What is the best badge orientation for your organization: horizontal (landscape) or vertical (portrait)?
The format decision is up to you. Approximately 75% of the cards we produce are horizontal, while 25% are vertical. We suggest considering the following recommendations. Choose a horizontal format:
Used as a worn ID badge
- Horizontal badges hang as well as vertical badges with the added benefit of not getting in the way as often
Used with swipe readers
- With vertically designed swipe badges, the strap clip or lanyard attachment tends to interfere with the swipe reader if not held out of the way.
- Barcodes that are swiped are best oriented along the long edge of the card. The swipe to read ration may be negatively affected when the barcode is placed on the short edge due to keeping the barcode straight when swiped.
Designed using a larger variety of company logos and other graphics configurations
- Your logo should be prominent enough in size to be recognized
- Your logo should be clearly printed to carry your brand or image
- Horizontal formats are oriented better so the slot punch does not go through larger printed graphics on the top edge
Configured with large photos
- As a rule, you first authenticate the photo and then the name
- Make sure the cropped photo is recognizable from 4' feet away
- With a standard 1" x 1.25" photo that is captured correctly, you will have more room for data and logos than with a vertically designed badge
Featuring large names and data
- Next to the photo, the name should be large and readable from four feet away
- Icons and color coding may be important and should stand out
- If neither the photo, name or coding graphics are recognizable from four feet, you might as well put the badge in your wallet or pocket.
Carried as a wallet item requiring detailed cardholder data
- For membership cards, horizontal designs allow you to place larger amounts of data if needed.
Choose a vertical format:
Worn only as a badge requiring limited cardholder data
- Printing large readable fonts for single line data is restrictive with a vertical design
- First Last
- Logos cannot be printed as large on a vertical badge design as a rule however
Used in combination with a secondary horizontal design for quick visual authentication between two different group types
- Hospital joint commission cards
- Full time/Part-time
- Over/Under 21
- Administration/Manufacturing, etc.
- Carried as a wallet item that has limited cardholder data
NOTE: The vertical card design tends to be a personal design preference, not chosen based on functionality. Other than it stands out over a population of horizontally designed badges; the other orientation that has more functional merit. EXCEPTION: For those few that must insert their badge (smart chip and/or hotel/dorm door key environment). Do not worry if you are currently inserting a badge, RFID and contactless badge readers are the new norm for next technology upgrade. This badge commentary is meant to provide information so you can configure your badge using industry knowledge that is the opinion of eXpress badging. We encourage feedback that we can publish to make this a better resource, so please share with us your comments below. Author: Joe French