When is it time to update your photo ID badge design?

In today’s fast-paced world of security, technology, and design, it’s common for certain aspects of an organization to become outdated. Two aspects often overlooked are the photo ID badge design and functionality. Photo identification plays a crucial role in security, personnel identification, and brand representation. Yet, many organizations fail to update their ID badge design and functionality, even when they have been overdue for years.

So, what are your ID design indicators that raise the outdated flag? This blog will present potential indicators you can use to maintain a secure, fresh, and up-to-date photo ID badge. We’ll also present important design factors to consider when designing and printing these badges.

ID Badge Design Update Indicators:

  1. Enhanced Security Needed: Outdated badge designs might not have advanced security features, making them easier to replicate or misuse. On the other hand, modern badge designs can include cutting-edge security elements such as hologram-like security seals, UV inks, micro-printing, photo ghosting, and RFID technology to provide enhanced security and protection.
  2. Changes in Brand Representation: It’s important to ensure that your organization’s ID badges accurately represent your brand. If your logo has changed due to a branding refresh, merger, or acquisition, an outdated badge design will not align with your organization’s overall image, creating confusion and inconsistency in your visual identity.
  3. Dramatic Increase in Workforce: As your organization evolves, there will be an increase in the number of departments, roles, or services. In such cases, updating your badge design can help you create unique badges for different groups. This makes it easier for employees and visitors to quickly identify each other accurately.
  4. Meeting Industry and Government Compliances: Meeting industry and government compliance is crucial as regulations and industry standards change over time. To ensure that your organization reduces legal or operational liabilities, keeping your badge designs up to date with current standards is essential. This is especially important in healthcare, government, and government-regulated businesses, where larger font sizes, noted certifications and credentials, expiry dates, fraud prevention security options, and defined photo sizes are some of the top mandated badge design features.
  5. Changes in Card Technology:  If your organization currently uses multiple card technologies due to new systems and systems acquired during mergers or acquisitions, a time will come when a rebadge is necessary. This is especially true when a single technology becomes the standard. Rebadging with a new badge design will help ensure that the older technology badges are returned and updated so that they can no longer be used.

Consider the following characteristics going through an ID badge design change and rebadge:

  1. Imperfections: Understand that slight imperfections do occur in the dye-sublimation printing process, especially during high-volume printing. Discussing this with your badge printing team and defining what constitutes an acceptable and unacceptable imperfection will provide a clear consistency for what badges should be re-printed and what badges are to be kept.
  2. Color Matching: Ensure your badge colors match your brand as closely as possible. While eXpress badging can try to match colors, exact Pantone Matching System (PMS) matches might not always be achievable. Pay attention to this especially when using different printer manufacturers for the same printing project.
  3. Design Templates: Decide whether you want to use pre-made design templates or create a custom design. Pre-made templates can save time, but custom designs allow for more creativity. Depending on the software, you can automatically assign specific badge designs to specific badge types using defined logic statements. For example, if the title equals “registered nurse” print the RN badge template with a red background. Or, if the title equals “physician” print the MD badge template with a blue background.
  4. Security Features: Incorporate security features like UV inks, foil stamping, security seal, and RFID technology to enhance badge security.
  5. Font and Font Size: Regarding merged printed text, choose common fonts to enhance the readability and availability of fonts in badge printing software. Custom fonts can be used when properly licensed. By using an auto-reduced feature, you can accommodate long names without truncation. If you prefer fixed font sizes, specify them during the design process, considering the longest field length that will be printed.
  6. Photo Orientation: Standard industry photo size is 1″ x 1.25″. Ensure your photos are cropped appropriately, showing the entire face with minimal background. Avoid using squares when possible because faces are rectangular in shape.
  7. Backside Printing: Utilize the back of your badge for additional information or branding. Make the most of this valuable space.
  8. Slot Punch: If your badges are slot-punched, design them to accommodate the slot location without having location markers in your graphics.
  9. File Formats: Provide artwork in accepted file formats like transparent PNG, JPG, PSD, PDF, TIFF, or BMP, with the best resolution possible (preferably 600 DPI). When providing background templates do not round the corners.
  10. Proofing: Preview all provided proofs carefully before approval. Once approved, any errors or design changes will result in additional costs.
  11. Technology Testing: Ensure your badges work with your systems when containing RFID, magnetic stripes, or barcodes. Test cards in each system to confirm functionality.


Ready For Your ID Badge Design Update?

When you decide to rebadge your organization, you have the fundamentals of doing it correctly the first time. If you prefer that someone else do all the heavy lifting for you and your team, using a contracted badge printing partner like eXpress badging can help fast-track your photo ID issuance project.

With over 30 years of experience, eXpress badging solves the complications that surround photo ID badge issuance. We provide highly secure employee badge printing services that specifically integrate with your organization’s brand of card readers, colors, logos, and even direct shipping to your employees’ home addresses.

If you would like to schedule some time on one of my sales reps’ calendars, you can do so by following this link.