If you thought the Onsite App was super customizable, then the badge design process is sure to impress. Whether you want a simple, one-size-fits-all badge, or a series of customized badges unique to various attendee types, we have you covered. The best part? With Socio Onsite's Badge Rules, the check-in experience is the same for everyone, no matter how their badge is customized.
This article guides you through each step of designing a badge in Socio Onsite. 🎨 Read on, or watch the video below for a demo!
⭐ Keep in mind, any change to a badge design after iPads have been set up at the venue requires that you publish your Onsite event again, and refresh the Onsite App on each of your check-in iPads.
Access the Badge page
From any page in your Onsite event, click the Badge tab. From here you can create new badges, manage existing ones, and edit Attendee Types.
There's a Default Badge that's associated with all attendees and attendee types, so simply edit the default if you don't plan to tailor different badges to different attendee types. When you create new badges and assign them to attendee types, attendees that belong to the assigned type(s) are no longer associated with the default badge. Everyone gets the right badge for them!
Before we start designing a badge, let's take a look at Attendee Types.
Edit Attendee Types
If you want to print different badges for different types of attendees, you can do so easily with Attendee Types! If you link Onsite to a Socio Registration event, each ticket appears as an Attendee Type.
Attendee Types added via import into Socio Onsite or by manually adding a new attendee also appear here. For more on importing or adding attendees and Attendee Types, check this out.
If you want to print Attendee Types on badges, click the Attendee Types button to change what's printed for each type. If you don't fill these in, the default type is printed.
Click Save Changes when you're done.
Create a badge
To make a new badge, click the New Badge button. In the modal that appears, enter a Badge Name that will help you and your staff understand who this badge is made for. If you've imported Attendee Types or they've been synced from Socio Registration, select one or more Attendee Types. Otherwise, you can leave it blank and add Attendee Type later.
⚠️ Caution! You may create badges and publish your event without selecting an Attendee Type, but badges won't print unless at least one Attendee Type is assigned to the Badge.
When you're ready, click Create. This takes you to the Edit Badge page.
Before you start adding and arranging elements on a badge, there are some important things to consider that may influence your design.
Contrast and color
The ZD-620 printer only prints in black and white and shades of gray. You can upload color images to go on the badge, and the preview will show it in gray. It's best to upload black and white images for the best results, however.
If you're using badge stock that's been pre-printed with a color background, carefully consider how the elements you add to the badge will appear. Elements that are too light may be too faded to easily see against the background. In general, black is best.
If you turn on the Mirror Badge setting in the Layout tab, simply make adjustments to info, images, text, and shapes in the top part of the Preview. The bottom part will update automatically.
If you're using a double-sided badge, and you didn't turn on Mirror Badge, click the Back View tab. The Preview will invert, and you can adjust info, images, text, and shapes in the top part of the Preview.
Images only print in black and white, and image quality may vary depending on the badge type you choose. In general, we recommend pre-printing your company logo and any other images that will appear on all badges to make sure the images are crisp and clear.
We don't recommend pre-printing images that will only appear on some attendee badges, since that would add too much complexity to printing at check-in.
When creating images you'll be uploading to the badge designer, keep in mind that the printer prints at 300DPI/PPI, and images can be scaled to suit your needs. In general, a 300x300 pixel image works well. If an image will take up more than one square inch of the badge, consider a higher resolution. Supported image formats are JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIF, and BMP.
Designing a badge
The Edit Badge page consists of the Design Tools panel and the Badge Preview. Let's take a look at each of the tools at your disposal. 🔧
Design Tools - These 5 tabs let you select your badge's size and layout and add elements to the badge.
Add New button - This button appears on the Add Image, Add Text, and Add Shape tabs.
Settings menu - Click this Settings (⚙️) icon to rename or delete an element, or set up a Visibility rule for it.
⭐️ Keep in mind, Visibility rules are an incredible way to make certain elements on the badge print for only certain types of attendees. We wrote a whole article to help you understand how to use them! Check it out.
Style bar - After adding an element to the badge, click on the element in the Badge Preview to select it, and use the tools in the Style bar to change the element's color. When selecting User Info or Text fields, you can also set the font, size, alignment, style, and case of the text.
Element - This is the term for anything that you add to the badge. After you add an element to the badge, click on it to select it. When selected, an element has a yellow frame around it. Click and drag the element to position it on the badge and use the circle icons around the perimeter to resize or rotate the element. Red "smart guides" appear when an element is aligned with the center or edge of another.
⭐️ Keep in mind, if you select a double-sided layout, arrange elements in the top part of the Badge Preview.
Element tools - When you select an element, the black toolbar appears below it in the Badge Preview. Use this toolbar to layer, rotate, align, or delete an element.
Zoom - Use these buttons to zoom in and make fine adjustments to elements on the badge.
History tools - Click the clock icon to undo all unpublished changes. This will undo all work you've done since entering the Edit Badge page. Use the undo/redo buttons revert or recall the last change.
Grid - Click this button once to add a 0.5 inch grid and twice to add a 1 inch grid to the Badge Preview. This is very helpful to make sure individual elements are aligned with one another and won't overlap pre-printed aspects of the badge.
As you make changes, your progress is automatically saved. 💾 ✔️ When you're done making adjustments to elements in one of the 5 tabs, you can simply leave the tab.
Now, let's take a closer look at each tab in the badge designer. 🔍
This section of the badge designer determines the size, orientation, and type of your badge material. For more information on the types of badges available and printing methods, check this out.
Printer - So far, we only support the Zebra ZD620 to guarantee consistent, high-quality printing. In the future, we'll likely add more printers and sizes to choose from.
Badge Size - Use this drop-down to select the size, orientation, and material of your badge. Your selection should match what you ordered with your Socio Onsite kit. If you have questions, please reach out to our awesome support team via email or chat.
⚠️ Caution! If you change the Badge Size after adding elements to the badge, double-check the positioning of all elements on the badge.
Mirror Badge - If you selected a double-sided Badge Size, you can choose to mirror the badge, which means the same things will print on both sides of the badge. If you want unique information on each side of the badge, leave this toggle set to 'No'.
When you're done selecting Layout options, click the User Info tab.
The User Info tab lets you choose which attendee fields to print on the badge. If you linked Onsite to your Socio Registration, you'll see all the info fields and Custom questions from your checkout forms listed as available fields, in addition to the basic fields such as First Name and Email.
⭐️ Keep in mind, we recommend using only First Name OR Full Name. Using First Name and Last Name together may cause formatting inconsistency.
To add a user info field to the badge, simply change its toggle to YES.
When you're done adding and positioning user info fields, you've completed the minimum configuration needed to print badges, and you can Publish Onsite!
However, there's a TON more customization available with images, text, shapes, and visibility rules. Keep reading to learn more.
Images, Text, and Shapes
You don't have to add images, additional text, or shapes to publish and print a badge. If you need a higher level of customization based on attendee types and registration question answers, these options offer an incredible level of control and complexity — especially when paired with Visibility rules.
As you add each of these elements, use the editing tools described above to move, resize, style, and adjust the element as needed.
Adding an image to your badge can be a great way to dress up your badges or add distinction to different types of badges. For example, you could add logos for each of your sponsors, and then use visibility rules to print the right logo for sponsor personnel based on registration questions.
⭐️ Keep in mind, you can upload rectangular images, but you must choose a 1:1 aspect ratio section of the image. Make sure the part of the image you want to use can fit inside a square frame. If it doesn't, this article may be helpful.
To add an image to the badge, click the Add New Image button. In the modal that appears, follow the instructions to select an image file from your device, and then click Import.
To add custom text to the badge, click the Add New Text button, and a new text box is automatically added to the Badge Preview. Click inside the yellow box on the Badge Preview to edit the text.
To add a shape to the badge, click the Add New Shape button, and select your preferred shape from the drop-down. The shape is automatically added to the Badge Preview.
After you've added some badges, you can manage them from the Badge page. Click the Settings (⚙️) icon next to a badge to edit the details (name and Attendee Types), edit the design, clone, or delete the badge.
⭐️ Keep in mind, cloning a badge only clones the design. Attendee Types and visibility rules aren't cloned.
Badges will show one of three statuses:
Needs Design - The badge has been created, and no information has been added to it yet.
Ready to Publish - The badge has at least one information field on it. Ready to Publish doesn't necessarily mean that the badge is print-ready. Carefully inspect each design before publishing to make sure it's ready.
Published - You've clicked Publish, and the badge is now live!
⚠️ Caution! If you make changes to a badge design after setting up the check-in iPads at the venue, you must refresh each iPad by tapping the Refresh all onsite data button from the Onsite App's settings page.
Now that you've made your badges, you're ready to publish your Onsite Event!
Pro Tips! 😎
Add a QR code that opens your Event App's promo page to promote Event App adoption.
If you're using thermal transfer roll stock, consider ordering ribbon that matches your event colors to bring your badge design even closer to your brand.
If you're setting up a badge that prints a different shape or logo depending on an attendee type, such as sponsor logos, and you need to stack similar elements in the same physical space on the badge, use the Bring Forward or Send Backward tools to adjust each element as needed. Then, simply set up visibility rules so that only the right image for each attendee is printed.
Questions? Chat Us or Email firstname.lastname@example.org