The Pros and Cons of Custom Whiteboards

Long gone are the days of students, teachers, brainstormers, and developers choking on chalk dust. Over the past thirty years, chalkboards have become a DIY novelty while dry erase boards or whiteboards have become the standard. These glowing white tools of education, creativity, and accountability took the world by storm and make our daily lives better. And thought whiteboards couldn’t get any better, along came custom whiteboards.

But are custom whiteboards andcustom dry erase boards all they’re cut out to be? Are they a smart investment? How much do custom dry erase boards cost compare to standard whiteboards? We’re happy to answer these questions and more about custom dry erase boards.

A Brief History of the Dry Erase Board

It seems appropriate to take a little time and pay homage to the dry erase board by taking a quick stroll down the path of its development. Don’t worry, it’s more fascinating that one might imagine.

The first question that may have popped in your head is, “When was the dry erase board invented?” And the answer to this question is shrouded in mystery and minor controversy.


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The first dry erase board is often credited to Marvin Heit, a Korean War veteran and avid photographer. He discovered that permanent marker could be easily wiped clean from his photo’s negatives. And within a few years, he created the dry erase board. What did it look like? Nobody knows because his warehouse it was stored in burned down the night before its unveiling. Suspicious, right?

Well, Heit sold his idea and patent to Dri-Mark, who despite its name sold these boards but did not have dry erase markers to sell alongside them.[i]

Pretty cut and dry, right? Not so much. Another gentleman named Albert Stallion also claimed to have invented the dry erase board in the 60s. After discovering the coating he used on steel while working for Alliance wiped clean and stood up against scratches, he transferred the clean-wiping technology onto whiteboards.

Maybe the most impressive fact about the invention of the dry erase board is that dry erase markers were not invented until the mid-1970s.

So, what about the myth that dry erase boards weren’t invented until the 1990s? Many people believe this myth because it wasn’t until the late 20thcentury that we saw whiteboards appear in school, hospitals, and businesses. Why did they pop up all over the place? Reports began to surface around this time that suggested chalk dust had negative health effects.


The Pros and Cons of Custom Whiteboards

While a teacher from the 1930s or 40s would probably cry while gazing upon the 9thWonder of the Education World: the dry erase board, many 21stcentury dry erase users are well aware of the challenges this tool presents. Which is why many whiteboard users and aficionados find themselves drawn to custom printed dry erase boards. But are they worth the investment? Let’s take a closer look to help you decide.


The Advantages of Custom Dry Erase Boards

When it comes to custom whiteboards, you’re faced with some of the same questions as just choosing a standard whiteboard: what size is best for your use, what material is best, magnetic or non-magnetic? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, check out How to Buy the Best Whiteboard.

Custom dry erase boards come in different materials including:

Melamine: cost-effective, great for student boards, non-magnetic, can stain over time, shortest lifespan

Porcelain: enamel surface, relatively scratch-proof, can become stained, magnetic, great midrange option

Glass: tempered glass, difficult to see presentation since not white, strong, longest lifespan, can be made magnetic, can have a photo printed on them

If you’re trying to decide if a custom dry erase board is the right choice for your business or organization, read on.

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The Pros of Custom Whiteboards

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Add Your Custom Graphics and Logos

Your business, school, or organization’s logo can be added to a dry erase board to give your presentation an elevated and more professional appearance. If you are ready to impress clients with the bells and whistles, this is a wonderful choice.

Your custom logo on a printed whiteboard can also serve a branding and marketing purpose. Students and audience members snap pictures of presentations using their phones. And where do these pictures often wind up? On social media. This can help credit your business with the share-worthy content and draw users to your website.

Custom graphics can make a printed whiteboard more user-friendly.

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The white glow of a standard dry erase board can feel dull and uninspiring. A custom dry erase board can attract attention and illuminate a presentation with vivid and vibrant colors. Color can also highlight priority data or the result. For example, if your custom whiteboard tracks employee time use, the totals can be highlighted through the use of red boxes.

One of the biggest benefits of color printing on a dry erase board is greater organization through color coding. Color-coding your custom whiteboard can help employees, students, and users find information quickly and prioritize their tasks easier. Managers can also work more efficiently when information is presented in a color-coded fashion.

With options like glass photographic boards, your printed dry erase board can double as wall art when not in use. Not only is it attractive but it can inspire and warrant positive attention.

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Custom Checklists and Formatting

Often users shopping for custom whiteboards need a specific format to aid in day-to-day use of the whiteboard. A checklist or grid can assist users in organization and accountability.


Custom Whiteboard Formatting and Checklists Can
  • Save time
  • Increase accountability
  • Aid in organization
  • Promote ease of communication
  • Promote standardization in procedures and process
  • Aid in the development of routines
  • Tracking and managing inventory
  • Reinforce company values and promote positivity
  • Increase productivity
  • Engage with employees
  • Track goals and deadlines.

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Custom Dry Erase Maps

When it comes to maps, it’s difficult to beat the ease and convenience of a custom printed whiteboard. If you’ve ever tried to draw a map on the whiteboard, you know what we’re talking about.

When customizing a whiteboard, you can have a city, county, state, even neighborhood printed onto a board. A custom map printed onto a dry erase can help businesses and agencies track patterns, deliveries, and optimize and adjust their strategy. A custom map can help identify hotspots or areas of missed opportunity.

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Custom Dry Erase Calendars

A custom dry erase calendar can help a business or organization with workflow, routine, and process. A custom calendar can help everyone stay on the same page in terms of scheduling, tasks, and goals.

If there is a meeting on the second and fourth Friday each month, you can have it printed on your dry erase calendar. If you track a monthly goal, the deadline and progress can easily be added to the calendar daily under the designated printed section.

Regarding a year-long custom dry erase calendar, schools, and other businesses can benefit from having due dates visible well in advance of deadlines. These custom calendars can also have procedures and policies printed on them to make a standard calendar more useful.

Prioritizing daily operations becomes easier with custom dry erase lap boards. Meetings can be added, rescheduled, lengthened or shortened.

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Professionally Designed

Of course, custom whiteboards can look amazing and give a business the added professional touch to their workplace. In addition to branding, custom dry erase boards give an audience the impression that you’re detailed-oriented and don’t cut corners. They look neat, tidy, and elegant.

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Save Time

Customization often increases efficiency by meeting specific needs. If your meetings always follow the agenda, a custom printed dry erase is perfect. They can also help employees visualize their time use better and stay on-task.

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Custom Magnetic Whiteboards

A custom magnetic whiteboard can help make daily routine easier. Notes can be easily placed on the board and moved as needed. Printed designs, pictures, and graphics easily adhere to the surface without the sticky mess of tape.

Custom magnets can also increase the effectiveness of a custom dry erase calendar. Magnets can be made for weekly meetings, appointments, reviews, planning periods, due dates, and more. They can be moved from mont- to-month as the days of the week shift or plans change.

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Custom Size Whiteboards

While a tailored design can help a business run smoothly, a custom size whiteboard help utilize an oddly shaped or underused space. Most custom dry erase board can also be customized in size as well.

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Custom Dry Erase Markers

Custom dry erase markers can give your business a competitive edge. If you’re all about detail, have your business’s logo or graphic printed on dry erase markers is a great investment. While most other businesses focus on custom pens, pencils, and magnets, custom whiteboard markers are often an overlooked branding product.

Cons of Custom Dry Erase Boards

With all the hype surrounding the professional appearance and standardization of printed whiteboards, it can be difficult to imagine they have disadvantages. But, it’s true. There are some cons you may want to consider when deciding if your business or organization is ready for custom whiteboards.

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Higher Cost

Customization comes with a price. A custom printed whiteboard will often run between twice and five times the price depending on the options.

A full-color custom printed metal, magnetic dry erase board (36” x 48”) costs about $300 without a marker tray.

A custom vinyl sticker that can bee adhered to a regular board costs about $100.

A non-custom magnetic dry erase board of the same size costs about $60.


Custom Cutting Fees

Custom size whiteboards with tailored printing often include a custom cutting fee. This fee can range from $25 and higher per board.

Paying for Customization vs. In-house Design

If you have an in-house team, they can design your custom whiteboard. This can pull them away from other projects.

If you do not, you will have to pay for custom design and rely on their creative team to produce your vision. This can range from $30 per design and up depending on the company, size, complexity, and number of drafts.


in-house design


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Sometimes you need a whiteboard sooner rather than later. Custom printed whiteboards take time to design, proof, print, and ship. If expediency is a priority, a standard dry erase boardmay be a better option.

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While a custom dry erase board can help you and your employees save time, they can lead to frustration if your business has a wider range of needs than your custom dry erase board offers.

A poorly designed custom printed whiteboard can be an unwise investment. If the layout or design isn’t effective, it can lead to more confusion and time-wasting than a standard whiteboard.

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Longevity in Design

Once your custom whiteboard is printed, it essentially becomes permanent. In order to change the design, you have to invest more money in new boards. If your business is new or still developing, it may be a wise decision to hold off on purchasing custom printed whiteboards while figuring out what works best for your company.

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Poor-Quality Printing or Design Work

While a high-quality custom whiteboard can make a professional presentation more dazzling, a poor-quality print job or poor-quality design can cheapen and distract from a winning presentation.

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Limitations on Creativity

When presented with a custom dry erase board with a custom design and grid, it can stifle creativity. A blank canvas can inspire your company’s creative team to brainstorm without restrictions.

A blank whiteboard can also lead to innovation in company systems. If the procedure isn’t written in stone, your team may feel freer to can come up with improvements that will cut costs, eliminate redundancy, and improve efficiency.

Creative thinkers often come up with their own way of doing things. A set of lapboards can help individuals use dry erase boards to fit their needs and individuality.


DIY Dry Erase Customization Options

Unsure if you are ready for a custom printed dry erase board? Here are some simple ways to upgrade a traditional whiteboard:


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Use Painter’s Tape to Design a Custom Grid or Layout

Apply painter’s tapeto your standard whiteboard to create a grid that you can use over and over again.

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Use Chart Tape or Vinyl Tape to Create a Semi-Permanent Design

    For decades teachers have been using chart tape to create a well-organized, reusable design on their whiteboards. Tape can be applied, moved, and removed as needed, resulting in a versatile solution to customizing a regular dry erase board. Chart tape can be thin or thick.

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    Use Magnets for Custom Labels

      Print your labels and adhere them to your whiteboard using magnet tapeor magnet squares. Laminate your labels for extra durability and print in color or on colorful paper to jazz things up.

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      Use Vinyl Lettering for Semi-Permanent Labels

        With a steady hand, straight guide lines, and vinyl letters or numbers, you can give your dry erase board a professional appearance without investing a lot of money.  From one-inch to 6-inch options, it’s easy to create a clearly labeled board with varying categories.

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        Help Your Presentation and Ideas Stand Out with the Right Dry Erase Markers

          If it’s color you want to make your presentation pop, try colorful dry erase markers. Colorful presentations help the audience keep track of what’s presented.

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          When it comes to a winning whiteboard, don’t forget that your markers matter and keeping it clean helps highlight your ideas. Don’t distract from your presentation with streaks and ghosting, learn more about how to properly clean your custom or standard whiteboard.

          how to clean whiteboards



          From classrooms to hospitals to businesses, dry erase boards have helped encourage learning, innovation, and better healthcare. It’s strange to think that an invention found in almost every home, business, hospital, and school started as a streak on a photo negative.

          There’s no doubt that whiteboards are an important tool. Determining whether a custom whiteboard is right for you, it up to you. In the meantime, happy writing, brainstorming, and learning from Blue Summit Supplies!

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