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Access Control Card – Plastic cards that are used for acquiring access to specified areas, typically associated with the use magnetic stripe and proximity card technology.


Bar Code – An assortment of bars and spaces arranged in accordance with international standards to represent numbers, letters and other commonly understood values of information.

Bleeds – Artwork or images that extends beyond the boundary of the card’s actual size.


CR50 Card – A card size which is typically associated with luggage tags. (3 1/2″ x 2 3/32″ x .020).

CR80 Card – A card size which is associated with dimensions of a standard credit card. (3 3/8″ x 2 1/8″ x .030).


Dye Sublimation – A method for transferring controlled amounts of printer ribbon dye onto a plastic card. This method is used in thermal printing.


Encoding – The process of writing information on magnetic stripe or smart card chip technology.


Font – The specified size and design of a character set (alphabet and numerals).

Four Color Process (YMCK) – Printing in full color using four color distinctions – Yellow, Magenta, Cyan and Black. When these four colors are blended in various combinations they can reproduce the widest range of colors found in nature with the fewest inks.

Fulfillment – The process by which the card is metered and delivered to the post office. Personalization options are available.


Gift Card – Stored values of information are placed on the card using the magnetic strip or bar code. Gift cards can come in Standard CR80 size or another custom size.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) – This is a bitmap image file. Though it has beneficial application, it is not recommended for print production due to limitations in color.


Hanger Card – A CR80 sized card that is attached to and hung from a display by a piece of plastic.

Hologram – A photographic overlay that provides a three-dimensional attribute to a card’s surface, typically used for aesthetic and security purposes.


ID Card – A card that is worn by an individual to provide proof of identity.


JPEG – A commonly used form of image compression file which can be opened in a variety of programs.


Key Card – Similar to an access control card and is used to gain access to specified areas, typically associated with the use magnetic stripe and proximity card technology.


Lamination – The process of laminating and ID card by way of time, heat and pressure.

Loyalty Card –  A card that offers off line accounting for functionality such as merchandise purchases or tracking mileage. Available in standard CR80 or other custom sizes.


Machine-Readable – A characters or codes that are readable by machines.

Magnetic Stripe – A strip of magnetic material that is applied to the surface of a card, used to encode a cardholder’s information.


Personalization – The process of programming or encoding a card with information that is specific to the individual cardholder.

Phone Card – A card with stored value for pre-paid long distance calling.

Point of Sales (PoS) – The system that is used to process transactions.

PDF (Portable Document Format) – A file format that was created for document layouts and is not the ideal format for imaging.

Prepay – Permits and individual to purchase goods or services up to the prepaid amount.

Proximity Card – A form of contactless smart card used primarily for access control functions with technology that includes a metallic antenna coil. The coil communicates with an external antenna to transmit information.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) – One of the materials used for plastic cards, used in thermal printers.


Resolution – Dimension of a bitmap image’s smallest elements and is typically stated as dots-per-inch (dpi). In terms of printing clear images, 300 dpi is the minimum standard.


Safe Design Area – This is .125” from the edge of the card. This is the area on a card where images or other information is safe from being cut off during printing.

Signature Stripe – A strip, typically placed on the back of in ID card, where an individual can write their signature.

Smart Card – A plastic ID card that can store a cardholder’s information within an embedded microchip.


YMC – (Yellow, Magenta, Cyan) Refers to a three color ink ribbon that is used to print a full spectrum of colors. This is similar to the YMCK ribbon, except it does not contain the Black (K) panel.