Lanyards are more popular than ever because of their versatility, practicality and affordability. Once the exclusive province of sailors and soldiers, lanyards are increasingly indispensable in a world ever more concerned with security.
The lanyard originally was a rope used to secure something on a ship. By the late 1800s, sailors and soldiers were using the word to describe a piece of cord or fabric used to secure a knife, whistle or other item to one's person.
Today's lanyards, available in a variety of materials and printing styles, are convenient tools for displaying corporate or organizational I.D. badges and key cards. Between the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and multiple episodes of workplace violence over the past decade, companies have increased their security consciousness.
Many organizations now require employees to wear I.D. badges at all times while on the job. Lanyards facilitate identification, enabling managers and fellow employees to see at a glance who belongs in an organization and who doesn't.
Lanyards are versatile enough to be used for other purposes too. Modern lanyards can be used to hold cell phones, USB drives, even drink bottles. Custom printed lanyards add personalization to the lanyard itself, allowing a corporate identity, a political message or even something just for fun.
Lanyards are made in a variety of materials and styles, including polyester, woven, nylon and tubular. Each type offers unique characteristics ideal for specific situations.
Tubular lanyards, made of tube-stitched polyester similar to a shoelace, are the most economical option. The desired custom message is silk screened onto the material.
Because it offers high performance at a reasonable cost, polyester is the most popular lanyard material. The custom message or logo is silk screened onto the polyester. Woven lanyards use the same high-quality material, but instead of silk screening, design and text are woven with thread into the lanyard. Woven lanyards can't legibly reproduce intricate designs, but look great with a relatively simple message. Nylon lanyards offer the highest quality, offering a high-visibility background for any custom message.