PPAI Publication – Factory Floor: Identity Builders

Date posted: March 30, 2016

Factory Floor: Identity Builders

Imprint Plus outfits businesses with customizable name badges, desk plates and more

product shot
The first day of school for many students means a snappy new backpack, freshly sharpened pencils and bright white notebook paper to start the year off right. The folks at Imprint Plus (UPIC: imp8687) can infuse that same excitement into the first day of a new job or a new company with their name badge and desk plate kits, which are manufactured and assembled at the Canadian supplier’s facility in Richmond, British Columbia.

The process by which Imprint Plus’s Mighty Badge kits, name plate kits and other workplace necessities are created relies on a lean manufacturing philosophy that focuses on delivering value to customers by minimizing waste, says CEO Marla Kott. “The concept of preserving value with less work is the backbone of ‘lean’—and the goal we set for ourselves.

“Waste reduction is an integral part of the corporate culture at Imprint Plus,” she says. “We’re continually looking for, finding and removing waste from our processes, systems, space, activities, materials—everything we do.”

The simplest item to produce is the desk plate, says Kott, and the most complex is the insert sheet that enables product customization and personalization. Imprint Plus utilizes a variety of specialized materials and specialized equipment for production, and ensures its staff members are properly trained for the task at hand.

“Staff is trained onsite; lean [manufacturing] training certification is a requirement, safety certifications are required as we need three to four staff members always present, and project management training and certifications are required,” Kott says. “The specialized equipment in printing is designed to ensure the images we produce on small surfaces exhibit excellent craftsmanship, one of our cornerstone principles.”

Read on to learn how Imprint Plus produces materials for name badges and desk accessories for use in a variety of business settings.


Metal name badge plates are fabricated and have holes punched on-site at the Imprint Plus facility in Richmond.


paper badges web
Paper badges are customized with names or logos—or both—in the screen printing shop.

Custom Packaging

Factory specialist Edward Browne works on the custom packaging line to ensure the kits are complete before they are shipped. Imprint Plus’s popular kits are prepacked with all the components needed to create name badges, desk plates and signs.

Quality Assurance Specialist Cecelia Calderon measures to ensure Imprint Plus products meet strict tolerances.

badge components

Each plate, lens cover and insert sheet is 100-percent guaranteed to snap together seamlessly.

Lean Kaizen In Progress
Imprint Plus utilizes lean manufacturing practices in every aspect of business.
(Left to right) HeeJun Moon, operations support; Bonnie Wall, operations manager; and Bryan Freitag, logistics coordinator, collaborate on a project using Lean Kaizen principles.

About Imprint Plus
Founding date

Marla Kott, CEO
Kristin MacMillan, President
Ellen Flanders, Founder

Size of production facility
18,000-square-foot factory with additional warehouse and office space in Toronto; Blaine, Washington and the UK

Number of employees

Number of orders filled per year
Approximately 50,000

Notable accomplishments
 Kott, Flanders and MacMillan were ranked No. 42 in Profit W100 Canada’s Top Women Entrepreneurs (2015 marks the 10th consecutive year the team has been listed)
 Specialty Graphic Imaging Association Awards recipients (2013-2015)

Top Three Products At Imprint Plus
 Name badge kits that include software, insert sheets to customize and personalize, plates, lens covers and a magnetic backing.

 Standing sign kits that include software, insert sheets to customize and personalize, the one-piece sign and a lens cover.

 Contemporary desk plate kit that includes software, bright white insert sheets to customize and personalize, the holder, stand and cover, which fit together by pressure alone.

the Mighty Badge Wins Multiple SGIA Golden Image Awards For Name Badges And Signage

Date posted: November 17, 2015

SGIA Golden Image Award Winner 2015

The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) has announced the 2015 winners of the acclaimed Golden Image Award Competition. The annual competition evaluates and judges hundreds of entries in a multitude of categories to determine the leaders in industry excellence with stand-out graphics worthy of recognition.

the Mighty Badge, a leading manufacturer of customized, re-useable name badge and signage systems, received a total of five awards including: a Gold award for Spurgeon Manor and a Silver award for Vivoli in the Metal Signs/Products category; a Silver award for Outdoor Adventure and a Bronze award for Lady at the Lake for the Heat Transfers category; and a Bronze award for Food Buffett Signs in the Unique Applications category.
“To be honored with five awards in this esteemed industry-wide competition is a great affirmation of our high quality products,” says Marla Kott, the Mighty Badge CEO. “Our work was compared to the best in the world, and our imaging team proved they are exceptional and dedicated to outstanding graphics.”

The Golden Image competition is judged on the technical accomplishments of each entry, excluding aesthetic issues from the evaluation and scoring process. Prints are judged on the level of difficulty and quality of execution.

“Winning multiple awards puts the Mighty Badge among the top specialty printers in the world in terms of graphics excellence, caliber and capability,” continued Ms. Kott.

For more information regarding SGIA and the Golden Image competition visit www.SGIA.org. For more information regarding the Mighty Badge name badges and signage, visit www.themightybadge.com.

See our Winning SGIA Submissions and Runner-ups Here!


Media Contact: Cathy Callegari – 212-579-1370 or cathy@callprinc.com

Hi Res Images of the Winning Entries are available upon request


About SGIA

SGIA is the only international association for specialty imaging. Specialty imaging comprises digital imaging, screen printing and the many other imaging technologies SGIA members use, including those they will tap in the future. These are the imaging processes and technologies employed to create new products and to enhance existing products including point-of-purchase displays, signs, advertisements, garments, containers and vehicles.

About the Mighty Badge

the Mighty Badge manufactures an assortment of name badges and systems that range from customized name badge systems for the small to mid-size businesses with 10+ employees to YouWho name badges in two- and four-unit kits. the Mighty Badge recently introduced its multi-language version of its “plug and play” Name Print Graphics (NPG) software. The new software supports five languages of English, Portuguese, German, French and Spanish for creating professional looking name badges in print text with graphics on any PC. In addition to the multi-language feature, the new software offers foreign language character input for Chinese and Japanese languages.

Imprint Plus™ Top Ranked Canadian Female Entrepreneurs in PROFIT & Canadian Business W100 List

Date posted: September 21, 2015


Canadian Business and PROFIT today ranked Imprint Plus™ as one of Canada’s Top W100 Female Entrepreneurial Companies based on a three- year revenue growth. Listed at #42, Imprint Plus™ is one of the top rated women-owned Canadian companies on the list.

Ranking Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by three-year revenue growth rate and profitability of Canadian businesses, the 27th annual PROFIT 500 profiles the country’s most successful women-owned growth companies.

A joint venture between Canada’s premier female business brands, the PROFIT W100 is published in the October issue of Canadian Business and online at PROFITguide.com.

“Members of the W100 aren’t just inspirational figures—they’re smart business people who have demonstrated the tenacity and creativity needed to thrive as entrepreneurs,” says James Cowan, Editor-in-chief of PROFIT and Canadian Business. “Their strategies and business tactics are lessons to anyone, regardless of whether you’re male or female, work at a start-up or run a multi-million enterprise. Our annual ranking is here to convince others that entrepreneurial success is possible, and to offer good advice on how to make it happen.”

The women on the 2015 PROFIT/Chatelaine W100 Ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs run some of the country’s most successful businesses. Smart money management is just one of the skills that have helped inspiring businesswomen build their profitable, growing companies.

Hear what Imprint Plus™  CEO has to say on covering financing, cash flow, cost-cutting and financial planning as one of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs, “Switching to paying suppliers with credit cards has allowed us to pay for many airplane tickets and hotel stays with points. We travel extensively for trade shows and customer meetings and any cost reduction immediately impacts our bottom line.” —Marla Kott (No. 42), Imprint Plus™ (Illen Products), Richmond, B.C.

It’s important that we celebrate and champion the achievements of female entrepreneurs, especially in Canada. Women still earn 24% less than men, while occupying just 16% of the seats on corporate boards (Profitguide.com). If these inequities are ever to be corrected, then up-and-coming female entrepreneurs need to hear from their role models and their success stories. Having role models makes a tangible difference.

Reference to PROFIT W100 Rank Listing

About Imprint Plus™
Founded in 1982, Imprint Plus™ is a top supplier of Reusable Name Badge and signage product company. The organization offers a full range of reusable products from three different brands: Imprint Plus™, the Mighty Badge™, and YouWho Badges™. Imprint Plus™ is a member of WEConnect Canada and The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in the US. Imprint Plus™ was also the first in Canada to earn the EarthRight Business Institute’s Silver rating for a high level of commitment towards sustainability.

The Founder, Ellen Flanders, CEO, Marla Kott, and President, Kristin MacMillan, is currently ranked #42nd  on the PROFIT W100 Top Female Entrepreneurs.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImprintPlus
Twitter: @ImprintPlus


About PROFIT and PROFITguide.com
PROFIT: Your Guide to Business Success is Canada’s preeminent media brand dedicated to the management issues and opportunities facing small and mid-sized businesses. Visit PROFIT at PROFITguide.com.


About Canadian Business
Canadian Business is the longest-serving, best-selling and most-trusted business publication in the countryWith a readership of more than 800,000, it is the country’s premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders.


What’s new in badges?

Date posted: June 19, 2013

The Wall Street Journal! Front page on Saturday/Sunday May 18-19, 2013, The Wall Street Journal talks about “Tag Snobs”, and the movement away from the “fanny pack around the neck”. Our category of professional name badges is sure attracting attention! The Wall Street Journal calls name badges “a topic of fascination and debate”. We call it a brand ambassador. What’s in a name? Everything!

Check out the the WSJ article…

Consumers Shop Convenience Stores as Regularly as Supermarkets

Date posted: June 19, 2013

In an effort to understand how the consumer shops in convenience stores, a recent survey of 1,000 men and women across the U.S. was conducted by Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS) for Imprint Plus, a leading manufacturer of customized, re-usable, magnetic name badge and signage systems.

When asked how often consumers shop in a convenience store, 59% of the respondents reported more than once a week, with that number increasing to over 70% among 18-44 year olds. Surprisingly 25% of the consumers surveyed reported that they shop in a convenience store more or as frequently as they shop at the supermarket or grocery store.

“Virtually every consumer today shops at a convenience store, with only 6% of the respondents stating that they never shop there,” said Marla Kott, Imprint Plus CEO. “Most of the convenience store shoppers are married (48%), employed (63%) with the majority (80%) living in metro regions of the country. Given these numbers every national consumer products manufacturer, such as Coke, Pepsi, Hershey’s, Kraft, Frito-Lay, Nabisco, Welch’s, must be targeting these consumers, so excellent customer service can make a difference. ”

Among the top purchases at convenience stores are drinks such as soda, bottled water or juice (29%); or snacks and candy (21%). Other purchases included gas (12%); milk or dairy products (11%); and cigarettes (10%). One third of all respondents (33%) stated that it was important for a convenience store to carry ethnic branded products, such as Indian, Chinese, or Spanish foods. The number rose to 41% among 18-34 year olds. In addition, 42% of consumers think it is important for employees to be fluent in a language other than English, reflecting on the global shopping experience. This number jumps to 51% among 18-34 year olds.

When shopping in a convenience store, 35% reported that it is important to know a person by name when doing business. The percentage increases to 39% among those consumers in the 35-44 year old age demographic.

In previous Imprint Plus consumer surveys, 76% stated that they had more trust in a business and considered the company more professional when their employees wore name badges. Surprisingly, the percentages were higher overall among the 18-34 year old demographic.

“Customers place a higher level of trust in businesses that visibly brand and distinguish their staff. Identifying the employee with a professional name badge that promotes accountability and a commitment to customer relations, can enhance the shopping experience,” concludes Ms. Kott. “Rather than sticking on a plain paper label or pinning on a plastic tag, people are choosing sleek, impressive-looking metallic name badges that showcase the wearer professionally, without falling off or damaging clothing.”

Imprint Plus manufactures an assortment of name badges and systems that range from customized company name badge systems; to The Mighty Badge Kit, perfect for the small to mid-size businesses with 10+ employees; to YouWho name badges in two- and four-unit kits, starting at $25. Imprint Plus recently introduced its multi-language version of its “plug and play” Name Print Graphics (NPG) software. The new software supports five languages of English, Portuguese, German, French and Spanish for creating professional looking name badges in print text with graphics on any PC. In addition to the multi-language feature, the new software offers foreign language character input for Chinese and Japanese languages. For information on name badges, visit www.imprintplus.com, www.themightybadge.com, or www.youwhobadges.com.