Specialist ID Blog


So Many Lanyards, So Little Time“So Many Lanyards, So Little Time”

Lanyards, what are they?  Why are there so many?  All you need to do is hang your ID Card so people can see it, how did this become complicated?  In this multi-part article, I will be recapping all of the most popular types of lanyards with summaries and links for further reading to help you sort through all of the styles and become an expert on the subject of lanyards. Let’s break it down:

Lanyards are used as a simple way to hang your Photo ID around your neck so the ID hangs usually somewhere around your belly button.  You will notice in almost all of the descriptions for lanyards there are one or two dimensions describing the lanyard, please don’t let these number overwhelm you!  The larger number (usually around 36″) is the total length of the lanyard, if it were pulled apart and laid in one long straight line.  As mentioned earlier, all lanyards are designed to hang the ID card in a visible, comfortable place on your chest so don’t worry too much about the overall length as it is always a pretty standard design from lanyard to lanyard.

The smaller number is the width of the lanyard.  For round lanyards this is typically 1/8″ which is about the same thickness as your mouse cable and a very standard lanyard size.  The flat lanyards will usually be 3/8″ (the notch right between 1/2″ and 1/4″ on a tape measure) or 5/8″ (the notch between 1/2″ and 3/4″ wide).  The 3/8″ lanyards are very popular sizes for non-custom printed lanyards where the lanyard is mainly just there to hold the ID and not a prominent piece of the uniform.  The wider 3/4″ lanyards are very popular when custom printed names, websites or phone numbers are designed into the lanyard, or where the color of the lanyard is part of the uniform.  

Breakaway Lanyards (in-depth article)
Breakaway lanyards are designed to have a part of the lanyard made in such a way that if the lanyard becomes snagged or pulled it will snap apart rather than choke or pull the individual wearing the lanyard.

Non-Breakaway Lanyards (in-depth article)
Non-breakaway lanyards are made in one continuous piece and will not snap apart if they come under stress.  This may be a safety concern for your organization or application.

Custom Printed Lanyards (in-Depth article available)
Custom lanyards are a great way for businesses to advertise, and schools/non-profits to show their pride.  Custom printed lanyards can easily be designed online, often times receiving a digital proof of the custom lanyards within 24 hours.  Once you have selected your text, fonts and basic layouts, the lanyard gets approved and printing/delivery takes place.  The entire process can take anywhere from a few days to 3-4 weeks for standard delivery and turn-around service.

Pre-Printed Lanyards
It is possible that a pre-printed lanyard has already been created for your niche.  If so, these can be ordered without any custom work on your part.  The most common pre-printed lanyards are US Flag Lanyards, “Safety First,” “Awareness,” “Visitor,” “Staff,” Volunteer,” and “Temporary.”  These can be used to easily identify personnel.  Click this link for a complete list of pre-printed lanyards.

Lanyards With Badge Reels (in-depth article available)
For those who want the best of both worlds, the visibility of a lanyards and the flexibility of a badge reel, there are lanyards with a badge reel on the end.  This is a great option for people who still need their ID displayed above the waist (such as TSA personnel) who still need to swipe their card at access points and prefer not to take their lanyard off or bend down to swipe the card.

Earth Friendly Lanyards (in-depth article)
Earth friendly lanyards are made using renewable or recycled resources such as bamboo or recycled PET.

Anti-Microbial Lanyards (in-depth article on the way)
Anti-Microbial lanyards  inhibit the growth of germs and fungi as well as odor causing bacteria.  This material is recommended for hospitals, kitchens, and can also work great for people who wear their lanyards under tough, hot, humid conditions.

I will be expanding on this topic in the days and weeks to come.  If you feel that I am missing anything that you would like more information about just let me know and I will be sure to cover the topic for you.  Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed to get the latest updates from our blog, including more in-depth information covering all of our most popular lanyards.  If you have questions about anything related to this article, please contact us online or call 1-800-380-6726

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