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.

Navigating the world of ID card systems can seem overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the technology. We’ve created a few pointers to help simplify the process.

If you will be printing less than 100 cards per year…then one of our entry-level ID card systems is probably the right choice for you. Systems that feature printers like the Magicard Pronto, the Fargo DTC1250e, or the Zebra ZXP Series 3 are designed to meet the needs of smaller organizations. Many smaller scale organizations will only need single-sided cards.

If you will be printing 100-500 cards per year…then mid-range systems are the answer for you. Card printers such as the Fargo DTC4250e and the Magicard Enduro3E all provide enough printing power and functionality to meet the needs of medium-sized businesses and organizations.

If you will be printing more than 500 cards per year…then you will want to consider systems that are capable of handling high-volume printing. Systems that feature printers such as the Fargo DTC4500e, the Magicard Rio Pro, or the Zebra ZXP Series 7 are all capable of batch printing, which helps improve the efficiency of larger organizations. These printers also all come with Ethernet connectivity for easy networked printing.

Taking care of you blank card stock is just as important as maintaining your printer. Keeping your cards clean is vital for ensuring that you get the best quality prints each and every time you use your printer. Any flaws that are on the card stock can be transferred to your print job, giving you less than ideal results.

Make sure to keep your blank cards free from debris and dust. Any stray particles on the surface of a card can cause imperfections and flaws when you print. Dust and debris can also damage the print head and other printing mechanisms inside your ID card printer.

To keep your cards clean keep them in the case they came in, or in an airtight and watertight container. Look the cards over before printing and keep a dust cloth at hand to wipe the cards off if you notice any dust or debris.

Taking note of the card storage temperature is also important. Extreme heat or cold can damage PVC cards, making them more brittle and susceptible to snapping. Store your cards in a temperature-controlled area and make sure not to put them through drastic temperature changes.

Shop DiscountID’s wide range of blank card stock options.

To ensure peak performance from your ID card printer, just follow a few simple printer maintenance steps. We’ve gathered a few DiscountID general rules of thumb for maintaining your printer.

Clean your Printer Regularly

It’s good idea to clean your printer every time you change the ribbon. Cleaning kits often come with two important tools to do this – swabs and long alcohol-soaked cards.

The swabs are used to clean the printhead to remove dust and debris that may build up from the cards and the ribbons. Removing this dirt will help prevent streaky printing and damage to the printhead.

The long cards are inserted into the printer during the cleaning cycle and clean off the rollers as they go over the card, so any dust and debris they have picked up from cards is removed. This helps the rollers continue to accurately pick up and move cards through the printing process.

Along with cleaning the print head and rollers, make sure to clean the rest of the printer too. Use a can of compressed air, you can remove dust and debris from important printer mechanisms. This will help ensure that your cards won’t get jammed or have streaks.

Only use Recommended Supplies

Each manufacturer has cleaning kits developed specifically for use with their printers. While it may be tempting to use a discounted off-brand cleaning kit, this will only hurt your printer in the long run.

Shop all cleaning kits on DiscountID.

Verify that Everything is Aligned Correctly

Printer mechanisms that are misaligned can cause marring or streaks and even jam cards. Taking the extra time to make sure that all the machinery lines up will ensure professional looking prints.

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.

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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.

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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!