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Card Considerations

Card Functionality

Among all the networks, systems and technology, the ID card itself represents the most critical and visible aspect of any identification card program. Here are some points to keep in mind to ensure issuance of functional cards that cardholders will enjoy displaying.

Today's ID systems offer virtually unlimited design options. The key to a successful card design rests in including the necessary elements and creating an attractive ID badge that people are proud to wear. Company-wide ID cards should support the magnetic stripe, barcode, proximity, Wiegand and SmartCard technologies that tie into your organization's network access and physical access control systems. This will allow you to turn simple ID's into powerful, all-in-one cards for multiple applications within your organization. IDentiphoto Company can help you with design elements you may need to include when attempting to achieve this balance for the following:

  • Access to buildings, labs, parking lots and other restricted areas
  • Credit and debit programs (cafeterias, vending machines, copiers, gift cards)
  • Inventory tracking
  • Computer and network access
  • Time-and-attendance programs
  • Visitor Control


Card Durability

Consider how long you want issued cards to last.

Standard PVC cards with the standard 2.5 microns of clear overlay have a projected life of 12-18 months. Typically less time in environments where badges/cards are:

  • Swiped in bar code, magnetic stripe or Wiegand technology readers.
    • Result - abrasion to printed images
  • Constantly exposed to the sun or UV rays.
    • Result - faded images and/or ink migration.
  • Frequently exposed to extreme temperatures (cold or heat).
    • Result - cracking or breaking due to cold. Warping due to heat.
  • Worn in vinyl badge holder
    • Result - Plasticizer can lift the image off your card and/or cause fading.

If you need cards to last more than a year, consider these options:

  • Poly/PVC Composite Cards are a blend of PVC and polyester. This blend offers a more durable card.
    • Poly/PVC is resistant to cracking, breaking, and warping.
    • Poly/PVC offers greater card flexibility.
  • Overlaminate products consist of clear polyester product that is printer applied and printer specific as well as hand-applied overlays designed to extend the 12 to 18 month lifecycle to lifespan of 5 - 10 year range.
    • Overlaminates provide protection from UV fading.
    • Overlaminates offer protection against card reader abrasion.
  • Rigid Badge Holders are available in a variety of styles and colors in either horizontal or vertical orientation, including multiple card holders.
    • Protects cards against breaking or damage from bending
    • Great alternative to vinyl holders
  • Adhesive Backed PVC is an alternative to printing directly to a card with embedded technology (i.e., Proximity, smart cards, and contact smart cards).
    • Reuse your technology card and personalize with a new adhesive backed PVC card
    • Saves you money - replace inexpensive adhesive backed cards and not your expensive technology cards

Reduce Cost - Consider these alternatives.

  • Prox Badge Holders are rigid card holders with the proximity technology embedded into the holder itself.
  • Multi-Application Cards incorporates multiple technologies in one card to support such applications as proximity technology, bar codes, magnetic stripes, smart cards and biometrics.


See Also:

Learning Center Idcards Cardconsiderations


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