I am at a coffee break at a conference and a person of a certain age has just engaged me in conversation – having mistaken me for someone else, having been unable to read my name badge. The badges are printed in a typeface which, while slim and elegant, is hard to read from more than a short distance, and is, I guess, no larger than 24-point type.
This really will not do.
Name badges, if they are to have any use at all, should be visible at a variety of angles, in diverse conditions of illumination, and on a moving target.
if you are organising a conference, please think about these problems, as well as the fact that some of your delegates will be of varying heights, notwithstanding inasmuch as which, ocular ability. Please therefore sacrifice elegance for practicality and print name badges in LARGE, BOLD TYPE.
And another thing. Please offer, as well as a safety pin, lapel clip or lanyard, a means of displaying the name badge as headwear. A tiara, perhaps, or a hair clip. I made this suggestion after an experience a few years ago, which I have discussed before, but nobody has taken any notice (except a Dr J T of Calgary, who said she’d design a suitable headpiece) so I shall say it again.
Once at a conference I wanted in especial to meet a colleague whose appearance was not known to me, and concerning whom my sole knowledge was of her gender. I expect you can see where this is going. Being of greater than average height I found myself staring intently, downwards, at every woman I met, at chest level – in a vain attempt to read the tiny print displayed on the conventional brooch-style badge. After five minutes I realised that this method of searching might be misconstrued and very likely get me in to trouble, so I gave up. I never managed to meet said colleague.
If name badges are to serve any purpose other than to result in frustration, they should at least be designed for the job.
That is all.