Get everything you need to start printing your photo IDs in a single purchase. Each of our photo ID systems bundles an ID card printer with all the supplies needed to operate your machine and issue cards, saving you time and money. Shop systems by printing capability or by brand below and contact one of our manufacturer-trained ID Professionals if need help finding the right system for your needs. If you don't see a system you like - call and ask about building your own custom system.
Tips to Consider When Buying an ID Card Printing System
As ID Professionals, we’ve noticed there a few things to watch out for when purchasing a new ID card system for your organization. We recommend following the tips below when thinking about which system will accommodate your business needs.
1. Don’t buy a printer system based on price alone When you’re purchasing your ID system, make sure you get a printer that will do the work that the job requires. It’s completely understandable that everyone is trying to stay under their budget as much as possible.
But occasionally, we’ll see a customer purchasing an entry-level printer when in reality, they’re going to be printing a large number of cards. In the long run, they end up spending more money. Why? Because they have to send the printer in for service or they actually end up replace their printer right away because it can’t keep up with the volume of cards they need. In many instances, if you invest an extra $500 to $1,000 dollars in your printer system, you’ll get a machine that will last twice as long.
2. Consider a digital camera If you’re looking for a quality photo on your ID cards, we definitely recommend using a digital camera. Webcams work well, but they’re unable provide the same quality photo like a digital camera can. Webcams have worked out great for some of our customers when the photo is not that important. But keep in mind that if the quality of the photo is important to your ID card issuance program, we recommend using one of our digital camera bundles with features like auto-cropping that can save you time.
3. Know what features you’ll need in your ID card software Most entry-level ID card software offers a limited amount of information you can put on a template, have a limit database, and they may not be able to handle security features like magnetic encoding or the correct type of barcode. An added bonus with mid-level and full-featured software is that you can transfer information from existing databases which saves you both time and resources, since you don’t have to re-enter all of the original cardholder data.
4. Make sure to also purchase printer cleaning supplies Cleaning your card printer is just like changing the oil in your car. If you don’t do it regularly, the lifespan of your printer will be much shorter than it should be. I have had customers call a year after purchasing their printer with printer problems, 9 times out of 10 they have never cleaned their printer.
Cleaning kits range from about $10 to around $70. Most cleaning kits you purchase are designed for four to five printer cleanings. It is a minimal investment compared to the cost of replacing a printer.
How to Print High-Quality ID Cards
With security being at such a high priority these days, companies and organizations like schools, small businesses, and corporations have taken extra efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for employees and the people within their buildings.
A straightforward and cost-efficient way companies are improving their security efforts is requiring ID badges to be worn at all times. Having a high-quality ID card is important in the workplace because IDs need to be an easy way to identify individuals and whether or not they’re allowed to be certain areas in the workplace. A simple ID requirement may seem to be small, but it can prevent disastrous situations from happening in the first place.
In order to produce high-quality ID cards, there are a few essentials that need to be in place in order to satisfy expectations and security requirements each company has for their badges. These essentials include:
The ID Card Printer
This is the most important part of printing; without a card printer, there is no ID card. The printer creates the badges that represent the company and the employees. It provides the ID cards with a distinctive look that will stand out and is easy to identify.
When it comes to choosing the right ID card printer for your organization’s specific requirements, there are a few things to think about:
In order to buy the right printer for your needs, knowing your expectations of these three items up front will ultimately help you determine the most appropriate ID card printer to purchase. Printers are very similar but also very different; not all printers will provide you with everything your ID card program may need.
What is Needed to Print ID Cards In-House?
In today’s world, photo ID badges are a necessity for organizations. For this reason, many businesses have chosen to print ID cards in-house. They pay to have these photo ID badges created. Most badges include full-color photos and printing on both sides. Many include technology that allows employees to access buildings, sign in and out of work and more.
Printing your ID cards in-house will save you money and allow your company the flexibility to change the design or add different information whenever needed.
Creating a photo ID and printing your cards in-house is easy and requires little time. First, you will need to select the right printer for your requirements. A few options that can be selected are the ability to print on both sides of a card (called “dual-sided printers), encode smart cards and write to magnetic stripes. Printers also vary by printing speed, print quality, connectivity (USB, Ethernet, wireless) and other options.
In order to design and create a photo ID, you also need to invest in some card design software. Card design software includes an easy-to-use template, making it easy to type text, pictures and create a standard template for all your ID cards. Some card design software allows you to save your cards in a database, import from databases, and network the card printer you’re printing to.
Along with the printer and software, you will also need a ribbon and plastic ID cards.
Card printers can print in full-color, like a photograph, using a ribbon with colored yellow (Y), magenta (M) and cyan (C) panels. Ribbons also include a black resin panel, for printing readable barcodes and other text. A protective overlay (O) panel is also included on ribbons.
The most commonly-used cards include white PVC cards, magnetic stripe cards, and proximity cards.
The maintenance of ID card printers is easy. Every card printer has its own cleaning kit that includes cleaning cards to keep the feed rollers clean and printhead cleaning swabs to keep the thermal printhead clean. Regular maintenance will keep your printer running well and make it last longer.
Once printed, many ID cards are slot punched in order to be used on a lanyard, badge reel, or vinyl badge clip. Some also use a badge holder and then attach it to a lanyard or strap clip. Using lanyards, badge reels or strap clips makes it easy to present and access identity cards.