ID badges: in many industries they’re as common as a work email address or benefit packages.
Often put on a lanyard for easy access, they include a photo and typically a key card to access work office doors. Usually generic and corporate, they don’t exactly scream, “This is who I am.” And yet, they’re a critical accessory to many industry employees like nurses, teachers, and tech workers. So why not make them a little more fun?
That’s where badge reels come in. Badge reels are small, retractable pieces of equipment that allow employees to swipe their IDs for easy entrance into buildings without removing their badges from their necks.
While often sold in basic shapes and simple colors, public demand is forcing reel makers to think creatively to allow for badge personalization.
Want to show your love for your favorite sport? There’s a badge reel for that.
Looking to promote a cause dear to your heart? There’s a badge reel for that.
Want to give a visual cue about your quirky side? There’s a badge for that.
This guide will look at what’s on offer in the market to make your badge reel as unique as you are.
Sound unfamiliar? You’ve probably seen badge reels and didn’t even realize that’s what it’s called. Think of it like an extension cord for a lanyard.
What’s a lanyard? It’s a fabric necklace that a badge can attach to. A reel hooks onto the badge allowing it to extend beyond the neck. And reels, well they can come in all shapes, designs, sizes, and styles.
You’ve likely seen reels on nurses work badges. Many in the medical world are required to wear ID badges for work. Rather than just pull the badge on everyday, nurses have become leaders of adding a little personalization to their badges.
The reels not only give a clue about one’s personality, for worried patients, it can be a signal that the person seeing them is more than just another medical professional—they’re a person who cares.
Who Are Reels For?
Reels are for everyone. No matter your industry, if you have to wear a badge everyday to work, you can add a reel that expresses your character. And today, there are more options than ever. Here’s a look at some of the best.
Etsy is a hotbed of creative badge reels. And if you want something that really personifies your attitude, they have a vast assortment of options. Like this pine wood badge reel decorated with a tiny tree image.
If capre diem isn’t just a saying, but your personal mission statement, give the philosophy a playful reel twist with this fresh squeeze of a badge reel.
Badge reels are also a subtle way to advocate for what you believe in. With SpecialistID’s Heart Shaped Ribbon Awareness badge, people can show their support for breast cancer awareness.
The easiest way to personalize something? Put your name on it. That’s what this Etsy badge offers. Put your name on a happy little sunflower.
Doctors on the line keeping people safe day in and day out understand the fine line between life and death. It’s a stressful job that deserves respect. In honor of that, doctors can adorn their badges with a Heart Shaped EKG clip that really says it all. It’s a permanent reminder around their neck of the delicate dance they do every day.
Football Badge Reel
Football season may be on hiatus but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to be the biggest fan. Etsy has lots of football-themed badge reels like this Alabama option, Cowboys reel, and University of Washington reel. Go big or go home.
According to the CDC date, 1 in 54 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. For those who know an autistic person or have one in their family, advocating on their behalf is often a natural response. That conversation can open easier with a visual cue, like this Autism Awareness Badge Reel from SpecialistID.
Have a great sense of humor? Then you’ll appreciate this bad pun badge reel. It gives a clue to coworkers about just how you roll...whether they like that or not.
In short, badge reels come in all shapes and sizes and are a great way to make a required accessory look a little more like you. Whether you want to perk up a corporate ID or just show a little bit more of who you are to the people you serve, a badge reel doesn’t just have to be a plain utilitarian tool. It can be as one of a kind as you are.