If you are planning to buy an ID card printer for your company, you will be surprised at the vast array of choices available in the market today. If you are not an ID card printing expert, your head will spin with the number of brands and types that you have to browse through before you can find the perfect choice. But if you equip yourself with sufficient knowledge about buying an ID card printer before you go out to shop for one in the market, it would be easier for you to narrow down your options and make an informed decision. Here are some of the things that you need to think about.
In terms of color, there are two kind of ID card printer. One can print full color while the other can only print in monochrome. The advantage of the former is that it produces vibrant images and attractive designs. However, monochrome is quicker and more cost effective. It only takes about 5 seconds per each card and since you’ll only be using a single panel print, the cost is much lower than full color printing. Your choice between the two primarily depends on the nature of your company, budget, and preference. For example, if your company is a web/graphic design or animation company, it makes sense to invest on a full color card printer since the ID should be a reflection of what a company does.
Another consideration you have to make is whether you are going to print on the front side or on both sides. As the name implies, the single type printer will print only on the front side of the card. If you are definite that the IDs to be printed for your company will only require print on the front side, this can be the ideal option for you. The dual sided printer, meanwhile, has the advantage of printing on both sides of the ID. Obviously, this one is more expensive than the single side printer. Aside from the more expensive upfront cost, the dual sided ribbon used for this kind of printer is also pricier.
You should also ask yourself how many ID cards you plan to be printed each year. If you are a small business, you would only need a few cards a month. But for a larger company, you need to invest on specialized printers that feature high capacity printing of cards. Printer that can accommodate a bigger quantity is more expensive but the investment is worth it.
When it comes to brand, there is a wide variety of names on card printer manufacturers that you will get to know about when you go out into the market. Some of the well-known brands include Fargo, Zebra, Evolis, DataCard, and Magicard
Aside from the printer itself, you should also consider planning your purchase if you intend to buy ID card software. This way, you can be sure that you will be able to make the right buying decision. Entry level ID card software is inexpensive but limited in its capabilities, for instance some software limits the number of data fields per card design. Other software will only allow a limited amount of data records, be aware you may have to up-grade to the next level at additional cost soon after your purchase.
If you plan to “network” the software and place it on multiple computers you will have to purchase a higher level of the software plus additional “site licenses” for each additional user.
The bottom line is to do your homework but do not hesitate to reach out to an expert in the field, most manufacturers will recommend a “partner” in your area that should ask the appropriate questions I listed above and guide you to the correct choices.