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The difference between a single-sided and a dual-sided printer is whether or not the printer will automatically print of the back of a card – but how do you know when to upgrade to dual-sided?

When to Use a Single-Sided Printer

Single-sided printers only print on the front side of your cards, making them faster and more efficient than dual-sided printers. If you are only printing single-sided cards, you’ll need a single-sided printer. But there are several instances where you may also want a single-sided printer even if you are printing dual-sided cards.

For example, if all your cards have the same design on the back, like a “Return to this address if found” message, you can batch print all the cards with that information, and then print the customized front for each cardholder as needed. Or if you are on a tight budget and print a low volume of ID cards, and have the time to manually flip cards to print on both sides.

Shop all single-sided printers on DiscountID.

When to Use a Dual-Sided Printer

Dual-sided printers will automatically print on both sides of your cards, either by flipping them and running them through the printer again or by using two printheads to print both sides in a single pass.

You may want to upgrade to a dual-sided printer if printing efficiency and speed is important to your organization, especially if you print large numbers of cards. A dual-sided printer is also the best option if you need to print unique data on both sides of the card and cannot pre-print one side of the card.

Shop all dual-sided printers on DiscountID.

DIDBlogImage_cameraAdding cardholder photos to your ID card designs make it easier to verify the cardholder is the person in the photo, improving your building’s security. When taking those photos, you’ll want to use some basic equipment to ensure that all your photos come out clear and uniform.

ID cameras are designed to work with your card design software, and are easy to use. They connect to your computer so your photo files are already saved there when you’re ready to design your cards.

A tripod will help you keep the camera level and steady, resulting in clear photos. By positioning the camera at the same height on the tripod you can also ensure your cardholder photos are uniform and easily identifiable.

Lighting is also important for taking clear photos – fluorescent overhead lighting will washing out the colors in your photos. If possible, take photos in natural light; if you need to take photos in an office, place a desk lamp near the person to off-set the fluorescent lighting.

Finally, a backdrop also helps your take uniform cardholder photos with the same colored background in every photo. Portable backdrops also allow you to take photos in any location.

ID card printers use colored ribbons of thin film to print your full color or monochrome card designs – but if these delicate ribbons rip, is it possible to fix them? Yes, and it’s a surprisingly simple fix!

How to Fix Your Ribbon

If your printer ribbon rips, you just need some clear tape to fix it – making this quick and easy to do in any office or workplace.

First, tape the two ends back together. Next, roll the taped section on to the used end of the ribbon. Load the ribbon back in your printer and you can continue printing! The reason this works is because you’re not printing with the broken section, you just need it to be taped back together so the ribbon will continue to spool as you print.

Shop all ID card printer ribbons on DiscountID.

We are excited to show you the newly redesigned DiscountID website! The new site features an easier to navigate menu, a homepage that takes you straight to our most popular system, and more.

Starting from the top, the redesigned menu now includes large product images to make it easier to identify what you’re looking for along with quick links to our expert recommendations, supply finder, free software trial, and contact page.

Those same popular tools and offers are also found on each category pages, so you’re never more than a click away from the help you need.

The product pages now feature a larger area for product details, so you can easily see all the information you need about the printers, systems, or software. Not finding what you need? Every page also has a section at the bottom to request your free ID expert quote.

Shop for your favorite ID card printers and accessories on DiscountID today.

UntitledHow you display, or wear, an ID card can make a huge difference in how easy or not it is access your card all day long – if you need to scan or show the card multiple times, you need it easily at hand.

But what are your options to keep it quickly accessible without letting it get in your way?

Lanyards

Lanyards are a popular choice because they are so easy to use – they can be worn with any uniform or outfit because it is work like a necklace, not clipped onto the cardholder’s clothing. Available in a wide range of materials and styles, lanyards are used by businesses in every industry.

One downside of lanyards, however, is that they may get in your way as you work. Lanyards can move around throughout the day, and will hang down if you lean forward (possible hitting a patient if you work in healthcare, for example).

Shop ID badge lanyards.

Badge Reels

Badge reels clip into your clothing either with a strap clip or belt clip. Also available in a wide range of colors and styles, reels are just as easy to use as a lanyard.

Their clip design holds the badge closer to your person during work, reducing the chances of it swinging in your way. But with especially delicate fabric the clips may pull or snag your clothing.

Shop ID badge reels.

Badge Holders

A badge holder are used to protect your ID cards – by putting them in a plastic holder you can prevent damage to the cards and prolong their life. Most badge holders have a slot at the top to attach to another ID accessory like a lanyard, reel, or strap clip, but some have clips on the back.

Shop ID badge holders.

Strap Clips

Strap clips are small, flexible clips that slide through the slot of your card or badge holder and snap closed to secure your ID card. Then you simply clip it onto your clothing or bag. Strap clips are quick and easy to use, a popular choice for visitor badges and other temporary IDs.

Shop ID badge strap clips.

Clips, Pins, Magnets

In addition to the main accessories, you can use a variety of clips, pins, or magnets. Some clips have adhesive backs so you can stick it right to the ID card or badge holder.

Shop ID badge clips, pins, and magnets.

WCR3237-600USBarcodes are an extremely common card feature because they can be printed by every ID card printer and encoded by almost all design software. But when you have to choose between 1D and 2D barcodes, do you know which one you need?

1D Barcodes

1D barcodes are the simple vertical line barcodes you see on cereal boxes, library books, and airline tickets. These barcodes hold small amounts of data and, depending on the style, can only hold up to 25 characters of data.

You may want to use 1D barcodes if you are printing basic ID cards without complicated uses, or your software only encodes 1D barcodes.

2D Barcodes & QR Codes

2D barcodes go far beyond the basic vertical lines of the 1D style. Designed with squares, dots, horizontal lines, or other patterns, 2D barcodes give you more options for customization. 2D barcodes can hold larger amounts of data, so these may be a good option if you need more than 25 characters. QR codes are the most commonly used types of 2D barcodes.

2D barcodes do require special barcode readers, so they may not work with your existing equipment. Not all card software can encode 2D barcodes, so make sure your software edition has this feature.

IDP ID card printers come in a range of styles to fit any budget and card printing need – and DiscountID has all the supplies you need to keep printing with your IDP card printer.

IDP Ribbons

To print ID cards, you’ll need an IDP ribbon. These ribbons come in all formats including full-color ribbons for single and dual-sided printing, half-panel ribbons, and monochrome ribbons.

Shop IDP ribbons on DiscountID.

IDP Laminates

Laminating your ID cards will make them last longer and deter card tampering – an important feature for many secure businesses. Overlamiante film comes in a range of styles, including clear and holographic prints.

Shop IDP laminates on DiscountID.

IDP Cleaning Kits

Cleaning your printer regularly is the key to making sure it works well for years to come. You should only use the manufacturer recommended cleaning kits for your printer to prevent damage to the printer.

Shop IDP cleaning kits on DiscountID.

If you have a Mac computer system you need to use for designing and printing ID cards, we recently added cardPresso Mac-compatible ID card design and database software to the DiscountID website!

Choose Your Edition

This Mac-compatible software is available in three editions, so you can select the features you need most!

cardPresso XS is an easy to use, entry-level software. It was a built-in database, or you can connect an external XLS, XLSX, CSV, or TXT database. The XS edition also has 1D and magnetic stripe encoding.

cardPresso XM has more advanced design and database features, including the ability to connect an external MSAccess or SQLite database. You can also encode 2D barcodes and acquire images through SDK.

cardPresso XL is the most advanced version, with the most design and database features. The XL edition allows ODBC connection to an external database, fingerprint capture, and user management.

System Requirements

cardPresso software is compatible with all ID card printers, and Mac OSX 10.5 and above. Your system must have a 64bit processor, 512MB of RAM, and 500MB of free hard drive space.

Shop cardPresso software today!

A complete ID card system comes with everything you need to design and print ID cards, all in one box. This makes it quick and easy to get all the supplies you need, but do you know what comes in a system?

The Printer

First, and most importantly, each system comes with a professional-level ID card printer. DiscountID offers card printers from entry-level to secure, high-volume printers from the industry’s leading manufactures. Choose a system featuring a card printer from Magicard, IDP, Fargo, Evolis, Zebra, and more.

The Software

Second is your card design software. This is what you will use you design cards, manage your cardholder database, and send card designs to the printer to be printed. With a wide range of features for designing everything from simple single-sided visitor passes to dual-sided student and staff ID cards, card software is the brain of your system.

The Supplies

Finally, your complete ID card system comes with the ribbons and blank cards you need to print ID cards. Most systems also include a digital ID camera to easily add cardholder photos to your cards.

To keep your new system running in top shape, you should also add a printer cleaning kit to help prevent damage to your printer.

If you know exactly which ribbon or cleaning kit you need, ordering supplies for your card system is easy. But if you’re not sure what you need, our DiscountID Supply Finder tool is here to help!

Not sure which ribbon you’ve used in the past, or what cleaning kit your printer uses? That’s not a problem because the Supply Finder shows you all the compatible supplies for your printer. This makes it quicker and easier to find what you want online.

Using the Supply Finder takes just seconds – simply select the printer brand from the first drop down, then your printer model from the second drop down. This information should be on the front of your ID card printer, for example a Magicard Pronto or IDP Smart-30.

Try it today for a faster, easier supply ordering process! The DiscountID Ribbon & Supply Finder tool.