In-House Badge Program
To successfully print badges in-house, you will need to purchase specific equipment and materials, including:
1. ID Card Printer: An ID card printer is the foundation of your program. Reliable and easy to use, there’s a printer for every budget and project size. The Zebra ZC100 Card Printer is a good choice for budget-conscious companies that only require single-sided printing, while the Zebra ZXP Series 7 Card Printer is made for high-production environments.
2. Ink Ribbon: Depending on your ID card needs, you can choose between color, clear and monochrome ribbons that print from edge to edge. Whatever you decide, make sure you pick a compatible ribbon for your printer brand
3. Blank ID Cards: Blank plastic cards for desktop card printers are typically made from either 100% PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or a composite mixture of PVC and PET (polyethylene terephthalate). For typical printing without lamination, a PVC card or 100% PVC card is the most economical choice. For applications that require more durability or will be using lamination, Composite PVC/PET (also known as 60/40 cards) will work best.
4. Laminate and Overlays: Lamination protects your ID cards and keeps them looking professional for years to come. Overlays are the right choice when you need to retransfer multiple images.
5. Software and Camera: Your software allows you to design your badges and print to your card printer from any typical workplace computer. If you’ve decided to include photos on your IDs, you’ll also need a camera.
6. Clips and Lanyards: Will your cards be kept in a wallet or worn on a lanyard? Clipped to a sleeve or on a reel? Once you decide how the cards will be worn or displayed, you can purchase the corresponding accessories.
Once you have these supplies, you can start making your own badges.
How to Make Your Own ID Badges
- Step 1: Download the Software and Setup Your Printer
Choose a convenient location for your ID badge-printer setup, such as a designated desk or table near administration. Once you have your computer and card printer in place, you won’t want to have to move it. Follow the instructions to download your software program and the printer drive. Your printer will come with directions on how to install the ribbon, load cards and use overlays.
- Step 2: Create a Template
Using your computer’s software, you can design your ID card, either by using a pre-loaded template or creating your own from scratch. Consider what type of information is necessary for your company. Do you need to include staff names? What about job titles? Clearance levels? If emphasizing branding is important, coordinate the colors with your company logo.
- Step 3: Take Photo
Before taking someone’s photo, make sure that the background is clean, plain and neutral in color. Hang a piece of cardstock or cloth if the wall behind the person is patterned or too dark. Natural light helps create a clear, professional image. Center the person’s face and take a photo from their shoulders up. Check the image for glare or blur.
- Step 4: Input Information
Enter the person’s information into the card template, double-checking for spelling and grammatical errors. Download the photo from your camera to your computer and add it to the template.
- Step 5: Print
Once you’ve confirmed that the information is entered correctly, simply hit print. Attach the lanyard, clip or reel and you’re good to go!
The ID Shop Promise
Whether you’re in charge of badges for a small business, a major corporation or a school, creating an in-house badge program is easy with ID Shop. We have the supplies needed to help you print your staff’s badges with a stress- and hassle-free system. Our team of experts can walk you through the process from start to finish. No matter what questions or challenges you may have, we can help. Give us a call at 844-443-7467 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today.