AlphaCard Technical Support

ID Printer Ribbons

ID Printer Ribbons

ID Printer Ribbons

Printer ribbons are described by the colors their contain, from BO to YMCKOK. A standard printer ribbon used for single-sided printing will be YMCKO. This stands for Yellow, Magenta, Cyan, Black, and Overlay. Using these colors, you can create any number of colors and designs. Unlike a desktop inkjet printer, when you print an ID card you can’t minimize the amount of panels you use—each card will use a full set of YMCKO panels.


See a full list of the different types of printer ribbons.

If your cards don’t heavily use color, you may want to consider changing your design and use a monochrome ribbon. Monochrome ribbons (which come in a variety of colors including black, blue, and red) come with much larger print counts because they aren’t using 5 panels for every card, so you can get 1000 prints per ribbon versus 300.

And if you print dual-sided cards and the backs are all text or barcodes, you can pre-print the backs of the cards using a monochrome ribbon so you can print larger batches of cards to save you time.


What if my ribbon breaks?

If your ribbon breaks, you can fix it by simply taping the two ends back together. Once it is taped, roll the taped part to the used end of the ribbon spool and place it back in the printer. The reason this works to fix your ribbon is because the taped section will never be used to print, it simply holds the ribbon together so it can continue to spool correctly.

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