Those who have just laid their hands on one of the latest and greatest card printers on the market can have mixed feelings.
Firstly, the realisation that a card printer will save time and money while boosting an organisation's efficiency in the long-run. Secondly, that daunting feeling of getting to know a new technology and actually printing functional, great looking ID cards.
The first issue, this is absolutely correct: for organisations whose ID card turnover is moderate to high, card printers are definitely the solution, however, on the second point, there's actually very little need to worry. The latest range of card printers are unbelievably easy to learn and use. Pair this with our Resource Centre to help you get started, buying a card printer is no more scarier than buying a laser jet printer.
So once you've got your head around that card printer's basic function, here are a few little pointers as you start to plan your first ID card design.
Your organisation's basic needs
Answering these questions will give you a basic overview of what your ID card program will be, which will set the parameters of the actual design.
- How many employees and visitors are these ID cards for?
- Will they each require a different ID card design?
It's likely the answer to the first question has already led you to buy the appropriate card printer, but knowing the volume of card designs you will need will help guide you to a decision about a basic template. For instance, the different cards will they each be visually distinguishable, but still conform to the same look and feel of your brand. The different designs may also need differing levels of security, depending on the access they will provide.
Your organisation's security needs
Next, you will need to carefully assess what security features your ID card design needs. For instance, simple visual security - like a featured ID photo - may actually be enough, however, for complex facilities, modern card printers can handle highly sophisticated security like smart cards, overlayed holograms and even tactile features that are basically impossible to reproduce.
The good news these days is that most great card printers feature technology that protects the cards from wear and tampering.
Your security's technology needs
Once you've determined your required level of security, you can start to map your card design around the necessary technology. As suggested above, this ranges from simple photos to barcodes, magnetic stripes, proximity technology and complex overlayed holograms.
Depending on your needs and choice, and where the security features are located, the way the eventual design is laid down on the card can differ and expert help is recommended for complex solutions.
Now you're ready for the fun part - actually laying out the graphical look of the ID card. You'll be considering your brand, the card's orientation and features, the critical information to highlight, your preferred colours and fonts, and who will be wearing it: for instance, a contractor, or a VIP guest.
If it all seems a little daunting, relax! It's second nature for us here at ID Supplies. We have been providing ID and security solutions for all sorts of organisations for over 15 years, so don't hesitate to get in touch.