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The Ins & Outs of Badge Printing

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

Card printers are designed to work with a variety of card stock. This can be challenging since the surface and substrates of the cards have different properties. If a card is not printing properly, the settings in the driver of the printer can help you dial-in the correct print intensity and quality of the printing by varying the speed and temperature of the printing process. These settings are especially important when it comes to re-transfer printing. The difference between re-transfer and Direct-to-Card Printers is that the most commonly used ID printers are called Direct-to-Card printers because, like the name suggests, it applies ink directly onto a card. The downside is you have a thin white border around the edge of the ID because the print-head can’t go over the edge of the card. Whereas a re-transfer

printer prints directly on clear film before being place on a card using heat to adhere. This allows the entire area of a card to be printed and sometimes referred to as “over-the-edge” or ‘high-definition” printing.

Slowing down the print process or turning up the heat of the print-head and re-transfer process can increase the energy applied to the ribbon and re-transfer bulbs. If there is too much energy applied, the card will warp and/or the process will be slow. If there is too little energy applied, you will get defects in the card where the re-transfer image didn’t adhere to the card. You may also note that some of the print is too light. To fix this problem, find the setting in the print driver that slows down the printing process to increase the energy. Each printer manufacturer has settings to finely tune that allow you increase or lower the temperature and/or adjust the length of time to print a card.

If all that sounds like too much trouble, you can also contact our Global Support Staff to walk you through the ideal settings. Please call or email us to get started: 800-969-0963 or

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