ID Badge Designs and Sizes

An employee ID badge is an essential part of today’s organizations be it a small or a big enterprise. Its main purpose is to make the employee identification easy and quick.

The idea of employee identification through ID cards or ID badges has been applied by organizations since forever. However, with the technological developments and increased security threats, the ID badges have become more important and contain far more information than simple basic details with a photo- a feature of old and simple ID cards.

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Nowadays, ID badges have become more like a technological chip rather than simply being a piece of plastic. ID badges now store a lot of information such as fingerprints, bar codes, etc.

ID badges are used in schools, hospitals, government institutions, corporations, etc. These badges are issued to anyone belonging to the institution to confirm their identity.

For instance, students have issued student ID badges which they may use to enter or leave schools, enter laboratories, issue books from the library, etc. Likewise, employee ID badges can be used by employees to enter or leave organizations/offices, unlock protected systems, enter doors allowed to specific persons such as server rooms, use photocopier machines, etc.

As far as the physical design of ID badges is concerned, organizations use different formats- sometimes templates, sometimes customized designs are used. However, when it comes to the size of the ID badges, there are some standards and limitations available.

It is not possible for organizations to use any size they want for printing purposes as printers have limited size availabilities. In addition, if a company is ISO certified, it may have to follow ISO’s instructions for the size of ID badges as well.

International Organization for Standards (ISO), in its document related to physical features of identification cards, stated that the official size for the ID card should be 3.375 inches (width) and 2.125 inches (height). Generally, the typical thickness of a standard card is 0.030 inches. This is the standard size of a PVC ID badge being used, also called CR80 (ID-1 format); however, other sizes are also present which are being used by different organizations (such as CR79, C100). Nevertheless, the standard size of CR80 is the most common size used for student ID card, employee ID card, etc.

To calculate the size in pixels, firstly, the maximum printable area (printer’s dots per inch (DPI)) is considered. Usually, the maximum resolution of card printers is 300 DPI. This 300 DPI is multiplied by the dimensions of the card to get the measurements in pixels. For instance, for the standard size, the measurements in pixels are 1012.5 (3.375 * 300) * 637.5 (2.125*300).

A size of an ID badge or card should be comfortable for its holder (student, employee, etc) as well. Therefore, a company has to carefully choose the design and size of the ID badges or cards along with the information that is to be stored in and shown on them to make its use more effective.

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