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Professional ID Photos Need a Tripod and Backdrop

Since we create and print ID Cards for a large number of business onsite at Safe-Card ID Services, the Art Department sees all kinds of photos. The honest truth is a perfectly designed card needs an equally great photo, which can be achieved with a backdrop and tripod. By taking photos at a uniform height with a consistent background color, ID cards are harder to counterfeit and helps ensure the cards appear standardized.

Safe-Card ID offers a wide variety of backdrops for your photo ID pictures. Multple colors are availible to choose from and solid colored backdrops help center the focus on the person in the photo. Also, many backdrops are portable, allowing ID card photos to be easily printed off-site.

Tripods minimize blurry photos by stabilizing the camera. Simply attach a camera to the top of the tripod before snapping a picture, guaranteeing all photos are taken at the same height and angle. Our patented HD Image Cam Pro ID Camera comes with a tripod and monitor mount that are also conveniently compact and idea for business travel.

Call an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today to make sure your employees have the great photo they deserve on thier ID Card or Badge.

 

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Field Upgrade Your ID Card Printer

Many of the card printers offered by Safe-Card ID Services can be upgraded in the field to perform tasks beyond the initial functionality,  like dual-sided printing, ethernet networking and card encoding. From value to premium, upgradeable printers are a convenient investment that can evolve as your card program grows over time.

The ability to upgrade a printer at any time, without sending it in for maintenance, means that you can buy what you need now while protecting your ability to print cards at any given time. It is a cost effective way to take care of your needs today and tomorrow.

Some of the field upgradeable card printers we offer include the Evolis Pebble and Dualys, Magicard Rio Pro and the Fargo HDP5000. To learn if you current print can be upgraded or to discuss a printer than can grow to meet your needs call and expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.

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ID Card PVC Sizes

ID Card and Badge printers come in all shapes and sizes but are limited in ability in terms of the card sizes they can print. Todays’ card printers are made to print on standard CR80 size cards, with a number of them also capable of printing on CR79 and only a very few that can print CR100 size cards.

– CR79 cards measure 3.303″ x 2.051″ and are slightly smaller than a standard CR80 size card. CR79 cards typically have an adhesive back and are commonly used for printing and adhering to a clamshell HID Proximity card.

• CR80 cards are 3.375″ x 2.125″ (exactly the same size as a credit card) and are the standard, most commonly used size of PVC card. They are great for almost every ID card application.

• CR100 cards are much larger measuring  3.88″ x 2.63″ – that’s 42% larger than a standard CR80 card, making them easier to see from a distance but too big to hide in a wallet. CR100 size cards are often referred to as “oversize” or “military-size” cards. These are great for event passes. Printers that can handle these cards such as the Fargo HDP600 are usually manufactured to order and are very expensive.

Before ordering any type/size of PVC cards it is very wise ensure your printers specifictions to ensure it can handle them or call a specialist at Safe-Card ID Services.

 

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Keep Your PVC Card Stock Clean

pvc cardsKeeping your blank pvc card stock clean is vital for ensuring that you get the best quality prints each and every time you use your ID card printer. That is because any abnormalities contained on the card stock can be transferred to your print job, giving you less than desireable results and wasting pvc with costly reprints.

To maintain cards for optimal printing make sure to keep your blank cards free from debris and dust. Any stray particles on the surface of a card can and will cause imperfections and flaws when you print. Dust and debris can also damage the print head and other printing mechanisms inside your ID card printer. Safe-Card ID Services offers pvc cards wrapped in batches of 100 making it easier to help keep them clean if you ordered more for future use.

It is also wise to keep your cards in the case they came in, or in an airtight and watertight container. Look the cards over before printing and keep a dust cloth handy to wipe the cards off if you notice any dust or debris. Make every effort to only touch the sides of the cards and not the surfaces that will be printed on. Oils from your hands will also decrease the quality of the printed card.

While most cards are stored in an office enviroment it is also improtant to take note of the card storage temperature. Extreme heat or cold can damage PVC cards, making them more brittle and susceptible to snapping. Be sure to store your cards in a temperature controlled area and make sure not to put them through drastic temperature changes.

To learn more about proper card handling give an expert at Safe-Card ID Services a call today.

 

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Can I Pre-Punch My PVC ID Cards?

pvc cardsThe simple answer to that question is yes. All you need to do when ordering  your Image Grade PVC card stock is to ask to have them pre-punched. We will ensure the card expert that punches the cards on your behalf maintains the graphic intergrity of the cards by wearing gloves to ensure the oils from the skin do not touch the surface of the card.

If you would prefer to punch the cards yourself, Safe-Card ID Services offers a wide range of slot punches for all volumes of cards to all budgets. Remember no matter which slot punch you use, it can and will only punch one card at a time.

The catch about pre-punching you cards is that if you are using a direct to card printer you run the risk of damaging the print head causing a nce white line appear across your printed card. A print head will cost about $500-700 to replace.

One solution to this problem is to use a re-transfer card printer, such as the Fargo HDP5000. Re-transfer printers print onto the underside of a film that is heat rolled onto the card surface, so the print head never touches the card.

To learn more about pre-punched cards or a re-transfer printer give an expert at Safe-Card ID Services a call today.

 

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Important Steps in Extending the Life of Your ID Card Printer

The purchase of an ID Card Printer is an investment in the safety and security of your students or staff. Like any piece of equipment, your printer won’t last forever if it’s not cared for properly. Follow these important steps to extend the life and performance of your ID card printer;

1. Only use brand-approved printer supplies. These days there is a generic brand of everything, and while they can mean savings in the short run, in the end they can cause extensive damage to your printer. Each manufacturer has its’ own supplies and each might require a different ribbon and cleaning kit. Be sure to use the right supplies with your printer by calling an expert at Safe-Card ID Services.

2. Keep it clean. Your printers warranty will state how often you must clean your printer, typically every 700-1,000 prints. Safe-Card ID Services recommends cleaning the printer every time you change the ribbon.  Regular cleanings ensure your ID cards always come out looking beautiful.

3. Mandate proper training. The greater number of people you have using your printer, the more likely it is to be misused or damaged. Train individuals in your office or organization who will be using the printer to make sure it’s handled properly.

4. Store it in a Case. Protect your printer from dust and potential damage by storing it under a dust cover or in a case. A case is a must to protect your printer from the elements if you are transporting it between buildings or events.

For more information on extending the life of your ID Card Printer or for your printer supply and accessory needs contact an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.

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Increase Card Security with Fluorescent Printing

A great way to increase card security of your programs ID cards is to print parts of the card design with fluorescent ink. This special ink is only becomes visible when viewed under a UV light source, such as a black light. Organizations and agencies often use fluorescent ink to print special codes or images to prevent counterfeiting. This common security practice  used with government issued cards and other high security card programs.

Safe-Card ID Serivices carries several fluorescent ink card printers, including the high definition Fargo HDP5000, the reliable Datacard SP75  and the direct to card Fargo DTC4500 printer.

To leqarn more about incorporating flurescent printing into your programs cards give an expert at Safe-Card ID Services a call today.

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Tips for Effective Use of an ID Card Slot Punch

An ID card slot punch offers an affordable and effective way to create an attachment point on your ID cards for use with badge accessories, such as badge clips, badge reels or lanyards. Before you use a slot punch, it’s important to know how and when to use it.

Tip #1: A few test cards go a long way

It would be a waste to print hundreds of cards and then realize that the slot punch will interfere with the design of the card. Instead, print a few test cards and test location of the punch against your design. There are a number of models and prices of slot punches available with volume being the deciding factor in which to select.

Tip #2: Take extra precaution with access cards

Access cards have an antenna embedded into the card, so you will need to be sure to punch the slot in the correct spot on the card so as not to damage the antenna or chip. If the antenna is damaged, your access card will not work. Since these cards can cost anywhere from $3.00 to $6.00 or more per card, it would be a costly mistake to punch these cards in the wrong location.

Tip #: Slot punch already printed cards only

Slot punching makes the surface area of an ID card uneven and dangerous for your card printer’s sensitive printhead. If you slot punch an ID card and then feed it through your ID card printer, you may leave a small sliver of plastic behind that could possibly puncture a hole in one of the heat elements on the printhead. Damaged printheads result in distorted and poor quality images on your cards and can be $400.00 or more to replace. Slot punching the photo ID cards after they have been printed will not only ensure the quality of the card, but also the longevity of your ID card printer.

To determine which type of slot punch best meets your needs contact an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today. They carry a full line of quality slot punches that can hanle a few cards to those that can handle hundreds of thousands.

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Direct to Card Printers vs. Retransfer Printers

Card printers have the ability to print crisp, life-like images but it is important to understand the two most common printing technologies and the results they produce before purchasing your printer.

Direct-to-Card (DTC) Printing

Direct-to-card technology is currently the most common form of card printing. The direct-to-card printing process transfers images directly onto PVC cards. Direct-to-card printers are available in a wide price range, with varying features and capabilities. Direct-to-card printers, like those from Evolis, Magicard and Zebra are an economical choice for those where print quality is not as much of a priority as the printer leaves an unprinted, white edge on cards.

Retransfer Printing

Retransfer technology is the latest printing technology, and is growing in popularity. Retransfer printing applies images onto a special clear film that is then fused onto the surface of a blank card. Retransfer printers like the Fargo HDP5000 allows greater flexibility to print on a wider variety of cards, including proximity cards, smart cards, pre-punched cards, key tag cards, or any type of card with an uneven surface. The fact that retransfer printers print images to a clear film, its print quality is vibrant and crisp. Retransfer is an ideal choice for those requiring high quality, vibrant images and those with a need for advanced technology. It’s ideal for high security and large applications, especially when smart cards or other technology is being used.

To better understand the difference in these two printer technologies and which best suits the need of your organization, give a call to an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.

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Two Important Questions to Ask When Looking For an ID Card Printer

One of the most important questions you can ask yourself prior to purchasing an ID card printer is how many cards will you be printing initially and then over the course time. The answer to that question will help guide you to a printer suited to meet you project needs. Some printer models are equipped to print larger volumes of cards than others. Another important question is how durable do your ID cards need to be? An average PVC card will last 1-2 years. Swiping bar codes or magnetic stripe card readers can wear on a card. It’s an important factor to consider, particularly for large organizations, as card replacements can add up over time.
You can extend the life of your cards with an overlay or lamination. This requires a printer with a laminating module such as the Fargo DTC4500 and the Fargo HDP5000 or an additional laminating ribbon similar to the Evolis Pebble and Dualys. Another option would be increase the thickness of the card you are printing to (standard thickness is 30ml, but you can print on 10ml to 40ml on most printers) or composite card that offers more durability and warp resistance.

Check your printer’s specifications or talk with an ID Printer Specialist at Safe-Card ID Services before purchasing cards to ensure that the card will feed into your printer and meet your needs.