Whether you run a public-facing business or not, your team can benefit greatly from utilizing employee name badges. Name badges help employees identify each other and also serve to keep specific employees accountable to the public. 

Of course, if you’re going to use name badges for your business, you’re going to need to make some. If you’re going to make some, you’re going to need to choose a name badge material. 

That’s where this article comes in. Without further ado, here’s how to choose the right name badge material for your business. 

Name Badge Material: Making the Right Choice

Generally speaking, there are three name badge materials. These include plastic, metal, and wood. We’ll discuss the merits and drawbacks of each below. 


The most popular of the three materials is plastic. This is because it’s inexpensive, durable, and highly customizable. In essence, it thrives on all fronts. 

Plastic badges thrive through all sorts of corporate environments and will resist water exposure. 

You can have plastic badges created to contain any color in existence. This includes not only the badge’s text and logos, but its background as well. 

If you want business badges that are highly aesthetically customized, plastic is the way to go. You can even shape it into the shape of your choice. Plus, you can adorn it with name badge ribbons


Next up is metal. Metal also thrives in the face of moisture and due to its hardness, it’s even more difficult to damage than plastic, especially when used with an acrylic backer to build up its rigidity. 

Metal name badges are generally thought to be on the higher end in terms of aesthetics. They have a more permanent quality to them and are typically seen as more luxurious. 

Metal badges can be formed into a variety of shapes, from ovals to circles to squares to rectangles. They can also possess a variety of background colors, though not as many as plastic badges. The most common metal background colors include silver, gold, and white. 

You can also have a unlimited number of colors sublimated on the metal nameplates. This will enable you to customize them completely. For instance, if you want your brand colors to appear on your nametags, metal will accommodate you. 

While metal badges tend to be a little more expensive tha plastic badges,depending on the aesthetics and vibe of your business, they could be well worth the extra cost. 


The last material we’re going to discuss is wood. Wood name tags have a rustic and earthy quality about them. That said, they can also be seen as luxurious, depending on their design. 

You can add a variety of colors and logos to wood nametags. You could even add your company’s logo. In addition, wood business badges can be adorned with engraving rather than printing, and can include a wide variety of fonts. 

Functionally speaking, wood badges are fairly durable. In terms of toughness, they’re right up there with metal and tend to be a long-lasting option.

Depending on how you have your wood name badge designed, whether printed or engraved, they could potentially be more costly. But again, if you’re going for a certain look or want to match your company’s aesthic, wood badges might be the perfect choice for you, especially if they’re well made.

Name Badge Style Options

Now that we’ve discussed name badge materials, let’s discuss name badge style options. The most common style options include the following: 


One of the most popular style options for name badges is to have them engraved. This is when letters and/or designs are chiseled into the badge. The design is essentially imprinted into the material. 

Engraving provides greater depth to the name badge, enhancing its style and making it easier to see. The 2-ply material’s contrasting colors help to ensure that the engraved portions can still be read with ease at a distance and won’t fade or rub off with time like printing might eventually do. 

Plastic, wood, and metal name badges can all be engraved. We most commonly engrave plastic badges and then give the option to have them framed with metal. 

Learn more about engraving your business and medical badges by clicking here!

Photo ID

In some business scenarios, it’s wise to have photo IDs of employees contained on their name badges. This way, employees can be quickly identified by customers, coworkers, managers, and the like. 

Photo ID pictures generally contain the employee’s face and shoulders. When used on a name badge, they can comprise either a small portion of the badge or the vast majority of it. 

Generally speaking, photo IDs are used on plastic custom name badges. While you can also use them on metal and wood, putting them on these materials is more expensive and less common. 

One Color

There are many color options you can utilize when creating custom name badges. The simplest color option is to use just one color. When you do this, you have a single background card color accompanied by a single printing color. 

So, if your brand’s primary color is blue, you could use blue as the background on your business badges. You would then use either white or black for the text that overlays the background. 

This creates an extremely simple design that’s basic but effective. It gets across the necessary information without overwhelming the reader. Plus, one-color badges are the cheapest to have made. 

In most cases, one-color badges go hand-in-hand with plastic. That said, wood and metal badges can also accommodate the one-color aesthetic, though possibly at a higher price point.

Multi Color

Yes, one-color name badges are the cheapest option. However, you don’t have to settle for a single color. In fact, you can use as many colors as you’d like. 

Want a yellow background with a red gradient? This is a possibility. 

Perhaps you’d like to also add an orange overlay? You can do that as well. 

Of course, you can also incorporate logos. These can be produced at the full scope of their respective color schemes. 

Regardless of the material you choose, a multi-color design is an option. Note, however, that plastic allows for the most color variation. 

UV Printed

You can also alter the way that you print badges. You, of course, could opt for engraving. That produces the longest-lasting results. On the other hand, you could simply have the design elements printed standard on the badge. 

But if you want to get good bang for your buck, you should consider having your name badges UV printed. UV printing involves putting slightly-raised ink on plastic. This way, the color pops and is easy to see. Once the ink has been applied, it’s cured with the use of UV light.

Note, though, that UV-printed name cards aren’t just easy to see, they’re also long-lasting. They’re tough enough to put up with regular wear and tear and will maintain their aesthetic for years.

Reverse UV Printed

Not only can you have your name cards UV printed but reverse UV printed as well. This involves the same UV printing process. However, instead of having the design elements printed on the front of the plastic, they’re printed on the back side of the plastic. 

This results in a slightly dipped aesthetic. It adds dimension to design elements and makes them extremely easy to see. It also provides tremendous durability, as the ink is essentially protected from exterior wear and tear. 

As with UV printing, you can only use reverse UV printing with plastic badges. Note, however, that it provides a great deal of bang for its buck. Plus, it can give your badges a high-end and luxurious look that you won’t get with other printing processes. 

Heavy Duty

The last style we’re going to discuss is heavy duty. Reinforced with fiberglass, these plastic badges can stand up to high levels of wear and tear. Because of this, they tend to last much longer than their non-heavy-duty counterparts. 

Heavy-duty medical badges typically possess a glossy or matte finish. This not only adds to the aesthetic of the badge but also protects its print from damage. 

Are You Looking for Custom Name Badges?

Have you decided on your ideal name badge material? Are you looking for custom name badges? If so, look no further than LoneStar Badge & Sign. 

We sell plastic and metal name badges and offer a wide variety of each. Regardless of your customization needs, we can accommodate you.