The Complete ID
Printer Buyer's Guide

This guide walks you through all the important considerations you'll need to know when selecting an ID card printer.

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What to Include on ID Cards

What to Include on ID Cards

Buyer's Guide
to ID Card Printers

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from the industry experts!

Get Free Guide Buyer's Guide to ID Card Printers

The second step, after identifying the purpose of your ID card system, is deciding what information to display on the cards. There are an abundance of choices when it comes to card security, design, and data. Ensuring that the right card data is printed onto the card is critical to preventing unauthorized duplication. Not sure what type of information to include on the front and back of the card? If you’re kicking off an employee or standard photo ID card program, consider incorporating the following elements on the ID badge:

Cardholder Information

  • First and Last Name
  • Status or Job Title
  • Department
  • Certification(s)
  • ID Number
  • Date of Hire or Date Issued
  • Expiration Date
  • Sex
  • Height / Weight / Eye Color
  • Security Clearance
  • Emergency Contacts

Security & Encoding

  • Barcode
  • Magnetic Stripe
  • Signature
  • Smartcard Encoding
  • Fingerprint Image
  • Hologram

Design Elements

  • Text
  • Images / Graphics
  • Color Scheme
  • Cardholder Photograph

Company Information

  • Company Logo & Slogan
  • Company Phone Number(s)
  • Company Address
  • Company Mission Statement
  • “If Found Return to” Instructions


Recommended but Not Required

These examples are certainly not used or required for every ID badge program. In fact, some are better suited to others. A membership ID card might include an expiration date, but not position or department. Some employee cards might display the cardholder’s physical characteristics (i.e. height and sex), while others show simply a signature and a clear photo of that person.

Card Color & Designs

Two id cards with unique information

The design and color of your organization’s ID badges carry just as much weight as the content. Need some inspiration? Our learning center features a generous selection of ID card templates to get your creative juices flowing. Be sure to bring any questions up you have about card color and design when you speak with one of our specialists. Whether you want simple, black and white cards or intend to print colorful graphics, we have printer ribbons for every design preference.

Dual or Single-Sided Cards

We have printers for both dual and single-sided cards in our online store. If you’re operating with a tight budget or haven’t made a decision to print onto both sides, you can always upgrade at a later date to a double-sided printer or manually feed the ID cards back into the card hopper to print the other side. There’s also the option of pre-printing cards for static designs and then running them back through the printer for a second pass.

Let us Help

AlphaCard’s friendly ID card experts have accumulated decades of experience designing and building out ID badge systems for every industry. Our job is to make certain your ID program is equipped with the features needed to deliver professional-quality cards. Don’t hesitate to call us for a free, no-hassle consultation.