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3 Questions to Ask About Your New School ID Badge Program

Posted by Dan Ryan on Jun 7, 2017 2:00:00 PM

For many educational institutions, the end of the school year is a time to reflect on the year gone by, wrap up any loose ends and make plans for the "off" months ahead.

However, the end of the school year is also budgeting season, making it the perfect time for schools to plan for upcoming expenses, both large and small.

This makes school budgeting season the perfect time to think about investing in a school ID card program, whether it's an overhaul of your existing solution or implementing student or employee ID badges for the first time.

While an investment in an ID program isn't going to completely blow the budget like a new gym floor or repairs to the HVAC system might, creating a new identification badge program will require careful planning and investment.

In order to get the most efficient and effective badging system possible, it's understand what options you have moving forward and how those options mesh with your school's needs.

When it comes to school ID badges, don't just wing it

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Topics: ID cards, education, student id cards, school ID tips, school identification

3 Reasons to Choose Custom-Shaped ID Cards

Posted by Dan Ryan on Jun 2, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Let's be honest: there aren't a lot of secrets about ID cards.

While there are a number of concepts in the identification industry that are a bit mysterious to the average person, the concept of credentials isn't one of them.

Most people are pretty familiar with the basics: they know what an ID card does, what the different kinds of ID cards are (student ID cards, employee badges, etc.) and what functions cards are able to perform.

In most cases, knowing the basics is enough. It'll help you have a decent idea of what you need, and you'll be able to fill in the rest as you go.

However, in the case of ID cards, we've found that there's something fairly basic that many people don't know: you can get custom-shaped ID cards!

Yes, employee badges, student credentials and more can be ordered in shapes other than the rounded-edge rectangles most people picture when they think about ID cards. 

In fact, ID cards can be round, triangular or even shaped like a giant tooth — whatever your imagination can think up!

Rectangles are out — shapes are in!

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Topics: card tips, ID cards, JetPak, ID card design, id card tips, custom id cards, custom-shaped id cards

4 More Things You Need to Stop Doing With Your ID Badges

Posted by Dan Ryan on Apr 19, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Back in December, we published a post on this blog titled "4 Things You Need to Stop Doing With Your ID Badges."

That post talked about several weird things we had seen and heard of people doing with their ID cards or employee badges, including scraping their car windshields and propping open doors.

And while we applauded the innovative and outside-the-box thinking that led to these interesting use cases, we stressed that while ID badges are versatile, their use should be limited to identifying people, granting access, processing payments or similar functions.

What we didn't expect was to hear from a variety of people who not only liked the post, but reported more odd ways that they had seen ID badges being used.

We discovered that there were people in offices and at job sites of all kinds using their ID badges for a variety of unorthodox purposes, and decided that these new uses deserved some time in the spotlight as well.

What do a box, a piece of cake and a sticker have in common?

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Topics: card tips, ID cards, employee badges, employee ID cards, custom id badges

Badge Reels, Badge Holders, Lanyards or Strap Clips: Which Should You Choose?

Posted by Dan Ryan on Apr 12, 2017 11:00:00 AM

People tend to put a lot of thought into the look and feel of their ID cards, and rightly so: an ID card, like an employee badge or student ID card, is the centerpiece of any identification program, and is an important way to positively identify someone and increase security.

You've created the perfect ID card. The logo looks great, the photo is perfectly placed and the security feature adds a touch of professionalism. You're thrilled with the result.

However, when it comes to ID cards, there's an oft-overlooked but equally important question that requires just as much thought as your ID card's design: how are you going to carry it?

"Uh...I don't know, with one of those card things."

Ah, yes. The "card things." 

Unless you're familiar with the identification products industry, names like strap clips, lanyards, badge reels and badge holders probably aren't at the top of your mind.

These four products are far and away the most common ways to carry and display ID cards at all kinds of settings, from schools and offices to retail outlets and factories.

If your goal is to carry an ID card without shoving it in your pocket, you really can't go wrong with any of the four options mentioned above.

However, each of the four has unique benefits and drawbacks that combine to make the solution better for some situations and worse for others.

The choice is yours, and yours alone

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Topics: ID cards, custom lanyards, lanyards, card accessories, custom badge reels, strap clips, badge reels, badge holders

Should You Use PVC ID Cards with a Reverse-Transfer Card Printer?

Posted by Dan Ryan on Apr 7, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Reverse-transfer ID card printers are a great solution for any organization looking to print high-quality, full-color employee badges, bank cards, student ID cards and more.

Basically, if you want a professional, sharp-looking credential, a reverse-transer printer is a good choice.

These printers, also known as "retransfer" printers for short, use a unique print method that differs from less expensive direct-to-card printers in a key way: with retransfer printers, the printhead never touches the surface of the card.

Retransfer printers, like the Zebra® ZXP Series 9 or the Fargo® HDP5600, require a roll of transfer film to print on a card.

The printhead prints your imagery and text on the transfer film, which is then applied to the surface of your card and cured with heat for a durable, long-lasting solution.

This process is what allows retransfer printers to offer true over-the-edge printing and long-lasting printheads.

Unfamiliar with edge-to-edge and over-the-edge printing? Check out our blog post!

However, the process also comes with a potential snag, one that can potentially do serious damage to your printer: it's very hard on PVC cards.

If you can't stand the heat...

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Topics: tech tips, ID cards, ID card printers, laminated ID cards, composite ID cards, PVC ID cards

Holographic Laminate vs. Standard Laminate: Which Should You Choose?

Posted by Dan Ryan on Mar 24, 2017 1:00:00 PM

When choosing a new ID card printer, one of the more important decisions you'll make is whether you want a laminating printer or a standard printer without lamination.

Why? Because choosing one over the other drastically alters your next steps.

Laminating printers are more expensive and require more printer supplies, but the cards they create are going to last much longer than their non-laminated counterparts.

For this post, we're going to assume you decided to make a bigger up-front investment and went with a laminating printer, because you don't want to worry about replacing broken ID cards every few months.

Great!

However, your decision-making days aren't over: you still need to decide what kind of laminate you are going to use to protect your new ID credentials.

Holo or plain? The choice is yours.

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Topics: card tips, ID cards, government ID cards, laminated ID cards, employee ID cards, lamination

Edge-to-Edge Printing vs. Over-the-Edge Printing: What's the Difference?

Posted by Dan Ryan on Mar 17, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Printing ID cards can be a confusing undertaking.

While most people would love a simple solution that allows you to put a blank card in and get a printed one out without much thought, that's never the way it works.

People unfamiliar with ID card printers are often under the mistaken impression that these machines must be similar to standard paper printers; after all, printers are printers, right?

Wrong.

Choosing an ID card printer requires making dozens of small decisions.

Unlike the "color vs. black and white" debate that countless offices and households have when shopping for a new paper printer, the search for an ID card printer requires a more detailed discussion.

Here are just a few of the questions one needs to consider when buying an ID card printer:

  • One-sided printing or dual-sided printing?
  • Lamination or no lamination?
  • Smart card encoding or no?
  • Magnetic stripe encoding or no?
  • How many cards will you be printing on a monthly basis?

Overwhelmed yet? Hopefully not, because we haven't gotten to one of the most important questions yet: do you want edge-to-edge printing or over-the-edge printing?

Before you answer, let's take a closer look at what separates the two styles.

Living on the edge

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Topics: tech tips, ID cards, IDP printers, Zebra printers, ID card printers, Fargo printers, id card tips, printer tips

3 Signs It's Time to Get New Employee Badges

Posted by Dan Ryan on Feb 24, 2017 1:00:00 PM

At some point in its long, illustrious life, after thousands of swipes or hundreds of scans, an employee badge will need to be replaced.

No matter how well it's protected or how careful the wearer has been, no badge can last forever.

Organizations frequently try to put off re-badging their employees, coming up with a variety of different excuses:

  • "Oh, it's good enough."
  • "It's not in the budget right now."
  • "I already know you, who cares if your name is illegible?"

It's hard to fault organizations for trying to save money by putting off a re-badging program.

After all, issuing new employee badges can be a large expense, and is definitely one that an organization needs to plan for when budgeting.

However, it's also essential to security to not postpone a re-badging program indefinitely.

The longer an organization waits to re-badge employees, the more likely that organization is to encounter some kind of security breach.

So...how long is long enough?

How much mileage can you squeeze out of those ol' badges before it's time to upgrade?

While it's best (and easiest on the poor finance person who's trying to do your budget) to issue new employee badges at regular intervals, here are three signs that your re-badging program can't wait any longer.

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Topics: card tips, ID cards, employee badges, employee ID cards, custom id badges

3 Ideas For Fun, Creative Employee ID Badges

Posted by Dan Ryan on Jan 27, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Let's be honest: ID cards aren't exactly the most exciting things around.

It's OK to admit it. We're not offended. We know that most of the world doesn't share our ID-loving views. Not everyone geeks out over the subtle differences between CR-79 and CR80 cards, or knows the precise dimensions of a government-sized credential.

ID cards aren't meant to be thrilling or entertaining. They're meant to do a simple job, and to do it without much fanfare.

ID cards are kind of meant to be...well, boring.

But they don't have to be!

If you're looking to do something different with your ID badging program at your office, school or factory, there are several things you can try to take your ID badges from bland to grand.

Whether you're a small office with a handful of employees or a larger group just looking to add some levity to the work day, these ideas will make your ID cards stand out from the crowd and put a smile on the face of coworkers at the same time.

Make your cards more than an afterthought

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Topics: ID cards, employee badges, employee ID cards, id card tips, office tips

Product Spotlight: Locking Card Cases

Posted by Dan Ryan on Jan 26, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Product Spotlight is a feature designed to showcase individual products in our broad offering. We'll highlight key features, discuss how the product is used and more. Interested in seeing a particular product featured here? Let us know!

Product: Locking card holders
Product Category: Badge Holders
SKU: 706-LN, 706-LT1, OP-706 (required accessory)

Quick, what's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear "secure your ID card?"

Chances are it's one of two things:

  • Secure it to your person by using an accessory, like a badge reel or lanyard
  • Secure it to keep it safe from theft or tampering

Everyone is entitled to have an opinion, but for the most part, the one that springs to your mind first has a lot to do with your line of work and what you're using your ID card to do. 

If you're working in a small office where your employee badge is an afterthought or a mere formality, you're more likely to lean toward the first choice.

However, if you're working in a government office, a high-tech firm or in any position that requires security clearance, you're far more likely to gravitate toward the second option.

It's a fact that eludes many people who use "common" ID cards, but for certain segments of the population, an ID card falling into the wrong hands could have catastrophic consequences.

For that reason, there are people who require a "secure" ID card solution that goes beyond just securing the card to the wearer.

Instead, those people need a solution that keeps the card itself secure, safe from prying eyes or mischievous hackers. For people like that, a simple badge holder isn't going to be good enough.

Lock it up...

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Topics: ID cards, government ID cards, product spotlight, government badge holders, id card security

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