IDSecurityOnline blog en-us Copyright 2008 - 2019 IDSecurityOnline Blog IDSecurityOnline blog 10 Understanding the value of ID cards for manufacturing company -1understanding-value-id-cards-manufacturing-company Mon, 11 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0500 If you are responsible for the security of a manufacturing company or any industrial premises then you will understand how important it is that you know who is on the premises at any time. You must know whether your employees have arrived for work or if they have gone home for the evening. You will also want to be sure that anyone you find walking around the site is authorized to be there, and it not a member of the public who could be potentially be injured by the machinery, or be someone with criminal intent. The easiest way to achieve all of these aims is by issuing authorized people with photo ID badges.

Why ID badges are the right choice

You could choose to employ security guards to patrol your premises but unless your company is small they probably aren’t going to know every staff member by sight. You could rely on your employees to identify people who shouldn’t be on the premises or who access areas that they shouldn’t, but your employees can’t be everywhere at once, and there will probably be visitors or contractors who you want to enter, but who your employees don’t know. Without a simple way to conduct a visual or electronic check on any individual valuable time will be lost, and your company could be exposed to unnecessary risks. By introducing an ID badge program you can print a card which will allow you to know who is on the premises and whether they have a right to be where they are.

Designing your ID card system

Creating perfect ID card badges is not as complicated as you might think. There are at least three different uses to which you could put your cards. You could choose to print an ID card with a single function or you could combine all three functions into a single card. Printing your ID cards gives you the flexibility to build a system that is right for you. The right printing system will let you create a card that does exactly what you want without over-complicating your business systems.

Simple ID cards

Sometimes all you need is a basic photo ID card for your employees, visitors, and contractors so that you can be sure exactly who is on your site. Purchasing a photo ID printer system will enable you to quickly print all of the ID cards that you need so that everyone on your premises will know who your visitors are and what tasks they are there to do.

Access cards

How do your employees access your building? If they need to pass through a security check then equipping them with access cards is essential. Is the entrance the only location that needs a security check? Do you have different security levels for different areas of your building? Perhaps your building contains a secure research area, or somewhere where only specially trained personnel are allowed to enter? A smart ID card will provide a vital electronic record but it can also be worn to offer a visual check by which anyone can identify the wearer and know whether they are an employee, a contractor or a visitor and what their security level may be. ID photo printers make it possible for your cards to contain a photo of the individual, along with basic information in plain view. More extensive information including the right of access can be encoded directly onto the card.

Attendance records

Do your employees clock in each morning and clock out in the evening at the start and end of their shifts? If they do then you will be aware of how useful it is to know who has arrived, who is consistently late, and who has left the building. Clocking employees in and out of the building is convenient for calculating your payroll since you can tell exactly how many hours each person has worked but the tricky part for many employers has often been managing the clock cards. If you opt for paper punch cards then you need to manually enter the data into your computer system. You could try standard swipe cards but that can lead to problems such as the wrong card being swiped, or cards being misplaced. By combining a clock card with an ID card you can solve these problems. The card the employee swipes doubles as their ID card so that they will keep it with them at all times and it won’t get lost or swiped by the wrong person.

What do you need to start printing ID cards?

The most obvious part of a printing system is the printer but you will need more than that to get started. Alongside the printer, you can’t do without an ID camera to produce the photos for your cards. You will also need the appropriate software so that you can design your cards and integrate your printer with your existing systems. Finally, you will need a stock of consumables such as the blank PVC cards for printing, a ribbon for the printer, and perhaps film to cover the cards if needed. By purchasing all of this together your company can get the Photo ID system you need to protect your company.

Which printers could you use?

If you are thinking about starting to print your ID badges then you must choose a printing system that is right for your needs. At ID Security Online we stock a range of suitable printers. Here are three that could be perfect for your needs.

The Magicard Rio Pro 360 card printer

Featuring great print quality combined with a fast print speed the Magicard Rio Pro 360 boasts the all-new LYNK onboard CPU with a wide color spectrum to produce truly vibrant color printing with crisp, clear print and accurate photography reproduction. It is ideal for producing a high volume of cards at a reasonable cost.

The HID FARGO HDP6600 card printer

With a 600 dpi resolution, the sharper images and brilliant colors offered by the HDP6600 are immediately noticeable on your printed ID cards. There will be no more squinting to try and decipher the wording since it can be easily read at a glance.

This printer is the quickest desktop-based retransfer printer available for purchase. It can print up to 230 ID cards in a single hour, with simultaneous printer and retransfer ability.

For increased security, the HDP6600 comes with standard password protection and optional hardware locks so that only those personnel authorized by you can access the printer and no-one can print fraudulent cards and breach your company security.

The Datacard CR805 ID card printer

If you want the ability to affordably create great looking cards that stand out from those used by your competition then the CR805 may be the perfect choice for you. With 600 dpi over-the-edge printing and retransfer technology this printer offers great value for money. It allows two layers of retransfer film to be applied to create additional card durability. You can choose to purchase either a single or dual-sided model depending on which best suits your requirements.

Whatever type of ID card system your manufacturing company would like to implement ID Security has the perfect ID printer for your requirements.

Seven steps to ID card printing success -1seven-steps-to-id-card-printing-success Thu, 24 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 Card Printers There are plenty of photo ID systems available and at times the choice can appear to be almost overwhelming. How can you work out what you need when faced with so much choice? Here are seven things that will help you to choose the most appropriate card printing system for your needs.

Check what’s included

With an ID card printing system, the printer is going to be the most obvious item that you need to purchase but it probably isn’t the only item. You should also think about the camera you want to work with the printer along with the ID software you will use to design and perhaps some supplies such as a ribbon and the cards which you will be printing. When comparing ID card printing systems it is always important to check that everything you need is included in the box. If you discover something isn’t included as standard you can then calculate how much extra it will cost to add it to the base price.

Think about the software you will need

Your software is an essential component of your chosen ID card badging system. You will need to consider whether your printer will have to interface with existing software and how that software is configured. Think about whether you have or require visitor management software, access control software, or badge creation software to complete your ID card system. Making your ID cards function correctly will depend not just on the printed words on the card but also on the data the card will contain and how that data is read. This information could be contained on the card or drawn from a database and brought in using the software, so it is essential everything works together properly to create the completed system.  

Decide how your system will be connected

Your camera will probably be connected to your printer via a USB cable, but how will your printer be connected to the network? You could use a USB cable but that isn’t always a practical option, particularly if your card printing system needs to be mobile at any time or must be situated away from a network connection. If you cannot be sure of always having a physical network connection available then the ability of your system to use an ethernet connection is vital.

Decide between single or dual-sided printing

It can be tempting to purchase an ID card printing system based on your immediate needs without considering any changes you might need to make in the future. Your ID card printer is an investment that you should plan to use for many years so it’s important that your purchase is fully future-proofed. While your immediate needs may only require plain cards printed on a single side what plans do you have for future growth? Will you want to introduce a magnetic strip or a chip to allow more data to be stored? Will you want to simply write on both sides of the card? It is always better to buy a printer that is going to be suitable for the longer-term, or which is at least capable of being upgraded if required. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can buy a single-sided printer and manually turn over the card and print on the other side. Flipping over cards rarely works and can result in distorted images and even damage to the printhead. It’s better to buy the right printer for your needs.

Calculate the volume of card production

One of the key considerations with any system will be the number of cards that can be printed and the length of time it takes to print them. ID card printers vary significantly in the volume of cards they can quickly produce so consider carefully how many cards you will need and how quickly you will need to produce them. There is no point opting for the cheapest system if it is unable to keep up with the amount of work required. The result is likely to be a broken printer as it eventually gives up under the strain leading to expensive repairs. If you want to print a large number of cards at one time then along with the speed of the printer you should also take into account the size of the hoppers since the capacity of the input and output hoppers will dictate the length of time that you can leave the printer unattended.

Consider the longevity of your cards

When planning your card printing system you will have to consider how long you require your cards to last. If your ID cards will only have a limited lifespan then you do not have to worry much about the durability of the cards but if you expect your printed ID cards to operate for more than 3-5 years without replacement or want the cards to be regularly swiped through a card reader then it is worth looking for printer systems which include options such as lamination to extend the card life. In addition to lamination, you might want to think about whether it is worth using a retransfer printer which prints the desired image onto a film which is then heat-rolled onto the surface of the card. With retransfer printing the final print is far more durable than with conventional card printing.

Ensure the security of card printing system

Plain ID badges for visual inspection require one level of security while an access card will need to be more secure. There is a range of security options that you could consider for your ID cards but they all depend on purchasing the right type of card printing system.

You could consider:

  • Tactile impression
  • Custom holography

When you are thinking through the security of your cards you will want to be certain that the cards are tamper-proof but you will also want to be certain that only authorized personnel has access to the printer so features such as password protection and locked ribbon access should also be on your list of priorities.

By carefully considering each of these points you will be able to find the perfect ID card printing system for your organization.

What features do you need in your next ID card printer? -1features-in-your-next-id-card-printer Wed, 16 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0500 Ensuring the security of your company is about far more than remembering to lock the door when you go home and posting a security guard to patrol the building at night. Securing your business should certainly involve those things but security must cover every aspect of your business from physical security measures to deny intruders access to enhancing your networking protocols and firewalls. One of the most effective ways of ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to your building and that visitors are clearly identified is the use of ID card badges.

How ID cards can secure your business

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of using company ID cards is that you can tell at a glance who an individual is and whether they should be where they are. However, the advantages of ID cards go far beyond that. ID cards can be used to grant access to different areas of the building, ensuring that only duly authorized employees can enter secure areas or access sensitive data.

Producing your ID cards

It is possible to purchase ID cards for your staff from a range of distributors but that approach can present many problems. In particular, it causes delays in issuing the cards and it limits the amount of customization that is possible. By producing your ID cards in-house you can create unique cards that are just for your company. You can adjust the cards any time you need to accommodate new data and change authorizations for members of staff as many times as you wish. Best of all you can do all of this in only a few minutes using your own printer.

Which features do you need?

Each business is unique and ID card needs can vary significantly. Some organizations will need to produce a high volume of ID card badges and so the speed of production will be a determining factor. For other organisations the amount of cards required will be much lower and so obtaining a printer at a competitive price becomes more important. Another company may want to include a lot of data on each card and therefore value the opportunity to purchase a printer that can print on both sides of the card simultaneously. Three of the most recent additions to the ID card printer market are the Magicard 300 ID card printer which comes in single and dual-sided versions. The Zebra ZC100 ID single-sided card printer and the Fargo HDP6600 printer. Let’s compare the features of each and see which organizations would benefit from using each of them. Each of these printers is fast and efficient but there are some important differences between them. The first two are intended small and medium enterprises while the Fargo HDP6600 would be more at home in larger enterprises or government departments.

Print quality

For any printer, the ability to create a high-quality printed card is the most basic consideration. All of these printers are capable of producing crisp, clear text and images on the card and using a wide color spectrum. The Magicard 300 is capable of printing at 300 x 300 dpi and the Zebra ZC100 prints at a print resolution of 300 dpi. However, the clear winner for print quality has to be the Fargo HDP6600 which can print both text and images at 600 dpi creating the highest image and text quality available. This high resolution means that even the smallest text or complex characters can be clearly reproduced and defined more crisply than ever.

Print speed

If print speed is important to you then the fastest of the three printers is the Fargo HDP6600 which can print up to 230 full-color single-sided cards in one hour. TheMagicard 300 can produce 160 full-color cards each hour while the ZC100 single-sided card printer is capable of producing 150 color cards in an hour. If color printing is not a concern for you then the ability of the ZC100 to create to 700 monochrome cards in an hour and the Magicard 300 to print 720 cards per hour could be a deciding factor. If you use the Fargo HDP6600 to print double-sided cards then you will be able to print around 126 cards in an hour.

Encoding abilities

One of the most useful features of an ID card is the ability for each card to carry unique information, this information might relate to levels of security clearance, personal data, or financial records. There are several ways that this data can be encoded on to the card. The most common way is through a magnetic strip such as that commonly seen on credit and bank cards, more recently smartcard encoding has become a viable option.

The  Magicard and the Fargo HDP6600 offer both smartcard and magnetic stripe encoding. While the Zebra ZC100 offers these along with a third party contactless encoder integration kit.

Driver compatibility

Before settling on a new ID card printer you must be certain the printer can be seamlessly integrated into your network. The Zebra ZC100 and Fargo HDP6600 printers are compatible with the Windows operating system. They can be used on everything from Windows 7 upwards. The Magicard 300 has superior driver compatibility since it can be used not just on Windows but also on Mac OS X 10.9.0 upwards and Linux with CUPS support.


Each of the three printers is supplied with software features that help to make using the printer straightforward. The Zebra ZC100 comes with CardStudio a feature-rich card design software that makes card design simple. The Magicard 300 is supplied with technology to print a HoloKote security watermark across the card surface to ensure the authenticity of each card. There are three standard designs and the ability to create three custom designs of your own. The Fargo printer comes with the Fargo diagnostic utility featuring Color Assist spot-color matching.

Card capacity

Sometimes when you are printing a batch of cards then the ability to leave the machine unattended for a short while is important. No-one wants to give their undivided attention to loading and unloading cards while there are other tasks to complete. In terms of card capacity, the Magicard 300 has a 100 card feeder and a 70-card stacker while the Zebra ZC100  allows for 100 cards in both the input and output hoppers. The Fargo printer has a capacity for 100 cards in the input hopper and 200 cards in the output hopper.

Which printer is right for you?

Ultimately the right printer for your organization will depend on the way you use the printer. If you require dual-sided printing then the Magicard 300 or Fargo HDP6600 would suit you. If you only want a small volume of single-sided cards then the Zebra ZC100 would be perfect, while if you need the highest possible quality of printing for a high volume of card production then the Fargo HDP6600 is an obvious choice. Before making your choice consider carefully the way you plan to use ID cards, how much use your new printer will get and how it will fit into your existing office environment.

How to Print the Perfect Loyalty Card for Your Business -1how-print-perfect-loyalty-card-your-business Mon, 30 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0500 Does your business operate a loyalty card scheme? Most people are familiar with schemes where special deals or discounts are provided for customers who can present their store loyalty cards are the checkout. If you haven’t yet embraced the loyalty card idea then perhaps it is time you considered the benefits. Loyalty card schemes can be matched to almost any retail environment including grocery stores, luxury gift shops, and department stores. While the benefits of such schemes for the customer are obvious many retailers do not appreciate that there are also significant benefits for them which come from issuing loyalty cards.

Why run a loyalty card program?

Running a loyalty card program offers a lot of advantages for retailers, two of the most important are:

  • Data gathering - Issuing loyalty cards allows you to gather data and easily identify which products are purchased most frequently, which brands are most likely to be purchased and how much individual customers are spending.
  • Increased customer retention - If a customer can be persuaded to be loyal to your brand then they are likely to shop with you more frequently, and spend more, simply because they know they will be rewarded for it. Increasing customer retention is vital for the success of your business. Even a small 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a revenue increase of 25% or more. Retaining your existing customers and encouraging them to spend more is always cheaper than attracting new customers.

Starting a loyalty card program

To begin your loyalty card program you will need to purchase appropriate software and then integrate it with your existing POS system. Once you have the loyalty card software set-up you will need to think about printing your loyalty cards and issuing them to your customers. At first glance, you might think that creating your own, unique secure loyalty cards in sufficient volume is going to be difficult and time-consuming but it doesn’t need to be.  

Printing your loyalty cards

Loyalty cards can be quickly created and encoded using a conventional ID card printer such as the Fargo DTC1500 ID Card Printer which can print monochrome loyalty cards in only six seconds and full-color loyalty cards in just sixteen seconds. Using this printer allows the inclusion of superb security features such as custom overlay watermark and resin scramble data protection so you can be sure that your cards cannot be duplicated and all of the data encoded onto the card remains secure.

Another, equally secure, printer which you could use to create your new loyalty cards is the Magicard Rio Pro 360. This new Rio Pro 360 is the fastest printer yet created by Magicard and can create up to 200 full-color cards in a single hour. The Pro 360 allows the rapid creation of vibrant, color-rich cards which will create a quality impression of your business and provide your customers with a loyalty card they will be able to use for many years. Whether you opt for a Fargo or a Magicard printer you can be sure getting a professionally printed loyalty card. Fargo YMCKO ribbons can print your cards in full color on one side or two sides of your cards. If you prefer just to have color on one side and black text on the other then a YMCKOK ribbon would be ideal. If you opt for the Magicard printer then make sure you purchase the matching Magicard color ribbon since these ribbons are specially calibrated to suit the single or dual-sided Magicard printers.

Both of these printers are supplied with a comprehensive warranty so you can have complete confidence that should anything go wrong there is no risk to your business, and the printer will soon be printing great loyalty cards once again.

If your company is considering implementing a loyalty card program then we will be happy to suggest the most suitable solution for encoding and printing your loyalty cards. Call us today to find out how easy it is to print great loyalty cards for your customers.

The Ultimate Guide to Decide Whether You Should Buy a Retransfer Printer -1ultimate-guide-retransfer-printer Thu, 26 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0500 If you’ve been browsing for a new ID card printer, you’ve probably come across phrases like retransfer, or reverse transfer printing. As you want to make the best choice for your business, you are probably wondering what this all means and how these printers differ from regular ones.

More importantly, can they satisfy your exact printing needs?

Retransfer printers are a relatively new technology in the ID card printing industry. However, they are already very popular, and for good reason.

Let’s look at whether a retransfer printer is right for you, by answering questions you should ask when browsing ID card printers.

What is retransfer printing? How is it different?

Typical ID card printers use a method we call direct to card (DTC) printing. In this method, the printhead comes in contact with and prints directly on the card surface. Through a process called dye-sublimation, the printer vaporizes panels on a three-color dye-based ribbon and fuses it directly on the card. These printers can create up to 1.6 million colors at 300 dpi.

Retransfer printers work by printing the image in reverse on a transparent ribbon. The ribbon is then thermally fused to the card print side down. The printhead never makes contact with the card surface. Because the image is first printed in reverse, this is also sometimes called “reverse transfer printing.” Re-transfer printers can print up to 600dpi.

What are the advantages of retransfer printers?

Retransfer printing has a number of practical advantages over DTC printing, such as:

  • Card durability - The film acts as a protective layer over the card and the print. The print fades less with time and is less likely to be damaged
  • Fraud protection - It offers more tamper protection because the entire film needs to be scraped off to make changes to the image.
  • Printer reliability - The printhead never comes into contact with the card, so there is much less wear and tear.
  • More card options - The flexible film can adhere to cards with uneven surfaces like embedded, punctured, or proximity cards. You can also print on thicker cards, up to 40 mils.
  • Print quality - Retransfer printers can produce higher-definition images with richer colors.
  • Security Options - Retransfer printing allows for using more security measures on your cards, such as watermarks or extra lamination.
  • Over-the-edge printing - DTC printers can’t print right to the edge of the cards and always leaves a thin edge. Retransfer printers can print right to and even over edges.

What are the disadvantages of retransfer printers?

Retransfer printers have some undeniable advantages for some ID card printing needs. However, just like with everything else, you’ll need to compromise in other areas:

  • Most retransfer printers will cause PVC cards will cause the cards to bend and warp because of the extra heat.
  • Retransfer printers can be more expensive to use over time because they require more consumables.

What kind of cards can I print with a retransfer printer?

Retransfer printing is more versatile than DTC printing because it prints on a flexible film instead of on the card surface. That makes retransfer printers more suitable for printing on the following types of cards:

  • Smart cards or cards with embedded electronics
  • Pre-punched cards for lanyards or other attachments
  • Thicker cards of up to 40 mil
  • non-PVC cards like multilayered or composite PVC/PET or Polycarbonate cards. PVC cards are generally not recommended.

Because retransfer printers can print in higher resolution and with more saturated colors, they are preferred for instances where image quality is of the utmost importance. If you need to print photo-quality images that may be used for identification, you should consider a retransfer printer.

You can also print other cards, such as magnetic stripe cards, access cards, watermarked cards, or cards with contactless or dual-sided coding. These are available with both DTC and retransfer printers but depends on the features of each printer.

Fargo produces highly modular printers, and you can usually plug in any of these capabilities, whether you buy a DTC or retransfer printer.

How fast can a reprinter card print?

Depending on the needs of your organization, printing speed can be of the essence. If you regularly need to print a high number of cards in a short amount of time, you need your printer to be up to the task.

Luckily all printers can print cards in a matter of seconds, so it doesn’t matter that much on an individual scale.

To compare, let’s look at two printers from one of the top card printing companies, Fargo. Both are regarded as some of the fastest ID card printers in their class:

  1. HDP6600 - a retransfer printer
  2. DTC1250e - a DTC printer

The HDP6600 takes 16 or 29 seconds per card, depending on the color quality. That tallies up to either 230 or 190 cards per hour.

The DTC1250e prints cards at 6, 8, or 16 seconds per card. This depends on whether you print on the K, KO, or YMCKO setting.

As you can see, retransfer printers are still capable of printing a high number of cards per hour. However, the HDP6600 is a high-end retransfer printer, and others are probably slower.

What are the costs of a retransfer printer?

For any individual or organization, the cost of your equipment is an important consideration. It doesn’t help you buy something with features you don’t need if compromises your finances.

Retransfer printers fall in the higher-end price ranges for ID card printers. Prices for them generally start at over $3,000. DTC printers are much more affordable, and prices start at under $2,000.

That being said, Retransfer printers rarely have the expensive printhead problems DTC printers may be prone to. DTC cards are also less durable and only last 4-5 years if well taken care of while retransfer printed cards can last much longer. This means you might have to reprint all your organization’s cards much more frequently with a DTC printer.

Retransfer printer supplies

You may need to factor in the cost of replacing these consumables if you buy retransfer printer:

  • Transfer film: As the printer prints on a film that’s then adhered to the card, these can be used up. They usually cost around $100 for anywhere upwards of 1,000 uses.
  • Color film: This film is used to produce the graphics, barcodes, or photos on your cards. This costs from about $200 to $500 and you can buy sets that bundle re-transfer and color film together. You can avoid YMCKO cards because the retransfer film already provides the protection to replace the ‘O’ layer.
  • Composite PVC/PET cards: PVC/PET cards cost slightly more than plain PVC cards, and you can buy stacks of 500 for about $100.
  • Cleaning kits: It’s essential that you have a cleaning kit to properly care for your card printer. That will result in better quality cards, a longer lifespan, and more savings.

If you add it all up, the cost per card should be around $1 without factoring the printer itself. That’s not too bad.

So, is a retransfer printer for me or my business?

Of course, every organization’s needs are different. And, even among re-transfer printers, there is a huge variety of printers to consider with very different features. It’s safe to say that retransfer printers definitely are a superior budget if you have the means to afford it.

They offer:

  • Better print quality
  • More durable, tamper-proof cards
  • Longer printer lifespans and maintenance
  • Extra options to add security to your cards

The only drawbacks are lower printing speeds and that you can’t use cheaper PVC cards. However, if security and print quality are crucial for your needs, they are the best choice.

Magicard 300 vs. Magicard 600 - A Complete Breakdown -1magicard300-magicard600-complete-breakdown Mon, 09 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0500 Card Printers Choosing the right ID card printer for your needs is no joke. If you’ve already managed to narrow down the options and set your sights on a Magicard, you now have to hone in on the exact model you want. The 300 and 600 are two new and exciting additions to the Magicard family.

In this breakdown, we compare the main similarities and differences between the two, as well as other popular printers. This should help you see where these printers fit in, and whether they are the most appropriate choice for you or your organization.

Printing Quality

There’s nothing to choose between the two as both feature 300x300 dpi single-sided printing (600x300 for dual-sided). This high resolution is suitable for printing photos as well as to clearly print small company logos, etc.

As both come from Magicard, they feature the company’s optimized color profile technology. The printers’ firmware analyzes both the colors sent by the drivers as well as the film, so no wastage occurs.

In terms of print quality, that makes both printers good enough for the most demanding jobs.

Print Speed and Capacity

Both printers' standard models offer a 100-card feeder and 70-card stacker capacity. However, this can be increased with official Magicard extensions. It’s slightly inconvenient of both to not provide a feeder and stacker with the same capacity, but it’s definitely no dealbreaker.

Where the 600 does cement its place as a higher-end model is when it comes to printing speed. Here is a breakdown of their printing rates:

Single-sided Monochrome

Single-sided Colour

Magicard 300

Magicard 300 Single Sided ID Card Printer

6 seconds per card / 720 cards per hour

23 seconds per card / 160 cards per hour

Magicard 600

Magicard 600 Single Sided ID Card Printer

5 seconds per card / 720 cards per hour

19 seconds per card / 190 cards per hour

The difference is not astronomical, but it can tally up with time. Both printers also feature dual-sided printing which you can expect to be significantly slower, especially for the 300.

Other Features and Options

Both ID printers also feature superb built-in security to protect your organization, and your users, information. The most important are:

  • Digital Shredding™: Once data has been used, it’s irrecoverably fragmented so that others can’t lift it from the printer.
  • HoloKote® printing: Send up to three custom HoloKote® visual watermarks to your printer to be printed on ID cards.
  • Magnetic stripe: Both printers can print ISO 7811 standard magnetic stripes with HiCo encoding.
  • Smart card: Both printers can create iClass, Mifare, Desfire, or contact chip smartcards.

Keep in mind that magnetic stripe and smart card encoding are paid extras but can be purchased and downloaded later.

While the 300 only supports ethernet connections, the 600 can connect to your network via wifi as well.


Purely looking at the price tag, the 300 is significantly cheaper at just over two-thirds the price of the 600. If your organization is sizeable, the difference shouldn’t be too much. However, a difference of about $800 will make a big difference to individuals or small companies.

You also won’t have to sacrifice on printing quality, encoding options, or capacity for the more affordable 300. However, you’ll need to compromise slightly on print speed and convenience as the 600 has wifi and is slightly lighter.

How do They Compare to Other Popular Printers?

Magicard Enduro3E

Magicard Enduro3E Single-Sided ID Card Printer

Another model from Magicard, the Enduro3E is in the same price range as the 300. It also comes as a single-side and double-side printer. Some of the key features it shares with the 300 and 600 are:

  • 300 dpi color dye sublimation printing
  • Custom HoloKote® security watermark
  • Magnetic stripe and smartcard encoding options

However, there are also some key differences:

  • It prints 100 color cards per hour or 500 in monochrome, much less than the 300 and 600.
  • It comes standard with a 30 card stacker instead of 70
  • Like the 300 it features ethernet but not wifi connections

Zebra ZC350

Zebra ZC350 Single Sided ID Card Printer

Only slightly more expensive than the 300, the ZC350 is still a way more affordable than the 600. However, if the presentation is at all important, it lacks the elegant styling of the other two printers. It also comes in both dual-sided and single-sided models with wifi and certain encoding options as paid extras.

Here’s what it has in common with the Magicards:

  • Dye-sublimation printing at 300 dpi
  • Various magnetic encoding and smartcard technologies

And, here’s what’s different:

  • A 100-card feeder but an improved 100-card holder which is more convenient
  • A 2-year only warranty, instead of a 3-year warranty like Magicard offers
  • Features YMCKO and YMCKOK printing
  • Prints up to 1000 cards per hour in monochrome and 500 in color

Fargo DTC4250e

Fargo DTC4250e Single Sided ID Card Printer 100 Card Input Hopper

Fargo is another huge name in the card printer industry known for its printers’ superior printing quality. However, they are a higher-end brand, and the DTC4250e is no different at a significantly higher price point. There are four base models with single-sided, double-sided, ethernet, and magnetic coding as optional features. An advantage of Fargo printers is their modular design that allows for extensive customization.

Despite some significant underlying differences, there are still some similarities:

  • 300 dpi dye-sublimation printing
  • A sprint speed of up to 6 seconds per card
  • A 100-card hopper

And here are the most important differences:

  • YMCKO and YMCKOK printing
  • A SmartScreen™ graphical display for improved user-friendliness and notifications
  • Unfortunately, it also doesn’t feature wifi connectivity

Magicard 300 vs. Magicard 600 - Which is the Right One for You?

If you’re sold on settling with one of these models, there’s plenty of good news.

No matter which one you end up going with, you’ll have the same printing quality and decent printing speeds. You can also print cards with various types of magnetic or smartcard encoding for security or specific applications.

The most significant differences between the two are the price and certain conveniences. The Magicard 600 is easier to position and move around with wifi connectivity. Although negligible when printing in monochrome, the color printing speed will only be a factor under intense circumstances.

That being said, both are suitable options for educational institutions, government organizations, small to medium-sized companies, and businesses in the events industry.

The Ultimate Fargo Series ID Card Printer Comparison -1ultimate-fargo-series-id-card-printer-comparison Mon, 26 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0500 In the world of ID card printing, Fargo is an industry leading brand with a stellar reputation. However, within the Fargo universe there are still multiple options that can make selecting the right printer difficult for those new to the conversation. Whether you are your organization’s procurement specialist looking to impress with your first major purchase or an owner/operator simply looking for the best option, we’ll walk you through some of the basic comparisons. In this article we’ll be looking at the Fargo DTC1500, Fargo HDP5000, and the Fargo HDP5600. So let’s jump right in.

Quality Printing with every Fargo

First off, we should note that whatever Fargo printer you choose, you’re going to get an elite product that produces top notch results. All three printers utilize colors of up to 16.7 million/256 shades per pixel. This gives you vibrant colors and amazing images. However, there is only one of the three printers that can claim the prize of top resolution. Both the Fargo DTC1500 and the Fargo HDP5000 can only print in 300 dpi with (11.8 dots per mm.) The Fargo HDP5600, on the other hand, can print in 600 dpi with 23.6 dots per mm.

The bottom line is that with the Fargo HDP5600 produces superior imagery and cleaner text. If your organization values the aesthetics or simply needs clear and concise text for quick identification, the HDP5600 would be your best bet. However, don’t forget that both the Fargo HDP5000 and the DTC1500 produce amazing imagery as well. It’s just that the HDP5600 is king of the hill when it comes to print quality.

Printing Technology

One of the next aspects to consider when comparing the three printers would be the printing technology itself. Here, the DTC1500 stands out from the HDP5000 and HDP5600. The Fargo DTC1500 is a direct to card printer that utilizes dye sublimation and resin thermal transfer technology. This means the printhead comes into direct contact with the card which can allow for more wear and tear. However, the speeds are amazing as it can print a (YMCKOK) card in just 24 seconds.

Meanwhile, the HDP5000 and HDP5600 are reverse-transfer printers. They too use dye sublimation and resin thermal transfer, but the printhead never comes in contact with the card due to the reverse transfer process. It takes a reverse image and prints it on the underside of HDP film before fusing the film to the surface. This means there is less chance of debris collecting on the printhead which reduces the risk of damage.

Affordable and Guaranteed

Finally, let’s break down the price structure of each. The more affordable of the three would be the DTC1500. This is in part due to the features and technology. An “upgrade” would be considered the HDP5600. It simply allows for more features through its modular design. Meanwhile, the elite printer of the three would be the HDP5600 and it is priced accordingly.

Yet, all three printers are quality options and they are all given Fargo’s world class three year guarantee. However, the DTC1500 only guarantees the printhead for three years due to the direct contact that takes place. The HDP5000 and HDP5600 offer a lifetime warranty of the printhead. However, all three Fargo options are affordable, reliable and guaranteed. Don’t forget to check out the rest of your printing needs at IDSecurityOnline as we are your one-stop shop ID printing solution. 

Want to buy a Fargo HDP5000? Here's what you need to know -1want-to-buy-a-fargo-hdp5000 Sun, 18 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0500 Card Printers Looking for a new Fargo HDP5000 to take care of your organization’s card printing needs? You might, understandably, be surprised and overwhelmed with the number of considerations you need to make. Who knew card printers could be this complicated?

Here are the most important factors to consider:

  • The quality and durability of the printing
  • The speed of the printer/time per card
  • The types of printing or encoding it can do
  • The warranty and after-sales support

With so many factors in play and so many printers to choose from, there’s no one-printer-fits-all solution. Yet, with high-definition printing, a superb selection of add-on features, and an attractive price tag the HDP5000 is one to consider.

Reverse Transfer High-Definition Printing for Superb Images

This is the most noteworthy feature of the Fargo HDP5000. This technique involves printing on the underside (or opposite side) of a transparent film that’s then adhered to the card. This technique is at the cutting-edge of printing technology and has many vital advantages:

  • Tamperproof: Any attempt to scratch or remove the film will destroy the image.
  • Durability: The film acts as an extra layer of protection between the card print and the world.
  • Flexibility:Film can easily mold itself around uneven surfaces due to embedded chips or electronics.
  • Over-the-edge printing: This allows these benefits to be applied to the entire card, not just the front and the rear surface.

Fargo has been using HDP technology for some time, and have come close to perfection with the HDP5000. It’s also their most affordable HDP model to date. The images it creates are crisp with no smudging and accurate, vibrant colors. The use of reverse transfer printing also means that images stay that way for longer.

What kind of cards can it print?

It doesn't help much if you buy a printer that can’t create cards compliant with your local facilities. It’s a good thing then that the HDP5000 works with the most commonly used card size: CR-80 (3.370˝ L x 2.125˝ W / 85.6 mm L x 54 mm W).

The HDP5000 will be able to print the entirety of these cards as well as over the edges. The same goes for lamination.

Without any extra modules, you’ll only be able to produce cards for visual identification. However, with the right modules, you’ll be able to create magnetic stripe cards, smart cards, and more.

Customizability that adapts to your business

The Fargo HDP5000’s modular design means you can add-on features as your needs grow. The default model comes with HD single-side printing only, but you can add all of the following modules:

  • Dual-side printing
  • Single-sided or dual-sided card lamination
  • Magnetic stripe encoder
  • Smart card encoder for contact/contactless reading
  • An expanded 200 dual-card input hopper
  • Door and cartridge locks, and
  • A printer cleaning kit

Fargo has considered their customers with this design. If you only need a card printer that can produce high-quality, single-side printing, you can save a lot of money by just buying the printer. As another example, if you need a magnetic stripe reader, you’ll only have to purchase this module, and won’t have to pay extra for a smart card encoder.

That makes the Fargo HDP5000 one of the most versatile and adaptable card printers, both in terms of features and your budget.

Usability that slots into the modern organization

Unlike most card printers, the Fargo HDP5000 comes with an LCD control panel to provide important status updates and messages. That is great if you’ve ever struggled to memorize the cryptic flashing light messages of some printers.

Conveniently for larger organizations, the HDP5000 features an ethernet port and internal print server so that it can integrate into your computer network. This will allow you to issue print jobs across printers in your network, perfect for high-volume production from a central location. For universities or corporate campuses, the applications for this are nearly endless.

Fargo also supplies their Workbench software to help you set up your printer and manage security, firmware updates, and to run diagnostics. On top of that, the printer supports almost all leading card creation and issuance management software as well as Azure ID applications.

Great value for various budgets

The HDP5000 is Fargo’s most affordable HDP card printer to date. However, the refined printing and versatility of this device make it clear they didn’t compromise on quality. The modularity of the HDP5000 also means you can customize it to fit your needs and your budget. You can start with only the base model and then purchase extensions as your needs grow.

Although there are cheaper ID card printers out there, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that delivers the same cost-effectiveness. With reverse transfer and HDP printing,

Print Speed and Capacity

If you want a printer that can keep up with the demands of your organization, the HDP5000 doesn’t disappoint. With a top speed of around 150 cards per hour (YMC with transfer), it’s among the best. Of course, that time goes down depending on what kind of printing you want to be done:

  • YMCK with transfer: 124 cards per hour / 29 seconds per card
  • YMCK with transfer and dual-sided lamination: 102 cards per hour / 35 seconds per card
  • YMCKK with transfer: 90 cards per hour / 40 seconds per card
  • YMCKK with transfer and dual-sided lamination: 75 cards per hour / 48 seconds per card

That means you can print up to 936 cards in a 12-hour window. Even at its slowest, you’d still be able to put out 576 cards in the same amount of time. The HDP5000 should cut it for relatively large events with a few thousand people with enough of a head start.

Other handy features that will help you optimize a long printing process are:

  • A 100 dual-card input hopper cartridge to print multiple types
  • A 200-card hopper output cartridge

Warranty and Support

We’ve all faced the frustration of subpar after-sales service that can bring your operations to a standstill.

Fargo has your back with a standard 3-year warranty for every component with 1-year of free loaner support. That means you don’t have to put your business on hold just because your printer is in for repairs.

The printhead itself is designed for durability and never comes into contact with the cards’ surfaces (or anything else for that matter) and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

A versatile card printer for your organization

The Fargo HDP5000 seems to be ideal for large businesses where many people come and go. It can be used to supply ID cards for identification and security, particularly for access control to sensitive areas.

With that in mind, the HDP5000 is ideal for the following institutions:

  • Government agencies
  • Higher education institutions
  • Corporate businesses
  • Research laboratories
  • Gift or loyalty cards for retail stores
  • Health care facilities and hospitals

As it’s not the fastest printer around, it might not be ideal for concerts, seminars, or other events where thousands of cards need to be produced in a short time. However, using multiple printers in a network can overcome this obstacle.

How to Shop for an ID Card Printer with Confidence -1shop-id-card-printer-with-confidence Fri, 02 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0500 Card Printers It’s not quite as difficult as shopping for a used car when you have zero mechanical know how, but shopping for an ID card printer can be a little overwhelming if you lack technical knowledge. In the ID printing industry,  we use enough jargon acronyms to drive the novice shopper mad. So let’s take a quick moment and talk about the key features you need to know when shopping for an ID card printer. At the end of the day, choosing a printer is most often based on three key features. That’s speed, image quality and card security. Certainly there is more to learn if you so desire. However, if you can master a basic understanding of these key features you’ll be able to shop with confidence. So let’s take a look at three of the best retransfer printers in the industry and use them as a guide down the journey of understanding.

A Need for Speed

Perhaps the easiest of the three critical components in ID card printing would be speed. Discovering how much speed you require for operational efficiency is the first step. So let’s say you have a major need for speed as printing IDs in bulk is part of your normal routine. This could be for large complex organizations with many employees or perhaps a standard large scale event requiring massive amounts of ID badges in a short time. The Fargo HDP 6600 can print up to 230 cards per hour (YMCK with transfer).

Now, that might sound like a lot, but consider if you have an event with 10,000 attendees at a major stadium all of who require a special access badge. That’s nearly 44 hours of continuous printing. However, you’ll take comfort in knowing that at 230 cards per hour the Fargo is still one of the fastest retransfer printers in the market.

On the other hand, if your printing needs are limited to 10 to 20 new ID cards a week then you may not need to pay a premium for that speed. Both the Magicard Prima 4 and the Datacard CR805 will print cards at a rate of 100 per hour. Perfectly sufficient for most organizations, but hardly fast enough for high demand and high volume jobs. Ask yourself, do you have a need for  speed?

Beautiful Imagery and Crisp Letters

Once you’ve identified your need for speed, let’s talk aesthetics. Truthfully, the detailed imagery a card printer can produce goes beyond just what looks good. It’s a matter of offering clear displays that allow for quick recognition and identification. Comparing our three retransfer printers, the two that allow you to print at beautiful 600dpi are the Fargo HDP 6600 and the Datacard CR805. The dpi stands for “dots per inch.”

The difference between 300dpi and 600dpi can most aptly be recognized with the ability to print small text and crisply defined barcodes with better resolution. If imagery and fine detail is not a priority for you, then the Magicard Prima 4 will deliver just fine for you at 300dpi. Simply ask yourself how important fine detail and beautiful imagery matters. Then, look for the dpi printing resolution to guide you down the right path.

Secure Cards for the Modern Era

Finally, you need to understand what security features you want in a card and find the printer that offers the best options. Most printers come with added options that will enhance the security features such as adding a holographic overlay or magnetic encoding. For instance, the Magicard Prima 4 Uno Reverse Transfer Printer requires an extra lamination module to add holographic laminates. The same is true for the Fargo 6600.

However, the most basic security feature used by most organizations would be the simple magnetic swipe. For the Datacard CR805 Single Sided Retransfer ID Card Printer, you will need to add this feature. With all three printers, you have the ability to print right up to the edge of smart cards allowing you to add this feature without losing any of its quality imagery.

At the end of the day, if you can interpret speed, print quality, and security, then you can select your next ID card printer with confidence. However, all three printers will deliver you a durable ID card that will last. For some it’s just a matter of preference, while for others it is a matter of organization necessity. If you still have questions, never hesitate to reach out to our elite customer services team. We are ready to guide you down the right path to your perfect ID card printing solution. 

Finding the Right Printer Supplies with Elite Customer Service Support -1printer-supplies-elite-customer-service-support Tue, 16 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0500 If you’ve been the procurement specialist or officer manager in your organization for anytime, you understand that finding the right printer supplies can be easier said than done. From identifying the right printer ribbons to tracking down hard to find supplies for discontinued models, the wide array of printer accessories available in the market can be a little overwhelming without the right level of support. That’s why we here at IDSecurityOnline have always prided ourselves on our elite customer service support team. We understand the loss of productivity that comes from ordering the wrong ribbon and having to send it back. We also understand that not all bosses are too understanding about the loss productivity. That’s why we’ve immersed ourselves in the world of printing and stand ready to help you track down the right supplies and keep the boss happy.

Finding the Right Printer Ribbons

By far, the biggest confusion customers seem to have revolves around ordering the right printer ribbons for your customized printing solution. That’s why have learned everything there is to know about printer ribbons. While we are still waiting for the category to come up on Jeopardy one day and make us all rich, we can at least help you find the right printer ribbon in the meantime. So let’s start with a little basic Printer Ribbon 101.

Ribbons are most often differentiated with letters representing different portions of the color spectrum. “Y” equals yellow, “M” equals magenta or red, “C” equals Cyan or Blue, “K” equals black and “O” or “T” represents a clear overlay. Now, that might all sound a little confusing, but you can then see why you see most printer ribbons referred to as YMCKO. These are your full color ribbons most commonly sought. So, for example, if you are purchasing the Fargo Half Panel Color Ribbon and Refillable Cartridge, you’ll notice the YMCKO markings letting you know you are on the right track.

No Need to Guess with Customer Service

Fortunately for you, there is no reason to guess whether you’ve got it right. For starters, we have our drop down menu that will narrow down your options based on a few key points of data. Just input the manufacturer, type of supply you are seeking and finally then printer model and voila. We’ll kick out a page to you that shows only supplies compatible with your model An example would be seeking the appropriate ribbon for the Fargo 5600. So there is simply no way to get it wrong.

However, you don’t even have to do that much. Just give us a call anytime and our elite customer service team will walk you through the process step by step. We’ll not only guide you to the appropriate supplies, but will keep you informed on any other potential needs and keep you stocked up and ready for business. Finally, don’t forget about the rest of the accessories that go with ID badge printing. From lanyards to hooks and accessories, we’ve got all the right badge accessories in one place. So check us out and see why for over a decade now some of America’s largest organizations have trusted IDSecurityOnline with their ID printer solutions. 

Everything to Include on Your Organization’s ID Cards -1everything-include-organization-id-cards Thu, 11 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0500 Identity has always been a very personal matter for our individual existence. Apart from running into your occasional doppelganger, every person is a unique creation and identifying them is an important matter. So what exactly should go on an organizational ID? How personal should it get? In the end, it really boils down to function and design. Once you have decided what you want to achieve with organizational ID cards and how you want them to look, it’s just a matter of selecting the right data points. Choose too few and you might not have a secure system that is difficult to replicate. Choose too many and you’ve publicly displayed your employee’s personal data for all the world to see. Find the goldilocks zone that is just right and then you’ve got an effective and secure ID solution for all to enjoy. So let’s break down the data.

Personal ID Information

There are nearly a dozen personal identifiers that you can choose from when putting together your organization’s ID solution. They start with the obvious, such as full name, and can carry on to the deeply personal such as height, weight, and sex. Where security matters most, it might seem like an obvious answer to include the more deeply personal traits. However, ask yourself if you really want to have your employees display their weight publicly for all to see? Moreover, when Marge from accounting actually completes her New Year’s resolution, do you really want to have to print a new ID to reflect a 50lb weight loss?

The truth of the matter is that the average security guard is not going to be able to tell the difference between a person who is 5 foot 10 inches and a person who is 6 foot even. We’d also recommend the security guard not question a woman and ask her if she is really only 135 pounds, because she seems heavier. In our opinion, there are simply better ways to ensure security without violating a person’s personal sense of self-esteem. As for the other data points, information such as job title, department, ID number, date of hire, expiration date, security clearance and emergency contacts are all available to you and a little more benign.

Deciding the Level of Security

As we mentioned, there are easier ways to ensure an ID is legit without weight or height shaming your employees. Having a clear and crisp image that allows for quick and accurate facial recognition is a great start. Printers like the Fargo HDP5000 offer vibrant images printed in HD that are protected by a durable layer of HDP film between the card image and the outside world. This is a great start and allows you an initial level of protection while protecting your IDs from wear and tear. However, the rabbit hole of security goes further with more advanced printing.

An advanced model of the Fargo HDP5000 actual comes with dual sided lamination capabilities. This printer allows you to apply a holographic overlaminate or holographic HDP film on both sides of the card. This makes the cards extremely difficult to tamper with or counterfeit. That enhanced security feature will take you much further than turning the security checkpoint into a carnival game where they guess your height and weight. Moreover, you can add a barcode, magnetic stripe, personal signature, smartcard and even a fingerprint if you want with most printers. Just decide how secure you want your cards to be and we have the technology that allows you to make it happen.

A Beautiful ID Card that Lasts

Once you have selected your data points and the level of security required, all that is left is to select the branding and imagery that leaves you with a beautiful and secure ID solution. We offer a host of ID card software that will help walk you through the process and assist you in creating vibrant images that pop. It can be a little overwhelming to decide the right package for you and that’s why we offer elite customer service support to walk you through the process.

For over a decade now, we’ve been trusted to provide the secure ID solution for some of the largest healthcare, academic, and government organizations in the country. We know what matters most and we can match you and your organization with the perfect solution. So reach out to us and don’t forget to check out the full range of ID solutions we offer here at IDSecurityOnline.

How to create a secure, affordable government ID -1create-secure-affordable-government-id Thu, 13 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0500 ID Cards When you work for a government agency you will know that every agency has clearly defined requirements for the ID cards they issue to protect the personal and often sensitive information the cards contain. Card security is essential, it doesn’t matter whether the ID card has been issued to a government employee and intended to permit or restrict access to secure government facilities or whether the card will act as a method of citizen identification like a drivers’ license. Whatever the specific role of the card it is essential that everyone has full confidence that the ID card is secure and cannot be faked or copied. For the issuing agency to be certain that their ID cards cannot be easily tampered with or illegally reproduced they must choose an ID card printing system with the right built-in security measures.

How are government ID cards normally used?

Government ID cards are issued by a huge range of agencies at all levels of government from local agencies all the way through State and Federal agencies and individual government departments. Some of the ways ID cards can be used include:

  • Staff identification
  • Visitor and site access management
  • Prior service card

Staff identification

Staff identification is probably the most common use of government ID cards. An ID card is normally worn on either a lanyard or on a badge reel should be clearly visible to other government personnel as well as any members of the public with whom the wearer comes into contact. The nature of the information on the ID card will vary, but for photo ID cards you will need to look for a printer that can produce a high-quality image and crisp, clear print that can be read quickly and easily.

Visitor management

While members of staff can be easily identified by their visible ID cards, what can be done about visitors? Most agencies will have non-employees who need to access the location from time to time. Providing visitor ID cards and knowing to whom those cards have been issued is a useful way of ensuring that only officially approved visitors are on-site and that they only access the permitted areas. A similar approach can be taken with site management with ID cards permitting different levels of clearance so that only certain employees have access to sensitive areas.

Prior service cards

Not all ID cards will necessarily be used on-site, in most cases, ID cards will be issued to active members of staff and will be visible throughout the day but it is also possible for ID cards to be issued to prior members of staff. The ID cards issued to retired staff will allow them to access whatever amenities, benefits, or discounted they may have available to them as a result of their service.

How do ID cards work?

The most obvious aspect of an ID card is its visibility. The majority of them will be on constant display and the clearly visible photograph will help to determine the identity of the individual, but that doesn’t have to be all there is to an ID card. Modern ID card printing systems allow you to incorporate a range of features to enhance the value of the card. In addition to a photograph and a record of the wearers' job role, security clearance, and entitlements modern ID cards can be printed with a magnetic strip or barcode which can be used to store personal, identifiable information.

Securing your ID cards

Creating a well-designed government ID card is important. You will want a design that clearly represents the professionalism of your agency, yet that is only the first step. In addition, to creating a well-presented ID card you will want to produce tamper-proof cards that will enhance the security of your organization. Creating secure cards means choosing the right ID card printer. Many card printing systems come with a range of security measures to ensure the security of your organization. For example, the Magicard Ultima Dual-Sided ID Card printer has built-in visual security which allows the use of up to 10 secure HoloKote watermarks. Such a system would allow you to allocate each department their own individual holographic design on the ID card. As an extra level of security, the Ultima printer uses the wavelengths of the dye-film to fluoresce when placed under UV lighting.

A similar approach is taken by the ScreenCheck SC6500 ID Card Printer which will allow the use of up to four standard HoloKote designs as well as a custom design from the printer driver. The HoloKote security watermark is printed across the surface of the card surface. When used in conjunction with HoloPatch cards, one section of the HoloKote watermark is highlighted as a high visibility security seal. If Custom HoloKote is available it will allow the watermark to be customized to show an individual logo or design chosen by your agency. It is also worth looking at the way the card image is protected from the outside world. Many card printing systems including the Fargo HDP5000 Dual-Sided ID Card Printer will place a durable layer of HDP Film over the card image and if someone attempts to separate the layers, the image will be lost rendering the card unusable.

Affordable production costs

Designing great looking government ID cards which are really secure is important but unless you have a fast and affordable way of producing the number of ID cards you need then you aren’t going to achieve the results you need. To produce the cards that are right for your organization you will need to carefully consider your requirements and look at the volume of cards each printer can produce in a given space of time. The most cost-effective way to proceed is likely to involve purchasing a complete production system including an ID card printer, ID card software, web camera, color ribbon, and PVC cards. Whether you need a single-sided printer such as the Zebra ZXP Series 9 or the ScreenCheck SC6500, or a double-sided option like the Magicard Ultima or the Fargo HDP6600 you can be sure of finding exactly what you need on

How To Create A Truly Professional ID Photo -1how-to-create-professional-id-photo Mon, 03 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0500 ID Cards Photo ID Systems Does your business rely on the use of photo ID cards to ensure the security of your company? Photo ID cards provide an easy way of knowing what everyone is called, what their role is,  and whether they are authorized to enter particular areas of the building. For photo ID cards to be effective it is important that they are high-quality cards containing images which allow individuals to be clearly recognized. This guide will show you everything you need to take perfect ID card photographs.

Overcoming the cringe factor

Does your passport photo look like you? Are you happy showing people the picture on your driving license? Few people enjoy the process of having their picture taken for official documentation and as a result, the images produced are rarely attractive. For passports and driving licenses the quality of the image doesn’t matter too much since they will be tucked away somewhere safe and only produced when needed. Photo ID cards are a greater challenge since they must be worn every day and be on constant display. For people to feel confident carrying a photo ID card the image on the card must be one they are happy to display to the world.

Taking great photo ID pictures

There are three parts to taking a fantastic ID photo, the technical quality of the camera, the happiness of the subject, and the composition of the photograph. Follow these steps to take a great ID photo:

Choose the right location

Don’t try to take ID photos in a crowded entrance way as people arrive for work. Not only will everyone be stressed and in a rush to reach their desks on time but the environment will not be conducive to good quality pictures. Look for a quiet room where there is plenty of natural light available. You may also want to consider a professional ‘photo backdrop’ so that you can easily set up your portable photo studio anywhere.

Relax the subject

Relaxing for holiday snaps taken on the beach when everyone is enjoying themselves is one thing. Trying to act naturally for professional headshots for an ID card is quite different. People rarely feel comfortable when posing for professional pictures and so part of the role of the photographer must be to relax the subject before they take the picture. Try to give people advance notice of the photography session so that they can wear clothes they like, and they will have time to arrange a haircut or apply some make-up before facing the camera. When the subject arrives for their photograph spend a few minutes chatting with them and putting them at ease before you take the image. The more comfortable the subject feels the more natural the photograph will appear on the ID card.

Invest in the right equipment

If you want to use professional quality photographs for your ID cards then you don’t want someone snapping images on their mobile phone. To get the best results you must use the proper equipment. Ideally, you will need a high-quality camera with a tripod, backed up by ID card software so that you can edit and crop the pictures to ensure they are correctly centered and fit on the ID card perfectly. If you are looking for the right digital camera to take your pictures then IDSecurityOnline has a great range of cameras and printers that make it simple to capture, upload, and edit the images before applying them to your ID cards.

Which camera should you choose?

The right equipment for your organization is going to depend on several factors such as the number of ID pictures you need to take and the equipment you already have available for use. If you don’t produce a lot of ID cards and only want to take an occasional picture then something simple like the Microsoft LifeCam Studio ID Camera may be the best choice. This easy to use camera  offers HD quality for crisp, high-resolution results and includes auto focus, from four inches to infinity. It is compatible with both Mac and PC operating systems.

For an organization that needs to print ID cards more regularly, the Credential Cam could be a better solution. The Credential Cam comes with up to 8MB still image quality and has plenty of extra features including auto exposure, internal microphone, and automatic color compensation. For an organization that prints ID cards frequently then only a fully-featured photo ID camera will be sufficient. The VALCam Pan Tilt & Zoom Camera is the best camera available. This camera automatically adjusts for your lighting conditions and offers great high-resolution images. The camera is crammed with features such as zoom, tilt & pan and improved white balance options. With this camera you can live crop your images in the preview mode and therefore produce your ID cards more quickly by cutting out the additional editing step.

Optimizing your ID card photographs

Taking the best image you can is often only the first part of the process. A professional image frequently needs to be re-centered, cropped and enhanced to create the best possible appearance for the ID card. If you look for a camera with a TWAIN driver not only will the camera be able to automatically upload your images to your ID card software but it will probably also come with additional features such as:

  • Auto adjust tilt & pan
  • Face-finding feature
  • Subject-focused zoom

What other factors should you consider?

When it comes to choosing your camera think carefully about the image quality and features that you will need, but also think about the printer you will be using. The quality of the image on the photo ID depends not just on the quality of the image you take but also on the ability of your printer to reproduce that image on the ID card. You must also bear in mind the portability of the camera for most organizations space is at a premium and the photo equipment will need to be moved, you may even need to move around the premises to take pictures rather than having the employees come to you. If you select a camera that needs to be permanently connected to a computer rather than a standalone model your portability could be seriously compromised.

By carefully thinking through the features you will need you will be able to purchase the equipment you need to create high-quality photo ID cards with only a few clicks.

Why Professional ID Security for Education is So Important -1professional-id-security-education-important Thu, 02 May 2019 00:00:00 -0500 Card Printers The way schools, colleges, and universities protect their students, as well as their faculties, is always changing.  There has been a growing need for enhanced checks and security monitoring at each level of children's education.  ID cards not only help to identify students and teachers but can grant clearance to certain areas.  Professional ID security for education should, therefore, arguably, be used as a means to an end.

However, there are still many schools not yet making use of professional ID printing.  While systems may be in place to identify visitors, not all educational bodies print ID for attendees or staff.  In a climate where protection of children has never been more important, the need for accessible, professional ID card printer hardware has never been greater.

Enhanced Protection for All

A good ID card should easily demonstrate who the holder is.  However, counterfeiting of ID is growing all the more sophisticated.  In environments such as schools where child safety is a priority, it makes logical sense to print ID cards which are almost impossible to replicate.

Magicard 600 Photo Id System

The temptation to save money by printing cheaper ID cards, or not to print them at all, is no longer excusable.  Affordable ID printing systems such as the Magicard 600, which supply double-sided ID cards, are readily available to the public.  What’s more, it is now easier than ever to copy-protect your cards.

The Magicard 600 is one of many printers used by schools thanks to its HoloKote technology.  HoloKote is a brand of watermarking which allows you to imprint your own insignia or logo.  This works as a visual security seal.

ID security for education is simple to address and to implement.  Visual checks and enhanced security features will give the reader more confidence in the holder.  Educational bodies need to ensure that they only permit access to verified staff and students alike.  As time has moved on, simple ID cards alone simply aren’t doing enough.

Cards for Access

ID cards for schools and colleges should, as discussed briefly, also allow people access to certain areas.  Modern school buildings now offer swipe card systems, where a student or faculty member can swipe the magnetic strip on their card to open doors.

This system is deemed far more efficient at protecting sensitive environments.  ID cards for use in schools can be activated with specific permissions.  For example, student ID cards may be able to access classrooms, but they may not be able to access staff areas or server cupboards.

Without a card to access an educational building, unwanted visitors are immediately deterred.  Before would-be intruders can swipe a card, in any case, they would need to be subject to visual checks.  Access technology is part of an efficient two-step system that doubly protects students and education staff alike.

Visitor Permissions

Any educational authority needs to vet its visitors carefully.  It is no longer enough, for example, to simply sign in a guest and to supply them with a paper badge or plastic pin.  Printers such as the Datacard SD360 recommended for school environments, can also be used to print temporary cards with access features quickly.  These can be used and disposed of at the end of their lifetime, and offer minimal wastage.

Using a professional ID card printer to produce visitor cards will be worthwhile if visitors need to access premises for long periods of time.  For example, local inspectors, verified laborers, and frequent guests may benefit from having professional cards printed.  It is a cost-effective solution which, when used alongside thorough vetting, can help to keep your school safe.

Everyday Uses of ID Security for Education

ID cards for use in schools and colleges can be used for more than simple entry and exit.  Staff and students, as well as visitors, will likely need to use them frequently throughout their time on campus.  Here are a few scenarios where ID and access cards may be required:

  • In the event of lunch breaks or recess periods, cards can be used to access cafeteria or outside areas.
  • At special events and fairs hosted by a school or college, ID cards can be used to confirm the right of attendance.
  • Some cards may also be used to pay for food and drink.  These applications may be useful for students, staff, and visitors.
  • Access and ID cards can also be used to access library facilities.  It is possible for library accounts to be directly linked to access cards.
  • Volunteers who regularly visit a school, but who may not be teaching staff, may also be granted limited access ID cards.

ID Card Information

The information needed on each ID card, in an educational context, should be comprehensive.  An educational ID badge or access card will generally carry the following information:

  • A clear, recent photo, which is essential for visual checks.
  • Date of birth and date of admission to the school or college.
  • If the holder is a student, their card should show which grade or class they attend.
  • If the holder is a faculty member, their card should show which subject or class they teach.  If a non-teacher, the card should also state as much.  For example, ‘maintenance’ or ‘cafeteria staff.’
  • A date of expiry should also be visible.
  • Additional security features, such as holographic coating, watermarking or embossing, should also be considered.

Professional ID card hardware such as the Zebra ZC350 offers affordable, accessible ID creation which can be used in-house.  The costs schools and colleges face with outsourcing ID card protection can often escalate.  Therefore, secure in-house printing is immediately more cost-effective.

Keeping Safe

When it comes to our children, security should be our number one priority.  With in-house ID card printing available and more affordable than ever, ID security for education is simpler and less hassle for the people who run our schools and colleges.  Professional education IDs should always be provided to protect students and to give parents and staff peace of mind throughout the day.

What Should All ID Cards for Enterprise Include? -1What-Should-All-ID-Cards-for-Enterprise-Include Mon, 15 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0500 Card Printers The need for ID cards for enterprise security has always been relevant.  In a day and age where elaborate counterfeiting continues to be a genuine concern, there has been a growing need to produce cards and badges which are impervious to mimicry.  However, there are also a number of simple standards that all business ID cards should be adhering to.

All modern secure photo ID systems, such as the Magicard 600, will produce ID cards to the common standard all enterprises expect.  However, it is also important to understand the anatomy of a modern ID card, and why each element is essential.  It is, after all, good practice to remember that functional ID should offer a visual security solution as well as a practical one.

Let’s take some time to consider the essential facets of every modern ID card.

A Clear Cardholder Photo

Much in the same vein as standards expected for passports and drivers’ licenses, a good business ID card should possess a clear, recent photo of the cardholder.  That is perhaps the most basic of security checks that can be made.  It is also crucial to remember to update an ID photo if the appearance of the cardholder changes drastically.

Issuing Details

It is essential to include some form of ‘start’ and ‘end’ date for any ID card.  This, of course, will make sure it passes validity checks.  Not all ID cards have been known to print such data; however, proving ID validity is another security standard we greatly recommend.

Basic Employee Information

All ID cards for enterprise should hold a modicum of data regarding the cardholder.  ID card solutions in the form of design suites and printers can help to incorporate a lot of essential detail onto an otherwise small space.  Some of the vital information you need to integrate may include cardholder name, employee number, date of birth and/or department.  Your needs may vary; however, all ID card printers will help you achieve such results.

If employees have zonal access to certain areas of a facility, it’s also prudent to include this information.  For example, if a ground-level employee only has access to basic clearance, their ID card should detail this.  It is another element of visual security that saves on questions to be asked.

Custom Design and Watermarking

Watermarking your ID cards will help fight counterfeiting.  It is a security standard which is still supported by all modern ID printers.  Creating a custom design with ID card software will also help you to establish your brand.  ID card systems such as the Datacard SD360 arrive with software to allow you to customize your own look.

You may even wish to imprint your slogans or ethos on your ID cards.  In this way, ID badges can also be used as useful marketing or advertising tool.

Enhanced Security Features for ID Cards for Enterprise

While enhanced security features may not seem essential, they are incredibly effective in helping to prevent counterfeiting.  Modern ID card printers will possess a number of different security measures which can be printed directly onto a badge.  These may enhance visual security checks, too.  Here are a few of the more effective forms of ID security you will be able to access through a specialized ID printer.


Holograms and watermarking can come hand in hand.  Modern holograms can be imprinted onto ID cards using a plastic film, and are virtually impossible to replicate.  For this reason, using holograms alone – with your company logo, message or otherwise – will work hard to protect against identity theft.


Microtext is a relatively recent enhanced security trend which many ID printers account for.  Widely used in passport printing, microtext is impossible to be read by the naked eye.  Therefore, only specialist equipment can be used to check and authorize what may be written on a card.  Similarly to holograms, this is a form of security which is virtually impossible to copy.

UV Overlay and Clear Ink

Many ID card printing solutions make use of clear ink.  This can be used to print a design which is impossible to detect under natural light.  Therefore, UV light will need to be employed to check for such designs or watermarks.  Once again, it is a protective solution to counterfeiting concerns.


Raised printing, or embossing, is a technique which helps to produce unique ID cards.  ID badges with embossed designs or messages can be easily read through visual checks, and are once again very difficult to replicate.

Magnetic Stripes

Magnetic stripe cards have been a common ID card standard for some time.  These stripes contain information pertaining to the cardholder and can be used to swipe to gain access to certain areas.  They can also be used by security personnel to bring up specific data on request.

Dual-Sided Printing

Modern ID card printing devices, such as the Zebra ZC350, can be used to print and produce dual-sided cards.  Using a dual-sided ID card printer will enable you to spread essential information across both sides of a badge.  That means more security data can be emblazoned on one card unit.  That, in effect, helps visual security checks and processes.

Printing data on both sides of a card also saves time and effort for all parties involved.  The more data included, the fewer questions need to be asked.  Coupled with enhanced security features, this means you will always produce secure, comprehensive cards which are protected against mass counterfeiting. 

Unique Printing Solutions

ID cards for enterprise should always adhere to several security standards.  They should also give the same uniform information and data for visual checks.  However, this is not to say that they all have to be designed the same.

By using a professional ID card printer, you can create and produce ID that is unique to your business and branding.  Always take into account the essentials, but never be afraid to stand out.