Personalised lanyards: what design will you choose?


Personalised lanyards are growing in popularity and the trend for customisation shows no sign of slowing down. So, how do you customise a lanyard? In this blog, we focus on the printed element of your lanyard and look at how to come up with a winning design.

How do you customise a lanyard? 

Personalised lanyards can be customised in three ways:

  1. Material of the lanyard
  2. Printed design
  3. Clips and attachments

Though each of them has an important part to play, the design you choose to have printed on your lanyard is arguably the most effective for brand building.

Most people choose to keep their design simple with either just a logo or one/two words, such as 'STAFF'. Before you get this far, you'll need to decide on a material because this will directly impact on what you can have printed on your lanyard.

Choosing the right material/print 

Flat polyester custom lanyards (UK) are usually printed using a one-colour silk screen or litho technique. This is the most cost-effective way of reproducing your logo on a lanyard, and the vibrant colours are guaranteed not to rub off or fade over time.

If you have a complex design that requires picture-quality detail, then we recommend opting for dye sublimation – a type of heat transfer. With this you get:

  • full-colour print
  • use of both sides of the lanyard
  • print that 'runs off' the edges

This gives you the creativity to explore different designs that combine fine detailing and a huge array of colours – and without having to worry about how they'll turn out.

Your final option is to have your design woven into the fabric of your lanyard.

Using this method, your logo is permanently embroidered into the material, so you can expect it to last a lifetime. Though you are limited to a two-colour design, your lanyard will look and feel superior, which can help to elevate your brand.

A note on colours 

We can Pantone-match all of your printed colours AND your lanyard material. It's important to consider this because the colour of your lanyard will essentially be the background to your print. So, even with a one or two-colour print, you still have the flexibility to be creative.

If you want your design to stand-out, then consider using contrasting colours. This is particularly useful if you're using type and you want it to be read from a distance, for example, white on black, yellow on purple etc.

Choosing your lanyard design 

Creating a design that fits the narrow width of a lanyard (usually about 20mm) isn't easy, and that's why we offer to do the hard work for you. Simply send us your logo, colour references and any other elements you want us to include, and we'll do the rest.

If you'd prefer to do it yourself, then we have these top tips for you:

  • Keep your design simple and avoid including anything with small lettering that you need to be able to see close-up to read – bold elements work best.
  • If you want your design to look professional, stick to one typeface. Using several different fonts has the potential to make it look messy and amateurish.
  • Contrasting colours are your greatest tool for creating bold, eye-catching designs, and what's more it's an opportunity to reflect your brand.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from all this is that your design needs to work from a distance. If you want your lanyard to be seen by more people, then your design really needs to stand out from the crowd and what's more, it needs to be memorable.

Design meets functionality 

We've spoken a lot about the look and feel of your lanyard, but functionality also needs to be factored into your design. In short, what is the purpose of your lanyard?

Here are just three examples that demonstrate how design can aid functionality.

  1. NHS lanyards for staff 

The lanyard's function in this case is to help patients and visitors identify staff.

The majority of NHS staff lanyards use a simple but effective design that combines the word NHS in white on a corporate blue background. It's instantly recognisable and you're probably familiar with it already, which is exactly why it works so well.

  1. Festival (event) lanyards 

The right lanyard design can help improve security at large scale events, like festivals.

Your security team can check the ID of event attendees at a quick glance AND because the lanyards are likely to be kept as souvenirs, they make a great advertising tool. You could either sell the space to sponsors or put your own brand front and centre.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it reflects your brand's personality. So, whether your brand is alternative, exciting, edgy or sophisticated, bring it out in your design.

  1. Sunflower lanyards 

Sunflowers on a green background are now a well-recognised symbol of a hidden disability. On a lanyard, this design is intended to help the wearer convey something that can't be seen, so that the people around them can react accordingly. In this case, design is everything and without it, the lanyard wouldn't be able to fulfil its objective.

Personalised lanyards – taking the next steps 

If you'd like us to design your lanyard for you, then we'll need an editable copy of your logo and your colour references for both the material AND your design elements.

The material and width of your lanyard will set the parameters for your design, so we'll discuss both with you at the outset. You'll receive a visual proof of your personalised lanyards (UK) so you can check the design before it goes to print.

You're also welcome to submit your own complete artwork – you'll still receive a visual proof, and if we spot something we think won't work on a lanyard, we'll let you know.

We don't expect you to be an expert on any aspect of ordering lanyards, which is why our team are here to help. Call us today to discuss your design.