Name Tags: The Simple Truth

Remember to keep your name tag simple! They are for personal identification and not meant to be used as a resume.

keeping name tags simple Amazingly enough, some name tags read like a business card, or as otherwise suggested, a resume. However, personal identification should be kept as simple as possible. Name tags and name badges should only include minimal information that identifies the person wearing it. Here is a short, concise and simple list of what should be included in designing a name tag.

If a logo is being provided for a company, remember to keep it to a size that will fit and look good on a name tag. Depending on the type of name tag, such as a plastic laser engraved name tag, logos may only be done in a specific color or format. Full color name tags do offer a bit more versatility, but keep in mind that the logo shouldn’t be the only thing on the name tag. Full color tags offer the user the option of brighter colors and the option of bleeds. This is useful for logos that are large or need to have specific colors used.

simple logo only name badgesAnother thing to keep in mind when looking at name tags is possibly using name badges. Name badges are ordered with only a logo either printed or engraved and names and/or titles are added at a later point. These badges are a great idea when you need to be able to reuse them, such as for a seasonal or temporary position at a company or organization.

Names and titles can both be extremely effective on a badge. But keep in mind that size is extremely important here. Keep it simple and to the point! Many times a person’s name is the only thing that is needed for identification. A first name is typically sufficient for name tags, however last names can be used in some cases. First names are great on name badges at conferences. They are also perfect to use in a commercial or retail setting as most customers don’t need to know the person’s last name. However, in the case of having multiple people with the name first name, adding a last name will help with the identification.

Of course, titles may be added to these name tags. However, make sure to order the name tag in an appropriate size so as to accommodate the text properly. One of the most important things about a name tag is visibility. Text size is extremely important! The text should always be readable from a distance, typically about 10 feet. Don’t add too much text to one line as it could become too small to read even from close up.

keeping name tags simple and using appropriate fastenersThe final thing to cover is the fastener choice. Most name tags come with multiple options, but be careful with these. Don’t order a lanyard to go with an adhesive name badge! It just wouldn’t work. Be smart about the choice. While magnetic fasteners are popular, pins or clips might be more appropriate for your situation. Always think of how and where the name tag will be worn before making the final selection on a fastener.

And, as always… remember: K.I.S.S. (keep it short and simple)!

Name Tag Deadly Sins – Part 2

The Seven Deadly Sins of Ineffective Name Tags

*This list is adapted from Scott Ginsberg, The Name Tag Guy.name tag name badge Ivan Misner, the "Father of Modern Networking" seven deadly sins of ineffective name tags

“Your name tag is your best friend for several reasons. First of all, a person’s name is the single piece of personal information most often forgotten, and people are less likely to approach you if they don’t know (or have forgotten) your name. Second, it’s free advertising for you and your company. Third, name tags encourage people to be friendly and more approachable.” ~ Ivan Misner, the “Father of Modern Networking”

Last week we covered four of the seven “deadly sins” of ineffective name tags presented by Scott Ginsberg. This week, the remaining three “deadly sins” that make name tags ineffective; and what to do to make them more effective in your branding practices.

Fifth, placement: Name tag placement serves a different purpose depending on the event or function it is being used for. For example, if the name tag is placed on the right side, it is visible when meeting new people or greeting others with a handshake as it becomes parallel with the viewers line of sight. Another example is if the name tag is placed on the left side, it is more visible to those who are approaching you from an opposite direction. The first example is great for corporate meetings and other office events. The second example is best for large conferences or conventions.

logo name tags seven deadly sins of ineffective name tagsSixth, presence: While this typically refers to placement as well, this is more than just wear on your clothing you should wear your name tag. When choosing the placement, you want to make sure that the viewer will have maximum eye contact as well. So, don’t wear your name tag on your right pants pocket, but rather on your collar bone where it will be visible to whomever you are speaking with. “The most effective location is two to three inches below your collar bone on whichever side most appropriate for your function,” says Scott.

Seventh, maximization: To make the greatest or fullest use of a name tag, make sure to utilize all blank space. Use a large font to that the name is visible from a distance. Make sure that any blank space that is left is necessary. “Think of your name tag as your ‘front porch.’ It invites people. It makes them feel comfortable. And, it initiates conversations that transform strangers into valuable connections,” says Scott. And indeed, a name tag is a piece of real estate that will help in any personal or business branding.

By avoiding these final three “deadly sins” your name tag will become more efficient and, as Scott always says, you’ll improve your approachability!

Name Tag Deadly Sins – Part 1

The Seven Deadly Sins of Ineffective Name Tags

*This list is adapted from Scott Ginsberg, The Name Tag Guy.

name tag name badge scott ginsberg the name tag guy seven deadly sins of ineffective name tags“Your name tag is your best friend. It is a lifesaver in meetings, trade shows and events to start conversations when you meet groups of new people. It also identifies you as well as your company in the minds of others,” Scott Ginsberg is known for saying.

So, what’s the trick to making sure that your name tags makes you approachable? Follow these first four attributes as set forth by Scott from “The Seven Deadly Sins of Ineffective Name Tags.” *Follow up will come next week with the remaining three.

First, size: Have you ever been in a situation where someone is squinting and staring directly at your chest or other area desperately trying to make out tiny letters on your name tag? “This is self defeating, embarrassing and actually works to decrease your approachability,” says Scott. A name tag should be readable from at least 10 feet away, thus making the recommended font size a minimum of 24 point. Try and make the font as big as you can, also avoid cursive, script or other fancy writing styles.

adhesive name badges seven deadly sins of ineffective name tagsSecond, color: The most effective background color for a name badge is white. While having an outline in a bright color does grab attention to the wearer, make sure the background is stark white for visibility. By doing so, this allows maximum visibility for a logo, your name and, if necessary, your position within your company. All font should be either black or dark blue ink. “Fashion must be outweighed by your name tag’s approachability and visibility!” exclaims Scott.

Third, turnaround: One frustrating name tag problem that people face is “the name tag turnaround.” No name; no logo; no company; just the blank back of the name badge. This happens especially when the name tag is worn around the neck on a lanyard or worn with a clip. To avoid having “name tag turnaround” (a phrase coined by Scott), make sure to always write the exact same information on both sides.

Fourth, clutter: “Avoid name tags with overly thick borders, unnecessary clutter or too much text. All of the information contained must be readable and memorable in less than five seconds. Remember, they call them name tags because the name must be the focal point, whether it’s the name of the person or the name of the company, those are the two most important pieces of information,” says Scott.

By avoiding these first four “deadly sins” your name tag will become more efficient and, as Scott always says, you’ll improve your approachability!

Four Favorite Name Tag Features

Name tags and name badges have a controversial past, but there is no reason to have a fear of name tags. Here are four name tag features to overcome that fear.

Some people believe that name tags are useful for businesses and others believe that name badges block individuality and are becoming obsolete. In either case, most people can agree on one thing, name tags and name badges can help when trying to identify people in large groups and in certain surroundings.

using logos as name tag features and name badge featuresFirst, and the most obvious, providing identification. One of the most important name tag features is that they reinforce someone’s identity. When a retail employee wears a name tag with a company name or logo clearly visible on it, that name badge becomes a subtle form of advertising and it reinforces that company’s brand into the minds of any customers.

The second name tag features, and maybe a little less thought about, is security. Name badges make it easier for employees to recognize those who might not belong. As an example, if an employee is accustomed to seeing his or her fellow employees with name tags, an abnormality would be spotted easier. This is particularly true for a company that deals with sensitive information or products. Anyone that may be out of place would be immediately spotted to help maintain the company’s security.

adhesive name badges provide name tag features such as quick identificationThird, providing an immediate relationship with the viewer. While this is a more subtle use of a name badge, it is just as important as other reasons to use a name tag. Name badges worn at a school reunion help attendees to locate old friends and job memories. They are great for ice-breakers and other games that might be played at such an event. Name tags allow someone to be easily identified and give information on who that person is, such as a title or department that said person might work in. Several surveys have discovered that customers prefer interacting with employees that wear name tags.

Last, but not least, is professionalism. This is probably the second most thought of name tag feature. Business name tags subtly encourage the wearer to maintain some professionalism while being worn. Sometimes it is easy for employees to forget where they are, but by adding a name badge or name tag, this is less likely to happen. While there is nothing wrong with having a casual working environment, a name tag will ensure a certain amount of professionalism.

So, don’t be afraid of the ever elusive name tag. They are your friend and can be very useful in many situations. They should never be overlooked.