Category Archives: Glossary

How to take ID Card Photos

custom id

So you are in charge of taking good id card photos for your organizational id badges. Of course, you know what you will hear. “This looks worse than my driver’s license.” Don’t worry. We have tips that will guide you through the id card making process and will give you the best id card photos possible.

To get the best pictures possible of your members, set up your camera in the following way:

1. Set the digital camera to low resolution 640 x 480. You do not need a large picture to fit on an ID badge. Large pictures take up additional space on the computer.

2. Set the flash on flash fill. Turn time and date stamps on the camera off.

3. Test the camera by taking a few pictures prior to the picture shoot. This will help you feel comfortable with the particular camera and how it shoots. You can review the test shots to make sure that the pictures are correct in lighting and distance from the camera. Make sure that you photograph the person from the chest up and leave some room above the head.

For lighting and the setting we recommend the following:

1. Have the person photographed stand against a neutral backdrop. (We use light blue.)

2. Make sure there is enough light in the room. We recommend natural light, but often that is not possible. Consider setting up various light sources around the room to provide the best results for your pictures.

Ready for picture taking. Try these steps:

1. Talk with the person prior to taking the picture. Let the person know if they need to smile or be serious. Let then know if something about their hair or clothing may need to be adjusted prior to the picture.

2. Make sure that you photograph the person from the chest up and leave some room above the head.

3. Hold the camera steady or use a tripod for best picture results.

If sending the pictures to a service bureau for custom card printing.

1. Rename the .jpg picture to the person’s name.

2.Send pictures to the id badge service bureau through the method provided by your account representative.

Safe-Card ID provides all equipment and supplies needed to make id badges in house. We have id card printers and id software, cameras, and card making supplies. For more information on in house id card systems or custom id cards for your organization, contact our experts toll free at 888-485-4696.

Four steps to purchasing the best id card printer

Choosing an ID card printer can give a purchaser analysis paralysis. Today’s printer models are many and have optional modules and add-ons that allow from basic to advanced, secure ID cards.

The answer to the following five basic questions will narrow the quest for choosing the right card printer for your organizational needs.

1. Will the ID card need printing on a single side of the card or both sides of the card?

Single side printing of ID cards is the most common printing method. Basic ID cards typically include a cardholder’s picture, name, and title entered into a template with the company logo. Cards printed on both sides are printed on a dual sided printer. These printers print the front side of the card and then internally flip the card and print the back side before card extraction from the printer. If budget is an issue and a single side printer must be purchased, it is possible to print the front side of the card and then manually reinsert the card to be printed with the layout of the back of the badge.

2. Will the ID card need to be printed in full color?

Printers can print in monochrome or full color. The requirements of the organization will determine which capability is needed.

3. Will data need to be encoded into the card?

ID cards have become multipurpose cards in many organizations. In addition to identification needs, companies and groups often need to integrate their card with technology to open doors or transmit information to various in house systems. Specialized cards can be purchased that will allow for data to be encoded into the card for specific applications. Printer modules available can provide the data encoding capability needed.

4. Will a high level of security need to be maintained with the card?

The nature of some organizations require an additional level of security to be added to their badge. Badge duplication is a hazard to any organization, but is detrimental to highly secure areas and organizations. In stock or custom holograms may be needed to provide an additional layer of uniqueness and security to badges. Modules to place holograms on the badge are available on various models of printers.

5. Will the badges be printed from a stand alone computer or from a network?

Badges that need to be printed from larger corporations are often easily managed from a network of authorized users in various locations. Ethernet capabilities are available on many of today’s ID card printer systems.

The best way to find the correct ID card printer for your organization is to contact a ID card sales representative. Feel free to contact our representatives toll free at 888-485-4696 for a custom ID card system quote for your organizational requirements.

HealthCare Badges

Healthcare facilities are busy with patients, employees, doctors, and visitors daily entering the hospital doors. Handling the security needs at hospitals and healthcare facilities are an important part of the daily operations of the organization.

ID badges can be used at hospitals in a number of ways to assist with security and smooth functioning. Some uses include:

Access Control. An access control badge can limit access to certain cardholders to certain buildings at certain times in a 24 hour period. Each badge can be identified by the access system control and can allow doors to open for specified cardholders at authorized times. The doors can be doors from external areas of the hospital campus to specialized internal doors such as operating rooms.

Identification. Unauthorized visitors that visit secured areas of the hospital can be easily identified when photo ids identify the credentials of the cardholders. Photo id cards identifying patients, staff and medical providers diminish potential security issues.

Records. To track the patients activities and treatments, medical facilities are increasingly assigning id card and other tracking methods to people and supplies to make hospital visits smooth and efficient.
Account Debit. Photo id cards can be used to debit an employee account set up through the cafeteria or gift shop.

Payroll. Photo id cards can be used to track time and attendance for employees.

Health care id badge systems can be explained in detail by our id card printer experts. Contact them toll free at 888-485-4696.

Polaroid Cameras for ID Badges

Film based id card making systems have been around for many years. A Polaroid camera is the standard camera that these systems are based on. These cameras are analog cameras and use film which develops the picture immediately. The picture is cut with a die cutter and pasted onto badge material called Teslin. The badge is normally laminated by wrapping it in a laminating pouch and running it through a document laminator.

These cameras are becoming rare. Costs to operate this camera and the labor required to make laminated badges normally exceed the costs of making badges with the current PVC card systems. Other negatives to this type of badge include the lack of security features available as the computer generated plastic card.

For more information about laminated badges or plastic id card options, contact our experts at 888-485-4696.


School ID Cards

Student id cards are a popular use for today’s standard 30 ml plastic identification cards. The making of photo ids are a standard part of the beginning of the school year or at the first of the semester in colleges and universities.

ID cards are useful in many ways for smooth school operations. From checking out books in the library to debiting school lunch accounts in the lunchroom, id cards provide a system and level of security throughout the school environment.

Most K-12 schools use a simple, single-side badge for their students. Full color photographs and student information is placed on the card as well as a bar code for tracking various student activities. Depending on the requirements of the school, the card can be layered with security enhancements, printed dual side and encoded with specific information useful for the school system.

By having a system in house, a school can customize the badges with unique design and options for various school needs. Visitor id badges can be printed with a unique layout. Library processes are smooth with the scanning of a unique student bar code for media checkout. Cafeteria workers can verify the identity of a student as well as debit their lunch account by use of their id card. Attendance, registration, and vending machine payment are other uses for student id cards.

With the use of a student id system, many schools expand their id card use into staff ids for building access, attendance tracking and local retail discount use.

Setting up the id card system in your school is easy. One of our technical reps will be happy to assist you by our toll free phone lines for set up and badge design.

For a free consultation for your K-12 ids or university needs, contact our id card printer sales reps toll free at 888-485-4696.

What is a good photo id camera?

A photo id requires the visual representation of the card holder on the card. There are a number of options to obtain the necessary picture to place on the current pvc plastic card standard of today.

An id camera is needed to take a picture that will easily work on your id badges.

A popular type of id card camera is the webcam. The webcam is connected to the pc and takes photos through a computer application. A future cardholder will stand next to a backdrop in front of the camera while the computer operator previews the photo, snaps the picture and imports it into the computer for use. This option works well if all of the employees are in the same location as the employee must come to the computer area for the picture to be taken.

The popular digital camera on the market will also take high quality photos for id badges. The badge maker can mount the camera on a tripod and take pictures of cardholders in any location. Upon return of the camera to the computer, the pictures can be uploaded into a file or into the id card software being used to complete the badge. The drawback to this type of picture is often user related. Most cameras take large, quality pictures. The file size of these photos are too cumbersome for most photo id software. The best size for photo ids is 640×480 pixels or as small as the camera will save the picture.

Cropping and sizing of pictures is time consuming. To alieve this problem, most id card printer systems provided with a camera come with drivers and software to correct the picture dimensions for id card printing.

ID card camera information can be found on our website, For specific questions on id card cameras or id card systems, contact our experts at 888-485-4696.

What are CR-80 ID Cards?

CR-80 id cards are the standard id card size in the identification industry. The card is commonly known as the credit card size id card. The PVC card is a small thin card that is 3.4 inches wide, 2.15 inches long and .030 ml thick. The most familiar cards of this type are the standard credit card or driver’s license that you are carrying in your wallet.

The card is often a simple single side photo id card that is used by a student, employee or group member. These cards are also becoming increasingly more capable of additional uses. Today’s cards are often embeded with access capabilities to buildings and are more secure with various advanced card production features.

For assistance with specific questions regarding id cards for id card printers, contact our consultants toll free at 888-485-4696.

ID Cards for Schools

Schools of all kinds from preschools to universities are finding the id cards can be beneficial for many reasons. Some of the most popular reasons to use id cards are as follows:

Student Identification

Student identification cards can be used not only as a basic id. Many schools use the cards to track attendance at class or various non-classroom events. Other uses are for media center material checkout and meal plan debit systems. Some schools use the id card during class registration. Newer uses of the cards also include debiting to student bank accounts for various purchases.

Employee Identification

Many of the student uses are also available for use with employee ids. Additional functions with the employee id would include the use of time and attendance tracking for payroll.

Visitor Identifiication

Generic or individual visitor badges assist schools in verifying the authority of an unfamiliar person on campus. Many schools have rather complex systems in checking visitors in and out and providing appropriate authoriziation methods for those visiting the school.

For additional information about student id cards and school id card products, call our id card experts at 888-485-4696.

How does a YMCKO print ribbon work for an id card printer?

Die sublimation id card machines use a print ribbon that contains panels of color and other needed layers. Each panel passes over the blank card in order until the panel pass is complete and the card contains the colors and overlays necessary to duplicate the design on the card.

The YMC are the three panels of color. Standing for yellow, magenta, and cyan, these panels orderly move over the card and provide the amount of color necessary to produce a full color image where needed and other colors desired according to the badge design.

Once the color has been placed on the card, the K panel of the id card printer ribbon passes over the card to provide resin black printing for black text and bar codes.

Using a YMCKO ribbon, the card is completed after the o panel has been applied to the card. This overlay panel is a clear protective panel that covers the colors on the badge.

Based on specific printers or your card requirements, the card printer ribbon needed may have more or less of the above combination of panels.

For specific information about id card printer ribbons or id card printers, call our card experts at 888-485-4696.