Identification Information: Choosing The Printer For Your ID Design

ID Cards are simple in construction and purpose, so it’s perfectly understandable, even outright encouraged to spruce up the standard, ID design with that special flair. A splash of color, a glint of shine, some small touches to help the ID stand out. If you’re being pragmatic about it, a prominent ID design allows for easy identification of the wearer’s company, school, etc.

Here are our recommendations for choosing the right ID card printer for your design.

  • Basic Cards: Go Traditional. Basic cards with little tech on them, such as loyalty cards, membership cards, gift cards, basic student IDs, etc. For ID’s to be used with mere visual identification, ie. no additional technology such as magnetic stripes, access cards or chips, even the standard ID card printer can be sufficient. These simple cards don’t need extremely high quality, even if they have something like a simple barcode.
  • Magnetic Stripe Cards. Used for attendance systems, hotel room keys and the like, magnetic stripe cards demand a higher level of quality than basic IDs, on top of needing a printer with the ability to encode information onto the card at the time of printing.
  • Smart Cards. Used in kiosk systems or biometric access control systems, they allow more advanced information to be stored on a card, beyond the capability of alphanumerics. These are a notable leap in price and prerequisite quality than basic IDs. Hence, printers above the basic ID level. Keep in mind that most printers are not designed for post-purchase encoder upgrades, so deciding if the information will be encoded is a key step.
  • Electronic Technologies and High Image Quality Cards. These cards demand the highest level of quality. Tech cards can be a problem since all the embedded components (chips, antenna, etc.) require reverse transfer printers. Direct-to-card printers are incapable of the necessary precision for such cards, and as such are ill-fit. For holographic cards; known for the highest level of visual security, laminating printers are the best choice, which gives the added benefit of prolonging their life.

Choosing the right ID card printer can make all the difference with the quality of your new ID cards.