Don’t Leave it to the Makers to Decide: Important Things to Know When Ordering Neck Lanyards

The common misconception about neck lanyards is they are all the same because they serve the same purpose. However, getting to know more about your options when ordering this essential accessory helps ensure that you get the best value for your money.

There are actually different methods of lanyard imprinting and each one has its own pros and cons.

Hot Stamping

neck-lanyardsHot stamping is the process of transferring the color from a thin film to a blank lanyard by applying pressure and heat using metal plates. Polyester is the ideal material for this process because it does not fully absorbs the color of the design and blots it like cotton does or easily smudges just like nylon.

Hot stamping is the most affordable and fastest method in adding designs, even the most intricate ones, to blank lanyards. However, this is only recommended for neck lanyards that are only for short-term use as the imprints can easily fade over time.

Screen Printing

Silkscreen printing, also known as screen printing, is the most widely used lanyard imprinting method. It is done by adding “ink” or a coloring material to a very fine screen, which is inlaid with the preferred cut for the design or logo, and running a rubber scraping spatula over it to press the ink to the material and even it out.

This process produces more durable designs than hot stamping, but cost more because it is manually done, including the drying process. Additionally, the designs are also mostly limited to one to three colors because it is added one by one on the material using different screens. Most lanyard makers add curing agents to the ink to increase the design’s durability.

Dye Sublimation

Dye sublimation addresses both the problem in hot stamping and silkscreen printing. Just like hot stamping, it primarily uses heat to transfer color to the lanyard material, only the colors in this process really seep to the fabric, making it permanent. It has very good durability, but unlike silkscreen printing, it is not limited when it comes to the design intricacy and colors. However, dye-sublimated neck lanyards cost more than other types of lanyards and usually must be ordered in bulk.


This process requires the text or logo to be sewn in to the fabric of the lanyard, making it permanent like in dye sublimation. However, the design intricacy level allowed highly depends on the skill of the sewer. This cost higher than other types of imprinting methods, but is the most customizable as individual names can be embroidered on the fabric aside from the general design. Woven lanyards require low minimum purchase and usually take longer for the order to be completed.

Imprinting Methods for Other Parts

When neck lanyards use other materials such as vinyl or aluminium for badge reels or other hardware, which is also required to be imprinted, other types of imprinting processes are used. These are full-color printing, laser-engraved printing, and embossed printing.

Full-color printing is used when a colored image needs to be printed on a non-fabric part, such as in retractable lanyards. However, this process is best used only on vinyl.

Laser engraving is used when lanyards use aluminium or other type of metal for its parts, such as dog tags. This is a superior imprinting process as it ensures text and logo would be visible on the majority of the duration of the metal’s lifespan.

Embossed printing is another method commonly used for printing metal parts of neck lanyards. This process is also known as metal stamping and is achieved by raising parts of the metal to form the desired text or logo.