Get to Know RELYCO – Julia Hodges, Account Manager

Julia Hodges is one of our Account Managers. She has a superb sense of humor! She always sends the most perfect GIF reaction for any circumstance. As a self-described “fussy customer who wants things done right,” Julia has a lot of empathy for the customer experience.

Julia Hodges is an Account Manager who has worked at RELYCO since January 2018. The last Monday of that month, to be precise!

Julia’s sense of humor is difficult to define, but we’ll try. She’s darkly funny – just the right kind of self-deprecating, with a slightly dry, matter-of-fact (yet somehow also chipper?) delivery. She keeps us laughing on Teams chats with the perfect GIF reaction for every circumstance.

Julia Hodges
Julia Hodges, Account Manager

There’s a quiet, observational side to her personality as well. Julia notices when people put in a little extra effort, and she’s always quick to say thank you for it. As a self-described “fussy customer who wants things done right,” Julia has a lot of empathy for the customer experience.

She has a pragmatic, kind and fair approach to challenges. This probably comes from years of experience as a solo parent. Read about how she embraced work from home life with her two kids during COVID here. Months of that would be enough to make most people nutty, but Julia wasn’t soured by the experience.

See the interview below to learn more about Julia in her own words:

What’s your favorite season?
I loved summer when I was a kid, but now that I’m the event coordinator for my own kids’ fun, summers get really hectic. Watching children at the beach is like babysitting in the desert – not relaxing. Right now I like the fall the best. I like to think I also get cooler with time. (Dad joke!)

Where did you grow up?
Tuftonboro, New Hampshire. Which is essentially just the wooded area between Wolfeboro and Moultonborough. You’ll need a map, don’t be embarrassed.

Do you drink coffee or tea in the morning?
I drink coffee, but really I will drink anything caffeinated. No shame in manufacturing a little youthful exuberance, I say.  

What’s your favorite smell?
Oh gosh. I want to say something fancy – like a really nice Northern Italian red wine. I do love a good Nebbiolo. But the truth is, on a day-to-day basis, my favorite smell is clean laundry. I have two adolescent children that are going through all kinds of really really aromatic changes. 

What do you listen to in the car?
Podcasts mostly. [Asked to share her favorites.] Let’s see, I like Science Vs because I’m not quite nerd-status, but I’m a fan. Sometimes if I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll listen to business and finance podcasts – sometimes news and culture podcasts. It’s my way of keeping up with current events, even though my life is busy. 

If you could talk to your 16-year-old self, what advice would you give?
Oh my god, I had more advice then! Something about actual life knowledge really puts your teenaged “certainty” into perspective. What’s that saying, ignorance is bliss? I’d just wish her good luck, I guess. 

Your house is on fire, what’s the first thing you grab?
Let’s see, I mean…[long pause]….and this is why I would die in a fire. 

What’s your favorite song to dance to?
I don’t know, honestly. My kids put on music and dance battle each other. That makes me laugh. I don’t recommend dancing in front of your own children unless you want the Simon Cowell treatment. Tough crowd! 

Do you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert or ambivert?
Ambivert, I think. I only recently learned that term. I’m a loner that likes people. 

Do you have any pets?
I don’t. I have two children. They’re both still alive. [she laughs] So here’s the deal. I do like animals, but I am very particular about the way people treat animals. I think that, as with children, you have an obligation to give them the best life that they can have. An animal can’t advocate for itself. So if you don’t have a lifestyle that is really conducive to providing a home for that pet, and a person for them, then it’s not fair. It’s a commitment. They’re depending on you entirely. I might get a dog when I’m older, or a cat, but I don’t have any right now because keeping my children alive is like hit or miss. [she laughs]

What would you choose for your “last meal”?
That’s a really tough one! I would probably have ice cream. It’s celebratory and good in any amount. I could not eat almost anything, but I can’t not eat ice cream. It’s elemental. 

What’s your most used emoji?
It’s probably a toss-up between the hysterical sideways smiley face 🤣, which is very typical of my late Gen X age, apparently, or also the exasperated side-eye 😒. Usually in conjunction with each other.

Do you have one favorite holiday tradition?
Yes! We actually just celebrated it. So it’s not an actual holiday, but I have six siblings. Six of us are girls and we share a brother. Once a year we get together for Sibling Weekend. Basically, it’s a big slumber party, just for us (no kids or spouses are allowed). We just get together and talk and make amazing food and sometimes we’ll try to do projects or plan excursions like a wine tour or a hike, although it’s normal to get talking and lose track of the itinerary. It’s a chance for the seven of us to just hang out. So, it’s a little invented holiday, but it is really amazing. Family is wonderful.

To contact Julia, send her an email at jhodges@relyco.com or connect with her on LinkedIn here. To contact RELYCO, give us a call at 800-777-7359. You can also click here.

When Bigger is Better: Redefine Your Printing with Wide Format Media

Give your customers more options with a variety of wide format media. Don’t just offer the same old thing – be open and flexible. Anticipate their needs with application ideas. We’re sharing our catalog and ideas in this post!

As you may have heard, we recently expanded our specialty media offerings to include wide format rolls for inkjet imaging.

For many of the print operations that we work with, from in-plant printers to commercial printers, we hear a consistent message: you only need enough for the job at hand.

Get only what you need

We’ve heard you loud and clear, which is why we chose to partner with Sihl. Through that partnership, we’re able to quickly ship you high-quality rolls with lengths ranging from 40’ to 200’. Those sizes are designed to last for just a couple of applications, that way you don’t get stuck storing a huge roll. (Or paying for more than you need!)

Give your customer options

Whether your customer is someone who walked into your shop off the street, or a different department in your company, their needs will frame the solutions you’ll offer. How durable does the piece need to be? Does it have any unique design features? Will it be displayed indoors or outdoors? Will it be handled often? What kind of lifespan should it have?

Understanding how these materials vary allows you to differentiate your options. Don’t just offer the same old thing – be open and flexible. There may be a better option out there for your customer’s specific project! We offer a variety of sample options (swatchbooks, 5” x 7” printed samples, test rolls, etc.) to help you and your customer determine the very best fit for the job.

Printer compatibility & applications

We offer wide format media that is compatible with aqueous, UV, latex, PageWide and solvent inkjet printers.

Wide Format Compatibility Icons

Stay one step ahead and anticipate your customers’ needs by thinking of wide format solutions before they even ask for them. Here are some wide format application ideas that might get those creative wheels turning:

  • Indoor/outdoor advertising
  • Construction signs
  • High quality photo reproductions
  • Promotional signage
  • Retail signage
  • Point of purchase signs
  • Rolls up for trainings, trade shows & traveling seminars
  • Backlit media for theaters, casinos & beverage distributors
  • Non-slip floor graphics
Wide Format Applications

We’re about to kick off a series of blog posts that will share more application ideas. We’ll dive into wide format media that will work for specific industries, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, check out our wide format catalog to see our current options. Get ready for more to be added very soon!

Wide Format Catalog

Get to Know RELYCO – Kelsey Dexter, Manager, Account Management

Kelsey Dexter serves as our Manager for the Account Management team. She is one of those naturally positive people that effortlessly uplifts you when you chat with her. Plus, she’s always down for a laugh, which we appreciate around here!

Kelsey Dexter has worked at RELYCO since January 2018. She began as an Account Manager and is now the Manager of the Account Management team!

Kelsey is very upbeat, cheerful and easy-going. There’s no artifice to her, she’s just one of those naturally positive people who uplifts you when you chat with her; her optimism and empathy make Kelsey a great conversationalist. Plus, she’s always down for a laugh, which we appreciate around here!

Kelsey Dexter
Kelsey Dexter, Manager, Account Management

Kelsey is going to be a new mom later this year. We all know that with her unique gifts, she’s going to be an amazing parent. She’s well suited to navigate that journey with open-hearted enthusiasm and patience.

See the interview below to learn more about Kelsey in her own words:

What three words would your friends use to describe you?
Outgoing, happy, hmmm…God, I hope they think I’m fun…Oh, optimistic!

Do you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert or ambivert?
An extrovert.

What skills / hobbies / habits did you pick up during COVID lockdowns?
Peloton has been a hobby. I guess that’s a hobby, just having that to work out at home. That’s been fun. And I like cooking a lot more. I’m always cooking. But I like to cook a lot now that we’re in our home.

What’s your favorite season?
I love the fall, I can’t wait for it! But I love the holiday season too.

What do you listen to in the car?
Depends on when, I change my music depending on what I’m feeling frequently. Lately it’s been a lot of Michael Bublé and Frank Sinatra. [She laughs] Trying to make the baby really smart!

What would you choose for your “last meal”?
It’s funny you say that because I actually have a note in my phone [about this] because the Masters, the golf tournament every year, the winner gets to pick the meal for the next year’s tournament. So I have a note in my phone of what my meal would be! It’s a lobster roll and mac & cheese.

Your house is on fire, what’s the first thing you grab?
Well, if [husband] Dan’s asleep, I’m going to wake him up! Any human being in my house. But personal possessions, I guess my phone.

Where is/was your favorite place to visit while traveling?
Oh, I miss traveling. I would say probably Bermuda was one of my favorite places to visit.

What’s your favorite song to dance to?
I have a lot of songs that I really like. A classic is Whitney Houston, I Wanna Dance with Somebody. I feel like that’s a song you can’t not dance to. It was on our wedding playlist, we had to have that one at the wedding. [This is a good choice, Steph chose it too!]

What’s your most used emoji?
Let me check and see…it’s the sideways laughing face. 🤣 That and the one that looks like the drooling person 🤤 because I like food.

If you could hang out with someone (living or deceased) for the day, who would you pick?
Living or deceased, oh my gosh. Well, I feel like if I have the opportunity, it’s going to be someone deceased because they’re not alive anymore. Probably my grandfather.

Do you have one favorite holiday tradition?
Yes, every Christmas morning we make cinnamon buns and we have mimosas.

In Kelsey’s current role, she oversees many of RELYCO’s strategic accounts. She is dedicated to supporting the Account Management team and their mission to build and maintain long-lasting customer relationships. 

To contact Kelsey, send her an email at kdexter@relyco.com or connect with her on LinkedIn here. To contact RELYCO, give us a call at 800-777-7359. You can also click here.

Expanding Specialty Media Offerings with Wide Format

We’re adding inkjet imaging compatible wide format rolls to our specialty media offerings. Wide format printing is used for an endless variety of printing projects, such as large format artwork, signage, displays, banners, roll-ups, art reproduction, CAD printing and more.

You asked for it, so we’re delivering it: more inkjet options!

Over the past couple of years, survey responses and customer conversations have confirmed there is a desire for us to offer more inkjet compatible materials.

We explored our options to see what products within the inkjet market would best complement our existing specialty media product portfolio, while simultaneously serving our customers to the fullest with high-impact imaging solutions. We’re excited to finally announce that we now offer a line of wide format rolls for inkjet imaging!

Wide format printing

Wide format printing is used for an endless variety of printing projects, such as large format artwork, signage, displays, banners, roll-ups, art reproduction, CAD printing and more. Our OEM partners and print shops work heavily in this space. Wide format printers are common in many industries, from the government to educational institutions.

Our friends at Sihl

This product expansion is made possible through a distribution partnership with Sihl, a leading manufacturer of digital print media. With Sihl’s excellent industry reputation and broad range of high-quality print media, we are confident that we have selected a partner that perfectly aligns with our philosophy to be “wildly reliable” in service to our customers.

Our new wide format product line consists of a range of substrates in various thicknesses and widths. For the moment, this media consists primarily of aqueous inkjet printer compatible materials, but our partnership with Sihl allows us the flexibility to serve customers beyond that scope.

Reach out to us

Contact your RELYCO representative to discuss our new wide format offerings! Not sure who that is? Have other feedback? Reach out to our Inkjet Solutions Product Manager, Joni van Gelder at jvangelder@relyco.com. She’s the champion of this cause!

Learn more by reading our full press release, visiting our product page and exploring the offerings on our eCommerce store.

Three Fun (& Festive) Ways to Use Floor Decals

Floor decals don’t just have to be basic, practical tools for social distancing. They can also be imaginative and engaging! We’re sharing three unique ways to use floor decals (with free design templates) to grab your customer’s attention.

We’ve all noticed how prevalent floor decals have become in stores over the last few months. These helpful decals often show where we are supposed to stand in order to properly maintain distance. But, as with all things, people get so accustomed to seeing the same thing over and over that they eventually stop seeing it. So why not mix it up and use floor decals in a more surprising way?

Borrow these creative floor decal ideas with free templates

Interactive game 

Have you ever seen a kid in a grocery store hopping from one color tile to the next? (Maybe you were even one of those kids!) Children need something to stay occupied while their parents are shopping, and their gaze naturally falls to the floor more often because they are closer to it. As a store manager, you could provide a way to keep kids busy and reduce the number of meltdowns, which is something parents will greatly appreciate.

Floor Decal with Snowman

Encourage kids to play an interactive floor decal game!

1. Place floor decals with snowmen on them randomly throughout the store.
2. At the main entrance, give families a flyer or post a sign to prompt them to count the snowmen while they shop.
3. At the end of the shopping experience, kids tell the cashier how many they spotted and they receive a small treat based on their number.


It’s a win-win for all – kids stay busy, parents can shop with ease and the store just created a family-friendly, positive experience for the customer.

We made you this free design template, feel free to use it to keep those kids from getting bored!

Marketing promotion / message

Is your marketing team looking for new ways to convey a message? Floor decals are an easy way to engage customers while directing them to take advantage of your promotion. For example, a manager’s special on an item could be highlighted by placing floor decals around the item (and strategically around the store). Or maybe a new item is on the shelf and you want to bring awareness to it – place a floor decal there to generate excitement

Spreading cheer during the holidays

During the winter months, you could offer a complimentary hot cocoa or coffee to your customers as they shop. Use floor decals to show them the way to your hot beverage station and watch them relax as they take that first sip. Customer engagements can come in many forms, but the most memorable ones are the ones that delight.

Grab this free design template and start warming your customer’s hearts (and hands) today!

Floor Decals for Hot Cocoa

Easy to use floor decals

Don’t have the materials for floor decals? Not sure where to find them? RELYCO offers REVLAR Floor Decals, a solution that allows you to print your own (as many or as few as you want) using your own laser printer. These OSHA compliant, non-slip floor decals come in three different sizes (circle, rectangle or oval), so you can let your creative juices flow.

As you can see from our ideas above, floor decals don’t just have to be basic, practical tools for social distancing. They can also be imaginative and engaging! The possibilities are endless. To get you started, use these pre-designed templates. Take our ideas and build your own! And, as always, reach out to us with any questions or if you need guidance.

Giving Thanks in 2020

We all know that Thanksgiving will look very different this year. And it’s not just about whether you typically travel or share a meal with certain family members – this pandemic also impacts how we’re able to provide support to our community. Learn what our team is doing to overcome logistical challenges this year.

We all know that Thanksgiving will look very different this year. And it’s not just about whether you typically travel or share a meal with certain family members – this pandemic also impacts how we’re able to provide support to our community. For RELYCO team members, this time of year has always included helping people who wouldn’t otherwise have the means to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

For many years, RELYCO has run two different programs for Thanksgiving: 

With large gatherings out of the question and recipients tending to be within high-risk and vulnerable groups, organizers needed to pivot their approach this year. We’re proud to report that creative solutions have been found!

To streamline their approach and reduce contact, St. Thomas More Church will be using a single-source vendor for non-perishable items and provide gift cards for fresh produce. Monetary donations were welcomed, so RELYCO contributed $500 through our Community Service Team & payroll program.

The Dover Thanksgiving Celebration has likewise changed course. Instead of hosting one large dining event, 600 meals will be distributed via delivery this year. This will actually allow us to serve people who couldn’t attend our in-person events in the past, which means reaching more people than we ever have before!

We hope that sharing how our company’s Thanksgiving plans have changed will encourage you to find innovative ways to safely carry on with your traditions. Hopefully, those include a way to give back; there are undoubtedly members of your community who could use a boost, now more than ever. Don’t give up on finding ways to help just because it might be more of a logistical challenge this year. We’ve been inspired by the ways our community has stepped up and we hope you are too.

Nobody yet knows what Thanksgiving 2021 will look like, but (like with everything else) we will carry our 2020 learnings with us. Perhaps we can create an ideal hybrid of old and new solutions.

Meeting in the Park – With a Twist

In this guest blog post, Joe Morgan shares what we’re learning and how our team is connecting during COVID-19. Use our 15 ideas method for your own business!

In this guest blog post, Joe Morgan, RELYCO Senior Advisor, shares what we’re learning and how our team is connecting during COVID-19.

Many of us have met in the park throughout our lives. When we were kids, we might have been playing sports or just hanging and talking with friends. We arrived with an expectation that we would have fun with our friends and maybe even meet some new kids. As we moved toward adulthood, our park trips may have been for a different purpose; however, we still found joy in the open spaces, the conversations and observations of others enjoying this unique open air time together.

With this simple goal in mind, a group of RELYCO team members met in a NH park last month to discuss the changes that are happening around us. The intention was clear: the COVID-19 crisis had taken us away from the office and we needed to see each other, share lunch together and talk about our learnings, both personally and for the future of the business.

Henry Law Park
Henry Law Park, Dover, NH

So, what did we take away from the time together?

1. We created a safe environment in the park.
Masks where appropriate and safe distance was maintained.

2. Our conversations were fantastic.
In-depth stories with lots of humor.

3. We asked for 15 ideas
This was based on a podcast by Simon Sinek, where he referenced that a friend of his suggested asking each employee to bring 15 ideas forward within 48 hours. The point being that 3-5 ideas would likely overlap quite a bit, but having 15 would really push the edges of thinking. 

When we met in the park, we actually talked about over 100 ideas while subsequently putting them in several different basket categories – literally. (We had baskets in the middle of our circle of chairs.) Here were the categories:

CategoryPercentage of Ideas
Are you kidding me
(Sometimes an idea just isn’t good)
5%
Investable
(So good that I would invest my own money)
10%
Great idea and let’s go
(On the mark and let’s do it)
60%
Wow, I like it
(Great concept, but needs some research)
25%

4. The COVID-19 crisis has changed how we interact, what we expect from each other and how we view the simplest things in our lives. It has also created new opportunities for many individuals/companies. The themes from our dialogue produced some really great perspectives that validated and expanded our thinking about:

  • Solutions for the home – working from home, teaching from home, dining from home, etc
  • Safety and health – back to work protocol, messaging and signage
  • eCommerce – expanding RELYCO’s online presence with new products
  • Messaging to our customers – increasing frequency through a variety of channels

Final thoughts

We need each other more than ever. Simple connections can bring smiles, help adapt during this crazy time and validate that we are not alone.

How Surveying Our Customers Led to New Opportunities During COVID-19

Like many companies, COVID-19 changed our business. In order to adapt and quickly respond to the needs of our customers, we did a survey. We’re sharing our findings and the actions we took.

Like many companies, COVID-19 changed our business. Beyond the obvious and immediate changes – shifting the majority of our staff to a work-from-home model and implementing new health and safety practices for the staff that needed to remain on-site – we also shifted our 2020 plans and priorities. The ability to adapt and quickly pivot became critical.

Wildly reliable through good times and bad

One of the ways that we achieve our “wildly reliable” mission is through open communication and the relationships we build with our customers and vendors. We leaned on that foundation as the reality of the pandemic set in; our instinct was to reach out to customers to check-in and see how they were doing. During these conversations, we swapped stories about homeschooling our kids, we listened to fears about vulnerable family members and we empathized with the lack of certainty about the future.

Oftentimes, the conversations would turn to their business’s challenges and needs. In some cases, the needs described were easily solved by a product we already offered and we could share that solution.


EXAMPLE: 
Customer need: safety signage that can be easily sanitized
Existing solution: REVLAR synthetic paper


Occasionally, customers would mention a challenge that we didn’t have an immediate solution for, like face shields or OSHA compliant floor graphics.

Learning from our customers

In order to get a more clear picture of the demand for these products within our own customer base, we decided to conduct a survey. (Disclaimer: This survey was a small sample size and wasn’t designed to answer questions about any industry. We conducted it to learn more about our own customers.) We began collecting data in mid-May, when many states had stay-at-home orders in place. Much has changed since then, but many things have not. The results are interesting and worth sharing.

Industries Surveyed


The majority of responses came from businesses like print shops, distributors and manufacturers, which were deemed essential and remained open during shutdowns.

As a result, these responses primarily came from companies that remained open and on-site. “Have not closed” was the most common phrase in response to the open-ended question: “What steps are you taking to reopen (or reconfigure) your business to ensure safety?” In the word cloud below, you’ll notice other top mentioned tactics included social distancing measures, face masks and more frequent cleaning.

Our open-ended questions yielded responses that showed varying perspectives on this pandemic, which was no surprise. It suffices to say that attempting to strike a balance between economic impact and employee/customer safety was top of mind for most businesses.

In demand products

As we mentioned earlier, one of the main purposes of this survey was to gain some insight into the demand for products that we were most often hearing about in our anecdotal conversations with customers. Below are the responses to the question: “Does your company need any of the following to reopen?”

Survey Responses Products

From survey to action

These responses confirmed that we should do some research and approach our partners about face shields and floor graphics. (Our expertise with plastic paper and labels aligns us more with those products than you might initially think!) We were able to get them manufactured and now offer face shields and non-slip floor decals on our store. 

We also took the insight gained from this survey and created a COVID Response Catalog, which contains all of our safety solutions (and ideas for how to use them). Do you have any other suggestions for products or services we should offer? Let us know and flip through our COVID Response Catalog.

View RELYCO's COVID Response Catalog Now

Laser Check Printing: MICR Toner vs. Standard Toner

When printing checks, it’s always best to use MICR toner in a MICR printer. We don’t recommend ever using standard toner or a standard printer. Why? Because meeting ANSI standards is important. It shows that you have done your due diligence to prevent fraud, which could protect you from liability later.

MICR toner is similar to standard laser printer toner, but it includes an iron oxide additive. This allows for electronic processing and ensures compliance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) specifications for readability. While it is possible to physically print checks with non-MICR toner, there are several important issues to consider first.

Why is MICR toner best?

Financial institutions read checks optically and/or magnetically, using MICR. But there is no guarantee that a check printed using non-MICR toner will be handled by a bank that uses optical technology. If that bank only uses magnetic technology, a non-MICR toner check may need to be processed manually or even returned as unreadable. In either case, the processing time will be increased and additional processing fees may be charged.

MICR Toner and MICR Printer

Why is it important to use a MICR printer?

Just like it is possible to print checks with non-MICR toner, it is also possible to print checks using a standard laser printer with a MICR toner cartridge. But we do not recommend that you do that. To be sure that you are meeting ANSI standards, it’s best to use MICR toner in a MICR printer when printing checks.

Manufacturers of standard laser printers cannot guarantee that the MICR line will be readable or usable, whereas MICR laser printer manufacturers can make that guarantee. In addition, MICR printers can offer a host of security features—including paper tray or printer locks—that prevent unauthorized users from printing checks. A special security cartridge, which can be removed and stored in a secure area after use, can ensure that authorized signatures, company logos and font information remains protected.

MICR = fraud prevention

Using MICR toner and a MICR printer ensures that an organization has done its due diligence to prevent fraud. An organization that does not exercise due diligence risks their own security and may be ultimately responsible for any losses that result from the fraud.

Want to keep learning about MICR? You can learn more here. Interested in seeing what we offer? Check out our check options, MICR toner & MICR printers.

*This blog post was originally published in January 2011, it was updated and republished on May 31, 2019.

History of MICR – Magnetic Ink Character Recognition

While the MICR font is clearly visible on every paper check processed today, that wasn’t always the case. Prior to the mid-1940s, checks were processed manually. As the number of checks increased, finding an automated way to process them became essential.

While the MICR font is clearly visible on every paper check processed today, that wasn’t always the case.

Prior to the mid-1940s, checks were processed manually using either the Sort-A-Matic or Top Tab Key method. As the number of checks increased, finding an automated way to process them became essential. The development of standards that could be used to ensure uniformity in financial institutions across the country was also needed. By the mid-1950s, the Stanford Research Institute and General Electric Computer Laboratory had developed the first automated system to process checks — MICR.

What exactly is MICR?

MICR stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. MICR is a process by which documents are printed using magnetic ink/toner and special fonts to create machine-readable information for quick processing of paper-based payments. The 65 digit line of numbers and characters that make up the MICR line is printed in the area 0.625 inches from the bottom edge of a check.

Check example with MICR

The special MICR font that is used in North America is known as E-13B. When positioned in the proper location, the characters printed in the MICR font allow check readers to scan the appropriate bank and customer account information to facilitate automated check clearing by financial institutions.

Back to the past: the adoption of MICR

MICR – including the E-13B font printed in magnetic ink – was established as the standard for negotiable documents by the American Bankers Association (ABA) in 1958. By the end of 1959, the first checks had been printed using magnetic ink. The ABA set MICR as its standard because machines could read MICR accurately and MICR could be printed using existing technology. In addition, documents printed with MICR technology remained readable, even through overstamping, marking, mutilation and more.

In 1963, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recognized the ABA’s standards as the American standard for MICR printing. Although compliance with the standards is voluntary in the U.S., the financial industry considers them to be the definitive method by which to determine the acceptable quality of a negotiable document. Financial institutions, businesses, government agencies or other organizations who do not meet the ANSI MICR standards may be forced to pay additional fees and charges.

MICR today

To this day, businesses still depend on MICR technology for the security needed to combat the threat of check fraud, especially in the digital age.

In addition to manufacturing, printing and issuing checks, MICR technology is also used to print financial forms and related documents, such as image replacement documents (IRDs), negotiable orders of withdrawal, bank control documents, credit card invoices, insurance payment booklets and direct mail or instant rebate coupons.

Want to keep reading about MICR? You can learn more here. Interested in seeing what we offer? Check out our check options, MICR toner & MICR printers.

*This blog post was originally published on October 2011, it was updated and republished on May 28, 2019.