Things To Consider Before Designing Your IDs
Before you begin designing ID cards for your organization, here are four elements you should review before starting to layout your creation. After being in the industry for years and assisting in the design for thousands of companies we realize the many uses of an identification card. No matter what your reason for creating an ID card, these elements should at least be reviewed.
Portrait VS Landscape
The primary method of the card being used is the first thing to consider when it comes to the orientation of your card. You may want your cards to be worn at a specific event or function and if so, then a portrait card would best suit your staff. If you want your members or staff to carry the card in their wallet then commonly it’s best to choose a landscape card giving you more room for personal information and lengthy titles.
If you want your staff to wear their identification on their jacket, lapel or worn on a lanyard, then it’s best to use a portrait setup. Wearing a landscape card commonly gets in the way because of its width. Also, it doesn’t seem to stay as upright and keep your staff looking as sharp. A portrait card hangs better simply because of the effects of gravity. Also when you want your staff to wear a card, you should consider what information you want to be displayed to the world on their credentials.
The amount of personal information that you place on your staff’s identification cards should be limited to the information that you want the readers to have access to. If the card is going to be displayed or worn, then it’s best to limit the amount of information to the individual’s name and title. If the card will be carried in a wallet, then you can put more information on the card helping to either identify the individual with items, such as height, sex, and blood type.
If you are creating a card for a specific industry or to comply with the regulations for identification set by another organization then make sure you are following their guidelines. One example of this is police identification cards. Several states have created legislation that describes exactly what is required and these specifications must be followed. Another example is for organizations that do contract work for another entity. Commonly these entities have suggested some guidelines to follow. Be sure to check any requirements set by organizations such as these.
In a nutshell, we suggest that you limit the amount of personal information for your identification cards. The caveat is for people that need information in cases of emergencies such as police officers, fireman or any dangerous profession or industry. In these scenarios, we even recommend putting any specific medical information that would be beneficial in the event of a medical emergency. Alternatively, most people would not care to show the world their medical conditions at a trade show.
Back of the Card
The back of the card is commonly not used and this is valuable real estate that you can make good use. Some organizations use the back of the card for additional personal information especially if the card is formatted in a landscape orientation. Some of the best things that we have seen on the back of a card are something that you want your organization to live by such as a company’s mission statement or company’s statement of purpose. Another item that you should consider is a mailing address that the card should be sent to if the card was lost and then found by someone. It’s common that the post office will forward the identification card if it’s simply dropped into a mailbox.
Barcodes for time clock or job tracking, and important phone numbers are other things that can be useful to place on the back of the card as well.
Also consider what other uses you might take advantage of when it comes to designing your identification cards. By simply adding the appropriate type of barcode, you might be able to incorporate a time clock application. Access control commonly requires a much larger investment for both the ID cards and the hardware required to lock and unlock secure areas of your company, but this too should be considered. When using cards for access control the cards commonly have an RFID chip stored under the plastic of the card itself.
In conclusion, the most important factor is the primary use of your identification cards. The card’s benefits range from corporate branding and recognition to having assisting in medical emergencies for individuals in hazardous industries.