ID Cards

The Best Choices for Id Card Printers

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When you are responsible for making ID badges and making sure that they are readable to anyone who needs to see it, you have to make sure that what you purchase is of good quality. You will also need to understand what an ID card printer is and what it can do to help your company.

ID card printers are available for a variety of uses and just like other printers they have more functions than those of printing. Think about the ID cards that you have seen around different businesses. Most of them have a magnetic strip these days that keep information about the employee embedded in it. Part of what the printer does is to encode this information into the magnetic strip on the back.

This magnetic strip must say that the individual is a part of the company and in many cases it keeps the data as to where the individual goes throughout the day. This means that the data must be kept somewhere and generally this is the job of the preinstalled software that comes with the printer.

Any printer you purchase will have a variety of options and functions but you may not need everything that it offers. As an example, some ID cards will not need a magnetic strip. Some of the clubs, temporary programs and conventions may not need this extra strip so you would not need to have this function on your printer. You might only need a single sided printer.

There are a couple of things to consider though when you do decide on a printer. Some ID cards need a double sided printer because they want not only the picture and the name of the individual but you may need other information that won’t fit on the face of the card. In this case your ID card printer would have to print on both sides in order for it to be effective.

The type of printing you need will also determine the printer that you choose. As an example, if you are printing proximity cards, or using smart cards your printer will have more features than someone who only needs an ID card with a picture and the person’s name. Another question is whether you need a hologram on the front of the card as well.

These more advanced ID card printers work on radio frequency in order to give you the information you need for higher security needs. You will need to make sure that this extra encoding is available on the printer you choose.

Another thing to take into consideration is whether you need just one color (monochromatic) or several colors on your card. Some businesses have a certain logo they need put on the card which would lead to a possible custom job — in other words it may be more than your printer can do.

Once you have taken a look at all the printers and you understand your needs, it is a good idea to make sure the printer is user friendly for anyone who is gong to use it.

Everything You Need to Print Your Own Plastic Cards

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Are you planning to print your own plastic cards or ID cards? There are many different scenarios in which you may need to print your own cards. Maybe you need the cards for school or for a small business you own. Have you been paying another company to print your ID cards for you? If so, then you probably already know how expensive this process can be. It’s also challenging to get the cards printed exactly how you want them.  It can be a frustrating process if the cards turn out to be wrong or with even a small mistake. Even if you get the mistakes corrected free of cost, you will have to wait all over again to have them reprinted and mailed out.

If you learn to print your own plastic cards, you can take a great deal of this stress and pressure out of the process.  When you print them yourself, you can have direct control over your cards, what they look like, their size and more. If you print one and it doesn’t come out right, you can go immediately back to your machine and just try again.

Card Printer Hardware

Printing ID cards with your own card printer doesn’t have to be difficult. It connects to your computer just like your paper printer and will print out the same way except instead of printing on paper, it prints your image on plastic cards.

If you’re going to print your own plastic cards, there are certain pieces of hardware you’re going to need to do the job correctly. Here is an overview:


Just like your paper printer needs ink ribbons or ink cartridges, so will your card printer. Card printer ribbons are made specifically for printing on cards and will get the job done right so that you can have professional quality cards, printed right in your own home or office.


Laminating is very important to protect the card, especially with ID cards or badges that get used on a daily basis. There are different ways of achieving lamination but one of the easiest is purchasing laminates which fit over the cards like sleeves and will protect them and make them last longer.

Cleaning Kits

Proper maintenance is very important to keep your card printer working properly and for a long time. To get the most from your machine, you will want to purchase cleaning kits to keep it operating at top performance.

PVC Cards

You can purchase PVC cards for printing on. There are many different styles, colors and qualities to choose from, but you have freedom in finding the perfect ones for your needs.

These are just a few of the main pieces of card printer hardware you will need for printing your own perfect cards. However, this is not an exhaustive list and there are many other products that can make your job even easier or help you add other touches and details to your printed cards.  This includes things such as holograms and more.

Benefits to Printing Your Own Plastic Cards

If you aren’t already convinced that printing your own cards is the way to go, it’s time to consider the cost benefits. Who doesn’t like to save money? So why spend more money that you have to? It just doesn’t make sense. Common sense tells you that if there is a cheaper, better way, you should act on it.

If you’re printing membership cards, ID cards or other plastic cards, printing them yourself can be faster, less expensive and easier once you learn how. Here are some of the benefits to doing it yourself:

-The cost per card is less expensive
-No penalties if you only need a small number of cards at a time
-You can change designs any time you want to
-You don’t have to wait 2-6 weeks for your printed cards to arrive
-You have quality control and can quickly fix any mistakes to your cards
-You have complete control over the printing process and are not limited by a company’s policies

As you can see, the benefits clearly outweigh the cons in a case like this.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Full color printing through a company can cost you $0.75 – $2.00
per card and single color printing through a card printing company can cost the same. However, if you print yourself, you’re looking at $0.35 – $0.38 per card for full color printing and $0.07 – $0.08 per card for single color printing. That’s a whopping cost difference!  Anyway, for large factory like, they provide a much lower price, but most company is still too expensive.

This is just the per-card cost savings. We haven’t even mentioned what you will save on shipping as well as the fact that you can print as much or as little as you want without any penalties. With many commercial card printing companies, you must have a minimum order (often in the thousands) or you will be charged an additional service fee. What about the person who doesn’t need thousands of cards printed at once?

But as we mentioned, it’s not all about the money. You have the benefit of complete control over your card quality, printing time and any necessary changes.

For the Small Scale Printer

If you tend to need only a small number of cards printed at once then it’s simply not cost effective for you to outsource your printing needs. If you are a small business who needs to print plastic cards for your employees, you won’t benefit from outsourcing your card printing needs either.

When you print the cards yourself with your own plastic card printer, it may take past the first couple of prints to really start to see a good return on investment, but once you do, it will be well worth it. In the long run, you can benefit financially from your own card printer and you can feel satisfied with the professional quality of each card printed.


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What is there to know about PVC ID Cards

Quite a bit. PVC ID Cards are the top end of the ID Card Industry, and there are many different things to consider when choosing your PVC ID Cards or Printer.

PVC ID Cards for Photo ID’s should be “Video Grade Cards”. Video Grade refers to very stringent processes & controls during production & packaging. Many inexpensive PVC ID cards may not be Video Grade.

Why should I care about Video Grade ID Cards

Video Grade ID cards have good quality surfaces, with excess material removed after the cutting process. Excess material & imperfections on the card surface will cause print defects and may damage the expensive Print Head of your ID Card Printer.

What thickness of PVC ID Card do I need?

PVC ID Cards are available in 10mil, 14mil, 20 mil, 24mil, 30mil & 40 mil. Select the thickness to suit your needs. The standard thickness of ID Cards is 30mil, about the same as a standard Credit Card. Thinner cards are often used with an adhesive back which is then applied to another card (Proximity Card) which enables the re-use of the more expensive chip card.

Our organization hase very high ID Card breakages, what options do we have?

Your ID Card options include Composite & Polycarbonate ID Cards.

Composite ID cards are high durability cards made with a 40% Polyester core & glossy PVC top & bottom. These cards are suitable for any application where a high breakage rate occurs.

Card Printing Solutions to Consider for Your Organization

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Technology now offers you many printing ID systems and just as many card printing solutions. Whether you need to print photo ID or some other form of identification, there are many card printing solutions to consider.

There are several different types of printable plastic cards. Companies like Fargo, Datacard, Zebra, and Magicard all have a reputation for quality plastic cards. With more than 3 million identification cards printed every day, you can quickly see that this is really a new way of doing business.

Bank Cards

You can print on-demand bank cards right at your branch providing improved customer service. You can improve it even more by producing debit cards, credit cards, and ATM cards, then making them available for immediate use.

Driver’s Licenses

Government agencies around the world must print driver’s licenses, as they want a top notch product. This is why there are printers designed specifically for driver’s license printing.

Employee ID

Organizations require employee ID to help identify people, monitor production, and control access to areas. You want your employees as secure as your intellectual property. You can create personalized ID cards for your employees, the professional teams in your organization, for access control, and a host of other reasons.

Loyalty Cards

Loyalty cards have become very popular with businesses that want to reward their regular customers for their continued business. It’s a great way to set you apart from the competition. There are many different types of loyalty cards and you can decide what type you’d like to offer.

Membership Cards

Your members are your best asset and just as you want to set your business apart from the rest you should make sure your membership cards set you apart from the rest too. In-house card printing makes it easy for you to do just that. You can add security and value to your membership by printing cards that are personalized have the member’s name, and even a photo of your members. By printing barcodes you can keep the members personal information confidential. And if you want you can have expiration dates and balances in the printed barcode.

Government ID

There are all kinds of Government divisions with some that require some type of photo ID for most employees and others which require security identification cards for their security systems. Governments also provide all kinds of identification to citizens such as with healthcare cards or social security cards.

High Level Security ID

All high level security printed photo IDs are protected from counterfeiting, duplication, forgery, and alteration. And you can add the type of security that’s required from microchips for identification to systems that will open secure doors. There are many corporations that require high level security such as Homeland Security, research facilities, and hospitals.

Student Identification

The campus of today is far more secure than the past. Today’s student ID card can do a whole lot more than just identify a student. It can be encoded with all kinds of student information including medical conditions, library cards, and even class registrations.

Smart Cards

This type of card can be used by many different companies and organizations and it offers a great deal of functionality and security. Smart cards provide security, convenience, and portability. For example, ATM cards are an excellent example of a smart card.

With so many different card printing solutions there’s something to meet the needs of all companies and organizations. While deciding on the right solution for your organization you should consider the following.

Security – What type of security do you need? Different types of organizations and events require different security levels. Each business has their own unique needs so you will need to determine what it is you require in this area.

Integration – You will need to determine how you will need to integrate your new card printing system into other areas of your company or organization. You can always get the experts in the field of integration to give your organization a hand in providing a seamless system.

Functionality – There are several different card printers on the market and you will need to evaluate for the functionality you require. The professionals that offer these products to the market are experts in their product line so be sure to utilize this expertise.

Card Issuance – Issuing cards in-house is great but the security of these cards is only as good as the card printing system you implement which is why it’s important for you to know and understand the various levels of security associated with the equipment.

There are many different card printing solutions available. That means your organization should consider what it is they want to do, and how they would like to do it. Only then they can make the right choice.

6 Questions to Ask When Purchasing an Id Card Printer

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Everyday business owners decide that the time is right to implement their own internal ID card printing system; and each time the same question arises – what is the right ID card printer? Here are 6 Questions you should have the answers to before purchasing an ID card printer.

1. Do you need to print on both sides of your photo ID card?

If you answered yes, you will need to purchase a dual-sided printer. This will allow you to add information on both the front and the back of the card. There are all kinds of excellent dual ID card printers on the market. The disadvantage to this type of printer is it costs more and this type of printing takes more time.

2. Do you need to print monochrome or color cards?

Monochrome printing uses only black ink, so it is much cheaper. It’s also a lot faster, taking only around 5 seconds per card. Color printing lets you create eye catching color cards, and it also allows for very realistic photos on you photo ID cards. The disadvantage is that color printing costs more.

3. Do you need your cards to be smart?

Today’s market provides you with all kinds of different photo ID cards to choose from, including smart ones. The smart card is able to store all kinds of information on the magnetic strip or bar code. The information is encoded on smart chips, making them popular in situations where security is an issue. For example, smart cards are a good choice if you need your employees to sign in or sign out of secure facilities.

4. Do your cards need to be secure?

There is a great deal of effort that goes into making a card as secure as possible. A members card for a local retail store might not have to be very secure, but a restricted area in a laboratory will likely require a great deal of security. You’ll need to take inventory of what it is you need your cards to do, and then you’ll know what features to look for in a printer. All the top manufacturers offer mag stripe encoders, and smart card encoders. If you need to laminate your card you need a photo ID printer with a special station.  So consider this when you are looking

5. How many cards do you need to print every year?

The average printer can print around 30,000 cards per year, which is adequate for most. If you need to print more cards you will need to choose a printer that is designed for higher volume.

6. What is the life expectancy you want from your photo ID cards?

Abrasive activities from swiping the card in high usage situations, can wear them out quickly. Average usage will see a PVC card last 1 to 2 years, while high use could easily cut the life expectancy of these cards in half.

You can extend the life of your cards using overlays or lamination. An overlay is an additional panel on the printer ribbon, which gets laid down on the top of the card. This extends card life by a year. Lamination applies a vinyl coating on both sides of the card. It is applied using heat and pressure. There are different thicknesses of lamination to choose from. In general, laminating adds 4 to 5 years to the life of your card. These options might increase your initial costs, but overall are more likely to reduce your costs in situations of high use.

Once you know the answer to these 6 questions, you will have a much better understanding of the type of ID card printer you need. There are many excellent printers on the market, making choosing right printer that much easier. Successful businesses recognize opportunities that will reduce costs and increase profits. Printing your own photo ID cards will do just that.

Save money , live better!

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Having your plastic identification cards made by a printing company can be very expensive. If you represent a company who is not concerned about saving money than please ignore this information. However, if you are representing a business and your success or failure depends on every dollar you can save, than hop aboard and hang on. Even if you are a student that only needs to make a few cards at a time for school, this is news you will want to hear. The bottom line is that by printing your own plastic cards you will save money.

Most of your commercial printing companies require bulk orders, sometimes up into the thousands. By printing your own cards, you have the option of printing only the amount of cards that you need. Once you learn how to make your own plastic cards, it will be easier, faster and without a doubt, less expensive. In addition, by making your own cards you avoid any penalties or fees for small orders. You will have the control over your own designs. You can change them anytime you wish with out any hassle. You will also eliminate the waiting period, which can be weeks with some companies.

You are immediately empowered with on the spot quality control when you are making your own cards. If a company makes a mistake, most of the time they will take care of the cost, but you still have to wait even longer to get your product. All of this stress can be avoided. You do not have to be tied down to other companies polices. You can control your own printing process. By making your own cards you will save an amazing amount of money on a per card basis. In addition to all of this you will not be paying shipping costs anymore.

Any business must be cost effective. Everyone wants to save money. It does not matter if you are a student or a small business owner. Make your own cards and you will get better through trial and error. In the end you will reap the rewards. It is not as hard as you might think to make your own plastic cards. You can purchase a card printer and connect it to your computer just like a paper printer. Of course you will need a card ribbon instead of a paper ribbon to ensure absolute quality. Badge software and the correct attachments to wear or carry the badge are other items you may need to have a successful badge printing setup.

If you have an eye for detail and actually feel more comfortable when you have your fingers on the controls, then making your own plastic cards is the way to go. You will get that control and save a bundle of money as well.

ID Cards Fight Identity Theft

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ID Cards help people live there everyday lives more easily, giving them a watertight proof of identity for use in daily transactions and travel. Custom ID cards help protect you from the type of serious crime that depends on being able to use false identities. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission says it takes 12 months, on average, for a victim of identity theft to notice the crime.

ID Cards enable people to access services more easily, and prevent access to those with no entitlement.

ID Cards Help Consumers Fight Fraud

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Ask most consumers and they’ll tell you that identify theft is a growing concern. Retailers can help their customers avoid the unnecessary hassle and headache that comes with identity theft by implementing identification cards that offer customers security and reliability. The ID cards developed by Signature Card will help your customers win the ID fraud and identity theft battle.

Fight Identity Theft – Use ID Cards

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ID Cards help people live there everyday lives more easily, giving them a watertight proof of identity for use in daily transactions and travel. ID cards help protect you from the type of serious crime that depends on being able to use false identities. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission says it takes 12 months, on average, for a victim of identity theft to notice the crime.

Use of ID Cards enables people to access services more easily, and prevent access to those with no entitlement.

ID Cards Add Every Day Convenience

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In this economy ID Cards provide us with convenience every day. These custom printed cards, custom printed carriers or letters and matching envelopes are guaranteed accurate and durable. Through a secure data facility, Insurance Cards and letters are personalized with individual patient data then the card, or cards, are affixed to personalized letters and inserted into custom printed envelopes. Mailed daily within the United States and to all International locations security is a primary concern. Signature Card has been certified having met specific security measures. Making its ongoing fulfillment programs the perfect solution for any size ID Card project.