Vanity license plates – name tags for your car

posted in: Name badges

Whether you think they are a waste of money or a cool statement, vanity license plates are like customized name tags for your car.

Issued by every state in the U.S., vanity plates are a way to personalize your vehicle with a name, a phrase, a slogan, or an abbreviation. Costs for the special plates vary widely from state to state but usually include an initial charge of $5 to $100 plus an annual renewal fee of $80 or more.

A customized license plate number must be unique to that state. To help you find out if your choice is available, many states have a free online search system.

Each state has its own regulations for the letters, numbers, special characters, and spaces allowed for its customized license plates. Like the fees, these rules also vary.

For example, Ohio requires no less than four and no more than seven letters (or combination of letters and numbers). Iowa allows up to seven characters and numbers by specifies no punctuation marks, no abbreviations for a government agency (like DOT), and nothing that suggests inflammatory words or phrases in any language.

New York bans any plates with the letters or “GOD.” “FDNY,” or “NYPD.”

Each state has the right to reject your request. The state of Utah, for example, rejects about 1,000 vanity plate ideas each year. State DMVs also reserve the right to revoke a plate as offensive even if it has already been approved.

V for Vanity Plates in Virginia

A 2007 survey by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and Stefan Lonce, author of the book License to Roam: Vanity License Plates and the Stories They Tell, found that there were 9.7 million vehicles with vanity plates in the U.S.

At the time of that survey and again in 2019, Virginia was the state with the most personalized license plates. About 16 percent of all vehicles in Virginia have vanity plates. Compare that percentage with Wyoming, where just under 3 percent of the state’s vehicles have personalized plates.

The first driver to order a customized license plate lived in Pennsylvania in 1931. At the time, the only vanity option was to add your initials to your plate. The present-day choices of unique number and letter combinations started in 1965.

If you’re thinking of forgoing the random combinations of letters and numbers for your own personalized car name tag, it’s wise to give it some careful thought.

Sometimes vanity plates cause more trouble than they’re worth. A California driver who had “NULL” on his license plate collected $12,049 in ticket fines because his state’s computerized system used that word in forms when a vehicle didn’t have registered plates.

Come acara owners are seeking to commemorate the tumultuous events of the year 2020 with vanity plates. Some ideas are more successful than others. The state of Indiana recently rejected “WTF 2020,” for instance.

It’s hard to fathom why people would want to drive around reminding people of the pandemic (as if we could forget about it), but many states now have multiple versions of COVID-19 on their plates. Here are the four varieties issued by the state of Connecticut during 2020.

  • COVID19
  • COV1D19
  • C0VID19

And this writer recently saw a shiny red pick-up truck with the plate “THX COVID.” Perhaps the government stimulus check helped with the down payment?



Dog Tags — The military’s custom name tags

posted in: Name Tags

If you watch closely in many Civil War movies, you’ll notice soldiers solemnly pinning pieces of paper or fabric to their clothes before a battle. Some marked their uniforms with stencils, and others carved their names into pieces of wood that they wore around their necks.

Despite these efforts, historians estimate that half of the troops lost in the Civil War (1861-1865) were unaccounted for or marked as “unknown.” Of the more than 17,000 soldiers buried in Vicksburg National Cemetery, the largest Union cemetery, nearly 13,000 graves are marked this way.

As the nation grieved, the concept of a military identification disc or metal name tag caught on.

In 1899, Army Chaplain Charles C. Pierce recommended that the U.S. Army uniform include circular identification disks. His plan went into effect seven years later when the Army issued half-dollar-sized metal tags etched with a soldier’s name, rank, company, and regiment or corps. The men wore their tags around their necks on a cord or chain tucked inside their uniforms.

In July 1916, a second disc was suspended from the first one with a short string or chain. The idea was that one tag would remain with the body while the other was removed for record-keeping and burial.

The Navy added I.D. tags a year later as the U.S. entered World War I. The Navy name tags had “U.S.N.” etched on them and included the date of birth and enlistment. The back of the Navy tags also featured an etched print of the sailor’s right index finger on the back as a safeguard against accident or misuse. (The Navy dropped the fingerprint from its tags during World War II.)

The Marines also issued I.D. tags in World War I; these tags were a combination of the Army and Navy styles.

Historians note that I.D. tags weren’t used in the years between the two world wars but were reinstated in May 1941 with one big change – the use of mechanical stamping.

Military I.D. tags are now considered an official part of the uniform. The modern tag is a rounded cornered rectangle made of a nickel-copper alloy that contains a person’s name, rank, service number, blood type, and religion (if desired).

Even though there are more advanced means of identifying a body – such as D.N.A. testing — these so-called dog tags have become part of the culture.

But why are they called “dog tags?” The obvious answer is that the tags look like the metal disks we place on dog collars to identify our pets. Some accounts say the nickname took hold during World War II when draftees complained of being treated like dogs.

Army Historical Foundation records describe newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst as another possible source. In 1936, in response to a rumor that the newly-formed Social Security Administration was going to distribute personal identification name tags to Americans, Hearst denounced them as “dog tags.”

No matter how the nickname took hold, these military name tags appear to be here to stay.

What’s in a name?

posted in: Name badges, Name Tags

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet muses about the bitter rivalry between her family and Romeo’s family. She implies that the couple’s young love is more important than the feud. It’s one of Shakespeare’s more famous lines, but it brings to mind some thought-provoking questions. Just how important is our name? How does our name shape our identity?

There is good reason many parents spend months pouring over baby name books in anticipation of their baby’s birth. A name can have a profound effect on a child that lasts well into adulthood, according to a growing body of research.

A study led by psychologist David Figlio of Northwestern University in Illinois broke down millions of names from birth certificates into their phonemic components and began finding behavioral patterns. “There is a reason why baby name books are extremely popular,” Figlio said in an interview with LiveScience. “We’re always trying to think about the first bit of a child’s identity and, so if we as a society pay a lot of attention to names, it makes a lot of sense that people’s names might influence how they think about themselves and the way in which people might think about them.”

British study conducted by of 3,000 parents suggests that one in five parents regret the name they chose for a child of a name’s unique spelling. One in 10 parents reported that while they thought the unique name sounded cool at the time of their child’s birth, they said the novelty had worn off.

Why is a name so important? According to the Institute for the Study of Child Development‘s research, hearing or using your own name is a form of “self-representational behavior” that is akin to recognizing your image in a mirror, describing your appearance, or explaining your mental state.

Do you know how you perk up when you hear your name in a crowded, noisy place? Researchers have discovered that the sound of our own name causes specific activation patterns to occur in the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain. This part of the brain is responsible for many of the functions that make you a unique individual – your emotions, for example. Scientists say that we cannot necessarily control this part of the brain, but that our brain reacts in recognizable patterns that reflect our personality.

Using a brain scanner, researchers observed a powerful reaction when study participants heard their own names. In fact, the response was so powerful that researchers could even recognize it in patients who were in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). These patients cannot move or speak, yet their brains responded to the sound of their names.

Why is this research important? It demonstrates the value of learning and using someone’s name. When we hear our own name, it really can be music to our ears.

One easy way to foster the use of names in your business is with name badges. That way, employees can learn and use each other’s names faster. Clients and customers – both prospective and current – also will become accustomed to using your staff’s names if they wear  Name Badges

And if you are expecting a baby, you might want to rethink that very unusual name, such as like Elon Musk’s son’s name, X Æ A-12. You – and your child – are likely to regret it.





Excuse me. Do you work here? Five reasons why employee name badges are important

Sam Walton, the founder of the retail giant, was a big believer in Name tags. From its inception, Walmart has required all employees, including hourly workers on up to executives, to wear them. Reportedly, even Walton himself wore one. In 2015, Walmart U.S. COO Judith McKenna announced that her company was bringing back the original “Our People Make the Difference” phrase on its badges. “These words are just as important today, and to our future, as they ever were,” she said when making the announcement.

We see name tags on workers as far-ranging as nurses to baristas and journalists to concierges. Depending on the profession, these name badges can simply offer a first name and a company logo or include full name, position, and bar code.

But why do so many companies require their employees to wear name tags? Here are five important reasons.

Offer customer service. We’ve all been in the situation when we’ve hesitated to ask for help in a large retail store because we weren’t sure if someone was an employee or another shopper. Name tags immediately identify an employee to your customers. They also allow the customer to call a worker by name, making the experience more personal.

Increase motivation. In the same vein, an employee wearing a name tag feels a heightened sense of responsibility to offer excellent service. When you wear a badge with your name on it, you feel like a member of a team. Name tags also help other employees learn new staffers’ names more quickly, adding to the workplace environment.  Some workplaces allow their employees to customize their name tags by adding small stickers or badges that reveal their interests or personality.

Enhance security. Nametags are a quick and easy way to see who works somewhere and who doesn’t. When employees must present their nametags either to a security guard or to a scanner, it allows a company to monitor who enters the property.

Break the ice. Sometimes nametags can spark discussions that might not otherwise have taken place. Let’s say your sales team is attending an out-of-town event. Having your hometown printed on the nametag could prompt a potential customer who is from that town to start a conversation. That spark could lead to a sale. If your team travels internationally, placing the wearer’s home country on the name badge can draw attention from people who hail from the same nation. Some professionals, such as real estate agents, find that wearing their nametag on a regular basis when they are out and about in the community attracts new business.

Boost your brand. Nametags are an important piece of advertising that pays for itself over and over again. Nametags serve as a wearable business card, including your logo and your motto, in addition to a person’s name. If your team wears their company nametags while volunteering at a community event, it can help build goodwill for your people and your entire organization. You also can alter or enhance nametags to reflect certain promotions and campaigns to gain customer interest.

When you look at all the advantages of employee name tags, it’s easy to see why companies of all sizes and across many industries make this relatively small – but significant — investment.

What’s holding your badge?

posted in: Name badges

Many people who wear name badges these days like the convenience and comfort or lanyards. With a lanyard around your neck, you don’t have to worry about pins or magnets, and the badge is easy to put on and take off. Colorful or themed-lanyards are even a way to show your style or show off a logo.

But have you ever wondered about the history of lanyards? Although they have become common as holders for name badges in recent years, lanyards themselves have been around for centuries.

First, let’s look at the word “lanyard.” Its origin is the French word “lanière,” meaning “strap.” The first known lanyards date back to the late 15th century. They were simple cord or rope straps that French sailors and soldiers used to keep a whistle or a pistol handy while they were working or preparing for battle. Since sailors often had to climb the ship’s rigging, the lanyard allowed them to their hands free while keeping tools safe from falling. Some French soldiers continued to wear lanyards with their uniforms through World War II.

Lanyards also have been used for decorative purposes in the military. For example, the colorful braids that many officers often wear at the shoulder of their uniforms to denote rank or honor are lanyards. Some are quite elaborate and contain sophisticated and complicated knots. A white lanyard has formed part of Britain’s Royal Artillery uniform since the end of the 19th century.

Lanyard weaving, called “scoubidou” in French, became a popular children’s craft in the 1950s in both the U.S. and Europe. Since some lanyards involve intricate knots, making one helps develop manual dexterity. Some of the common knots used in lanyards include the box knot, Chinese knot, triangle, and butterfly knot. The “scoubidou” and its knotting techniques have made a comeback in recent years, and there are many interesting how-to videos on YouTube.

Today, most lanyards are made of nylon, polyester, satin, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), silk, braided paracord, or braided leather. Lanyards often have a plastic or metal clip attached to the end. A clear plastic pouch or sleeve is then attached to the clip to hold a name badge or ID card. In addition to using them to display badges or IDs, many people use lanyards as a convenient way to hold their keys. You might even see the lanyard peeking out of a pants pocket after work instead of around someone’s neck. Students like to use lanyards to keep both their keys and their ID cards handy.

Lanyards also are used to help people keep their electronic devices, such as cellphones, cameras, and USB flash drives, safe from falling or dropping out of a pocket or bag. They are popular convention and trade show giveaways since they can be easily customized with business and event names.

Safety is a common concern when wearing a lanyard – particularly for children or people who operate machinery. That’s why most lanyards have what’s known as a “breakaway” closure. A breakaway closure releases when any pressure is applied to it. This simple safety measure can help prevent choking or other accidents.



Crazy year spawns new baby name trends

posted in: Name badges

Between COVID-19, wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and civil and political unrest, 2020 has been quite the memorable year. Some language trend experts are predicting that in the future, phrases like “Going 2020” “Or it was a 2020 thing” will become synonymous with trouble and hard times.

But just as all the babies who were born at another tumultuous time — Sept. 11, 2001 — have now turned 18, the 2020 babies will one day be old enough to drive and vote. What will they be putting on their name badges at work or social events? Let’s look at some of the baby name trends for 2020.

According to a survey by ChannelMum, some parents changed their baby name choices to avoid any connection with the pandemic. For example, the name Violet was ditched because parents feel it sounds too much like “virus.” Ditto for names like Cora, Corin, Coren, Lochlan, and Ronan.

Many parents have been looking for ways to show positivity this year, and names representing character qualities are making a comeback. Popular choices this year include Virtue, Faith, Hope, Charity, Patience, and Constance. “True” is also a gender-neutral moniker that is popular this year.

Of the 1,500 parents surveyed by ChannelMum, more than half said they would consider a color-themed name as a token to the rainbow’s symbol for hope and positivity. Popular name choices this year are Blue, Red, Indigo, and Fuchsia.

Other 2020 baby name choices represent the courage of many frontline workers during the pandemic. Here are a few examples – Bravery, Maverick, and Hero. One in five of the parents surveyed said they wanted to give their child a “secure” name (like Constance, Harbor, or Haven). And “happy” names (like Joy, Bliss, or Felicity) or “peaceful” names (like Solomon or Pax) are also more popular now than in recent years.

Not everyone wants to steer away from the pandemic, however. An Indian couple really got into the spirit of the year by naming their twin boy and girl Covid and Corona. Mom Preet told reporters, “We wished to ease the anxiety and fear associated with these words and also make the occasion memorable.” 

Another Indian baby got a similar, er, um, gift from his parents with the name of Lockdown. His father’s explanation? “We appreciate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to enforce lockdown and save the people from corona pandemic,” commented new father, Pawan. “The lockdown is in the national interest, and so we decided to name the child as Lockdown.”

You can’t discuss baby names of 2020 without mentioning the Musk baby. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, and his wife, the singer Grimes, welcomed a baby boy in May. However, the internet was soon buzzing with his unusual name — it’s X Æ A-Xii. Musk told podcast host Joe Rogan that the unique name is pronounced “X-Ash.” It certainly will be hard for that little guy to keep a low profile later in life with that name hanging from his lanyard on his name badges.

“Baby names reflect changing times and never more so than when the world is facing a catastrophe,” said SJ Strum, a baby name blogger who hosts “Baby Name Mondays” on her YouTube channel. “The current crisis means parents are understandably stressed and anxious, so (they are) are using their newborn’s name to celebrate new life and joy. Positive names are a wonderful way to keep focusing on the future and means that the child knows their name has real meaning.”



Five Hacks for Remembering Names

posted in: Name badges, Name Tags

It’s one of those moments when you want to just disappear. You run into someone you’ve met, but you can’t remember their name. You may smile and nod and share pleasantries on the outside, but you are panicking on the inside. If only they were wearing a name tag!

How can you recall a person’s face and even where and when you met but not their name? You’re not alone. Forgetting someone’s name is a common occurrence, and the bad news is that it can increase with age. The good news is that you can help train your brain to remember names. Here are five name memory hacks.

Use repetition. Your memory gets a boost when you give it multiple sensory clues. Get into the habit of saying that new acquaintance’s name aloud after introductions. “I’m very glad to meet you, Anna,” is one example. Then use the name a few times in the conversation and then again when you say goodbye. “See you at next month’s meeting, Anna!”

If the person is wearing a name badge, you can boost your memory by looking briefly at the name in print. If you’re attending a virtual meeting, taking a moment to write down the speaker’s name will add another sensory layer.

Make connections. Finding a way to connect the person’s name with someone or something else you know is another tip. You could use alliteration like “Ryan runs” if you learn the person is a runner like you. Or another example is Terri from Tacoma if the two of you share a hometown. Creating images that go with the name can also help. Does Sandy have sandy-colored hair? Does Mr. Baldwin have a bald spot? Experts say another hack is to connect the person’s name with someone else with the same name. It could be a celebrity (Hugh – like Hugh Jackman) or a relative (Maureen just like Aunt Maureen).

Pay attention. We live in a very distracting world, and, as a result, we often allow our minds to wander in the midst of a conversation. “A lot of people blame their forgetfulness on their retention,” says Jim Kwik, memory expert and founder of Kwik Learning in an interview with CNBC. “It has nothing to do with their retention. It has to do with them paying attention.”

When you force yourself to stay present in a conversation, you will be able to focus and remember details better. Listen more than you talk and put away your phone while you are having a conversation.

Make the decision to remember. Many memory experts say that we need to put more effort into developing your memory skills. “If you make a conscious decision that you are going to remember names because you care about the people you meet, you will immediately become much better at doing it,” according to Keith Ferrazzi, founder of the research institute Ferrazzi Greenlight, in a interview

At the end of a networking or social event, take the time to go over the names of people you’ve met. Jot down some notes, including the names and a few details about each person.

When all else fails, ask. If you cannot recall a name, it’s okay to admit it. Say something brief like, “I’m so sorry, but would you please remind me of your name?” Then follow the previous steps so that you don’t forget it again. You could then follow up with, “Of course, Maddie, I remember you led in sales for your team last quarter” to show that you value and remember the person. You just had a brain hiccup on their name.

Dale Carnegie, author of the influential book How to Win Friends and Influence People, wrote, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” So, don’t fall back on the tired old excuse of “I’m just bad with names.” When you listen better and care more, you’ll be able to avoid those awkward “blank” moments we all hate.



5 Industries Where Employees Need Custom Name Badges

posted in: Name badges, Name Tags

Does your company need custom name badges? There are a wide variety of industries where employees should have name badges. You can customize them to include your company logo, an employee photo, and more.

Having custom name badges can improve the security of your business, as well as make both employees and customers feel more comfortable. 

Name Badges for Hospitality

In the service industry, name badges are a must. In food service, hotels, and even delivery services, employees will interface with customers directly. People feel more comfortable when they know the names of the employees that are assisting them. Often, hospitality companies solicit feedback from customers about their experience. If they know the names of employees, they can voice specific compliments or concerns. 

Name tags with the company logo also provide a layer of security and help to display your brand name. You shouldn’t lose a chance for some extra marketing!

Healthcare and Wellness

For healthcare workers, it is essential that all employees wear a name badge with a photo ID. Doctors, nurses, and all hospital workers should be easily identifiable at all times. This ensures patient safety and provides a more personal touch. Visiting the doctor or being hospitalized can be stressful – feeling a personal connection to your healthcare worker can help.

The need for name tags extends to other health and wellness companies as well, such as chiropractors, fitness instructors, and massage therapists. Add some professionalism and brand awareness to your employees’ uniform with a custom name badge.


In retail, as in hospitality, name badges are a must. You want your customers to feel a connection with your employees, and being on a first-name basis can fill this need. For large retailers, name tags also help create a relationship among employees and between employees and management. 

Media and Journalists

Journalists and others in the media industry need custom name badges. When journalists arrive at a location to work on a story, they need to be able to verify their identity. This type of name tag is often referred to as a press pass, and can grant access to places where a regular person is not allowed.

You want your journalists to be welcomed and given access to the information they need. The credibility afforded by a name tag will aid in this process. 

Non-profit Organizations

Customer-facing non-profit organizations need name badges as well. Don’t skip this step simply because you are a small company, or think they aren’t necessary. Name badges with logos help get your name out there, and can ensure the clients you are interacting with feel at ease. 

For non-profits who host volunteers, custom visitor name badges will help differentiate them from clients and staff. 

Order Your Name Badges Today

Quick Badge and Sign Inc. has a huge selection of name badge options, and we can custom make any badge you need. Our online ordering process is quick and easy, but if you need to discuss custom options, contact us. Our friendly team is available to find the solution that is best for you. 

Different Types of Name Badges and the Benefits of Each

There is so much variety on the internet, and name badges are no different. When you think about name badges, it can be hard to choose what kind of name badge you want. There are a lot of different options to think through. These include magnetic name badges, photo badges, frame badges – you get the idea!

magnegtic name badges tags

Why Should You Invest in Name Badges in the First Place?

1. People enjoy hearing their name

According to psychology, a person’s name is subconsciously the most important word to them. There is nothing better than the feeling that you made a good impression when someone remembers your name and says it aloud.

2. You won’t ever have to forget anyone’s name again

 Nobody enjoys forgetting names. It’s embarrassing, and it makes the person whose name you forgot feel insignificant. Name badges are a fantastic way to avoid this social no-no. 

3. It makes your employees feel important (because they are!)

Name badges make employees feel like they are a part of the company they work for. We all enjoy feeling like part of a community or a team. It gives your business cohesiveness when name badges are in the mix.

4. Guests can quickly identify your employees

With name badges, guests of your business can quickly identify employees, if needed. This is helpful if they want to notify a manager of excellent customer service 

5. It adds security

Photo identification name badges are especially important when there are serious security matters involved at a company. You want to feel safe at your business. 

6. Name badges help with branding

Name badges are a great way to establish a brand or a business. Add your company’s logo to all of your name badges, and people will be sure to remember you. 

If you don’t know what type of name badge to go for, these are some of the kinds of name badges we offer here at Quick Badge and Sign Inc and the benefits of each. 

The Magnetic Name Badge

The magnetic name badge attaches to any type of clothing without damaging the fabric.

Magnetic name badges are designed to be mobile, which makes this an excellent option for service industries, such as restaurants or hotels. Magnetic name badges are also a good idea for special occasions, events, networking functions, or any time that people have to be mobile and on their feet. A magnetic holder can make a good addition to any name badge. 

The Metal Name Badge

Our metal name badges are of the highest quality. They are a lot more durable than a sticker name badge, or any other type of fabric. The metal name badge option is perfect for hotels and restaurants because it gives a polished look to any uniform. They look a lot more professional than a sticker name tag. However, be careful with the type of metal you decide on purchasing. Some metals can bend, break, or scratch easily. 

Each metal badge is frosted, die-cut, and etched. They are finished with a glossy edge to make them stand out. We insist on jeweler-quality .040 Solid Brass and Solid Nickel. Lower quality .020 products tend to bend or warp over time. Other companies use gold or silver “coated” cast metal then paste a plastic cover plate on the face of the badge. Our Solid Brass and Nickel tags are made to last and make an impression.

Framed Name Badges

If you want to add some sophistication and style to your name badges, consider investing in a framed name badge. A framed name badge gives any badge the class it deserves. Framed name badges are also a fantastic option for when you want your employees to look their best. When you order from us, you also have the option to design your name badge first and add a frame later. 

Dome Name Badges

For some extra protection, consider a dome name badge. The dome name badge gives any badge some additional coverage and scratch resistance, offering a more polished look. Our dome name tags are available in Aluminum. Clear dome cover badges are available in gold, silver, and white.

Photo Identification Badges

Give your name badges a little extra security with photo identification. Photo ID badges are perfect for high-security jobs, buildings, and events. 

Visitor Badges and Visitor Identification

Visitor badges are an excellent way for people to get to know a company’s guests. Whether it’s for a quick meeting or someone visiting for the day, people like to have their names heard in any setting. Never forget your visitor’s names again with a visitor name badge!

Plastic Name Badges

If you are going for a more economic option, consider plastic name badges. Plastic name badges used to be a more casual business option, but they’ve slowly made their way into the corporate world. Our plastic name badges are easy to clean and replace if needed. Plastic Name Badges and Plastic Name Tags contribute to corporate branding by adding the business logo to every employee.

Reusable Name Badges

Reusable name badges are an easy way to save money on custom name badges. Add your business logo to our reusable name badges and add any employee’s name without breaking the bank. 

Remember, all of our name badges can be ordered customized at great prices. Our team is here to help you answer any questions you might have before, during, and after you place an order with us. We manufacture our badges onsite and ship directly to any United States location. Quick Badge and Sign Inc. has a skilled graphics team ready to get your product started, so contact us today! 

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