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How to Best Color Prints

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How to Best Color Prints


The difference between a good color print and a mediocre one can be remarkable.  A full color, high-quality ID card shows clear and crisp images, text and graphics, while a print of less quality can have white lines from lack of color, and faded spots where there should be color.  A card with a great print, especially in applications where it's displayed constantly, is worn and displayed with more pride.  It doesn't take much to create great color prints.  Simple printer maintenance performed on a regular basis can go a long way towards keeping your printer producing great color cards for years to come.

  • Keep print heads clean: It's imperative to keep an ID card printer's print head spic and span at all times.  Dust and debris in the print head can cause marring or streaks on the card. Alcohol swabs (provided in cleaning kits) or a soft, lint-free cloth and rubbing alcohol can be used to gently clean the print heads and remove any foreign debris.
  • Keep ribbons and card clean, too: If dust settles on your cards or the flat surface of a ribbon it can interfere with the printing process.
  • Use only manufacturer recommended ribbons and cleaning kits:  Buying discounted off-brand printer ribbons or cleaning kits can be tempting in the short run, but may end of hurting the printer down the road.  Using manufacturer specified products will help ensure that the ID card printer keeps producing high-quality cards.
  • Clean the printer regularly: It's essential that card printers are cleaned regularly. Cleaning the printer removes any excess debris and helps keep the inside of a card printer running smoothly.  Check the printer manual for specific recommendations on cleaning frequency.  A good rule of thumb is to use your printer's designated cleaning kit to clean the printer every time the ribbon is changed.  Additionally, you can use a can of compressed air to remove dust and debris to ensure cards will pass through the printer without causing a jam.
  • Perform printing tests: Printing a diagnostic "test" card before printing multiple cards can help diagnose any color and printing problems before they may occur.
  • Run recommended manufacturer utilities: ID card printers need the occasional calibration test or tune-up to keep them running in optimum order. Check with one of our friendly ID card specialists to see when and how these should be run. Often, printers can be calibrated using ID card software or a driver available from the manufacturer.

Not sure how to choose
an ID card printer?

  1. Approximately how many cards will you
    print per year?
  1. Do you need to automatically print on
    both sides of the card?
  1. Do you need a magnetic stripe?

The Complete Card
Printer Buyer's Guide

With such a wide range of ID printers, evaluating the options can be overwhelming. This FREE 7-step guide will walk you through choosing the perfect card printer.


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