Large Format Card Printing2023-05-05T09:30:30-04:00

Large Format Card Printing

Your BIG event deserves BIG badges.

Large format custom event badge

Our large format cards offer nearly three times the surface area of our traditional cards, with the same level of quality and consistency you’ve come to expect from InstantCard. They are printed on slightly thinner, more flexible plastic, making them very light and easy to handle.

They generally have two hole punches on the top, so they can be worn with a lanyard which prevents them from flipping over. They are always displayed in a vertical “portrait” mode, they do not have the option of standard CR-80 cards to be presented in horizontal “landscape” mode.

If you need custom event badges, look no further!

Fill out the following form and a representative will contact you about your large format badge needs

Large Format ID Card Applications

InstantCard’s Large Format VIP badges are perfect for:

  • Concerts
  • Festivals
  • Comic Book Conventions
  • Group Tour Passes
  • Fan Meet & Greets
  • Fan Club Badges
  • Conference Passes
  • Cast, Crew and Press Passes
  • Commemorative Event Badges
  • Event Souvenirs

The largest demand for large-format cards comes from the events industry.  Events cover a wide range of different formats: corporate meetings, athletic and sports tournaments, entertainment venues, music festivals, professional conferences, etc.  Whether an event is just for a few dozen people, or thousands of people, the InstantCard outsourced badging service can be a huge time-saver and money-saver for the organizer and for attendees.

In the past, event organizers have felt they have no choice but to buy (or rent) expensive plastic badge printers for on-site printing of event badges as attendees arrive and register at the event.  In order to handle the large influx of people over a short period of time, some events require dozens of print stations, yet attendees still grapple with long lines and extended wait times.  But this is really because there has never been an efficient, effective alternative to on-site printing.  Now, InstantCard’s cost-effective service bureau finally provides a viable alternative.

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VIP Badges

Our new large format event badges are the ideal solution for your VIP access needs. There is nothing quite like being able to cross that red velvet security rope at a concert, music festival or comic book convention. Our custom VIP passes give you the ability to provide your attendees with that once in a lifetime experience. Whether it’s for a band’s sold-out show, or a meet and greet with their favorite sci-fi movie character, InstantCard’s Large Format VIP Badge makes it easy for you to provide fans, staff, and even press personnel with the high-quality custom badges and access passes needed to help your event run securely and effortlessly.

Our team of talented graphic designers are here to help you provide your customers the exclusivity of their experience by creating a custom VIP pass unique to their access level. Additional features like a lanyard hole or slit is a great way for attendees to display the VIP badge during the event, and it also decreases the number of lost passes you might experience during an event.

Some of our traditional clients want oversized badges as an alternative to standard credit-card size ID cards. They are more easily readable and highly visible.  This is very important in certain industries, and we can now accommodate them with our usual guarantee of same-day printing and shipping of all badge orders.  The large format offering is a direct extension of our traditional service providing CR-80 (credit card) format cards, as we’ve been doing since 2007.

Large Format ID Card Technical information

Large Format badge dimensions

Our new large format ID cards are 3.46″ × 5.51″ (88mm × 140mm). As a reference, standard ID cards are 2.125″ × 3.375″. That’s roughly a 40% size increase.

Large Format ID Features

  • Durable PVC cardstock
  • Edge-to-edge printing
  • Photo-quality images (300dpi)
  • Optional slot punch
  • Optional HF, UHF, or dual HF/UHF smart cards available

Large Format ID Artwork

When providing print-ready artwork, please consider the following:

  • 1/8″ bleed (when printing edge-to-edge)
  • 1/8″ margin safe zone for text
  •  minimum 1,044 px × 1,654 px images (for 300 dpi printing)

The Same InstantCard Quality

In all cases the quality of InstantCard-produced badges will be absolutely top-class, since we use the most advanced, high-quality (and expensive) printers available on the market.  We don’t need to sacrifice quality for speed, or scrimp on costs since this is our core business.

We know that organizing and managing a successful event is demanding and can quickly become overwhelming.  InstantCard can take one of the important challenges off your hands, allowing you to focus on everything else.  With our comprehensive, highly flexible event badging solutions, we can provide a service designed to meet your unique requirements.

Whether you need purely visual IDs with the name and photo of your attendees, or RFID access control badges to keep track of traffic at entry and exit points, InstantCard can help you choose the ideal solution for your requirements. Plus, when you partner with InstantCard, you team up with ID experts who will assist you before, during and after your event. And you can expect the same quality clients have come to expect from our employee ID badge printing service.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your specific event plans and badging challenges – we look forward to hearing from you!

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Large Format / Event Badge F.A.Q.

Can you print large-format event badges on paper?2022-08-29T07:04:47-04:00

While an event may choose to print badges on a simple laser printer, this is not recommended except for the smallest events. Paper badges are easily duplicated, and therefore highly susceptible to fraud. It is quite tempting for an attendee to acquire one legitimate badge, then print copies on similar paper with a home printer, either for friends or for re-sale. With the features available in laser printers today, even advanced protection features can be replicated with relative ease. As a result, these false copies are quite hard to detect, especially by gate agents who are quickly scanning badges as attendees stream by, rushing to enter the venue.

Paper badges require plastic badge holders so they can be worn around the attendee’s neck, whereas professional plastic badges can be attached directly to the lanyard. Not only does this make the whole process more costly, it complicates the distribution process. And plastic badge holders provide yet another element that can be used by a fraudster to make it more difficult to detect counterfeit badges. Paper badges generally do not have the quality of the printing to allow a decent rendering of a staff member’s photo, which should be used for security reasons to verify that the correct person is carrying a valuable badge which allows entry to the venue. Plastic badge printers Make it very unlikely that a person is using someone else’s entry badge, which is highly likely with paper badges. And fortunately, obtaining professional plastic badges today is easier than ever with outsourced printing services like Not only do these services make it hassle-free to obtain the required badges, but they are also extremely cost-effective.

Who are large format event badges issued to?2022-09-06T08:27:11-04:00
  • Staff members
  • Attendees
  • VIP attendees
  • Backstage pass holders
  • Roadies

At nearly all events, badges are issued to staff members to allow them access to the facilities they need to work in before, during, and after the event. Different staff will have different access rights, all clearly delineated on the badge. Emergency and medical staff will of course have full run of the facilities, if required, whereas construction staff may be limited to access prior to opening-day. During the event, different badges should be issued to gate attendants, food service workers, stage hands, and so forth. Generally, the team members are identified well in advance, so their badges, with photos, can be printed and readied well in advance.

Whether or not to issue large format event badges to attendees will be entirely dependent on the nature and the size of the event. If the event schedule is only a few hours, or limited in scope, then traditional tickets will probably be sufficient. But if the event is spread over several days, and covers a large venue, then large format badges will greatly facilitate crowd control and ensuring that the people only gain access to the areas they are authorized to enter. So a single-day sports event, like a ball game, may not require professional badges, except for the staff. Whereas a competition spread over multiple days in different venues, like a major track meet or tennis tournament, will benefit greatly from professional, fraud-resistant badges issued to all attendees.

How to issue Event Badges2022-09-02T07:57:35-04:00

When Outsourcing

  1. Find a service with large format card printers
  2. Printing
    1. With photos/personalization: Use preregistration. You can use a service like InstantCard’s individual card ordering service to have people upload their photos and information before the event. You can have badges shipped to your event or directly to the attendee.
    2. Without Photos/personalization: Simply give the number of cards needed to your preferred printing service. If each pass needs a separate QR code, barcode, or serial number, find a service (such as that can automate this.

When printing on-site

  1. Purchase 10-20 large format card printers
  2. Make sure you have at least 1.3 times the card stock than your event’s capacity. Extra stock is needed for potential misprints, melted cards, etc.
  3. Printing
    1. With photos/personalization: Preprint the card background so that you only need to print the personalized elements on the day of the event, saving time on the day of the event.
    2. Without Photos/personalization: Preprint 50% of expected attendance before the event, so that there is a good stock of preprinted passes. If barcodes, QR codes, or serial numbers are needed, you may need to print these elements on the day of the event.

Since event badges are generally large format cards, they cannot normally be printed on a standard laser printer.  Most professional events use plastic event badges, which must be printed on highly specialized printers.  These badges are rigid enough to be clipped to a lanyard so they can be worn around the neck, displaying to everyone the name and rights of the bearer.  One or more of these specialized printers can be transported to the event site, and set up to print access badges as attendees arrive and register at the event. 

The problem with this approach is that most attendees arrive in the short period of a few hours prior to the start of the event.  Depending on the size of the event and the number of attendees, lines can get very long, and attendees can get very impatient while they wait for their badge to be printed.  The solution for larger events is often to have 10 or 20 or more printers, just to handle the large influx during that critical period of time. 

Another alternative being used more and more is to pre-print the badges in advance, which allows a very quick process of just handing over the correct badge to a person when he/she arrives.  This of course assumes pre-registration for the event, but this is the norm now for nearly all important events.  When a person pre-registers weeks or months in advance of the event, their badge can be printed with no rush.   

Event badge printing in advance can be done by the event organizer.  But since this is generally not their core business, they more generally address themselves to a specialized badge printer such as InstantCard (see For a very low cost, such a specialized company provides a quick turn-around service to produce professional badges in advance of the event, and to ensure that all attendee badges are ready the moment they first arrive at the event. 

How do Event Badges provide secure access?2022-08-23T12:10:08-04:00

Event badges are nearly always printed with information that staff will scan at access control points to determine whether the person carrying the badge is permitted to enter through a doorway or gate.  That is why event badges tend to be large-format, often 3 or 4 times larger than the traditional ID card, so that staff can quickly and easily read the rights of a person.  When a large number of people are lined up to go through a choke-point, it is essential that staff can keep them moving which filtering out those who are not allowed to enter. As a result, security guards and other staff members at every event, whether it is a sports event, a concert, or a business conference, are trained to recognize the signs on the badge to determine whether or not to allow an attendee to pass through. 

At many events, badges are printed with barcodes or QR codes which can be automatically scanned with a mobile hand-scanner to verify authenticity.  Use of these auto-ID technologies further increases the security at the venue, to make sure that a badge or ticket has not been tampered with. 

A final, even more secure technology which is used in the Event Badging arena to enhance security is RFID.  In this instance, and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip is embedded in the badge itself.  This is a passive transmitter which sends out a unique number to any appropriate reader in close range (generally not more than a few feet.)  The readers are linked to a turnstile or similar gate mechanism, which are only opened if the correct signal is received from the facility’s systems.  The unique number is then used by the facility to validate whether to authorize the opening of the door or gate to allow the person to pass. 

Security is always a major consideration at any event, to prevent unauthorized people from accessing areas which may contain very expensive equipment, or rooms where public figures may be preparing for their performance.  And in many cases, inappropriate access can be an important safety risk or health liability, if for example unauthorized people enter areas under construction.  

How are event badges used?2022-08-23T12:08:14-04:00

Organizers of many kinds of events provide attendees with Event Badges that typically display the person’s name, and sometimes additional information on his or her rights or privileges.  The main objective of event badges is to facilitate inter-action between attendees that do not know each other.  By seeing their name, and sometimes the organization they are associated with, other attendees can more easily approach them and instigate a conversation.  That is why event badges tend to be large-format, which just means they are 3 or 4 times larger than the typical credit-card sized ID card.  By having a larger surface area, there is more room to print the name and other information so it is easily and quickly read from a distance.  There is also more area to print colorful graphics unique to the event or the venue. 

A very important objective of event badges is to identify attendees who are authorized to enter the event.  Especially for high-cost events, or events which are in high demand, it is necessary to prevent unauthorized people from entering.  The event badge is a low-cost, efficient method of quickly determining whether someone is permitted to enter.  Even more, badges can be coded, with different colors or other printed codes, to determine within a large event whether an attendee can enter an exclusive area.  For example, at a concert badges indicate who is allowed to go backstage, and at corporate events badges show who has been granted access to VIP areas. 

Can event badges be pre-mailed?2022-08-14T06:05:56-04:00

Yes!  In fact, to save even more time at registration, InstantCard can drop-ship each badge to the home or office address of the attendee, along with a badge holder and lanyard.  We can even include additional printed materials like brochures or documentation.  That way, attendees show up at the event with their badge in hand, avoiding completely the hassle and delay of registering before they can enter the venue.

What about issuing badges to last-minute event registrants?2022-08-14T06:04:58-04:00

Of course, there will generally be a few attendees who show up without having pre-registered.  There’s an easy solution for that!  InstantCard will print up an pre-determined number of generic badges, which look identical to the pre-printed badges, except without the attendee’s name.  A simple label-maker is used on-site to add the name, and insert the badge into a badge-holder, and voila!  This is a much, much simpler solution than all the effort and hassle associated with transporting, setting up, and operating multiple fragile printers just for a day or two at the start of an event!

Can files be uploaded for large format badges?2022-08-14T06:04:06-04:00

Of course!  For years, our easy-to-use portal has allowed clients to upload excel spreadsheets of their data, making it super-simple to build your database. You can upload daily or weekly spreadsheets containing the registration data, allowing you to easily off-load the badging headache.

How does this service bureau work for event badges?2022-08-14T06:02:30-04:00

As attendees register for your event in the months and weeks prior to opening day, orders for cards are sent to InstantCard on a water-flow basis – there is no need for you to save up or batch them, since our systems handle the orders on-demand.  Using our website, or integration tools, we can receive the data directly from your registration system.  We can send these early batches out to you on a regular basis, if required.  Or we can hold them all in our office until just before the event opens.

Then, typically 2 days prior to the event start, we Fedex overnight all the badges directly to the venue.  The badges will be organized in the order you choose (alphabetical, for example, or by category of attendee) for quick retrieval when an attendee arrives and registers.  All the hassle of on-site printing, with the long lines associated with peak registration hours, are a thing of the past.

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