What You Need to Know About Lanyards

You’ve seen these things everywhere and on a lot of different people. These come in many different colors, with or without print, and in a variety of widths and lengths. These are usually worn around the neck and something is often attached to one end. These are lanyards.


What are Lanyards?


Lanyards are straps or cords that are worn around the neck, and sometimes around the wrist or on the shoulder. The term comes from the French word laniere, which means strap or lash. This was used by the French military to keep whistles, pistols, or swords attached to their uniforms. These were used to help keep these essentials from getting lost and to keep them handy.


The items that are attached to the other end of a lanyard are secured with the help of hooks, clips, loops, or other attachments. These are made using a variety of materials, and are customized using many different methods. The same goes for the attachments at the end, with lots of options making it possible to create a huge number of lanyard combinations.

The standard length of a lanyard is 3 feet or 36 inches, while standard widths are at 3/8 inch to 5/8 inches. Some institutions choose to use 1-inch wide lanyards in order to have enough space for their company name and logo to be printed on. Lanyards are often made in the colors of the institution, and are customized with whatever these companies want the cords to carry on them.


Materials Used in Creating Lanyards


Lanyards can be made using many different materials including nylon, polyester, satin, cotton, silk, and even recycled PET bottles. The material that is chosen is dependent on the choice of the buyer, with cost and versatility being the two main reasons for such choices. You can choose from materials that are synthetic and those that are natural.

Synthetic materials used for creating lanyards include polypropylene, polyester, nylon, and recycled PET bottles. Natural materials include cotton, silk, and bamboo. Most companies choose to use synthetic lanyards over those that are made using natural materials since the synthetic materials are more durable and last longer, while those that are made with natural materials tend to fall apart sooner.


Choices You Need to Make When Customizing Lanyards


When you order custom lanyards, you will need to make a few decisions before these can be manufactured. The choices that you make will dictate how these lanyards will look and how these can be used. Here are some of the things you need to consider before a custom lanyard can be crafted:


  • Material – there are many materials for you to choose from, as outlined earlier, but the choices you have are dependent on what your chosen manufacturer has on their list. The most commonly used materials for most lanyards is polyester and nylon, with cotton being the number one choice for those who prefer natural materials.
  • Color – lanyards come in many colors, and you will be asked to choose the lanyard color as well as the print color for the messages on these. The colors you can choose from include standard ROYGBIV shades, plus black and white. Some manufacturers also offer other colors like maroon, light blue, lime green, and so on. There are also a few manufacturers that allow you to custom pick the shade that you want for your lanyards with a pantone sheet that shows you what these special colors are.
  • Width and Length – the standard length for lanyards is 36 inches, but you can choose to have these made in shorter or longer designs. Some companies choose to have shorter lanyards for personnel that cannot wear long cords around there neck due to safety concerns. For the width, standard lanyard widths are 5/8 to 3/8 inches. This will also depend on the material that you are choosing. Some manufacturers allow the creation of up to 1 inch wide lanyards for those that are made using polyester, nylon, and woven material and up to 5/8 inch for tubular ones.
  • Design – the design of your lanyards is also needed when you order from your favorite manufacturer. You can choose to send in a picture or a sketch of the design that you want to have on your lanyards, or you can choose to create it from scratch using available artwork and fonts that the manufacturer has on their catalog. You will also need to provide them with the message you want to have on these lanyards and to indicate if the print is to be found only on one side or should be on both sides of the lanyard.
  • Printing method – there are a few printing methods used to create custom lanyards. The most commonly used medium is the silk screen printing method, which allows lanyard makers to integrate more than one color into your design. Silk screening is also the preferred option by many because it is the most cost effective and produces brightly colored prints on the lanyards. There are a couple more methods that are used for custom printing on lanyards and these are the following:
    • Hot Stamping – this is a marking method that produces quick prints which are applied via a hot stamp that carries the design on it. This method usually produces single color designs and these are added with the use of color films that are placed between the lanyard and the stamp.
    • Sublimation – this is the latest printing method being used for many fabric products, lanyard included. Sublimation is the best choice for custom lanyards that have intricate and highly detailed designs. This is a printing process that produces high quality graphics and designs, but usually takes longer to finish and deliver. It is also the most expensive option, but produces very durable prints on the lanyards and can be printed on both sides.
  • Attachment – in the customization of your lanyards, you will also be asked to choose from a list of attachments that your manufacturer can provide. You can opt for a lanyard without an attachment, but you do have a few choices that include the standard split ring and bulldog clip. Other options include metal swivel hook, plastic swivel, thumb hook, carabiner hook, oval hook, and lobster claw hook.
  • Special attachments – you can also choose to add special attachments to your lanyards, and these include those safety breakaway buckles that companies choose for personnel that require this kind of a feature. Other special attachments that you can choose to add to your lanyards include a plastic buckle, a badge reel for those IDs that have RFID or proximity cards, and phone attachment loops.

Where Lanyards are Used


Lanyards are commonly used with identification cards, and are being used almost everywhere. Here are some of the places where lanyards are used with IDs and badges:

  • Schools – many schools have shifted to using lanyards with their identification cards, replacing the old clips and pins that were used for these in the past. These help keep clothing from getting damaged by the clips and pins that used to be the standard attachments for IDs in the old days. Lanyards can also carry the school name on them, giving the school an added boost in advertising.
  • Offices – offices have also shifted to using lanyards with their identification cards. Some lanyards that are used by businesses carry more than just IDs, with some having attachments that are used with proximity or RFID cards that are to be used on doors leading to restricted areas.
  • Conventions – also commonly used at conventions these days are lanyards that carry the event IDs of the participants, and these lanyards are customized to carry the event name and even the date on them. These sometimes double as souvenirs for the participants, to show that they indeed joined such conventions and seminars.
  • Concerts and shows – lanyards are also used by show participants to indicate that they can access specific areas in coliseums, stadiums, and theaters. These lanyards are also customized to show the name of the show or concert, and can be color coded to indicate who can enter VIP areas and who can’t.


Aside from being used with IDs, lanyards can also be used as giveaways during special events. These help promote brand awareness and familiarity. These can also be used for fund raising and in lieu of awareness bracelets or ribbons. Here are some events that benefit from the use of custom lanyards.

  • Charity events – aside from being used by organizers with their IDs and badges, these can also be sold to event attendees for a fixed amount, which is then used for the charitable causes of the organization. These can also be given to people who pledge different amounts to help the charity with their projects as tokens of appreciation and acknowledgement.
  • Cause-oriented events – events that are used to raise awareness regarding someone who needs help in the community or to help the community in general, can also benefit from the use of custom lanyards. These can be sold as souvenirs to those who attend these events, with funds raised from such a sale being used on these causes.
  • Trade shows and promotional events – lanyards can also be used to promote a brand and spread brand familiarity at trade shows, county fairs, and product launches. Lanyards can be given to attendees as souvenirs, and these can be handed out to people who visit the booths of participants at these events.

Lanyards can also be used to carry keys, eyeglass holders, cellphones, and other gadgets. The use of the lanyard is generally to help keep items from getting lost by securing these around the neck of the person wearing it. These are also used by companies to reward top performers with. These are imprinted with such a distinction to give the employee a morale boost as well as to show others that the person is a top performer in the company.


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