My first purchase of an ID card printer - 4/5

My first purchase of an ID card printer - 4/5

At ID Security Online, we value our customers' feedback. 

That is why we have decided to share with you the experience of one of our clients who needed to purchase an ID card printer for the first time. In this fourth post, Patricia finds out more about the different ribbons that an ID card printer uses.

“Evidently, ID Card printers don’t use a standard ink cartridge that laser and inkjet printers do. ID Card printers use ribbons, which are plastic cartridges with ink on a film. I assumed a double-sided printer would need two ribbons to operate. Yet again, I was wrong.

For every print job there is a certain kind of ribbon to use, the most common combinations for double-sided printers are:

o  Black print on both sides  = Monochrome Ribbon

o  Full Color on both sides = YMCKO Ribbon

o  Full Color on one side, Black on one side = YMCKOK

Additionally, if a YMCKO/monochrome ribbon says “500 prints”, this does not mean it will make 500 cards. The ribbon will print 500 times so on a double-sided printer you will get 250 cards and a single carded printer you will get 500 cards. This is not the case with a YMCKOK ribbon, which would print a true 500 prints on a double sided printer.

Fun fact, the term “YMCKO” actually describes the colors used!      

o  Y = Yellow

o  M = Magenta

o  C = Cyan

o  K = Black

o  O = Overlay

Using a full color ribbon allows you to get virtually any color you want to print and the overlay adds a layer of protection to your card. The sales person explained to me that there are other options on a ribbon panel if I wanted to delve into a more advanced world of printing.  For example “F” will allow me to add fluorescent printing. I will be using the printer for basic employee ID badges, which will need full color on one side for the picture and logo, and black on the back. So this time I will be going with a YMCKOK ribbon!”