Frequently Asked Questions

General

  • Who are you and what are you doing here?

    Identity was started in 2002, in that time we have made millions of plastic cards, ID cards, printed lanyards and supplied thousands of printers to happy customers nationwide. Our purely online business model means we can provide an efficient self-service model with assistance where needed.

    Cards, printers and lanyards are not complicated things to order, our online service helps you every step of the way. If you have any questions, just email or contact us and we’ll help you out.

  • Why do I have to pay upfront, can you not give me 30/60/270 days credit?
    Our low-cost model does not cater to credit terms. You can pay with a credit card online, no problem. Semi-states, governments and other agencies qualify for credit terms.
  • What happens if something goes wrong? If I’m not happy with the printed product?

    When you order a printed product, we provide an onscreen proof to approve the artwork and layout. This type of proof is adequate for most artwork that is professionally designed.

    If you want colour correct proofs, we can provide a physical sample of the card, tag or wristband. This adds time to the order process and is chargeable. 

  • Oh no. I approved artwork, and it was printed with a massive mistake we didn’t spot. What can be done?
    In most cases, we can work with you to amend the artwork and reprint the items at a discounted rate.
  • Can you come out and demonstrate a printer to us?
    Our business model is purely online, our prices are the lowest around because we don’t employ salesmen to demo printers or other stuff. Printers are not complicated, they’re pretty similar to any laser or inkjet printer you’ve ever used. There are loads of demonstration videos on youtube of plastic card printers and how to use and fix common errors
  • Can you come to our office and talk to us about some stuff I want to buy?
    We do not do any face-to-face meetings, as our business is purely online. We can help you with your queries over the phone or via email, this is not a problem.
  • Do you offer training on printers and software?
    We offer no training or assistance on the use of printers bought online. The printers come with detailed instructions, and helpful tutorials are available online for the majority of card printers and software.
  • Do you do trade pricing for printers, agencies, designers and the like?
    Yes, we can do trade pricing on larger orders to the printing trade and associated suppliers, please enquire.
  • What happens if a printer I got breaks?

    Most printers sold online have a 3 month warranty on printheads and a longer warranty on physical malfunction. If your printer suffers a breakdown within these periods, we will issue an RMA and return the machine to the manufacturer.

    This does not cover “printer does not work” issues arising from the printer setup not being correctly done on PC. We cannot offer phone support on printers to get them working with your PC.

Plastic Cards

  • How quickly can you get these cards to me
    Like everything in life, you can pay more to make things happen faster. We have two main service levels for cards; cards in 3-5 working days, and cards in 12-15 working days. The faster service is more expensive, but we can only make a max of 1000 cards. There are also some differences in colour reproduction. Our lithographic plastic card printing service takes 12-15 working days from receipt of proof and payment and is received.
  • How are the cards delivered to me?
    We usually send smaller quantities via An Post, up to 2000 cards. We’ll send you the tracking code by email. Bigger orders go via a courier like TNT. If it’s really urgent, we can send you your stuff via Cyclone couriers (Dublin area only).
  • What prices do you charge and what quantities can I get?
    Our prices depend on quantity required and delivery speed. If you can wait a while, we can make cards for a very low unit cost. If you need cards done very quickly, we can do them but at a higher cost.
  • What’s the cheapest possible cards you can do?
    If you are ordering cards in 100s of thousands, and you are prepared to wait up to 6 weeks, we can make them very cheap. We can also print cards with no overlay or sealer, or just varnish on one side. We can print cards on polystyrene or some other material. All these options drive down the cost but can affect the quality, making the cards feel lighter or bendier than normal credit cards or bank cards.
  • Card Dimensions – what size cards can you make?

    The standard size of card we make is the same size as your ATM or bank card. It’s all covered by a standard ISO 7810, read it if you need to be bored to death. We can make different sized plastic cards (like concert passes, laminates etc), but it’s very expensive to do this for a small quantity. Larger plastic cards are ideal for event passes as it’s difficult to replicate them.

    You can only use credit card sized card printers in a plastic card printer.

  • Specially Shaped Cards – can I get a card made in a special shape?
    Yes we can do this, but we need to make a specially shaped die to cut out the cards, this is quite expensive, from €250 to €500. So it is only really economical to make specially shaped cards if ordering many thousands of cards. We have dies already made for keytag & card combinations, if you like you can use these. We provide an outline for the shape of the card, once you send us a rough idea of what you want to make. You will have to suit your artwork to fit the die shape exactly. There is a setup fee applicable to using any other shape outside of the normal card shape
  • What are the types of printing you offer?

    We offer various types of plastic card printing methods to suit different budgets and lead times. These are explained below.

    5 day service (Thermal Printing)

    For keytags, plastic cards and ID cards required quickly, we offer a thermal printing service. This is a high quality “photographic” method, which creates durable cards and keytags. It’s not cost effective for any quantity over 1000 cards. So if you can wait a bit longer you can get cards for far cheaper.

    7 day service (Digital Printing)

    We can make larger quantities of cards (1000-5000) on a digital process. Again, this is more expensive than the slower delivery of our 12 day service.

     

    12 day service (Litho Printing)

    Lithographic printing is the same process used to print most stuff, packaging, flyers, posters etc. We print cards on big sheets, combining customer cards onto the same sheet. So we’d print a massive sheet with 42 cards on it, then slice them up and laminate to card size.

    This process is the cheapest printing process but allows us to personalise or finish the cards in various ways, such as foil printing, transparent cards etc.

  • What is foil printing?
    Foil printing is printing one metallic colour onto a card. You see foil printing on posh perfumes, cigarette boxes etc. Usually some text or a logo is printed in a metallic colour. It’s done by stamping the design onto the card with great pressure. It looks great on matte cards with a contrasting colour, e.g. silver on black, or metallic pink on black. See pictures below for examples. You can put foil printing on keytags and cards when you order over 2000 units. You can have more than one foil printed colour. There are hundreds of foil colours including hologram patterns and reflective colours.
  • Should I show the outline on my cards? (The keyline of the edge of the card)
    If possible, no. Just follow the artwork guides, provide a 3mm bleed all around and crop marks to the card size, off the artwork. Consult our artwork guide or contact us if you’ve any questions.
  • How do I show where the barcode should go on the card?
    Either put a dummy barcode in, or draw a box in a contrasting colour like bright pink so we know to delete it. Allow a white space of 2-3mm for any barcode. We will let you know if the barcode is too small.
  • How do I show where the magnetic stripe should go on the card?
    The magnetic stripe can only go on the top or bottom of the card, along the long edge, just like your bank or credit card. We can make the stripe less wide if only one track is used. You need to consult us about this to make sure it is possible. Leave 18mm of the top or bottom of the card for the stripe. Don’t put any important text or graphics near where the stripe goes as it can move up or down. You can have background graphics or patterns flow right up to underneath the stripe, just like on your bank or credit card.
  • How do I show where the signature panel should go on the card?
    For most lithographically printed card runs, we can place the signature panel wherever you like and in multiple places on the one side of the card. So we can make buy 10 get 1 free stamp cards etc. Don’t put a signature panel too near to anywhere where variable data like names or numbers need to be. For short run quick print cards (e.g. the 5 day service), we can print cards with signature panels, but only in a fixed position with some restrictions, please contact us for guidance on this
  • What’s a Signature Panel?
    A signature panel is an area or areas on a plastic card that will receive ballpoint ink. It’s exactly like the bit you sign on your bank card or credit card. We can apply this panel in multiple places on the same side of the card, so if you want to make a coffeeshop type card with multiple boxes we can do that.
  • Magnetic Stripes – how do I put data onto the stripe?
    The magnetic stripe on a plastic card is a very old technology. Essentially it’s just a strip of VHS video stuck on the card, it stores a small amount of information, like a 16 digit number or list of data. The most effective way to use plastic cards with stripes is to encode a number on the card. You give us a list or range of numbers and we’ll encode them on the card. Any card that is encoded also includes printing of a number on the card. This means if the stripe stops working or you don’t have a stripe reader, at least you can read what is in the stripe.
  • Barcodes – what barcode should I use?
    There’s loads of different types of barcode out there. The most popularly used ones are Code 39 or Code 128A. Like magnetic stripes, you just give us a list of numbers, or a range of numbers to print as barcodes on the cards.
  • How do I put names or numbers on cards
    We can print names and numbers on cards for you. You can give us a list of names and data to print on the cards and we’ll merge them off for you. We can sort the cards in any order you like. At present it is not possible for us to print cards for you on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Names & Numbers (Embossed) – can you do this?
    Yes we can print names and numbers embossed just like your credit card. The numbers and names can only go in the same position you see on your bank cards. We can tip the lettering in gold, silver, black as standard, and other colours at an extra cost.
  • Pantone Colours – can you do these?
    Yes we can do these on litho print cards, over 500 cards, 12 day lead time. Pantones are charged per colour per side.
  • Metallic Colours – can I get a card with a silver or gold base?
    For orders over 500 cards, we can either print a silver base all over the card, then print over this, so everything looks metallic-y, or we can print full colour and then silver. We can also print gold ink. The latter is more complicated and more expensive. For lower runs of cards, we can print full colour on a silver card, which gives everything a silvery look.
  • Matte or Gloss Finish – does this cost extra?
    We can do matte or gloss finish on lithographic cards (500+ cards, 12 day lead time), for no extra cost.
  • Can you do transparent cards?
    Yes we can, but it is quite complicated and seldom worth the effort. It’s easy enough to do a single sided transparent card, with one or two colour print. It gets more complicated when you try to do a double sided transparent card. For this we need to print a solid white core in the centre of the card, then print the full colour image on both sides of the card. It is possible to do but you need to have the artwork designed absolutely spot on for it to work. The other thing to consider is that the clear portions of the card should really be slightly matte or totally matte. A completely clear card will get scuffed almost instantly and will look very tatty after a few days in a wallet or pocket.

Plastic Keytags

  • I need these really quickly, can you sort it out?
    We can make up to 2000 keytags in 2-5 working days, depending on capacity. The quicker printing service is more expensive than if you are prepared to wait. The keytags printed on the faster service are very durable.
  • What is the cheapest way to do these?
    The cheapest way to get keytags made up is to get them lithographically printed. Lead time is 12-15 working days for quantities of 500 up to millions.
  • How many can I get done in a short timeframe?
    We can make up to 2000 keytags in 2-5 working days depending on how busy we are.
  • Why are these so expensive compared to cards?
    There is a higher rate of spoilage when cutting these up. If you order large quantities of keytags (over 3000 or so), the cost drops below that of the same quantity of cards.
  • How big are the standard keytags?
    A standard keytag is 54mm wide by approx. 29mm high. This is one-third the size of a plastic card. You can print on the front of the tag in full colour, but you need to make allowances for the punched hole in the keytag. See artwork guide for more information on this.
  • Can I get bigger or smaller keytags, or ones in a different shape?
    For quantities of 2000 or more, you can get the keytags in any shape you like. Some shapes can be more expensive. If you have a shape in mind we can see if we have a similar cutting tool in stock already. For example we can make tags which are about 54x35mm without needing a new die made
  • Do you do the keyring bits for the keytags?

    Yes they are called split rings, you can get them off ebay.co.uk or we can supply them to you

    25mm split rings – nickel plated steel :    €75 per 1000

    Split Ring pliers  :              €10 each

    Eyelets

    5mm eyelets steel :        €40 per 1000

    Eyelet pliers :                     €10 each

  • Do you deliver keytags assembled with keyrings?
    Yes we can do this for an extra fee. The keytags will not be in exact numerical order, they will be banded together once the ring is attached. If you are planning on assembling the rings yourself, we strongly recommend you get us to do it if ordering more than 1000 keytags, it is simply not worth the effort to do it yourself.
  • Will these keytags fall apart?
    Yes, some keytags will crack and fall apart. This is because they are small, thin pieces of plastic attached to peoples’ keys – some will be sat on, used to scrape stuff off shoes etc. We simply cannot guarantee that all of them will survive for 10 years. The keytags are made to a high standard and are likely to survive for several years if not abused.
  • Will the barcode/numbers wear off?
    The barcodes on the quick printed keytags (2000 or less tags) are printed underneath the plastic of the card, and as such are very durable. For higher quantities, the barcodes are printed using Drop-on-Demand, where a resinous ink is cured to the surface of the card at very high temperature. If the barcode is not subjected to repeated rubbing, it should last for a long time. The barcode can be rubbed off in places and still scan successfully.
  • Can I get more durable keytags?
    Yes, we can print the keytags on an epoxy based sandwich of materials. This is very strong and durable, it would be difficult to snap the keytag with a set of pliers. It is also very expensive, at about 200% the price of keytags at any quantity above 2000 tags. We can also make the keytags out of composite polycarbonate (the same material the hard plastic sheet in new passports is made of). This is very durable, but eye-wateringly expensive.
  • Types of keytag printing explained

    5 day service (Thermal Printing)

    For keytags, required quickly (2-5 working days), we offer a thermal printing service. This is a high quality “photographic” method, which creates durable cards and keytags. It’s not cost effective for any quantity over 1000 cards. So if you can wait a bit longer you can get cards for far cheaper.

    7 day service (Digital Printing)

    We can make larger quantities of keytags (1000-5000) on a digital process. Again, this is more expensive than the slower delivery of our 12 day service. At this service level, we can also make keytags that are delivered split separately, as opposed to attached groups of three which must be snapped apart by hand.

     

    12 day service (Litho Printing)

    Lithographic printing is the same process used to print most stuff, packaging, flyers, posters etc. We print keytags on big sheets, combining customer cards & keytag orders onto the same sheet. So we’d print a massive sheet with 42 cards on it, then slice them up and laminate to card size.

    The keytags are then diecut out into keytag shapes at great pressure. We can also add print finishing like matte finish or foil block print of logos or graphics.

  • How do I design keytags?
    Keytags are very small so you’ve only got a small area to work on. Usually customers just have their logo and some wording on the front of the tag, with contact details and barcode on the reverse. We can typeset this for you free of charge if the artwork is very simple.
  • Can I print specific colours or inks on my keytags?
    You can print Pantone colours on quantities of over 2000. For other quantities, it is not possible to print Pantone or PMS colours. We will provide a proof of artwork printed on an actual keytag set if there is any concern about quality.
  • I don’t know what barcodes I need, can you help me?
    Yes, we can identify a barcode type if you send us one that you know works, or we can liaise with your EPOS/till provider and get keytags that work. We can also provide sample keytags to test before ordering the whole lot.
  • What number range should I use?
    This is up to you, but we suggest that you check that the number range you want is free before ordering loads of keytags.
  • Will the keytags be readable after a long period of use?
    Yes, the majority of keytags if treated well will remain readable for up to 2-3 years.

Plastic Card Printers

  • Why are there so many kinds of printers? I just want one that makes cards!
    We hear you. There are loads of different types of printers, they all do the same ultimate job, that is to print on plastic cards. There are variations in speed, quality and price across all models and brands. If you just want a simple machine to print a few ID cards per week, get the cheapest one. If you are confused about what printer to get, contact us and outline your requirements and we’ll advise you impartially.
  • How do the printers work?
    Most desktop printers are “direct-to-card”, they print directly to the card via a printer ribbon using a printhead, not unlike a receipt printer. More expensive and advanced machines use a retransfer process, printing the image onto a film, which then fused to the card using extreme heat and pressure.
  • What is the difference between printer makes/brands?
    Not much really. Think Audi, VW, Skoda – they are all different prices but the same car underneath essentially. Such is the case with plastic card printers, indeed many printer brands just re-badge other manufacturer’s machines.
  • Can I re-use or wind back the ribbon?
    No, please don’t do this or you run the risk of wrecking the printhead.
  • What is the difference between printer models?
    The difference between models is usually speed and price. Some printers have different options like double sided, magnetic stripe encoding, MIFARE (contactless) encoding, USB, WiFi or Ethernet connections. Most printer brands have a high-end, high-security retransfer model which can cost up to four times that of the most basic model.
  • What’s the cheapest printer to buy and run?
    The cheapest printers at the moment are the I&A Smart Card printers. There’s also a Magicard model the Pronto which is single feed machine, so you’ll need to put cards in one by one. Most printers are fairly similar in terms of running costs, about 20-30c per printed full colour card per side.
  • What’s the easiest printer to use?
    Most printers are fairly easy to use. If you can use a laser printer, you can use a card printer. The trickiest part is getting the ribbons in, but it’s easy to follow the instructions. For the majority of printers now, there are YouTube tutorials showing how to change ribbons, add cards, remove stuck cards etc.
  • What printer is the most reliable?
    All printers now are quite reliable and there is little difference in quality of print or reliability between them. Machines like Zebra card ones are designed with industrial high-volume use in mind.
  • What happens if the printer breaks?
    Typically the things that can go wrong with printers are either the printhead gets damaged or a cog/band breaks. Most printers have a limited warranty on the printhead of about 3 months, and a longer warranty on the physical operating bits of the printer like the belt drive and card transport. A damaged printhead is usually caused by dirt getting on to the cards so it is important to keep the cards clean and free of dirt. Typically the damage to a printhead manifests itself as a stripe across the width of the card that will not print. You see this on car park tickets or receipts sometimes. Anyway, if the damage or breakage occurs within the warranty period, the manufacturer will look at it and repair/replace the printer. If a printer is well looked after, it will print perfectly for many years.
  • Can I get different size or thickness of cards?
    You surely can. The standard thickness of your credit card or bank card is 0.76mm. We supply cards that are 0.76mm as standard, and other thicknesses available from stock are 0.45mm and very thin 0.25mm. Frequently, people use these thin cards to print temporary ID cards which you can stick in a holder with a proximity card or other access control card. We also supply thin cards with an adhesive backing. These are ideal to stick to a proximity card so you don’t have to print directly on the proximity card, in situations where your printer doesn’t print well on the proximity cards, or where there is high turnover in card use and you don’t want to waste expensive proximity cards.
  • How do I connect the printer to my computer?
    Most printers connect via USB, you just plug it in and run the driver. Usually printers can be upgraded to have Ethernet or Wi-Fi card connections. The printer appears like any other printer in Windows control panel. You can print to it using any program like notepad, Word, Photoshop, PDF or specialised card software. You do not need card software to use a printer, but it makes it easier to merge data and photographs to cards.
  • Can I make double sided cards?
    Yes, you can. The cheapest, and most hassle-filled method: If you want cards full colour front, with the same reverse in black, you can print all the reverses of the card using a black ribbon, then put the cards into the printer and print with a full colour ribbon. An easier way to make cards full colour both sides, or full colour one side, black reverse is to use a printer with a flipper attachment that prints the front, rotates the card 180 degrees and then brings it back in to print the reverse. To print full colour cards both sides, you just use a printer ribbon that is full colour. A 200 print ribbon will do approx 100 one colour cards. Alternatively you can get a ribbon that is full colour front one side, black reverse. These are usually described as YMCKOK or YMCKT-KT ribbons. The yield from these ribbons is around 170 -250 depending on the model of printer and ribbon.
  • How do I print an ID card?

    You do not need to use specialised card software to make ID cards, but it helps. Most printers come with free cardPresso XXS software, as well as software made by the card printer manufacturers. Some of the latter software is very bad, but Datacard’s Asure ID and Zebra’s software is very good.

    To print ID cards, you first design a template. This contains your logo and all other data that remains the same from card to card. You then have the following options:

    Print cards one at a time

    Suited for : making cards in an office where cardholders cannot be present

    • Print cards one at a time by changing the data by hand, and changing the photo every time. This is workable when you’re only making a few cards per week.

    Take cardholder photograph and print card on the spot

    Suitable for : making cards on the spot in a school, college or at a building reception

    • Create a card template that automatically requests name and other details, then fires the web cam or camera to take a photograph of card holder. Can be set up to save details including photograph to a database. cardPresso, Card Five and other card software can do this.

    Connect card template to database and merge off many cards

    Suitable for : printing lots of cards in one go

    • Connect a card template to a CSV or Excel database and set it up to pick photos from a folder of numbered files e.g.

    Name                    |              Number               |              Photo Number

    Jose O’Reilly       |              0123                       |              0123.jpg

    This way the software will pick the correct photo for each person. This requires a bit of initial setup and some care to ensure the right photo matches the right person.

  • How do I print names onto cards?
    If you have pre-printed cards, and want to personalise them with names and numbers, you just need a printer with a low cost black or monochrome ribbon. You can set up the template in Microsoft Word, or use card software. You can connect the Word template or card software template and merge loads of cards off like you would envelopes or labels.
  • I want to make my own loyalty or gift cards, is this possible?
    It certainly is possible, but it’s not recommended to try make your own colour cards. The hassle and cost involved, along with a low quality result mean this is to be avoided. It is far cheaper to get us to make your full colour cards for you. You can achieve good quality results with a metallic gold or silver card, or any other blank coloured cards, overprinted with a black or other monochrome ribbon. Good colour combinations include Black ink on silver card Black ink on gold card Red ink on yellow card Blue ink on silver card Silver ink on matte black card Gold ink on matte black card You can make low cost loyalty or membership cards using this method. We sell card colours in blocks of 100 so you can issue different colour cards to different people.
  • I want to print my own gym keytags, can I do this?
    Again, you can make very low cost keytags by printing 1 colour both sides on a white base, but the quality isn’t as good as what we can make for you. The durability of keytags printed in house is not very good either, as the ink is very thin and scrapes off the keytag too easily to be of much use.
  • Can I print from any software on my PC?
    If you can use software to print to a paper printer (inkjet or laser, for example), then you should be able to use that software to print to the card printer. Card printers can handle colour in strange ways, so a Photoshop file might not reproduce exactly as it should.
  • Can I use a Mac to print cards?
    Some printers have CUPS drivers which you can use, and some Linux packages have basic USB support for equivalent “winprint.sys” drivers. A lot of printers now come with a basic Mac driver. Sometimes the basic USB print system drivers in Mac OS will work to print cards to a card printer, with results of varying quality.
  • Can I print on cards I already have (like proximity cards)?
    Yes, you can do this with varying quality results. Most cheaper direct to card printers will print OK to a proximity card. The uneven surface of a proximity card may lead to parts not being printed, gaps and dropouts etc. A retransfer printer has a much better chance of applying an image to a proximity card, as the process uses heat and pressure to bond the printed image to the card. These printers are more expensive however. A cheap and easy way around this is to use a thin adhesive card, print the image to that and then stick it to the proximity card. This has the advantage that the proximity cards can be easily re-used or re-assigned.
  • Can I re-use cards once I’ve printed on them?
    No, you can’t put a card back into the printer once it’s been printed on, it can sometimes really damage the printhead and other bits. There are printers capable of doing rewritable cards, they can usually only print numbers and text on a card up to about 1000 times. They don’t use ribbons and can usually only print these cards and no other kind. If you’ve ever been skiing you will be familiar with the ski passes which are rewritable cards.

Plastic Card Printer Ribbons

  • There’s loads of printer ribbons, which one do I need? So very confusing
    There are many printer ribbon to suit different needs, but the basic guide is, if you need to print just one colour, buy a monochrome ribbon. (These usually have “K” in their description, for blacK) If you want to print full colour cards, like ID cards or badges, you need a full colour ribbon, usually described as YMCKO or YMCKT or similar. If you are stuck on what ribbon to get or you would like further assistance, all you have to do is contact us, we are happy to help.
  • How many cards does a ribbon print?

    This varies across printer models but is within the following bands

    Monochrome ribbons : from 800 to 1200 cards. If you are printing a very small area on a card e.g.”1234” in 12pt font, you might get 3000-5000 cards from one ribbon, as most printers will only use the required length of ribbon.

    Full colour ribbons :  these range from 100 to 330 ribbons on direct to card machines, the cheaper type of card printers. The ribbon panels are wasted whether they are used on the card fully or not. So if you just print a single small letter on a card, it will waste the full colour ribbon panel entirely.

  • Are generic ribbons available?
    Generic ribbons are not really available for printers anymore as the printer manufacturers sued the generic ribbon makers into dust. There are some very cheap generic ribbons for older Zebra/Eltron printers from Kurz (www.kurz.de) but you would need to order them by the 50 or 100 case.

Blank Plastic Cards

  • What plastic cards do I need?

    What plastic cards do I need?

    If all you want to print is ID cards or badges, you need bog standard white cards, starting at about €12 per hundred. If you buy more (e.g. in 1000s, they get a lot cheaper. There are even cheaper economy type cards available for very large quantities, please enquire.

    I want to print nice loyalty cards in house

    We recommend metallic gold or silver cards which you can overprint using a monochrome ribbon. Printing full colour on metallic silver cards also works well. We supply cards starting in blocks of 100.

    I want to print access control cards using a magnetic stripe

    You need to buy white or coloured cards with a “hi-co” black magnetic stripe. You can get these with a signature panel on the reverse also.

    I want to print on adhesive cards to stick to proximity cards

    We can supply these in blocks of 100. They have very strong adhesive to stick to cards.

    I want to print on coloured cards

    We supply a range of standard colour cards in blocks of 100, with cheaper prices if bought in 5000s.

    I want to print transparent cards

    Transparent cards sound great in theory, but never really look great when printed. We do supply completely transparent cards with a plastic backing so they will go through a plastic card printer, but they are very expensive. We can make you transparent cards using a lithographic process if required.

  • What are the cheapest cards going?
    If you order cards in blocks of 5000 we can supply economy grade cards in white which are perfectly decent.
  • Can I get smaller/larger cards?
    Yes, you can get smaller cards that comprise part of a credit card sized card, which you then snap out when you print on them. These are expensive. You can get larger cards (98.5 x 67mm) which you need a specialised printer to personalise.
  • Can I get thinner/thicker cards?
    Yes, for white cards we can supply cards which are 0.25mm, 0.4mm, and 0.8 and 1mm thick. A standard card is 0.76mm thick.
  • Will these cards work with my printer?
    Standard sized blank white or coloured cards will work with any standard plastic card printer.
  • How many cards are in a box?
    We supply cards in packs of 100 in most standard configurations. Cards are cheaper if bought in blocks of 500, and cheaper again if bought in boxes of 5000.
  • Can I get cards with magnetic stripes?
    Yes, we supply cards in most colours and add-ons with lo-co (brown) or hi-co (black) magnetic stripes.
  • Can I get cards with signature panels?
    Yes, most cards are available from stock with signature panels, in a fixed position. The stripe is the same dimensions and position as on your bank card or credit card.

ID Card Printing Software

  • Do I need card printing software?
    No, you can print to most card printers using any software which is capable of printing to a laser printer, e.g. PDF, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Word and Excel. Card software makes printing ID cards much easier to do, merging data and photographs to cards, saving the details to a database etc. cardPresso software starts off quite cheap (even free, if you buy a printer)
  • What do I need to print cards?
    To make cards, you need A card printer Ribbon for the printer (colour or monochrome) Blank cards Artwork or design for card.
  • I only want to print names and numbers, do I need software?
    No, you can use Excel or Word and merge numbers and names to cards very easily.
  • Can you make cards for me on an ongoing basis?
    We currently cannot make ID cards on an ongoing basis. If you want to make cards on demand, you will need to buy a plastic card printer.
  • I want to print ID cards, do I need software?
    You don’t need software, but it will be a massive pain in the bum to set up cards and change the details for each card by hand. If you are making more than 5 cards in one go, or per day, it is much easier to get software.

ID Card Printing Service

  • What’s the smallest quantity of ID cards I can get?
    We can make 1 single ID card, but the minimum order value of at least €75 applies.
  • How do I get photos and details to you?
    You can send photos and data to us over email, via dropbox or any other file sharing application. Your files and photos must be in the format we define. If you submit photos and data to us in format we cannot use, we may have to charge extra to rectify the files.
  • How do I design my card?
    We can setup your card design free of charge in most circumstances, using a template. If more advanced design is required, we recommend sending pre-designed ID cards in PDF (see below)
  • Can I send you print ready ID cards in PDF?
    Yes, you can do this, however you need to supply the cards in an exact format we define. Please enquire about this and we will provide the template.
  • Can I get magnetic stripes or signature panels on my ID cards?
    Yes, we can add magnetic stripes (encoded or un-encoded), and signature panels to the reverse of the card in a fixed position.
  • Can I get the cards slot punched?
    Yes, we can slot punch cards on the long or short edge for a small extra fee per card.
  • Can I get accessories for my cards?
    Yes, you can add accessories when buying the cards online. We can also supply you with accessories such as holders, blank and printed lanyards, clips and other stuff when ordering by email.
  • I need a PSA card, can you make this for me?
    Yes, we make PSA cards and high-security ID cards for lots of government agencies. You will need to send us your verification letter by post or fax in order to proceed. ID cards for sensitive facility access (like airports etc) are subject to further verification and checks.
  • I need a fake passport, can you make this for me?
    Yes sure, email us your name, photograph and address and we’ll send someone round to visit to discuss.

ID Card Clips

  • What kind of clip do I need?
    The clips we offer do the same basic job. Some clips have adhesive pads which mean they are not re-usable. Popper clips need to be used with a slot punched card or card holder. If you want clips that are non-intrusive in that you don’t have to stick it through your clothing, we recommend magnetic holders. These stick to the card and then the other magnetic bit goes on the other side of your clothing to hold the card invisibly in place. If you have any queries or don’t know what you need, please do get in touch, we will be happy to help.
  • Can I buy these singly?
    We can sell holders in singles up to 100, so you can by 66 if you want them in that quantity it is no problem

ID Card Holders

  • What ID card holder do I need?

    The ID card holders come in two basic types – rigid and flexible.

    Rigid holders

    Rigid card holders are made of ABS or polycarbonate plastic materials. They can only hold a credit card sized (86x54mm) plastic card or other insert.

    There are variations on the holders – adjustable orientation, multiple card holders etc. Wide range of stock colours available.

    Flexible holders are made of vinyl (think pencil case or holder for old paper driving licence). Remember when you got your first ATM card they gave you a little fold out wallet to hold it – that’s vinyl material. These come in a large selection of colours, orientation or sizes. Flexible holders are ideal for paper or card inserts.

    Standard sizes include 100x84mm, 91x69mm, 119x160mm, 96x64mm, 91x75mm, 80x98mm, 112x63mm, 163x25mm. We can make custom sizes for you.

    To print paper inserts that fit, you can use Microsoft Word, there are preset templates for conference badges etc.

    http://www.avery.co.uk/avery/en_gb/Products/Naming/Printable-Inserts

    You can buy printed inserts from Avery and stationers that are A4 sheets perforated correctly to fit particular vinyl holders.

  • Can I buy these singly?
    We supply stock holders singly for a higher price in qtys 1 to 100, thereafter you can buy them cheaply in blocks of 100.
  • Can I get these printed with our logo?
    We can customise certain types of rigid and flexible holders with logos and colours etc.
  • Do they come in specialised colours?
    We can make rigid card holders in specific colours for orders over 2000 units.

Yo-Yos / Reels

  • Can I buy these singly?
    We sell yo-yos from stock singly up to 50, thereafter it is cheaper to buy them in packs of 50.
  • I have this yo-yo already, but you don’t sell it? Can you get similar ones for me?
    If you have a particular ID accessory that you want to replace like-for-like, send us a picture of it and we will endeavour to find replacements.

Printed Lanyards

  • I need printed lanyards really quick, how quickly can you get these made?
    Yes, we can make up to 1000 full colour lanyards in house for a higher price to our standard lead time lanyards. You are limited to the size and accessories you can get with these lanyards, but it’s ideal to get lanyards made for a conference or event urgently.
  • I need lanyards but not printed ones, do you do this?
    Yes, we supply loads of different types of stock lanyards in cheaper plastic clips and more expensive metal clip options.
  • Can you print my logo on the lanyards?
    We can print whatever you want on the lanyards, we will create a design for you provided it is reasonably simple.
  • I need passes, ID cards or badges made with my lanyards, can you do this?
    Yes, simply order what you want online and we will contact you to clarify your requirements once the order has been placed.
  • I want a lanyard that says “STAFF” or “VISITOR” but in a different colour, can you do these?
    Possibly, we might have stock ones in a strange colour. Contact us for information on this. Worst case is that we can make 500 as printed lanyards in your desired colour.
  • Could you put the lanyards together for us?
    Lanyards arrive assembled ready to use. We can affix lanyards to cards for you for a small extra fee.
  • I need different types or colours of printed lanyards, what does this cost?
    Lanyards are available in any combination of colours and designs that you require. We can make mixed orders at higher quantities, so for example you can have printed lanyards with different colour backgrounds etc.
  • Can I get different attachments for the lanyards, I saw this other lanyard with a particular attachment?
    We can only provide a limited range of attachments for lanyards made on our 3-5 day service, however we can make lanyards with a choice of 100s of attachments on our 12 day budget service. If you have an attachment you want to replicate, send us a picture of it.
  • Can I print people’s names or numbers on lanyards?
    Yes, you can do this but it adds significant cost to the order. You can print names and numbers provided you have the list of data for all lanyards required in one go. We can’t issue lanyards with names and numbers on an on-demand basis.
  • Can I get mobile phone holders or water bottle holders?
    On the budget printed lanyards (12 day lead time) we can supply lanyards with a wide range of attachments, multiple attachments, pretty much anything you like. If you have a lanyard already and you want to match it, send us a picture of it and we’ll try to match.
  • Do you do those lanyards with USB keys in?
    Yes, we can make lanyards with USB memory sticks in the clip at the back, or the clip at the front. It is possible to have the USB key loaded with whatever you want also.
  • Can you make wristbands?
    Yes we can make wristbands, paper, Tyvek, rubber, bamboo, loads of other different manufacturing methods. Please contact us for more information

Stock Lanyards

  • What’s the cheapest lanyards you have?
    The cheapest lanyards we supply have plastic clips at the end. Perfectly decent but not great for using all the time. We recommend these for conferences and events etc. The plastic lanyards don’t have a swivel attachment at the end, which means the card does not sit flat if moved around. The metal lanyard have a swivel so the card is always facing forward.
  • Can I buy single / odd quantities of lanyards?
    Yes, we sell lanyards in singles up to quantities of 100, thereafter it is cheaper to get them in bags of 100.
  • I want a different colour blank lanyard, is that possible?
    Yes, we can make lanyards in a custom colour, prices are reasonable from 1000 lanyards plus.
  • Can I get different attachments for the lanyards?
    For stock lanyards, no, not really. If you want blank lanyards with a particular attachment, you will have to order around 2000 of them to make the unit cost reasonable.
  • Can I get the lanyards without breakway section?
    We do not sell any lanyards without this safety breakaway section, and we really recommend you don't go for these at all.

Access Control

  • What kind of access control card do I have?

    We cannot tell from here. What you need to do is either find the box the cards came in, it should say something like “HID 1386LGGMN” or similar. Email us these details and we’ll try figure it out.

    Alternatively, you can send us a working copy (one that you know opens a door / works as intended) and we’ll identify it.

    Sometimes it is the case that the original card distributor has “locked” the ability of third parties such as Identity to resell the cards. There are “site codes” which can remain under the control of the original equipment installer. If this is the case you will have to negotiate for the code or contact the card manufacturer directly and establish your identity with them.

  • Can you duplicate a card for me?
    We cannot duplicate single access control cards and will not entertain enquiries for same.
  • Do you know who makes readers for the cards I have?
    Most readers will read a wide range of cards, if you can tell us what card you have or send us a sample as described above, we can try find out what reader it is you need
  • Where can I get those little fobs or stickers?
    We do sell some proximity fobs and stickers. There are lots of places that sell them online, surprisingly ebay or amazon are a good place to start.
  • Our current supplier of proximity cards will not let us get cards elsewhere and they are ripping us off, what can be done?
    You may be able to contact the original manufacturer (e.g. HID or Paxton) and establish who you are with them, then you do not have to deal with your current supplier.

Artwork Questions

  • Who can design my card for me? What do they need to do?
    Any competent graphic designer can create a print-ready piece of artwork for you. Just give them this link to our artwork guide, and they should be able to follow the instructions. Good artwork is the most important part of getting a card or keytag looking well when printed.
  • Can you design a card, keytag or lanyard for me?
    Yes we can, with prices starting at €25. Just choose the level of design assistance you need in the cart when ordering, and we will get in touch to work on the design with you. Lower cost design fees only allow a few revisions, so if you need to have the artwork reviewed by several people please choose a service with more revisions.
  • How do I get the cards to work with my system?
    Most loyalty cards that have magnetic stripes or barcode just have a number encoded into them, and when the card is swiped it looks up that record in a database. The easiest way to sort this out is to ask the company that installed your till or loyalty system. You can put them in touch with us, which is much easier. We will then figure out how to make the cards work with your system. We can send you barcode or magnetic test cards free of charge to test on your system.
  • I just want a simple card, can you design it for me for free?
    If the card is very simple (e.g. logo and text), and you have a print ready logo, we can set this up free of charge. If the logo is not print ready you will have to find a print ready version, or we can have it re-drawn for a fee. We have the ultimate decision on what is print ready.
  • I want a specific colour on my cards, can you do this?

    For smaller quantities it may not be possible to match a particular colour to a high level of accuracy. If you are getting cards printed lithographically (on our 12 day service), we have several ways of matching print colours.

    Matching colours is never 100% possible, due to variations in printing processes and loads of other boring reasons. It is never possible to match colours from a monitor to a printed item accurately.

    • We can match a colour in standard print process to something you supply. This can be hit-and-miss as the card print process changes colours a bit.

    • We can print colours using the Pantone Matching System. If your logo is professionally designed, the colours will likely be described using Pantone values. Pantone is like a big Dulux paint chart of printed colours, so a printer knows that Orange 021C (that horrible Easyjet colour) or Cadbury Purple (Pantone 2685C) can be accurately reproduced around the world.

    To print something in a Pantone colour adds about 1c per card per side per colour. So if you had 2 Pantone colours per side it would add 4-6c per card.

  • I want to match a particular colour to something I have already, can you do this?
    The other way to match colours is if you send us a sample of the colour you want matched. We can then try match this. Please note that this isn’t 100% accurate, as for example a colour printed on a matte surface (like a beermat) is going to look a lot more faded and washed out than something printed on a plastic card.
  • Can I split my order across different designs on some cards?
    Yep, you can do this. Each split adds €50 per split. So say you ordered 60000 cards split 10000/20000/30000, we could do this for the price of 60000 cards plus €150, rather than the cost of 10, 20 and 30k added together. There are some limitations to these split prices, so please don’t budget based on prices off the site, contact us to get a definite price on any split job.
  • I want a specific image on my cards, can you reprint it accurately?
    This depends on the quality and specification of the source image. We cannot improve a bad image. If you supply a really high resolution print ready stock photograph, it will turn out much better than something you found on Google images.
  • What’s the lightest colour tint you can reproduce?
    Most printers won’t be able to go below 15% of any tint of a colour. Some print processes like the fast 5 day service are only suitable to brighter and stronger colours.
  • Do I have to send fonts?
    No, if you or your designer exports artwork with all text and fonts as outlines/curves, then we won’t need the fonts. If you want us to personalise your products in a particular typeface, we can do this, you just need to send the font in OTF or TTF format. Please note you really should own the licence to the typeface. We will not print any artwork using typefaces we deem to be hideous like Comic Sans and the usual offenders. Our decision on this is final.
  • What’s the best design package to use?
    It doesn’t really matter what package you use, as long as the artwork is useable and is in a format we specify like EPS or PDF. Illustrator, InDesign, Corel are good packages to get your cards or printed items designed in.
  • What file formats can we not use? What should I not use to design cards in?
    Photoshop is not great for designing artwork that will reproduce faithfully. Microsoft Publisher, Word, or, sweet Jesus, Microsoft Excel are not good ways of making artwork that will lead to good results.
  • How do I ensure a good reproduction of my logo?
    Send us the original, vector version of your logo. Your graphic designer will have this. It will be in EPS, PDF or AI format. Any logo that has been stuck in to a Microsoft Word document, is a small JPG or BMP file will not reproduce well. We will warn you if your logo is not going to turn out well. We can re-draw most logos for a small fee.
  • How do I approve artwork?
    Once you’ve placed the order online, we will contact you to sort out artwork. Once you are happy with the artwork, we will show you an on-screen proof that you need to check and approve. The on-screen proof is not colour correct. If you want a printed version of your card, we can do this for an extra cost, with additional delays in the print process.
  • Can I make changes to the artwork before approving?
    Yes, sure that’s the whole point of artwork approval. Once you do approve the artwork, we’ll print exactly what you approved. So if you don’t spot a spelling mistake, it will get printed like that. Such is the nature of printing. We advise you to scrutinise the proof really carefully without distractions.
  • Can I make changes to the artwork after proofing?
    You may be able to make changes after it has been approved, but this will further delay the lead time of the cards. If you’re working somewhere where everyone and their dog has an opinion on what’s getting printed, send them all copies of a proof but make sure they know that their changes are final. If we can’t stop the job you will have to pay extra for another reprint.
  • Can I see an example of my card before I proceed?
    Yes, we can print you two kind of proofs : If you just want to see how a card will look roughly, we can print a very high quality proof on a plastic card. This is not colour correct however and reproduction of fine elements and text is not very sharp. Ideal for seeing if the card will look good in a wallet or as part of a presentation. If you want to see an exact colour correct match of the card, we can get 5 or 10 of the cards made up. The lead time on this is about a week, and the cost is about €125. Any changes made to the artwork after the proof is seen, or any additional proofs will cost extra. To get another proof done with any change is another €125. This is really not necessary if you can tolerate a +/- 10% change in colour.

Loyalty Cards

  • How do I put points onto the cards?
    The way loyalty cards work is similar to a bank account card – the card simply gives you access to your account, and it is the balance in the account that changes. So when we make your loyalty cards for you, the cards just contain a reference to an account. When the card is swiped in your till or loyalty system, it knows when card 12345 is swiped to add points to account 56789 for example. This way, it is easier to replace a lost card, you just tell the system that card 24680 is now the reference for account 56789.
  • Do I need barcodes or magnetic stripes or what?
    Loyalty cards are primarily used by stores and businesses to track customer activity. The discounts given to customers are a sort of payment for tracking this activity. For this reason, we do recommend setting a good loyalty discount rate and also to use loyalty tracking software in your EPOS till. It really depends on what you want to use the cards for. If you just want a very simple low cost loyalty system, or want to test that it will be worthwhile, we recommend just getting the cards numbered. For the same price as numbering you can get a barcode, which you can scan using the product scanner at the till. Sometimes people will set up barcodes like “LC6789” so the system knows to treat codes like LC as loyalty cards. For very simple discount cards with no tracking, some customers set up a product as a negative value product, which just deducts a percentage value from the total. For more advanced loyalty card programmes, use a magnetic stripe to store the card number data on the card. Please note that the stripe just contains a number, it doesn’t have the customer’s name in it, or store data or points. It is merely a convenient way of looking up a customer’s record in a database.
  • I don’t have a loyalty card system, can you recommend one?
    There are loads of loyalty card systems, some you can set up really cheaply using an old Android tablet or iPad. Search the Google Play store or Apple App Store for loyalty apps. You might need to get a plugin magnetic stripe reader and stand, but these are very cheap. Any tablet or device with a decent camera can read barcodes already. AIB offer a new tablet EPOS system called Clover which may have a loyalty plugin.
  • What discounts should I give?
    The success of a loyalty card programme hinges on how frequently the card is used. A stupidly low discount on low value items, 1% on €5 items will not entice customers to sign up for a loyalty card. We would advise against printing a discount on the cards, rather describe the card as “Discount Card” or “Loyalty Card” and then advertise the discounts separately in-store and at point of sale. This way you are not tied to giving specific discounts printed on the cards.

Gift Cards

  • How do I add money to the cards?
    Gift cards work by providing a reference to a balance in your gift card software or account. For example, your cards will just have “12345” in the stripe or barcode. When the card is scanned, it looks up account “12345” and debits or credits the balance appropriately. This way, if the card is lost or stolen, you can still retrieve the balance and issue a new card to the customer.
  • How do I know the cards won’t be cloned or copied?
    You can prevent this from happening by using security measures like only activating card 12345 when it is presented at the till. You can also use checksums or challenge digits, so that the customer needs to enter a pin to activate or use the gift card. We can help you decide what level of security you require.
  • How to I deduct value from the balance of the cards?
    As described above, the cards are simply a reference to a record in an account or database. The cards themselves do not change the data encoded in them. So when you want to deduct value from the cards, you just decrement the balance held in your gift card account for that particular gift card
  • Should I have an expiry date on gift cards?
    We recommend an expiry date on gift cards, as otherwise you are liable for the balance on the card forever. Some companies implement a rolling fee after 6 months, reducing the balance by 5% or 10% per month or whatever. Your accountant will be able to advise you further on this.

Membership Cards

  • Can you print names of cardholders on the cards for me?
    Yes we can do this, we can print any range of data you want, so if you wanted Name, Member Type, Position, Number, Date of Expiry etc., all you need to do is send us this list in Excel and we will do the rest. We’ll send you a proof showing where the data will go on the card. Please check your Excel file carefully as we won’t edit any errors on the sheet.
  • Can you make the cards for me every week or month?
    Unfortunately we cannot offer this service at present. If you want to issue cards on an ongoing basis, there are several ways to do this. Going from cheapest to most expensive : Add a signature panel to the cards, you can then write the cardholder name on the cards Buy a Dymo label printer and some clear plastic labels. Print the card data on the label and affix it to the card. This will cost about €150 in total. Finally, you can buy a card printer starting at about €695 and issue cards on demand.
  • I need names embossed on the cards, can you do this?
    Yes, we can do this. Simply send us the list of names and data you want on Excel. We cannot emboss names and data on a continuous basis, i.e. we can’t make them for you every week as new members join.
  • Can the members sign the back of the cards?
    Yes, you just add a signature panel when ordering and we’ll look after the rest.
  • I want to put member’s photos on the cards, is this possible
    Yes, but it’s not really necessary or advisable. There is a lot more effort in getting peoples’ photos and data together. Adding a photo to membership cards will add about €1 per card to the cost. If you want to issue cards with a member photo on demand, we recommend getting the templates printed up, and then personalise the cards using a plastic card printer.
  • Can you post cards to members for me?
    Yes we can do this, or point you in the right direction to get this done in Ireland.
  • How can I get a system to track members’ use of cards?
    Have a search online for “membership systems”. These range from $10 iPad/tablet apps to fully functional programs that cost thousands. Depending on your needs and budget you can choose an appropriate one. There are many different factors to consider. There are also online services to store membership data, as well as Software-as-a-Service (Saas) offerings.