Origin of Lanyards May Surprise You

  • Sep 13, 2021

Simple and efficient, lanyards keep important items close throughout day-to-day activities. In the early 1500s, lanyards were invented as a way to carry weapons and keep them accessible. Lanyards were especially useful for men engaged in combat, or for those climbing the rigging of ships to do so without dropping their weapons. Today, lanyards are a must have for conventions, workplaces, corporate events and even festivals and concerts.

The earliest lanyards were made of rope or cords. Over the years, the function and versatility of lanyards has expanded for civilian and military use. With lanyards hanging around their necks, it was harder for soldiers in WWII to lose a sword, pistol, tool or knife. Even now, decorated military veterans often don intricate, colorfully braided lanyards to denote specific rank, awards or achievements. Lanyards are meant to last and have earned a reputation for reliable use. From polyester to nylon, today’s lanyards are made for comfortable, all-day wear, safely carrying anything from keys and ID badges to electronics, sunglasses and face masks

At nearly every workplace and school, you’ll find someone wearing a lanyard. In the corporate and professional world, lanyards help maintain security by visibly displaying a person’s credentials, and some may include a barcode to grant wearers access to a certain office, building or shared space. To promote school spirit and address security concerns, schools can distribute a lanyard imprinted with the school mascot to all students, faculty and staff, coupled with an ID pouch displaying the wearers’ information. In schools, badges with barcodes allow teachers to gain access to buildings and conference rooms, and students can use badges with barcodes to pay for lunch, check-out books and keep track of attendance. Badges and lanyards also help school staff learn students’ names faster, and children who have trouble keeping track of their lunch money or house keys could also benefit from a lanyard with a vinyl pouch to secure their belongings.

For trade shows and conventions, lanyards and badges serve two purposes: security and networking. When wearing a badge and a lanyard with your name and your company’s name on it, people who are interested in you and your services can easily find and address you. Chargeable lanyards are next-level event gifts for attendees who may need to recharge their phone after taking pictures of products and making notes of potential business partners. In many hospitals and medical facilities, workers can’t enter without scanning the barcode on their badge. But while a lanyard dangling from a doctor or nurse’s neck would get in the way of attending to patients, a retractable badge reel is the perfect onboarding gift for staff, complete with an imprinted logo.

Lanyards are affordable and highly customizable. For the highest-quality image and the greatest legibility and durability, turn to nylon lanyards. Choose from hooks, bulldog clips and badge reels, the most popular designs, or key rings, buckles and breakaway clasps to hold a badge or key fob. For details on the various features, see our earlier article. Lanyards also serve as an avenue for self-expression. As the latest fashion trends lean toward function and utilitarianism, lanyards have started appearing in the styles showcased during major fashion weeks. In fall 2016, lanyards were incorporated in the collections of highstyle brands like Louis Vuitton. Versace created a Graeco-waves printed lanyard on a cord and Armani designed a black leather lanyard. From Milan to Paris and then New York, Michael Kors draped black leather lanyards on his male models, explaining that they were for men who couldn’t keep track of their phones. While lanyards continue to play a bigger part in street fashion and everyday use, they also bring awareness to important issues. Pink lanyards imprinted with allover hot-pink cancer ribbons can be sold to raise funds for breast cancer research, while camouflage lanyards imprinted with “Support Our Troops” can help raise funds and show support for the U.S. military.

People will never know they need a lanyard until they’ve lost their work badge, can’t find their keys or drop their phone—again. Make sure your marketing plans include a product that’s been around since the 16th century and has yet to lose its value. APTCO is here to help.

lanyards and badges

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