Can I use my laminator to make ID badges?

posted this on May 30, 2016

There are a surprising number of things to consider when you are making ID badges for your team members. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Gather Material.

First you have to decide what information you want to include on your ID badges. Name and photo are no-brainers, of course, but you might also want to include the title of the badge holder, along with his or her department, and what their security clearance is, if need be.

Ideally, there should be some way for your security team and for other employees to tell from somewhat of a distance whether a badge is still up to date and valid. Some ideas that may help enable this would be creating badges with a different color background for each year, or for visitors and current employees. There have been some advancements in this area, including badges that fade to white within a specified time period, such as 48 hours. Take a look online at what your options may be in this regard.

Choose a Badge Type.

There really are a number of choices to be made here with regards to functionality and your budget, so don’t be in a hurry when you are doing your research. There’s anything from the simplest laminated paper badge with an inexpensive plastic clip to PVC cards with magnetic strips on the end of imprinted and customized breakaway lanyards.

One other factor to consider is what size of badge you will need. You’ll want to make sure that all the information you desire can fit onto the card, but you still want it to be readable. This might take some thought and editing, and if you have a design team, you might want to get them on the case.

Get Them Printed

There are a couple different ways to go about this, of course. There are plenty of websites out there that can do a reasonable job for you, with templates and lots of color options and the like. VistaPrint, My Simon and Bizrate are some places to start. Your local print shop should be able to give you some guidance as well.

If you are more of a do-it-yourselfer, you can use programs such as MS Word, Indesign, or Photoshop to either create and do your own artwork, or use their templates. In Word, you can go to the Labels section and there will be a template there for you to use. It would be a good idea to save and keep the templates handy so you can quickly bring them up and update them whenever necessary. When it comes to printing and laminating your ID badges, there are a few different options. You can upload that artwork to the aforementioned sites, for instance, send the job to your local printer, or print and laminate them yourself in your office.

There are a lot of pouch laminating machines on the market with lots of different capabilities, and they are all fairly easy to use and inexpensive. If you are going to be in the position of creating a large number of badges on a regular basis, or need the ability to make ID badges at a moment’s notice, you should look into purchasing your own pouch laminating machine.

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