Buy a double-sided Primacy card printer for the price of a single-sided

Evolis Primacy Card Printer

Until the end of December 2017, you can snap up a double sided Evolis Primacy Plastic Card printer for the price of a single sided.

That’s just £989 + VAT.

So it’s a ‘Buy one side, get the other side free’ kind of deal.

If you’re searching for a new plastic card printer, and are currently making do with a single-sided, this is worth factoring into your research.

Why choose Primacy?

Speed and efficiency.

There are lots of double sided card printers on the market, all of which are capable of quality print, but few are as fast and powerful as the Primacy.

The other advantage of the Primacy is that you can build on the solution over time, and add on capabilities as you need them.

For example, you may want to add the lamination feature on in the future, or encoders to allow you to encode your own magstripe or contact/contactless cards.

In other words, the Primacy can grow with you.

With other brands, that can be difficult to do.

Who is the Primacy best suited to? Primacy sample transport card

Organisations that print medium-large numbers of cards quite regularly (say up to 30,000 cards a year).

Those cards can be anything from ID cards to transport cards, payment cards, licenses, membership cards and delegate badges.

Printing speeds

The Primacy is capable of printing up to 225 colour cards per hour single-sided, 140 cards per hour double-sided and an impressive 1,000 mono cards an hour.

Its high capacity feeder and output hopper means it will keep churning out the cards happily with very little need for human intervention – ideal if you’re badging high numbers of people at a conference for example, or have a large run of cards to produce in a set time scale.

Being an Evolis printer, it’s also extremely reliable, so as long as you clean it regularly and look after it, it will reward you with years of performance. It also comes with a 3-year warranty, for added peace of mind.

This offer applies to both the Primacy and the Primacy LCD Touchscreen, and runs until December 31st, 2017*.

The Card Network is a registered Evolis Reseller. Read more about the Primacy 

*Offers are subject to change.

Save money on your next plastic ID card printer

Trade-in deals available when you buy an Evolis Card Printer – get up to £150 off

Upgrade to the latest card printing technologies and get money off
Upgrade to the latest card printing technologies and get money off

If you’re in the market for a new ID card printer, you can trade-in your old card printer for money off the best-selling Evolis range.

We accept all brands of plastic card printer, and doesn’t have to be working

Your current card printer doesn’t have to be an Evolis to qualify, and it doesn’t matter if it’s not currently working. All we ask is that it’s a complete printer – i.e. not in parts.

So if you’re experiencing poor print quality that isn’t improved by a cleaning kit, or you’re looking to upgrade to more sophisticated capabilities, don’t just recycle your current printer – trade-it in for money off a new one.

For more information, get in touch with us at sales@thecardnetwork.co.uk, 0344 225 2303 or via LiveChat.

 

Are you using the right printer ribbon for your membership cards?

 

cut costs on membership cards
Choosing the right ribbon can cut costs & improve results

How to save money on printing and get the best results

Whether you print all your membership cards on your own card printer, or just do ‘top-ups’ throughout the year, it pays to use the right ribbon.

Not only will it give you the best results and save you money, the right ribbon will maximise the productivity of your plastic card printer.

So which one?

The range of different printer ribbons out there can be a bit bewildering. YMCK, YMCKO or YMCKOK? (More details on ribbon types here http://blog.thecardnetwork.co.uk/2014/07/save-money-use-the-right-ribbon-for-your-plastic-card-printer/)

Printing cards yourself on a double-sided card printer

If you’re printing double sided membership cards yourself, on a double-sided printer, the most common mistake is using a YMCKO ribbon, rather than a YMCKOK one.

A YMCKOK ribbon basically has a second black panel, and is designed specifically for use with double sided card printers. It allows you to print full colour on the front of the card and black on the reverse – making it ideal for clubs who print graphics on the front, but only sparse details on the back.

If you were to use a YMCKO ribbon instead, you would have to use all 5 panels on the front, then all 5 panels on the back. The result? You use up the ribbon twice as fast.

Just overprinting members’ details?

If you are just overprinting details like name and membership number onto pre-printed membership cards, you don’t need an all singing, all dancing ribbon. A single-colour ribbon could do the job just fine. You can get ribbons in a choice of colours, including silver and gold, and the cost is considerably cheaper per print than using an YMCKO ribbon.

Remember that ribbons have a shelf-life of around a year

Also think about the quantity of membership cards you need to produce and don’t overbuy on printer capacity. Each ribbon is capable of printing a certain number of cards, so if you only need a handful on an irregular basis, don’t shell out on a 1000 capacity ribbon when 200 would do. Especially as ribbons have a shelf-life – generally of about a year.

The larger the print ribbon the less the cost per card, so if you’re printing larger numbers, invest in a higher image one. This will also save on re-ordering costs such as delivery.

Still not sure which ribbon is right for your plastic card printer?

Give one of our friendly team a call – we’re happy to help guide you.

More information on the different types of ribbons available is available here http://blog.thecardnetwork.co.uk/2014/07/save-money-use-the-right-ribbon-for-your-plastic-card-printer/

Why overprinting is a good idea for membership cards schemes

Loyalty cards members cards
Print more membership cards than you need upfront for future joiners

Cut down on reordering costs for membership cards throughout the year

How do you manage the production of cards for new members that join after the initial deadline has passed?

If you have a plastic card printer, you’ll just print out new membership cards when you need them. Taking out the cost of the actual printer itself (which can cost upwards of £1,000 for a decent one), this is a fairly cost-effective and easy way of managing new joiners throughout the year.

But what if you don’t have a plastic card printer?

Ask your card printing bureau about overprinting

If you have your membership cards professionally printed by a card bureau, ask them if they offer an overprinting option.

This service allows you to print more membership cards than you need for your initial run, which are then kept ‘in reserve’ until you need them. These reserve membership cards are fully branded, and follow consequential numbering, so they don’t look any different from the initial run. They’re just not personalised.

You can then ‘call off’ the cards throughout the year, a handful at a time. Simply send the required data (names, etc) and the cards will be overprinted accordingly.

Most card bureaus will charge a small admin and posting fee for this service, but you won’t be paying a new set-up fee or printing fee for a new run of cards.

This route cuts down on reordering costs throughout the year, and can negate the need to invest in a plastic card printer at all.

The Card Network offers an overprinting option on all our membership card packages. Please contact us for more information.

How to set up photo ID cards in your workplace

 

photo id cards
Photo ID cards improve security & bring a sense of community

Bringing photo ID cards into your organisation can play a significant factor in ensuring the security of your building and the protection of your staff. So how do you go about setting it up?

First, think about what you want to achieve.

Do you want the photo ID cards to just identify the wearer, or do you want them to also act as access control cards (to gain entry to your building) or as smart cards (to pay for their lunch in the canteen for example)?

The answer to this will determine what kind of cards you need, and how much investment/time will be involved. If this is purely an exercise in badging, a plain PVC card will do – which you can choose to print yourself by investing in an ID card printer, or by using a card bureau service. You can buy cards that come with signature strips, or mag stripes that work with simpler loyalty systems for example.

If you want your photo ID cards to work with your existing access control system, speak to your installer about whether your existing cards can be printed on – or indeed whether you need to swop from a token or fob to a card. Most access control cards can be printed on with a specific type of ID card printer.

If you truly want a smart card, you’ll need a card that comes with a chip embedded – for example Mifare cards (think an Oyster card), or one that’s capable of taking on smart card capabilities. Again, these can be printed on – usually by a card bureau.

Then consider how you’ll manage the programme.

Who will be responsible for creating the photo ID cards, managing the records and dealing with the day-to-day administration? Usually this responsibility lies with HR, but if you don’t have your own HR department, give at least two people responsibility. That way, if one person is on holiday when a card is ‘forgotten’ or ‘stolen’, things won’t grind to a halt.

If your photo ID cards are doubling up as access control cards, put robust procedures in place for what happens if a card goes missing. Your access control software will allow you to block or delete a specific card – ensuring it doesn’t allow access to your building if it drops into the wrong hands.

If you’re bringing in a programme for security reasons, make sure you stick to it.

Don’t make it one rule for one, one rule for another. That means senior management need to be onboard too, otherwise it undermines the whole programme. If the primary purpose for bringing in photo ID cards is to improve security, everyone needs to wear a badge.

That means following procedures for ‘forgotten’ badges too. Give out temporary badges to members of staff who have left theirs at home that day.  

Police it.

Giving all staff a Photo ID card for security purposes is only effective if it’s going to be enforced. If you have someone permanently in Reception, give them the responsibility for checking everyone is wearing a photo ID card when they enter the building. Most importantly, they should stop anyone who is not.

In some industries where security is paramount, for example in healthcare or schools, staff should be given permission to challenge anyone not wearing a badge. This secondary level of checking should reveal anyone who made it past reception unnoticed.

Now you need to consider how you’ll create the cards.

There are two ways you can print your photo ID cards: by investing in a plastic card printer and doing it yourself, or by sending the data to a card bureau for them to print them for you.

Keeping your card printing in-house

There is a wide range of card printers available on the market. At the entry-level end, you can pick up the Evolis ‘plug & print’ Badgy for less than £600.

But if you’re printing a large quantity of cards, or you need them to do more clever things (like print volumes of double sided cards with smart card capabilities) then you could be looking at spending more like £1200. Then you’ll need to factor in the running costs, in terms of blank cards, ribbons and cleaning kits.

Keeping your card printing in-house is sensible if you have a regular need to print new photo ID cards, for example for temporary workers, or contractors.

Outsourcing to a card bureau

If you don’t want to shell-out for a card printer, look for a plastic card supplier with a track record in printing photo ID cards. They will take your data and print the cards for you.

But make sure you check their credibility. It isn’t particularly wise to choose a supplier in China you’ve never heard of – even if they are cheap – integrity of data won’t be guaranteed. Ask sensible questions to protect the identities of your employees – how will the supplier store your information? Are their staff CRB checked? We would expect to be asked this type of due diligence.

Some plastic card printers will also take away the hassle of administration from you. Many, like The Card Network, operate a card issuance service, where all photo ID cards are sent with a personalised letter directly to employees.

On a simple level, photo ID cards identify the wearer, and whether they have the right to access the building. They also make it much harder for the cards to be ‘adopted’ by anyone other than the rightful owner, which automatically tightens security. They also bring a sense of community to your workforce, a benefit that can’t be underestimated.

Save money when printing your 2015 membership cards

Print more than you need & ‘bank’ the rest for overprinting new members’ details throughout the year

Most clubs use a card bureau to issue their membership cards, or print their own in-house. A combination of the two may be most cost-effective…

With 2015 nearly upon us, many clubs and organisations are in the throes of organising their membership programme for the new year. Printing the actual membership cards themselves is often the biggest expense to bear, so here are a few ways you can save money and reduce admin time.

First – consider the most cost-effective way to print the cards

The two main options here are: a) invest in a plastic card printer and print your own, or b) have them printed by a plastic card supplier (a card bureau).

Which path you choose will depend greatly on how many membership cards you need to print, and how often throughout the year you need to print them.

If it’s a one-off run of hundreds of cards, outsourcing to a card bureau will always be cheaper than investing in a card printer and consumables. However that’s in terms of one-off costs – a plastic card printer does begin to return value after a few years of use – but depending on how much a work horse it is, it may not last much longer than that.

If you only print small quantities of cards, an entry-level card printer like the Badgy may be your best bet. Yes you’ll have to buy consumables and you’ll have the initial outlay, but you’ll also have the flexibility of printing one or two membership cards throughout the year, whenever you need them.

Or you could do both and save money

If you print a significant number of membership cards, and need to issue new ones throughout the year, have your card bureau run a quantity of unpersonalised membership cards, for overprinting with new members’ details throughout the year.

This in effect creates a ‘bank’ of membership cards for when you need them – produced professionally so they don’t look any different from the initial run. The card bureau can then overprint members’ names and numbers when required – or you can run them through your own card printer.

This route cuts down on reordering costs throughout the year, and if you choose the card bureau route, the need to invest in a card printer at all. The Card Network offer this overprinting service – please get in touch with us for more information.

If you’re going to be using a plastic card printer for all, or part of your programme…

… make sure you’re using the right ribbon

The range of different printer ribbons out there can be a bit bewildering. In order to keep your printing costs down, choose the right ribbon for the job.

If you’re printing double sided membership cards yourself, on a double-sided printer, the most common mistake is using a YMCKO ribbon, rather than a YMCKOK one.

A YMCKOK ribbon basically has a second black panel, and is designed specifically for use with double sided card printers. It allows you to print full colour on the front of the card and black on the reverse – making it ideal for clubs who print graphics on the front, but only sparse details on the back.

If you were to use a YMCKO ribbon instead, you would have to use all 5 panels on the front, then all 5 panels on the back. The result? You use up the ribbon twice as fast.

However if you just want to overprint a member’s details (like name and membership number) onto an already printed card, you don’t need an all singing, all dancing ribbon. A single-colour ribbon could do the job just fine. You can get ribbons in a choice of colours, including silver and gold, and the cost is considerably cheaper per print than using an YMCKO ribbon.

Also think about the quantity of membership cards you need to produce and don’t overbuy on printer capacity. Each ribbon is capable of printing a certain number of cards, so if you only need a handful on an irregular basis, don’t shell out on a 1000 capacity ribbon when 200 would do. Especially as ribbons have a shelf-life – generally of about a year.

For more information on choosing the right printer ribbon for your job, read our blog. http://blog.thecardnetwork.co.uk/2014/07/save-money-use-the-right-ribbon-for-your-plastic-card-printer/

For more information about our overprinting service, please get in touch.

Save money: use the right ribbon for your plastic card printer

Choose the right ribbon for the right job & save money on re-ordering

Do you know which card printer ribbon is best for your particular card printing? If you don’t know what all the terms mean, it can get a bit confusing. Selecting the right ribbon for the job won’t just ensure better results; it can also save you money and maximise the productivity of your plastic card printer.

First things first – what do all those terms mean?

plastic card printer ribbon
Increase productivity & save cost by choosing the right ribbon

Although you might be used to seeing CMYK on your desktop printer inks, plastic card printer ribbons are a bit different. They are split into panels, each panel being represented by a letter. These mean:

Y = Yellow dye sublimation panel
M = Magenta dye sublimation panel
C = Cyan dye sublimation panel
K = Black resin panel
O = Overlay panel.

Your plastic card printer mixes the yellow, magenta, cyan and black together to create all colours in the spectrum.

So which is right for which purpose?

YMC ribbons
These are fine for full colour cards where you don’t need a crisp black, because the black will be made by mixing the yellow/magenta/cyan together. For example, basic membership cards. Don’t shell out for one of the ‘all singing, all dancing’ ribbons if that’s all you need to do.

YMCK ribbons
However if you need to print barcodes or QR codes, you’ll need a ribbon with a black panel for the codes to be good quality enough to be scanned. If you’re printing photo ID cards or need crisp black text, you’ll almost certainly want a YMCK ribbon.

YMCKO ribbons
YMCKO ribbons include a transparent overlay panel that basically adds a thin layer of protection to the cards, sealing in the print colours and giving them more durability. This helps with fading and wear and tear – important if cards are used outdoors regularly, or in a manual job. They increase the shelf life of your cards and are becoming the standard purchase for many customers, as there isn’t a big price hike.

YMCKOK ribbons
A second black? Well, yes. These ribbons are designed specifically for double sided plastic card printers, to allow you to print full colour on the front of the card and black on the reverse. In other words, the YMCKO panels work on the front, the K on the back.

Using one of these ribbons for this job will save you money over using a YMCKO ribbon. Using a YMCKO ribbon means the printer will use all 5 panels to print the front, and another 5 panels to print the back. The result? You use up the ribbon twice as fast.

Want to print double-sided cards, but both in colour?

Unfortunately plastic card printer manufacturers haven’t come up with a YMCKOYMCKO ribbon yet, so you’ll need to use a YMCK or YMCKO ribbon to print both sides. Just be aware that you’ll also use it up twice as fast, but there’s no alternative.

Only printing a single colour? Then use a monochrome ribbon

You’d be surprised how many people think that ‘monochrome’ means ‘black’ rather than ‘one colour’. If you’re overprinting in a single colour, for example adding name or membership data, then use a monochrome ribbon rather than wasting a YMCKO one. Monochrome ribbons come in a variety of colours, including gold and silver and are considerably cheaper, per card, than YMCKO ones.

How many cards do you need to print?

Each printer ribbon is capable of printing a certain number of cards, so make sure you choose the right one for your need. If your plastic card printer is only printing a handful of cards on an irregular basis, don’t waste money on a 1000 image ribbon for example, when a 200 image would do.

The larger the print ribbon the less the cost per card, so if you’re printing larger numbers, invest in a higher image one. This will also save on re-ordering costs such as delivery.

Still not sure which ribbon is right for your plastic card printer?

Give one of our friendly team a call – we’re happy to help guide you.

How to include holograms & watermarks on ID cards

Protect your ID cards from copying and tampering

Realistically, anyone could copy your photo ID cards if they have half a brain and a dye sublimation printer. It might not be totally perfect, but it’s likely to be good enough to fool a security guard or event officials.

Put a hologram or a watermark layer on the cards and it’s a different story.

What is a hologram anyway?

Hologram bank card
Look for holograms on your credit cards

Holograms are 3D images built in layers, making them multi-colour and multi-level. This is what makes them very difficult to forge. Flex one of your bank cards, or hold it in a different light and you’ll see a Holographic image visible and shining in 3D.

The gold standard in card security 

Having a Hologram on your ID cards is the gold standard in security, especially if the Holographic design is unique to you. They simply can’t be faked in one (or two) dimensional print.

So how do you get one on your ID cards?

Contrary to popular belief, holograms aren’t printed as part of the card; they’re added on as a layer. Some printers do this by using what’s called a holographic overlaminate – a roll of film put over the surface of the card. Some companies use blank overlaminate to strengthen the durability of the card (great for heavy-duty use, for example outdoors), but embed a hologram onto it and it gives the card anti-counterfeiting protection too.

Creating your own custom 3D image in high resolution does come at a price

The large card printer manufacturers will custom print your own Holographic images, either directly onto a ‘bank’ of ID cards or onto bespoke overlaminate film ribbons. HID for example can print large quantities of Holographic Foil cards with your own unique hologram that you can then overprint with individual data and photographs using their Fargo printers. But origination fees are expensive and turn around can take up to 8 weeks.

Need a cheaper solution?

If your budget won’t quite stretch to a bespoke Hologram (and let’s face it, most SME’s budgets don’t), then you might want to consider a standard over laminate or watermark graphic on your ID cards instead. Although this provides a more basic level of security, it still gives protection from card alteration or tampering.

And better still, it’s included free of charge in some printers.

Magicard’s HoloKote

Magicard pronto printer
HoloKote is included as standard – no extra costs

Magicard’s patented HoloKote technology is built into the majority of their card printers including the very attractively priced Magicard Pronto (you can snap one up for just £637).  This anti-counterfeiting feature prints a frosted watermark graphic across the entire face of your ID cards during the normal printing cycle that gives the appearance of a hologram. There are no extra costs to do this and no consumables like holographic lamination ribbons to buy – it’s all built-in.

The Pronto comes with a choice of four watermark designs to choose from. Bear in mind though that this does only provide basic security – anyone with the same printer could theoretically produce exact the same cards with the same watermark.

This won’t worry those who are just looking to deter opportunists. But for situations where the risk is greater, you should consider upgrading to the likes of HoloKote with a custom key logo. Magicard can produce your own unique ‘logo’ panel that you then insert into your printer (currently available on their Rio and Tango models) for less than £400. This then prints your own unique logo watermark onto your cards.

Read more here.

Evolis and standard holographic laminates

Holographic film
Be aware: holographic films have a shelf life of around 1 year

Many card printer manufacturers have standard holographic designs available as an overlaminate film ribbon. For example, you can buy overlaminate ribbons for Evolis printer models including the Zenius and Primacy for around £60. Choose from a generic, genuine Globes or world holographic design. The ribbon slots into your printer and overlays the holographic image on each card. The ribbon is good for about 350 cards, after that you’ll need to buy another. Also bear in mind that this type of ribbon has a shelf life – typically around one year.

Read more about Evolis printers

 

 

Don’t overspend on ID cards, use our card bank

Photo ID cards cost less than you think – especially when you can ‘bank’ any you don’t need for later use

Photo ID cards aren’t just for large companies with the budgets to match.

The Card Network caters for small companies, charities or organisations that want to badge a small number of staff for security or safety purposes. With more ID card suppliers in the UK switching to offering card printers only, we’re proud to still offer ID cards in quantities as small as 10.

Supporting small enterprises and charities

photo id cards
High quality, durable photo ID cards don’t have to break the bank

Many of our customers are small organisations or charities that need small numbers of ID cards for collectors or fundraisers. The nature of their work means they might need one or two new ID cards every month or so, for a new collector or a new event. This leaves them facing two unattractive options: either invest in an expensive ID card printer, or pay for a new print run every time a new card was needed.

We didn’t think this was very fair, so we introduced Card Bank.

Our ID Cards come in packs of 10, 25, 50, 100 & 250.

If you don’t use all of the cards in a pack with your initial order, you can ‘bank’ the remainder with us for future use at no extra cost.

It’s a great way of meeting future card requirements without any hassle or spending further budget.

How does it work?

Simply choose one of our card packs and whatever quantity you don’t use will be held in a virtual ‘bank’. So if you only need 16 cards right now, order the 25 pack and we’ll hang onto the other 9 cards until you need them.

You can then place orders throughout the year, even for single cards, until your balance is used up. There is no extra charge for this service, and you can order as many times as you like. You’ll only pay a small fee for packing and delivery.

What are the benefits of ordering this way?

  • Save time and hassle

Having a bank of cards ready to be ‘drawn down’ whenever you need them makes the process of ordering cards simple and quick – you don’t have to go through the ordering and billing process again.

  • More cost effective

If you order a larger block of cards than you need straight away, you’ll benefit from a lower unit price and you won’t have to pay for any small quantities in the future.

  • Less paperwork

There’s only one purchase order and one invoice to deal with, rather than the hassle of raising paperwork for every individual order.

  • No minimum quantity

You can order your cards in as small quantities as you like, even single cards. The only thing you’ll pay for is a small delivery charge.

  • Fast turnaround

As there are no purchase orders or invoices to be raised, or designs to be created, we can print your cards and despatch them straight away.

Search our range of photo ID cards.

Spas: theme your printed gift cards for Mother’s Day

If you’re a spa or beauty salon, Mother’s Day is one of the biggest events in the calendar. Spa vouchers or printed gift cards are one of the most popular gifts for mums and grandmas on Mothering Sunday (especially for those who ‘have everything’).

Theme your printed gift cards for Mother’s Day

Rather than giving out a standard card, why not create special Mother’s Day printed gift cards instead? We know they’re well received by mum and the buyer alike – and they’ll be a great advertisement or reminder sitting in your spa window or reception desk.

Customised printed gift cards is easy to do with your own card printer

A plastic card printer is a worthwhile investment if you want to customise your own printed gift cards cards and print them in-house. They aren’t as expensive as they used to be, and for organisations that regularly have a need for plastic cards, the investment quickly pays for itself when compared to using a card bureau (i.e. a provider that prints the cards for you.)

Many spas have a membership programme or loyalty scheme, and so have an on-going need for membership cards or loyalty cards as well as printed gift cards – all of which can be printed using a card printer.

If you’re part of a Hotel or entertainment complex, the printer can also be used to print promotional messages on the back of hotel key cards, or even on staff ID badges.

Which printer?

The printer you choose will depend on the volume of cards you need, and frequency.

For most organisations looking for an entry-level printer that doesn’t need to do anything too clever, or act as a workhorse, the Evolis Badgy fits the bill.

The Badgy is a complete and quick card printer designed to ‘plug in and print’. It’s incredibly easy to use and comes with all the software you need to custom design your own cards. You’ll even find some Mother’s Day templates ready for you to personalise your printed gift cards here. The Badgy is on sale for £585.38, including one year’s warranty.

Mother’s Day falls on Sunday 30th March this year. Don’t forget.