There are several questions that need to be answered before we start worrying about artwork and design.
(1) First things first, let's decide what size badge you'll need for your event. Will it be one with a 4" width x 3" length (4x3) or will it be 4" width x 6" length (4x6)?
Expo recommends 4x6 badges as they provide more room for your event artwork, attendee information, and a QR code.
4x3 OR 4x6?
(2) Now that you know your badge size, let's decide if you will have artwork on just one side of the badge (single-sided) or if you want to use both sides of the badge (double-sided).
Several Event Organizers like to sell the backside of the badge to a Sponsor, which is a very smart way to help offset your costs. Other Event Organizers may choose to place an abbreviated agenda on the backside, event wi-fi information, or other ancillary event information.
Expo recommends double-sided badges, they just look nicer!
We will walk through designing your badge shell artwork in the next article
Single-sided OR Double-sided?
the below sample is a 4x6" badge
(3) We've covered badge sizing and badge shell designs.
Your next big decision - how do you want to wear your badges? Yes, we know you will use a lanyard, but are you going to use a holder (plastic sleeve) too?
Our 4 x 3" badges require a sleeve
The latest trend is to be more eco-friendly and avoid badge sleeves where possible.
Some Event Organizers use badge sleeves because their event is a multi-day conference (usually more than 2 days), so they need to ensure their badges can withstand the day-to-day rigors (and all the extracurricular nighttime activities).
Some will even use the sleeve as a pocket of sorts and put other tickets or cards in the sleeve with the badge.
Some Event organizers who have shorter events (2 days or less), they may consider badge only with no sleeves and lanyards only.
Important things to consider when using Expo:
We use 9.5 pt. stock paper, which is much heavier/thicker than most and therefore our badges hold up very well even without a sleeve.
We are not in the sleeve or lanyard business, so please don't forget to purchase what you need. We recommend "pc/nametag" as a viable option.
Plastic Sleeve OR Sleeveless?
(4) Ok, so you don't want to use a badge sleeve AND you are going with 4x6 badges. You now have another decision to make: single-notch or double-notch (1 clip or 2 clips)?
**NOTE: If you chose 4x3" badges or will be using a badge sleeve for your 4x6" badges, please skip this step.
While most Event Organizers are happy to go with a single-notch badge, some would prefer that their badges do not flip around (especially if they didn't put anything on the backside). In this case where their design is only on the front side of the badge (single-sided chosen in Step 2) they go with a double-notch.
If Organizers have chosen to do a design on both sides of the badge, they will go with single-notch, so the badge naturally flips back and forth.
Expo recommends single-notch badges, which go nicely with 2-sided badges and it also saves you some $ as lanyards with two clips are going to be more expensive.
If you are using plastic badge sleeves, feel free to use whatever style clip makes you happy.
If you are going sleeveless, then you must make sure to order "Bulldog" clips. These clips are used for professionally designed event badges (like yours) that have a horizontal slot in the center top (single-notch) or one slot on each side of the badge (double-notch).
4x6 Badges Without Sleeves Only: Single-notch OR Double-notch?
Congrats! Now it's on to bigger and better things. Please first let your Badge Print Lead know what you are thinking for your Badges:
4x3 OR 4X6
Single-sided OR Double-sided
Sleeve OR Sleeveless
Single-notch OR Double-notch
Remember: Don't forget to buy lanyards (and sleeves/ holders if need be)!
Next step: Please take a look at our Designing Premium Onsite Badges article.