combine the best features of large run lithography-pressed cards and dye-sublimation printers to provide a cost-effective option for bank cards, gift cards, ID cards, loyalty cards, membership cards, and other card products that need to be customized or personalized after the fact.
Cards are pre-printed with a base design using lithographic printing and then, when needed, minor monochrome or full-color customizations like bar codes, control numbers, names, phone numbers, and photos are added to the cards using a dye-sublimation printer.
Pre-printed custom plastic cards provide significant time and cost savings to banks, businesses, gyms, hotels, hospitals, retail stores, spas, and organizations with high volume card customization needs.
Here at ID Wholesaler, we get many requests for pre-printed cards. While in some cases it may make more sense to just print the whole card in-house, pre-printed cards are a great solution for organizations both large and small.
The best uses we generally see for pre-printed cards include:
Not only can pre-printed cards help keep the costs associated with printing down, but they can also help streamline your printing process. Before you consider using these types of cards, there are a few things to ask yourself to see if they’re a good fit for your organization.
This step is pretty simple to determine. You’ll need to figure out what kind of color scheme or design you want on the card, as well as what information you actually want to put on the cards. The majority of our customers use a standard 4-color scheme, which is the YMCK printing process that’s used in our everyday ID card printers.
Another thing to consider is whether you need the card to be single-sided or if you’ll need to put information on the backside as well. While most people opt to stick with the 4-color printing on the front with their logo or tagline (or both), some will put additional information on the back, like rules or disclaimers for the program they’re being used for. Additionally, there are a number of ways to make the cards unique such as a color core to make the card stand out more. Simply as an ID Professional for the available options.
Next, you’ll want to figure out what you’ll need to put on the cards. Some of our customers keep it simple and just print a name and number; fortunately, all of this can be done with a standard plastic card printer.
Adding a barcode to your cards for tracking or auditing purposes can be done in-house or when the pre-printed cards are being created. If you’re using your cards for employee IDs, you may decide to add a picture as well. This, too, can be done with a plastic card printer. If it’s just a small graphic or image (like a logo, for instance), a half-panel ribbon is a great solution.
If you choose to implement magnetic stripes into your card program, you’ll be able to store cardholder information as well as track card usage more easily. You can order the magnetic stripes pre-encoded, or if you can use a card printer with a magnetic encoder and encode the information yourself.
In order to keep the cost down, ID Wholesaler’s minimum order for pre-printed cards is 500. While we can technically do smaller runs, if you’re looking for a short run of cards, we may recommend using a service bureau.
Keep in mind that the more cards that are ordered, the better price per card you’re getting. If you don’t want to go that route, you can create cards in-house with one of our many PVC card printers. You may find this option more cost-effective than using a service bureau to produce your cards.
These are the basics of what to consider when looking for superior-quality pre-printed cards. There are many different types of card materials and other features available. If you’re not exactly sure what you need on the cards, no problem! You can always rely on our ID Professionals to help figure out the best option for you and your specific needs.