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IDeas Article #2: One I prepared earlier - should you print your own cards or have them made?

20 September 2017

IDeas Article 2 

How important is the look of your ID card?  Will it add to the prestige of your organisation? Could a poor-quality look cheapen your brand a little?  How important is the security of your card?  Is exposure to counterfeiting or forgery a concern?

Desktop card printers have become cheaper in real money terms over the last few years. We have come to rely on them to produce ID cards, membership cards and the like, yet the barrier to acquisition has got much lower.  If anyone can buy one then don’t rely solely on the desktop card printer for your card production.  Depending on your individual needs and the threats to which your organisation is exposed, the risk of counterfeiting can be too great. 

It is a simple fact that, although there are some truly great desktop card printers on the market now, you just cannot produce the same quality of card with a printing press and a tradesperson printer.  Compared to the desktop printer, the pre-printed card stock will offer:

  • A broader colour spectrum
  • Crisper graphics and text

The availability of features that are either not possible or not very good when printed on desktop equipment

Essentially, if your logo is important to you, it is going to look a lot better if professionally printed on the card.

Pre-printing of cards has security implications – mostly positive ones.  Speak with your own adviser about the security implications and the features available on pre-printed cards.  Regarding card security, however, note that no single security element will lead to a secure card program.

For now, let’s consider the look of the card.  Some card printers can print right to the very edge of the card – most do not and any attempt to do this leads to unprofessional results.  Pre-printing will allow you so much more scope in card design that the results could be considered ‘chalk and cheese’.

Sure, there is a cost involved in pre-printing cards and not all card programs can justify the expense.  There are techniques, however, that can lead to it being cheaper to ‘personalise’ pre-printed cards than it is to personalise a blank white card.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too but the cost of professionally printed cards that offer consistent, great looking, more secure cards is usually a proposition worth considering.

By putting the ‘one I prepared earlier’ or, rather, the card the tradesperson printer prepared earlier into your desktop card printer for personalisation, you get the best of both techniques: a better card that your staff will be happier displaying; and one that will be much more likely to meet your organisational goals for the card program.

Next time on IDeas: The Vanity Factor

To learn more or discuss the needs of your particular application, contact our consultants today.

Sam TurnerAUTHOR


Area Manager for Peacock Bros.

Sam specialises in all aspects of cards and thermal printing. His customers rely on his skills and knowledge from over 20 years in the card industry to help with membership cards and corporate ID through to highly secure government ID programs.


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