Designing an ID card program is not just an opportunity to streamline company processes by adding functionality and security; it’s also a chance to express the aesthetics of your business or organization. A wide range of design elements to choose from makes it easy to customize an ID card program to the style and needs of any group. Before starting the design process, here are a few key pieces of information to take into consideration:

1. Consider what kind of ID program you will be starting – The type of ID program you start may have a large impact on the design of your card and what information you include. Employee ID badges may require access control functionality and other security features, while student ID cards might incorporate school colors and only require simple design elements for basic identification.
2. Decide how the card will be used – How an ID card or badge is used is an important determinant of how the cards will be designed. For example, if ID cards will need to be swiped or scanned you may have to incorporate a magnetic stripe or barcode into the design of the card. Similarly, for cards that will be reviewed by security personnel on a daily basis, making photos larger and adding other visual security cues can help speed up the credential verification process.
3. Determine if the card will need encoded features – Encoded features add tons of functionality to ID card programs but also take up room. If you are planning on incorporating magnetic stripes, barcodes, or smart chips you’ll need to design around those features.
4. Take the capabilities of your ID card printer into consideration – You’ll also need to think about what design features your ID card printer is built to handle. Will your cards be single or dual-sided? Color or monochrome? Additionally, not all ID card printers are equipped with encoding capabilities.
AlphaCard’s Learning Center is full of ID card resources and design tips for creating functional, versatile, and secure ID cards.