Relyco’s laser-compatible, and non-laser compatible ID cards are available in a range of materials. Simply choose the ID card that meets the quality, durability and cost requirements of your unique project.
Unsure how to choose the best solution? Read on for information about how to make the right selection for your application and for the types of applications in which laser ID cards can be used.
When choosing the right laser ID or membership card for your application and budget, there are a number of factors to consider.
Inlaid plastic ID and membership cards are made of 7-mil plastic affixed to a paper carrier sheet with a “debossed well” in which the card sits. Extremely durable, these ID and membership cards are heat, tear and water resistant, as well as toner and ball-point pen receptive.
Die-cut laser ID and membership cards are created by perforating or die-cutting the carrier sheet. A user simply punches out the card. Die-cut laser cards can be either paper or plastic, depending on the specific application and budget of your project. Options include Perf Card, RealCard, BestCard and REVLAR waterproof card.
Integrated laser ID and membership cards use a carrier sheet with a plastic “patch,” which is positioned at the back of the card, enabling the card to peel away from the carrier. Since the back of the card is laminated, removal is easy, and lamination gives the card added durability.
Non-laser plastic cards are available in sizes from 7 to 30 mil and can incorporate magnetic stripes, signature panels, bar codes and other personalization options.
Most paper cards can be designed with or without lamination on the front and/or back of the card. Some laminates can be laser printed while others cannot, but all lamination will add to the overall cost. Lamination is generally used to improve the durability of the card, protect the printed information or both.
Magnetic stripes are typically not available for laser applications since cards that are rigid enough to support a magnetic stripe are too thick to pass through a laser printer. An inlaid plastic ID or membership card, for example, is about 7 mil thick (1 mil = 1/1,000th of an inch), while the standard for non-laser plastic cards is 30 mil.
The most common alternative to the magnetic stripe is a printed bar code, as a bar code has no thickness or rigidity requirement. Any Relyco card can be successfully bar coded.
Standard ID cards are the same size as a typical credit card—3 3/8” x 2 1/8” with rounded corners. Occasionally, however, you may need different sized “card” for your applications. If your application calls for something other than a standard size, Relyco may offer a stock die or layout that will meet your requirements, or we can create custom shapes and sizes as needed.
With so many variables and so many types of cards from which to choose, it is often helpful to consider a few basic questions.
Clearly, some cards cost more than others. If your budget is strict, that alone may determine which card will work best for you. You will experience the greatest success, however, when you let the application dictate which product you choose.
How the card will be used is one of the best indicators of which type of card to choose. For example, if a card will be used as a coupon or for a temporary gym membership, a paper card will be satisfactory, whereas a student ID or health insurance card will probably need to be more durable.
Consider the case of a client who needed cards for patients who had pacemakers. These cards contained information about where to call in the event of a problem with the device. Imagine having an issue with your pacemaker and removing the card from your wallet, only to find that the toner had scraped off enough to render the emergency telephone number illegible?
Is the card for one-time use, or will it be re-used over and over again? Or, as in the case of the pacemaker-related card above, will it need to be long lasting even if it isn’t used on a regular basis? Are new cards issued each semester, or is it a 3–year membership card? Answering questions like this and the one above will help you determine whether a plain paper, laminated paper or plastic card should be used.
Some cards are more compatible than others with certain types of equipment. No matter which card you think is best suited to your application, it is always best that you test the card on the equipment that will be used to print it. To request samples of Relyco’s laser ID and membership cards, click here.
Here are just a few of the applications for Relyco laser ID and membership cards: