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ID Zone Learning Center

Find answers to your questions about photo identification and plastic card printing!

How Do I Make My Own ID Badge?

You’ve been asked to implement an employee badge or membership card program and are asking yourself: Where do I begin? Is it difficult, expensive, time consuming?

You will be happy to hear that you can create your own ID badges in house, easily and cost effectively no matter how tech savvy you are (or are not!). Managing your ID badge system in-house has many benefits; you can print cards instantly, have complete control over your ID badge system, and enjoy cost savings.

While the printing technology behind ID card printers is different than a desktop printer, they are just as easy to use. After these five steps, you will be on your way to making your own ID badges.

Step 1: Consider Your Needs

Before you begin to shop for the equipment needed to print the cards, dream about the type of card you want to create. Ask yourself: will my ID badges…

  • be in color or monochrome?
  • include a photo?
  • have info printed on one or two sides?
  • be used to access a building?
  • store data, such as time/attendance, membership info, financial debit info?

Make a few notes about what you want your cards to look like and do for your organization. As you learn more about ID badge systems and what they can do to improve efficiencies and security within your company, your list may grow.

Step 2: Purchase a Photo ID System

Before you can begin printing your own ID cards, you’ll need an ID card system. A typical system includes: an ID card printer, printer ribbon, ID card software, camera (if you’re including photos of people on your cards), and cards. All of these items can be purchased separately or as a system. In order for this system to work, you’ll simply need a computer.

  ID Zone Note: Everything that you will need to print your ID badge, including supplies, is found on this site, plus we offer toll-free technical support. To order, you can use our Printer Selector, shop online, or call an ID specialist at 855-958-2929 to help you choose a printer that is ideal for your application.

Step 3: Install ID Software on Computer & Setup Printer

Once you’ve received your ID system, carefully uppack the system and select a convenient location to setup the printer. The user’s manual will give step-by-step instructions (it’s basically the same process as setting up a desktop printer). The manual will also outline how to install a ribbon, load cards in the card hopper, and more. In addition to setting up the printer, you will need to download the printer driver from the included CD to any computer that will be using the printer. If needed, you’ll also need to install your ID badge software and your ID camera.

Step 4: Create the Card

After your ID system is set up, you’re ready to take your first photo. Once you’ve snapped the photo, import the image into the ID software and place it into a template. Your ID software will come with several templates or you can make your own. Add the cardholder information, such as name, employee number, etc.

Step 5: Print the Card

Once your card is created, click “print” and you’re card will be created in seconds. It’s that easy!

ID Zone Note: While ID systems are generally easy to use, we understand that some may require more assistance than others. Ongoing, toll-free technical support is offered for every item (large or small) we sell, plus phone or online training is available. Call (800) 910-5987 if you need help; we’d be happy to talk with you!

Need some inspiration? View sample ID badge designs.

Have questions or need assistance? Talk with an ID Expert at (800) 910-5987, Chat Live, or email