Lanyards may seem like nothing more than a simple decoration or tool, but they have a surprisingly long history. Yes, the nifty little tool that you use to keep your identification cards, event passes, and keys exactly where you want them to be has been used by humanity for a long time–from around the 16th century, to be exact.
A Closer Look at the Noble Beginnings of the Lanyard
The term lanyard comes from the French word “lanière”, which refers to a lash, strap, or a thin piece of cord or rope. This reflects the fact that the first people who were recorded to have used the lanyard were the French, who utilized a thin piece of cord to hold weapons such as small knives and pipes into place while they were at sea or traveling by land. Lanyards were used extensively on ships to provide sailors with a means to secure and steady themselves when the conditions out at sea were less than calm. These implements also proved to be useful when securing items, such as maritime weapons and fishing tools, which may escape one’s grip and become lost at sea in an instant.
On land, among the chief uses of the lanyard for the French military are connecting tools like whistles, pistols, and swords to a soldier’s uniform. In addition to having a practical purpose, lanyards also took on decorative and somewhat symbolic purposes, as they were eventually used to indicate the wearer’s qualification and the regiment they were affiliated with.
Current Applications of the Modern Lanyard
Today, lanyards have found plenty of practical applications in the everyday lives of regular individuals. For one, custom lanyards are a regular sight in many events, regardless of the activity’s level of formality and privacy. In addition, they have also become promotional tools for many companies, serving as giveaways or gift items to staff members, partner businesses, loyal clients, and even prospective customers and target markets. Among the most common applications of lanyards are ID holders, safety straps to prevent falls and other accidents, and uniform accessories, much like how they were originally used by different armies and maritime powers in the past.
Aside from a slight shift in their usage, lanyards have also experienced a lot of changes in terms of materials and manufacturing processes. The lanyards of old were made using leather and strings, but the modern iteration of the tool is made from a wider variety of materials. These include strong threads made of nylon, polyester, and polypropylene, as well as natural materials like silk. There are also lanyards made of recycled and recovered materials to help reduce the resources needed to make this ever-practical tool.
How Can You Use Custom Lanyards to Benefit Your Company?
Do you have an upcoming event? If the answer is yes, then it’s a smart move to keep a stock of lanyards that have been customized with your company’s logo or the title of the event that you are holding. Lanyards have plenty of practical uses in these events, as they can be used to hold badges and serve as a part of the uniform of the people who are managing the various aspects of the activity. Aside from helping ensure the order and security of the event, lanyards can also be used for promotion. You can give them away to people before your event as a way of inviting them, and they can also be used as souvenir giveaways to participants after the activity as a token of appreciation for their presence.
If you don’t exactly have any events or activities planned in the near future, you can still use custom lanyards to promote your company. Give them away to your loyal customers as a sign of your appreciation for bringing their business to your company, or you can throw them in as freebies if their purchase exceeds a predetermined threshold. In addition to making your customers feel good about your business and your brand, giving away promotional lanyards can also help you raise brand awareness for your company. Your customers can wear the lanyard and become unofficial brand ambassadors, attracting more people from their social circles into your store.
Last but not least, lanyards have plenty of practical applications at home and in the office. They’re a handy tool for holding your staff members’ badges, ID cards, and the keys to your facilities and equipment, and they can also be a helpful visual guide or marker for different cabinets or implements in your workplace.
The Continuing Evolution of Lanyards
Lanyards have come a long way since its inception in the 16th century. What started as a practical accessory for soldiers and mariners at a time when people were still discovering new lands and unchartered places now continues to be an indispensable tool in the modern home and workplace. It’s interesting to see if and how the role of the humble lanyard will continue to change with the times and how newer technologies will affect this simple tool’s design, manufacturing process, and function.