Name Day: What It Is & How to Celebrate

The name we received from our parents may be the most valuable possession we have. It discerns us from others, and it shapes our personalities and individuality. In many cultures and countries around the world, there is a celebration of someone’s name every day of the year. Many cultures call this celebration a Name Day.

happy name day greeting

The best thing about name days is that you don’t need to know your friend’s birthday to send them a greeting, you just need their name. And, while birthdays are certainly the most popular reason to celebrate and party in America, name days are just as important to many cultures around the world.

Is name day synonymous with birthday?

In short, the answer is no. However, there is so much more to the answer than a simple “yes or no.” Birthdays are just that, the day you were born. Your name day extends beyond and into more meaning than only you. You may share both days, but in many traditions, cultures and religions, your name day is more important than your birthday.

As a tradition in many countries in Europe and Latin America, people celebrate their name day once a year. This date is specific to your given name and the roots of that name. The tradition of celebrating this day flows back into Catholic and Orthodox countries since the Middle Ages and continues today. While those in North America don’t necessarily celebrate this day (other than an individual’s birthday), many cultures still hold this day in high regard.

Three name tags with different names, Renee's name day is celebrated on November 12th.

Celebrations of each name day are typically in commemoration of saints and martyrs of the Catholic church. For example, Sweden celebrates the name Karl on January 28, which is the anniversary of the death of Charlemagne. In some countries, such as Poland, there are several days for one name. In that situation, it is usually the closest one after the person’s birthday. Many countries regard these celebrations to be even more important than an actual birthday, as the latter was seen as a pagan tradition.

Why do you need to know the difference?

This became a popular topic when George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones, refers to the topic in his books and the resulting television series. While Martin does not give us a clear definition of what name days are, he does mention name days coincide with birthdays. Fans of the series have speculated after reading or watching it that a name day is the character’s birthday.

George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones meme reference to Happy Name Day

The Nameday is a custom in the society of the Seven Kingdoms. It is an annual celebration commemorating the naming of a person and serves to calculate his or her age. Babies are named the same day they are born. People receive presents from friends and family on their nameday. 

In Martin’s words, “Stupidly, Jon argued. ‘I’ll be fifteen on my name day,’ he said. ‘Almost a man grown.'” (Found in The Song of Ice and Fire)

Martin gives other examples of people celebrating name days as similar to birthdays. One example is the continual mention of King Joffrey Baratheon’s name day celebration.

So, what are name days, and where do people celebrate them?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines name days as “the church feast day of the saint after whom one is named.”

Many cultures and countries around the world put precedence on celebrating these specific name days. Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy and Russia are just a handful of countries that honor this celebration.

Two ladies setting up for a celebration of name day.
Fanny Brate – A Day of Celebration

In many cultures, there are first names associated with the days of the year. The associations between the days and the names have arisen through many reasons, but primarily because the church held a festival for a saint of that name on that day. For instance, the church feast of Saint Michael was held on September 29, and as a result, the name day for Michael is on September 29. In some countries, one’s nameday is more important than one’s birthday, and sometimes gifts are given.

While each culture may have different traditions surrounding name days, they all have one thing in common: the name. So, whether your name is Michelle or Karl, you have two days a year that are special to only you! While your birthday is indeed special, your name day carries just as much significance.

So, the next time you don’t know someone’s birthday, look up their name day and give them a cheerful message or gift instead. Try a new name tag or a personalized name plate with their name and their special date!

Customer Service and Name Tags

From customer service to hospitality services, are name tags a necessity?

There are two arguments, and they are simple: yes and no. When it comes right down to the nitty-gritty, most businesses use name tags. And, primarily customer service oriented ones, will tell you that they feel it is necessary to wear identification. Whether that’s an embroidered logo on a shirt or an actual name tag, branding is somehow incorporated onto their employees.

Now, the question needs to be asked about those employees. Who, and be honest here, really likes to wear a name tag? Not everyone enjoys having that immediate first name status with everyone they meet. So, the underlying question remains: should you use name tags for the best customer service possible?

using name tags in customer service and hospitality services

An Expert’s Answer: It Depends

While there are many reasons to wear name tags (see below*), there are also many that would fight against the “need.” Some of the finest in the hospitality business suggest that by using name tags, you are alienating your employees. They argue that name tags separate the employee from the consumer and presents a barrier between the two.

Tim Miller, a hotelier who was intimately involved in the creation of the new Marriott—Ian Schrager Edition brand, echoes this sentiment.

[Edition employees] don’t wear name tags because we want it to be similar to when you’re at home and a friend stops by and stays with you for a couple of nights. We want to provide service in a less artificial way than would be implied by the dividing line of name badged employees and civilian-dressed guests.”

And there’s no question that an environment adorned with name badge employees looks more stilted, artificial, less genuine than without it. Hotelier Tim Miller again: “We didn’t want the stilted awkwardness of ‘look, I work here, I’m taking care of you because that’s what it says on my badge I do.’”

By removing name tags from uniforms, some companies feel as though they are providing a more peer-to-peer relationship to form. That name tag, and the removal of, provides a barrier that is not a necessity for all businesses.

Consider This: Name Badges Improve Customer Service

Mark Harmon, CEO of Auberge Resorts and truly a “hotelier’s hotelier” told me, “We want to develop a relationship between our staff and guests. It’s awkward for the guest to have to ask for your name or the staff member to introduce himself. I find that guests love it when they can easily remember the name of our people.”

*This is where it gets good!

name tags are the perfect accessory for someone in customer service

For the majority of businesses, name badges are a must. Especially those whose focus is the customer service and face-to-face time with their consumers. And the reasons are pretty obvious.

Starting conversations is much easier when two people (or more) feel at ease in the communication. And, this can all start with a simple introduction. By wearing a name tag, your employee automatically starts this conversation without even knowing it!

This brings us to our next point: balancing your employees and customers needs. With technology as it is, you can know your customers before they need to initiate any conversation. Do this by using loyalty or membership cards, credit cards and even event passes. So, level your playing field with name tags so that your customer knows your employee just as the employee knows them.

And don’t forget about security and accountability. Name tags help your employees stay on task by providing them with a sense of responsibility and accountability. Those respectful actions are then reflected on their treatment of your customers and provides a positive environment for everyone. From making sure everyone is where they belong for security reasons to providing the best customer experience possible, name tags are here to stay!

So, give credit where it is due and don your name tag in support of knowing your customers!

Designing Your Perfect Name Tag

What information should I include when designing my name tag?

From font choice to details you think you should include, name tags are, surprisingly, an intricate thing when it comes to designing. And, making sure they read well is something you must consider before ordering one. Here are some guidelines to follow to make sure you are getting identification that helps your business.

Material & Color

blank name tags that feature both plastic and metal materials

Durability is a must! We carry both high-quality plastic and metal materials. So, no matter your new name tag use, we have a material that will fit your designing needs. And, with 30 plastic colors and 18 metal color combinations, we have a color that will suit your business needs as well. But, remember what Scott Ginsberg, the Name Tag Guy, said:

“The most effective background color for name tags is white. This allows maximum visibility for your logo, name and position. Dark blue, green or red backgrounds are used occasionally, but they have a tendency to ‘steal the show’ from the rest of your name tag.”

“Write the font in black or dark blue. Never use yellow, orange or any other light color. Even if a dark color choice means an aesthetic digression, fashion must be outweighed by your name tag’s approachability and visibility! Finally, unless you work in an academic capacity, avoid gold name tags.”

Font Size & Style

two printed font choices that send different messages even though when designing a name tag they used the same text

From size to the color, the font is one of the most important aspects of your new name tag. Yes, font matters when designing your new name tags! You should always choose a readable font and size. If others cannot read your name tag from at least 10 feet away, your font size is too small. However, don’t stray the other direction. Too large of a font will distract and limit, if not remove, space for additional information. Even if you are attending a horror convention, the name tag font should always be legible. If someone can’t read it, that negates the use of your name tag, so why even wear one?

Always consider the following: What does my font choice really say? Melanie Bunch, Coller Industries’ graphic artist, says, “Make sure you are using a font that suits your business or event needs. Even the tone of the font choice is essential. A bookstore or cafe might opt for a more casual font, while fine clothing or 5-star restaurants might want a fancier or more formal font. Large businesses and corporations may want to choose a font that is consistent with their company branding, which tends to be something more utilitarian.”

On the other hand, some fonts are always a bit more professional than others. We offer 17 font choices that are fun, yet maintain professionalism for nearly any business. And, remember that some fonts are great for employee names, but not suitable for a business name or title.

Engraving & Printing

engraved logos on metal and plastic name tags are a key feature when designing a new tag

Before requesting any engraved (or printed) text for your new name tags, first, consider your size. Once you choose a name tag size, any names, titles or other information will then need to be tested to make sure they will appropriately fit. Shorter and smaller name tags may look better with your uniforms, but then you will most likely have to settle with first names only when designing. But, don’t think the larger your name tags, the more information you can have.

Once you have names, titles and your business name planned out, you can consider your logo. Always ask yourself, “Does this new name tag actually need my logo on it?” If the answer is yes, make sure to choose a name tag that best suits that logo. From engraving to full-color printing we have a logo solution we’re sure you’ll love.

The final guideline here is never to think your name tag is a business card.

There is a thin line between just enough information and too much when designing new name tags. Keep it simple, and keep it flowing. Yes, you need to represent the person wearing the name tag and in some cases, your business. But, remember that less is always more when it comes to name tags.

World Scout Jamboree & Name Tags

What does a scout jamboree have to do with name tags? Well…

Glen Jean, West Virginia – The story starts in London, 1920. The first World Scout Jamboree was held from 30 July 1920 to 8 August 1920 and was hosted by the United Kingdom at Kensington Olympia in London. Since then, the jamboree has been held in various places around the world. But, the last time it was in the US was in 1967. This year, that all changed!

Albin Dearing, BSA Contingent Troop 315 Assistant Scoutmaster, explains, “The first World Scout Jamboree was organized by the Boy Scouts Association in London. With exceptions of the war years, it has been held every four years in different parts of the world. The 2019 World Jamboree will be held at the Bechtel Summit Reserve in West Virginia. Over 45,000 scouts representing 152 countries will be attending.”

donation from coller industries incorporated

“Troop USA 315 is a temporary troop of 36 scouts and four adult leaders put together for the purpose of attending the 2019 World Scout Jamboree hosted this year in West Virginia,” said Dearing. “The donation towards our name tags will allow the scouts to learn each other’s names faster as they make new friends and relationships.”

What is a World Scout Jamboree?

The World Scout Jamboree is above all an educational event that brings together the world’s young people to promote peace and mutual understanding and to develop leadership and life skills.

The 24th World Scout Jamboree will feature the hallmarks of past world jamboree programs, such as the Global Development Village, special sustainability initiatives, and the socialization elements that allow participants to make lifelong friends from around the world.

From astronauts to a local scouts, everyone is having fun with scouting activities. Even name tags get a place in this year’s scout jamboree!

Dearing said, “Our troop will be part of the USA Contingent going to the 2019 World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia in July. 36 scouts and four adult leaders will be part of our Troop USA 315. Since scouts from multiple local units will be coming together for this adventure, we decided the other day to get the boys name badges.”

Plastic Name Tags (UV Color Logo)

Full-color logos are genius when it comes to the professionalism of your business name tags. And, with UV colors, bright gradients and images show up vividly for everyone to see. All text is engraved into the two-color plastic material. Choose from a large selection of sizes and other custom options to make the best out of your branding.

uv printed logo on a plastic name tag for the world scout jamboree

Dearing is proud to be a part of the scouting tradition. “We are Boy Scout Troop USA 315 from the Great Trail Council in Ohio,” he said. “The three primary aims of scouting for today’s youth are growth in moral strength and character, participating citizenship and development of physical, mental, and emotional fitness. The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.”

3 Sets of Products That Work Better Together

From the simplest of pairs to the most personalized sets, here’s a list of all of our products that work better when paired together.

Badge Holders & Lanyards

Let’s get started with the most basic and well-known personalized product: badge holders. They are so underrated, and we think that’s a shame. Badge holders are great for so many things. From identification needs at conventions to at-home DIY projects, these unique products are downright perfect.

And, with printable inserts, badge holders are products that are only limited by your imagination, and maybe your printer. Add graphics, logos and any text you need for any event or craft. They come in several sizes and either a horizontal or vertical orientation. From lightweight to heavy duty, these vinyl badges are perfect for any need.

Don’t limit a badge holder to an event staple at your next conference, convention or trade show. They are so versatile that they will last through any meeting. And, they are an excellent benefit for schools to use as visitor passes. Retail environments also get significant reuse from these identification products when using them for seasonal employees.

Now, let’s pair these badge holders with the power of a lanyard!

Whether it’s a chain or full-color printed ribbon, lanyards have a power all to themselves. They are perfect for branding for any company or event. Keep essential items close at hand with a lanyard. And, you can find these tools anywhere you find badge holders. After all, badge holders come with a slot at the top specifically designed to go hand-in-hand with a lanyard.

And, with the variety of available lanyard styles, materials and colors, they provide an excellent source of advertising. Design your lanyards with logos, graphics and text to make them stand out. Even more important, make sure that your design flows with your badge holders. When used together, these two identification products provide multiple functions for a variety of events and situations.

Badge Holders & Badge Ribbons

badge holders and badge ribbons are two identification products that pair well together

We’re beginning to sense a theme here. Badge holders are making another appearance.

Badge holders and badge ribbons, it’s all in the name! They really do go hand-in-hand with each other. But, this time they are being paired with badge ribbons. These ribbon products are a fantastic tool at any conference. They help identify different participants and vendors. Badge ribbons are available with stock or custom titles so no one will be left out.

Badge ribbons are often used to promote brand recognition, events, sales and to market services or products. Add a ribbon to the bottom of a badge holder to make someone stand out in a crowd. Or use them for DIYs and home crafts. But, no matter what you use them for, remember to grab a badge holder to go with them.

Name Tags & Name Plates

Yes, you may not think that these two identification products work better together, but we beg to differ.

pair a name tag and a name plate together and make all of your identification products work well together with matching colors and logos

No matter how big your company is, using your brand is what makes you stand out. Your logo represents not only you and your company but also your brand and overall commitment to your clients and customers. And, in the name tag world, using your logo consistently on all personal identification products helps to define and identify you and your company.

From colors to logos, consistency matters. So, finding the right consistency with logos, colors and fonts helps to solidify your message. By defining what your brand is up front, you help establish your company as an industry leader. Find a way to keep your logo and text the same on all name tags and name plates. A company who ensures that their brand is well developed will retain and obtain connections with their clients and customers.

So, lesson learned. Never underestimate the power of combined identification products. Let them work for you, and your job will be even easier.