ID badges may not immediately come to mind as a branding tool, but if you’re not using your company badges as part of your overall branding efforts, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity. While you might think of them as a simple way to authenticate an employee’s identity, allow access into specific areas or to provide access to visitors, ID badges can play a much larger role — if you let them.
Custom ID badges, along with branded lanyards and even a custom retractable badge holder, can help make a statement about your company and serve as an extension of your current branding initiative. And, since it’s an expenditure you already need to make, why not put a little more time and thought into creating custom ID badges for your company brand to make sure they’re consistent with the rest of your branding?
Why You Need to Give ID Badges More Attention
If your company uses ID badges, those badges are being seen by many different people during the day. It’s rare that someone stays in the office all day, and each time an employee goes out, it’s an opportunity to reinforce your branding efforts.
Whether your employees are attending a conference, meeting with a prospective client or are just taking a walk in the park during their lunch hour, ID badges will end up being seen in public spaces. And, when guests come to your facility, they’ll be wearing your badge — which means you have one more way to market to them.
Recognizing that ID badges are more than an in-house security device, and can actually serve as a marketing tool, will help guide your decisions in how they’re designed.
Instead of creating a standard ID card with plenty of white space and an employee’s photo, or a plain, simple guest pass, approach the design of your ID badges as you would any other marketing asset. To do that, let’s look at five elements you can use to create a custom ID badge that supports your company’s branding.
No. 1: Start With the Right Logo and Colors
Work with your marketing department to make sure that you have the most up-to-date company style guide. You’ll want to be sure your ID badges use the right colors, fonts and correct company logo. Depending on the layout of the badge, you could also include your company slogan.
Look at other current marketing materials your company is producing. What ideas can you borrow from those materials, and how can you consistently carry out the theme you see in existing branding efforts?
No. 2: Put Lots of Thought Into the Design
When you start thinking about your ID badges as a marketing tool and not just identification, chances are it will change the way you design them. What’s the first thing that you want people to see when they glance at your badges? What do you want them to remember about it?
If you don’t have an in-house designer, it may be well worth your efforts to hire a freelance or contract designer to work with you in developing the badge design. You want it to be attractive and functional, not just to make sure you check all the boxes on what you’d like to include. There are many different options when it comes to how the card is designed, so create several examples and see which one best conveys your brand messaging. Remember not to overcrowd it; you want it to be memorable, not overwhelming.
No. 3: Remember Both Sides
If you’re only using one side of your ID badge, you’re giving up a lot of valuable space. Utilizing both sides of your ID badge will double the amount of information your card can manage. For example, if you use barcode security, consider placing that information on the back of the badge and reserve the front of the badge for more outward-facing branding, such as your company logo.
You can also use the back of the card to include important information or reminders for your own employees, such as numbers to call in case of a departmental emergency or your company mission statement.
No. 4: Use Orientation to Your Advantage
Do you think of ID badges as being strictly horizontal? Or vertical? The truth is, they can be either, so let your badge work with whichever orientation best suits your individual logo and branding. A vertical logo will usually work better on a vertical badge, just as a horizontal logo will most likely look better on a horizontal badge. You want to make sure the logo doesn’t get out or proportion either by stretching it or trying to squeeze it into a space that doesn’t quite fit it.
Remember, if others can’t see it, it isn’t doing you any good. Be flexible and willing to experiment with the orientation to make sure it best serves your branding standards and goals.
No. 5: Make It Last
ID badges need to be durable, and that’s especially true when they’re being used as a marketing or branding tool. You want your badges to be vibrant and the edges shouldn’t look worn or frayed. One way to keep badges looking better longer is to opt for longer-lasting materials such as HID smart cards or cards made from PVC. Not only are these more difficult to duplicate than a standard laminated paper ID card, which means they are more secure for your business, but they’re also going to show less wear and retain their colors better — which is important when you are showcasing your branding.
Consider laminating your badges, even when using durable materials, to make them last longer.
Put Your Best Badge Forward
When you create a custom ID badge that looks great and reinforces your company branding, you’re showing extra attention to detail that paints your company in the best possible light. Consider adding security features, such as holograms, where needed and you’ll ensure that you have a company ID badge that not only hits all the right notes for in-house security, but can make a great impression to those outside your workplace.