The birth of plastic name badge followed the existence of button badges 150 years ago. Button badges were then made for use in uniforms and are comprised of a metal back and a fabric cover. At the back of a button badge is a metal plate with two holes the purpose of which is for sewing them onto the uniform. After some time, the people discovered that the cloth or fabric covering the button badge can be replaced by plastic while the back metal’s holes can be made to accommodate a pin that would hold the plastic badge in place. This is when the plastic name badge came to be and have taken the form of insignia, memorabilia, and medals.
The early personal badges were created in the same manner as how road signs were created to this day. They are made by engraving letters on a metal plate and rubbed smooth with enamel paint. In the case of metal name badge for logos, the design is likewise engraved and rubbed smooth with enamel paint as the early personal badge. Prior to 1980, personalized badges were not widely used due to its cost-effectiveness. When computerized engraving was introduced in the 1980’s, the use of plastic and personalized name badges became popular in both America and Europe. With the computerized engraving, the manual process of engraving text was replaced by hot foiling of name badges and silk screen printing.
Further advancement in the technology of digital printing brought more positive effects on the production of badges. The birth of digitally printed badges has helped personal badge manufacturers save on labor costs by eliminating the use of silk screens and plates but also solved time constraints caused by having to place or position the plates and screens.