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Plastic card printing design tutorial

1. Barcode on the plastic card:

Barcode on the plastic card

Make sure it is on a light background, if it is a black plastic card, draw a white rectangle before you put the barcode, otherwise the scanner will not be able to read it. For barcode type, C39 and EAN is the most popular. Also for the location of barcode, have to check with client what types of scanner they are using, some types of scanner can only take the barcode close to the edge. If you have to resizing the barcode, please do make it in proportion.


2. Magnetic strip plastic card:

Magnetic strip plastic card

There are 2 types of magnetic strips. High-C0 is for bank card, credit card use, high antimagnetic. Lo-Co is the most popular and cheaper than High-co. If the plastic magnetic card is not for bank use, use lo-co.


3. Hole/Strip punch on plastic card:

Hole punch on plastic card Strip punch on plastic card

Most popular size for a hole is 5mm. Do not too close to the edge of the plastic card. For strip punch for lanyard, make sure the size suits the lanyard, as some lanyards are very thick.


4. Signature strip on the back of the plastic card:

Signature strip on the back of the plastic card

There are 2 types, transparent and plan white. No big difference. Pay attention to the height, if too shot, people will not be able to write on it.


5. Flat numbering, sequential numbering on plastic card:

Flat numbering, sequential numbering on plastic card

It is usually used for membership card number. There are 2 types, spray printed and thermal printed. Spray printed is digits formed by tiny dots. Thermal printing is the normal one. Pay attention the background for flat numbering should not be too dark, as these numbers can only be black. Black numbers will be unreadable on dark background. Flat numbering can also be words, which are for ID card use.


6. Embossing on plastic card:

Embossing on plastic card

This can be done with a embossing machine easily. And the color can be gold, silver and black. It depends on the design of the card. Embossing can be capitalized characters and numbers. Do not exceed 21 digits in 1 line. And too many embossed characters, the card will bend. Also embossing will affect the printed text on the back. It will make them unreadable.

That all i have recently , i will keep updating this guide hope it is helpful with the new guys. Any body who want to give me suggestions or need help , please email me: artwork[at]

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