How to print name tags for your Meetup

Kevin Simper
Jun 19, 2018 · 3 min read
Image for post
Image for post

I have been thinking about creating name tags for CopenhagenJS and Docker Copenhagen for a long time, both because it makes it easier to see who is there, but also because it makes it easier for people to communicate together if you feel like you know their name.

I tried just having stickers where people could write their own name, but it is both difficult and tiresome to ask people to remember to write their name so I was looking for a better solution.

It should be a automatic solution where people can sign in automaticly and get their nametag printed without any weird conversations on how to spell your name.

I found a solution

After many nights research and googling I bought the Brother 820NWB because it can with a extension run on a built in battery, that is pretty neat since normally you have to connect it to a wall plug.

Then there is a Python library called brother_ql which enable you to convert a picture into this rasterized image that the Brother printer understands.

I have then designed a website in HTML and CSS with grid-layout so that I can easily customize and design a unique label with logo and I have then added some placeholders for the names I can replace.

Because people have very different lenght of names I have used a JavaScript library called fitty which can scale a text to use all the width.

With the npm package called puppeteer I can then programmatically open up Google Chrome and take a screenshot of the page, convert it to the rasterized binary format and print it to the USB device.

Not quite the easy solution but all of this could easily be packed up to a neat application that you could run with a printer connected to a computer, and a URL that you could print with the same printer that people can use to check in, print easily name tags for people at your meetups.

What fun could be added?

First of all I look forward to the time I down write down email addresses or have to remember names of people I meet for the first time.

But it could be fun to add curtain details to the badge of how long time people have been a member, how many days until the can celebrate annually membership.

It could also be interactive since if you print something on the label, you know they could only get it from being at the event, that could be for collection certain chips of participation in digital form

One thing specially if they could if their badges should say if they are newcomers, just like it says next to their name on meetup.com.

Where can I find this?

For know you can find it on github here https://github.com/kevinsimper/meetuplabel

and if you want some help or have questions please reach out to me on kevin.simper@gmail.com

It would be fun to see other groups do this as well!

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