Your ID card program starts with the right ID cards. Learn more about the different types of cards that are available to you to choose the ID cards that meet your requirements.
We offer 3 different types of ID cards: PVC cards, proximity cards and pre-printed cards. PVC cards are widely used for all applications and come in a variety of sizes, thicknesses and colors. The most standard size is called CR80 - which is the size of your credit card (3.375" x 2.125").
What does it mean to “encode” an ID card? Simply put, encoding is the process by which data is placed onto (stored within) an ID card’s components. ID cards can hold data in several different ways, from the simple to the complex, and from a little data to large amounts of data.
By incorporating visual-security elements into ID cards, card-issuing organizations can—with high confidence—readily verify card authenticity and protect card integrity by minimizing card tampering and illegal duplication. Ensuring the benefits of great visual security depends on printer features.
Gift cards can be a great addition to your marketing efforts. Gift cards encourage people who might not otherwise visit your business to take a look around and likely return to make additional purchases. Plus, as people purchase gift cards for their friends on birthdays or holidays, your brand continues to be dispersed among new customers.
Find out now how to print your own gift cards.
Commonly referred to as plastic cards, PVC cards come in a variety of sizes, thicknesses and colors. The most standard size is called CR80 - which is the size of your credit card (3.375" x 2.125") — but we also carry CR79 cards (3.303" x 2.051") that are a bit smaller and feature an adhesive back. Thicknesses vary from 10 to 30mil. As a reference, your credit card is a 30mil card. PVC cards can also include additional features such as magnetic stripes for multifunctional badges. If you want to create unique ID cards, browse our selection of color PVC cards.
"Prox" cards have an embedded antenna that stores the cardholder data. This data can be read when the proximity card is passed within range of a reader. Mainly used for access control applications, proximity cards are also chosen in environments where crowd control is a factor.
This option is ideal for membership cards, loyalty cards, or other ID cards where only a name, ID number or barcode might be added onsite. Let us print professional cards and if needed, personalize them on the spot in seconds. You will get stunning results that will definitely impress your customers.
By incorporating visual-security elements into ID cards, card-issuing organizations can—with high confidence—readily verify card authenticity and protect card integrity by minimizing card tampering and illegal duplication. Ensuring the benefits of great visual security depends on printer features, ribbon types, and specialized blank card stock.
If your company relies on secure cards as part of its ID-card program, your starting point is understanding and selecting printers specifically designed to maximize security—with functions including lamination, holograms, watermarks, and high-definition and microtext printing.
A specialized printer ribbon can bring your card printer’s security functions to life and maximize their flexibility, utility and capabilities. Ribbons aren’t all created equal. They can be UV- and fluorescent-capable, apply clear lamination film, or laminate with holograms.
Getting the most out of your printer’s (and ribbons’) security capabilities also requires the right specialized visual-security blank cardstock. Be sure your blank cards have the security features (like foil and metallic patches, holograms, and foil patches with holograms) necessary to allow your printer and ribbon to do their job as you intend.
ID card printers will only accept specific card thicknesses. Most printers are built to print 30mil cards (thickness of a credit card) so if you need to personalize thinner cards (10-20mil), check the specs of your printer.
Most ID card printers print CR80 cards (3.375" x 2.125"), CR80 being the standard card size. However, if you need to print cards of other sizes such as CR79 (3.303" x 2.051"), note that only a few card printers will allow it.
The most common type of plastic card is 100% PVC. However, it is recommended to use composite PVC/PET cards for retransfer and laminating printers. Composite cards are 60% PVC and 40% PET and are more durable than PVC cards. They are also heat resistant and won’t bend under high temperatures. Composite cards can be used with any card printer.
If your printer is equipped with a magnetic encoder and you need to store data into a magnetic stripe, you will have the choice between high coercivity (HiCo) and low coercivity (LoCo) cards. HiCo cards are very resistant, harder to erase and built to handle frequent usage. Choose HiCo cards for access control or time and attendance applications. Less expensive but also less resistant, low coercivity cards work best with short-term applications such as hotel room keys or event passes. For advanced access control systems, proximity cards are a popular choice. Proximity cards are read-only devices: that is why the encoding is typically handled by manufacturers before shipping.
Taking care of your blank white cards is critical to get the best quality at every print. Dust and debris on your cards can easily damage your ID card printer and result in poorly printed cards.
To make sure that you get the best out of your blank PVC
cards, follow these steps:
Remembering these simple tips will help you print high-quality cards and protect your ID card printer.
If you have questions, feel free to give us a call! Our experts are here to help. Call our toll-free support line at 1-800-897-7024, chat with us or email us whenever you need it.