Tips for Designing School ID Badges

Tragic events in recent history remind us that School ID Badges are an important part of school safety. ID cards not only help identify students and staff, also any authorized visitors to your buildings. To design school ID cards that will help keep students safe, and foster an engaging learning environment, use these tips in your design process.

Incorporate both name and picture.

The primary purpose of a School ID card is to properly identify the individual wearing it, and their authorization to be within your facilities. School ID cards should be designed to prominently feature the both the individual’s name, and their photo. In so doing, you’ll more easily spot fraudulent cards, and quickly recognize if a student or visitor is where they are supposed to be.

Color-code ID cards by grade, class, or building.

Color-coding student and staff ID cards by grade, class, or building makes it easy to identify people in a quick glance. For example, seniors might have a prominent red border around their photo, while juniors might have a green border. This is particularly helpful when students are congregated in larger groups, or filling the halls between classes. Virtually all ID card printing software can incorporate color features as part of an overall card design.

Create visitor ID cards.

Visitor identification is one of the most important features of a school safety strategy. A unique design that clearly designates someone as a visitor should be required at all schools. The visitor should not only be required to check in and out but also to prominently display the ID badge at all times when on campus, and return it when checking out.

Require Everyone to Wear their ID Badges.

Finally, you should require all staff, students & visitors to wear their school ID cards at all times. Without this requirement – and an enforcement mechanism – you are creating a lax environment, which diminishes everyone’s safety. One way to maximize participation and “buy-in” is to make the ID card an integral part a daily routine at school. This could be as simple as requiring it be shown at the cafeteria or library, or directly tying it into other systems through use of a printed bar-code or QR-code.

We hope these quick tips can help you shape an effective program at your own school. If you have questions, or would like our expert advice, feel free to give us call toll-free at 888.485.4696.

End of Life Period: Evolis Securion

Evolis has announced that as of December 1, 2016, its Securion printer has entered the End of Life period. The company has made the decision to cease production of this printer following the introduction of a lamination module for its popular Evolis Primacy printer.

The last date to order an Evolis Securion printer is March 31, 2017. Spare parts for the printers will be produced for 5 years following its discontinuation, and consumables will be available for 10 years.

For more information about the Evolis Securion, Evolis Primacy or the discontinuation process, please contact one of our ID card experts at +1 (704) 535-5200.

Now Available: eMedia CS2

logo-emedia-cs2-hdeMedia has launched a completely revamped version of their popular CS software. eMedia CS2 features enhanced performance and a more user-friendly design. The software allows for more control over printing and design elements and can now be migrated from one computer to another easily.

Current users who received a free Standard version with the purchase of an Evolis Primacy printer are able to upgrade at a 50% discount. Those who purchased a Standard version independent of the Primacy or upgraded to the Professional or Expert versions of eMedia CS can upgrade to the new software for free!

Support for eMedia CS will end on February 28, 2017, so we recommend upgrading at your earliest convenience.

The New Color Touch Screen on the Evolis Primacy

The Evolis Primacy is now available with a color touch screen option. This screen allows users to monitor the status of the printer ribbons, cleaning cycle, and operations. Additionally, it provides step-by-step instructions for completing the cleaning cycle and routine printer maintenance.

Now through December, Evolis is running a special on the Primacy with the touch screen. Visit our web store to order the Simplex or the Duplex printers and find the most up-to-date pricing. As always, our experts are available at 704-535-5200 to answer questions or provide more information about this offering from Evolis.

Biometric Enrollment Updates to Asure ID 7

Last week’s update from HID Global® included information about biometric updates to Asure ID® 7 Enterprise and Exchange editions.

HID Global® has announced the latest release of its popular Asure ID® 7 Card Personalization Software suite, now incorporating greater functionality to support biometric enrollment and ease of use to the ID card personalization process. To support the biometric needs of healthcare, corporate enterprise and government applications, the latest release adds support for biometric enrollment when using HID Global Lumidigm® fingerprint sensors. Now, the user is able to store the fingerprint template in an external database using Asure ID’s Live LinkTM real-time data exchange and write the fingerprint template to a various smart cards using the iCLASS SE® encoder.  This new Lumidigm fingerprint sensor enrollment is supported by the following two editions:

  • Asure ID Enterprise – Featuring Live Link for large organizations that require multiple workstations to share a common database over a network in real time.
  • Asure ID Exchange – Designed for the most sophisticated and secure credential applications combining Live Link advanced database support and iDIRECTOR™ technology card design for smart card deployment.

HID Global encourages all current owners of Asure ID to download and install the latest update (Asure ID version 7.7), which is available at no charge to current Asure ID 2009 and Asure ID 7 users.  This update can be easily applied from within the application by clicking Options > Resources > Check For Updates.
New users can download a trial version of the software at hidglobal.com/asureid.

Datacard SP25 Plus to be Discontinued

EntrustDatacard has announced the end of production for its SP25 Plus card printer. The printer has been replaced by the SD160 card printer, and will no longer be available for order after August 31, 2016. The printer will go out of support on August 31, 2021 (though this is subject to availability of parts and supplies).

To order either the SP25 Plus or SD160 or for more information about how this may impact your card printing, please contact one of our printer experts at +1 704.535.5200 or +1 888.485.4696.

Datacard SP25 Plus

The SP25 Plus will be discontinued 8/31/16.

Evolis 15th Anniversary Limited Edition Primacy Black

Evolis Primacy Black

Evolis Primacy Black

Evolis has released a limited edition of their popular Primacy printer to celebrate their 15th anniversary. This black edition with carbon fiber style sides and red accents is available while supplies last, so make sure to get yours early! While it is not eligible for the trade-in/trade-up program, with an MSRP of $2190, this is a great discount on the Evolis Primacy, making it a perfect printer for those new to the ID card game.

For specific details regarding the printer, check it out on our webstore or call one of our printer experts at +1 888.485.4696.

Tech Alert: Apple Users of cardPresso ID Badge Design & Print Software

The Problem

elcapitanWe have recently become aware of a technical issue that occurs when users of the cardPresso ID Badge Design & Print software upgrade their Apple computers to the latest edition of OS X (10.11 “El Capitan”). In this latest operating system release, Apple has updated and enhanced system security, particularly as it applies to the use of USB-attached peripherals and mass-storage devices.

Users of cardPresso will know that use of and access to that software is secured through the use of a USB “dongle”, which is required to authenticate and authorize use of the product. The new release of OS X prevents cardPresso from “seeing” the USB dongle, and therefore prevents use of the software in anything other than demonstration mode.

The Fix

cardpressoWhile the El Capitan release also affected scores of other software developers, cardPresso’s software engineers worked quickly to develop, test, and release an update that will address this issue for affected users. The updated version is available for free download on the cardPresso website (www.cardpresso.com), and can be directly installed onto your Mac device with no loss of data or functionality.

As always, we encourage our clients to call on our in-house experts at +1 888.485.4696, should they need further information or support with this issue and resolution.

Magicard Enduro 3E

Magicard Enduro 3E

Magicard Enduro 3E

Magicard has released the newest iteration of their popular Enduro line. The Magicard Enduro 3E offers numerous upgrades and refreshes to the Enduro+ model. We’re proud to announce that the printer is now available in our online store! For more information or to purchase, visit our online store or call one of our experts at +1 888.485.4696.

Thinking about upgrading to Windows 10? SLOW DOWN!

stoplooklistenIn the past few weeks, we have started to receive calls from clients whose ID-card printers do not work after updating their PCs to Windows 10. This is a very scary situation with a very simple explanation: Windows 10 is a new operating system, and Microsoft couldn’t have reasonably crafted it to support every printer, ever sold, by every manufacturer. Likewise, the manufacturers of these printers wouldn’t have had an inkling of Windows 10 while their printers were being designed and sold – often 3 or more years ago. The result is a number of perfectly good, well-functioning printers that have no current drivers to allow for their use under Windows 10.

What does this mean for you?

What it means in the short run is that users need to avoid the siren-call of the new, shiny OS from Microsoft unless and until they’re sure ALL of their critical printers, devices AND software are supported. At the time of writing, exactly NONE of our primary brands make mention of Windows 10 support. In speaking with one of our software vendors by phone last week, they told us their latest (June) release has been tested to work under Windows 10, and will be supported if users upgrade.

History repeats:

Going forward, we can take lessons from the past – not all software, and not all printers and devices will work now, or ever on Windows 10. Technology has a life-cycle. Manufacturers and software authors make money selling new stuff, not making their old stuff work with others’ new stuff. So what we’re likely to see is that old printers and devices – those no longer manufactured – will not get Windows 10 specific drivers or software updates. If current drivers happen to work, then you can squeeze more life out of these devices. If not, then you will either have to put-off upgrading Windows, or start budgeting for new printers. The same goes for your ID-badge software programs. None were initially written with Windows 10 in mind. They’ll minimally need to be tested, if not tweaked, by their developers. But some older products will just be left to die off over time as users ultimately, ploddingly, transition to the new Microsoft OS.

What can I do now?

Obviously, we do not recommend upgrading in this environment unless you are certain that your printer or software is supported under Windows 10. You should also know that there is no easy way to reverse a Windows 10 upgrade, once applied. Instead of jumping into the unknown, please contact one of our experts at +1 704.535.5200, for guidance. We will be happy to help you determine what is supported under Windows 10 currently, or if your items will be supported via a future driver or program release. As we become aware of Windows 10 support announcements, we’ll note them here on our blog – so keep an eye on this space.

Of course, we’d also be delighted to help you shop for a new device or software too!