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Add Holograms to Your ID Card Program

Concerned about the security of your ID Card Program? Well, by adding a holographic overlay to your  ID Card design you can help protect your program from being infiltrated by counterfeit cards.  This feature helps guard against illicit replication and tampering.

There are three ways to place a holographic image over your card design. The first is with a laminating card printer that applies a holographic overlaminate during the printing process with a special ribbon all in one pass. Printers such as the Fargo DTC4500 or the HDP5000 can feature this functionality.

The second way is with a special holographic ribbon that applies the image during a second pass. You simply change out your ribbon and rerun the cards to achieve the desired effect. This allows users of printers like the Evolis Pebble or Dualys to achieve the same results as a more expensive laminating printer.

Finally. you can purchase a holographic overlay that is applied by hand. Although more expensive on a per card basis, it allows you to add a holographic image to cards when the volume might not dictate the purchase of an entire ribbon or a laminating printer.

Different printer manufactures have generic images on the ribbons but you can also have a custom image designed with your logo or artwork. Contact an expert at Safe-Card ID to learm more about custom holographic ribbons or if a holographic ribbon is availible for your printer.

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ID Card Printers and Scratch-Off Ribbons

Similar to the scratch-off lottery tickets you can buy at a local convenience store, certain printers, like the Evolis Pebble and Dualys offer a scratch off ribbon that can produce the same effect. These ribbons are great for use with promotional offers or gift card programs. These specialized ribbons print scratch-off material over a pre-printed portion of the card and are typically used to cover a number, special code, or the value of the card.

Scratch-off ribbons produce a gray/silver effect that can be scratched off just like the lottery tickets mentioned above. Once you print your color cards, you need to change the ribbon and make a second pass for each card so the material covers the required area on the already printed card.  Using the printer driver set the ribbon to ‘K’ when you are ready to apply the scratch-off material to the cards.

Not all printers are compatible with scratch-off ribbons. Call an expert at Safe-Card ID Services  to check your specific model before purchasing a scratch-off ribbon.

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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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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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Visual Security and Your ID Card Program

A number of visual security features can be added to your ID card program to decrease the likelihood of fraud or counterfeiting. While some of the features are specific to the brand and model printer you own, a few features can be implemented regardless of the type of printer. These include peel-and-stick holographic markers that can be applied by hand before printing or a holographic overlaminate. There are also whole card holographic stickers you can apply after you print a card. While most over-laminates require a laminating module in the printer you can laminate cards with a holographic ribbon on the Evolis line of printers as shown in the image to the left.

To learn more about how to incorporate these features into your ID card program give an expert at Safe-Card ID Services a call.

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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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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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Magicard Rio Pro Xtended Personalizes Extra-Long Plastic Cards

The Magicard Rio Pro Xtended personalizes extra-long plastic cards for ticketing, accreditation and product labeling. Cards up to 110mm long can be printed entirely in full colour using the double-printing mode. The printer can also handle pre-printed cards up to 140mm long, printing a CR80-sized (86mmx54mm) area in full colour in a single pass or an area up to 110x54mm using double-printing. In monochrome mode, the entire length of a 140mm by 54mm card can be printed.

 

Print extra long plastic cards

Superior print quality enabled by ICC profiles

Monochrome print on pre-printed cards up to 140mm long

Colour print up to 110mm x 54mm cards

Built in USB and Ethernet connection with Windows 7, XP and Vista (32/64 bit) compatibility

50mm wide variant for product labelling

Standard HoloKote with option to customise  

Adjustable card feeder

For information on the Rio Pro Extended or any Magicard Printer call an expert at Safe-Card ID Services today.