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Articles on designing your own custom merch, growing your brand, and managing manufacturing as a small business.

How to Design the Perfect Custom Lanyard for Your Business or School

Creating custom products is always a fun idea. Whether you use custom items to generate additional income for your business, raise money for school programs, boost employee morale, or promote school spirit among teachers and students, they can be a valuable tool to help your organization reach its goals. But as you consider custom products you could create, why not think beyond the usual t-shirts and stickers and consider creating custom lanyards?

Custom lanyards have become an increasingly popular option for businesses and schools alike. They’re a surprisingly functional type of merchandise that allow people to keep track of valuables, show relevant ID, and rep their love for an organization or school. Lanyards can be a great way to spread the word about your organization… as long as they’re custom-designed, that is! Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to create custom lanyards. No need to sew or DIY anything at all – you can customize every aspect of your lanyard online, from colors to fabrics to patterns to clips and beyond. 

Gone are the days when only large companies capable of placing colossal product orders and operating on razor-thin margins were able to take advantage of high-quality manufacturing – here at The/Studio, you can partner with top factories worldwide to create beautiful lanyards, customizing everything from the fabric used to the type of clasp to the color scheme to the design itself. All with no minimum order quantities, free shipping, fair pricing, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Learn more about custom lanyards, how you could use custom lanyards in your school or business, and how to design the perfect custom lanyard, step by step.


design your own custom lanyards for your brand


What is a custom lanyard?

A lanyard is a strap or cord typically worn around the neck to carry items such as keys or ID cards. Lanyards are also sometimes worn around the shoulder or wrist. Lanyards allow people to carry valuables without having to attach items to clothing or keep bulky items inside of pockets. They can be worn with any outfit.

While lanyards are today used across many organizations and professions, they were made popular in the military. Lanyards were first used to connect a pistol, sword, or whistle to a uniform. Various color combinations and braid patterns denoted a person’s qualification or affiliation with a certain regiment.

Today, lanyards are popular among people of all ages and professions. While they are most often used to carry keys or ID cards, they also may be used with cameras, flash drives, badges, or tickets. They’re typically made with a mix of cord or fabric and a clip or hook for holding valuables. 

Custom lanyards are lanyards that are personalized with unique patterns, messages, or materials. They’re a popular option for schools, businesses, and organizations that wish to promote brand awareness among their members, students, and/or customers by creating products emblazoned with their logo and colors. Custom lanyards may vary in style, design, and materials depending on the end purpose of the lanyard.

how to make custom lanyards

Custom Lanyards for Businesses

Custom lanyards are especially popular in the professional world. Many companies are increasingly requiring employees to keep photo ID with them at all times. Lanyards equipped with clips and badge holders make it easy to show ID without having to take out a wallet. ID lanyards can help employees access secure buildings, parking structures, elevators, or secure rooms. They can also serve as name tags to help clients and customers quickly identify them.

Custom lanyards can certainly have a place in any organization, but they’re especially useful in the following industries:

  • Healthcare – Hospital staff and personnel often wear lanyards with the hospital logo printed on them to carry ID badges that help patients quickly identify them. Lanyards are also commonly used among doctors, nurses, custodians, and volunteers. Some hospitals even opt to create different styles of lanyards to easily spot staff, medical providers, or visitors.
  • Corporate offices – In offices such as law firms, insurance companies, investment banking institutions, and other corporate settings, security is paramount. Lanyards can help employees keep their ID badges on hand to access secure areas. Corporate offices might also consider creating lanyards and ID badges especially for visitors to make them easy to spot and keep track of. 
  • Event/concert staff – How do you keep track of who’s allowed backstage and who’s a lowly concertgoer? Special custom lanyards holding ID badges make it easy to spot who’s allowed in secure areas without requiring workers to dig into their pockets every time they need to prove they’re where they’re supposed to be. They’re also a good way to set VIP ticket holders apart. Lanyards come in handy during concerts, football games, advance screenings, and other events.
  • Gyms – To get into top gyms and exercise clubs, you need ID – and holding onto your wallet during your entire workout isn’t exactly optimal. Present new gym members with a handy lanyard to help them conveniently keep track of their ID. (Branded membership keychains are also a great way to do this!)
  • Government – State and federal government employees often work in a highly secure environment, at times requiring ID even to enter different areas of the same building. Lanyards with badge holders can help them move seamlessly from place to place, without having to dig into their wallets every time they come upon a security checkpoint.
  • Media/press – Help your press team prove they have the right to behind-the-scenes access with convenient lanyards and badge holders. That way, nothing will stand in the way of getting the scoop!
  • Hospitality staff – Hotel and resort staff need secure access fast – whether it’s to employee-only areas or guest accommodations throughout the property. Lanyards make navigating secure areas easy with easy access to room cards, keys, and employee ID. They’re also a great fit for select resort guests who enjoy access to VIP areas.

Of course, lanyards aren’t just for employees, either. With their low cost and high visibility, lanyards also make excellent promotional items. Many businesses create custom logo lanyards to hand out at trade shows, throw in with orders, or sell at a discount to loyal customers. Whether yours is a service-based business or an eCommerce business, creating custom logo lanyards can be a great move for your business.

You also might want to consider creating custom lanyards that don’t feature your company’s logo at all. Your customers might prefer to rep a lanyard featuring a cute design, a fun pattern, an inspiring quote, or even a favorite sports team rather than one with a company logo. Create custom lanyards that complement the other products you sell in your shop.

Custom Lanyards for Schools

As popular as custom lanyards are in the professional world, they’re perhaps even more of a staple in the academic world. School lanyards are commonly used by college professors and students alike to carry ID and show off school spirit. College students might use lanyards to carry their student ID, which is important for accessing different school buildings across campus, getting into dorm rooms, purchasing food at cafeterias, or even for even receiving student discounts. 

Custom lanyards can be especially convenient for teachers in K-12 schools as well. The average teacher or administrator has two keys on them at all times, carrying keys for personal use as well as keys to their classroom or office. Lanyards can help school staff hold those keys in a non-bulky way and instantly identify themselves as a teacher or administrator. Some schools also use different styles of lanyards to identify visitors, distinguish teachers and administrators from one another, or even act as a bathroom pass.

Custom lanyards for schools are often made in the school’s colors, featuring the name of the school, school crests, school mascots, or school mottos.


custom lanyard manufacturer


How to Design the Perfect Custom Lanyard

Now that you have a better feel for what lanyards are and what they are commonly used for, you’re one step closer to creating the perfect custom lanyard for your business or school. Next up, familiarize yourself with the product creation process so you know where to go, what you’ll need to decide, how to finalize your design, and how long it’ll take before you have your beautiful new lanyards in hand and ready to distribute to your employees or students. Read on to learn how to design the perfect custom lanyard.

1. Find a great manufacturer

DIY can be loads of fun… but when you’re talking about handing out lanyards to your entire corporate office or student body, it can go from a fun craft to a never-ending task really fast. Especially when it comes to specialty products like lanyards, it’s best to leave manufacturing to the experts. 

Of course, not all manufacturers are created equal. If you’re looking to get high-quality, ultra-customizable lanyards for a competitive price without having to place a massive order, you’ll have to do some research.

Here are a few other things we’d recommend looking out for as you research different custom lanyard manufacturers:

  • Many types of lanyards
  • Great customization options
  • Free design services with every order
  • Free shipping with every order
  • Partnership with top factories worldwide
  • Excellent customer service 
  • Fast turnaround time
  • Competitive pricing
  • No minimum order quantities
  • Awesome reviews
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed


We don’t mean to toot our own horn here, but The/Studio checks all the boxes. Its user-friendly product creation platform and fair pricing make it a great place to create custom lanyards, especially if this is your first time creating custom products for your business or school. If you do choose to partner with The/Studio after looking into other options, you’ll start creating your custom lanyard here.

2. Choose your type of lanyard

Once you’ve chosen a manufacturing partner, you’re ready to start bringing your custom lanyard to life. At The/Studio, you’ll first choose from five base lanyard styles, including:

  • Polyester Lanyards – affordable, durable, and lightweight, these are the most popular types of lanyards at The/Studio.
  • Nylon Lanyards – these strong, sleek lanyards are another popular lanyard type.
  • Dye-Sublimated Lanyards – these lanyards are perfect for designs with vibrant colors and detailed patterns.
  • Woven Jacquard Lanyards – made by weaving your design directly into the fabric of your lanyard, this style is perfect for repeating patterns.
  • Tube Lanyards – made with individual fabric tubes, this is the bulkiest and most durable lanyard style.

Then, simply select the width of your lanyard (anywhere from ⅜ inch to 1 inch wide) and the quantity you’d like to order before moving on to the next step. Note that while you can order as few lanyards as you’d like, you’ll enjoy the most savings if you place a larger order. Custom lanyards can cost as little as $0.29 apiece depending on order quantity.

3. Customize your lanyard

This is the fun part! Start making your lanyard your own by customizing things like band length, printing, attachments, and more. You’ll use The/Studio’s customization tool to personalize the following:

  • Band length – choose the length of your lanyard, anywhere from 14 inches to up to 30 inches. (For reference, a standard lanyard length is 18 inches!)
  • Front printing options – choose how you’d like your design printed and where, whether you choose front and back dye sublimation, screen printing with one or multiple colors, or a woven design. The style of lanyard you selected in the first step may determine the options available to you.
  • Back printing options – choose whether you’d like a design printed on the back of your lanyard or not. The style of lanyard you selected in the first step may determine the options available to you.
  • Attachments and clips – choose the attachment hardware you’d like at the end of your lanyard, whether a lobster claw, swivel J-hook, bulldog clip, split key ring, bottle opener hook, or thumb hook. You can also add on two clips to the same lanyard if you’d like.

4. Design your lanyard

Next up, it’s time to design your lanyard. If you’ve already sketched out the design you’d like printed on your lanyard, perfect – simply upload whatever you’ve got and our design team will bring it to life. Alternatively, you could always keep it simple by sticking to your logo, business/school name, or motto.

Feeling at a loss for what to print on your custom lanyards? Don’t worry! You’ll enjoy free design services thrown in with any order you place with The/Studio. If you’d like, just include notes about what you envision for your lanyards and our expert design team will create something beautiful for you. 

5. Approve a prototype of your lanyard

Once you’ve done your part to customize and design your lanyard, we’ll get to work on creating a prototype. You’ll either receive a physical prototype in the mail or detailed photos of a mockup from all angles. If all looks great, give us the go-ahead and we’ll produce the rest of your lanyards just like that! If you see anything you’d like changed, just let us know and we’ll make as many tweaks as needed to make your lanyards perfect.

6. Distribute your lanyards

Now, just sit tight! We’ll finish manufacturing your entire order of custom lanyards, then ship them straight to your doorstep free of charge. Once you have your lanyards in hand, all that’s left for you to do is to distribute them – whether you hand them out to employees, gift them to students as part of a back-to-school package, or sell them in your online store!




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