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Access Control – A system used to control access to buildings or rooms within buildings. Plastic cards (e.g., those with magnetic stripe or proximity control technologies) can be used to gain access to premises.
Barcode – A code consisting of a group of printed and variously patterned bars and spaces, and at times numerals, designed to be scanned and read into computer memory as identification for the object it labels.
Biometrics – Utilizes "something you are" to authenticate identification. This might include fingerprints, retina patterns, irises, hand geometry, vein patterns, voice passwords, or signature dynamics. Biometrics can be used with a smart card to authenticate the user. A user's biometric information is stored on a smart card, the card is placed in a reader, and a biometric scanner reads the information to match it against that on the card. This is a fast, accurate, and highly secure form of user authentication.
Bluetooth – A short range radio technology aimed at simplifying communications among Internet devices and between devices and the Internet. Another of its goals is to simplify data synchronization between Internet devices and other computers.
CR79 Card – Slightly smaller dimensionally than CR80, and made to fit in the well of a proximity card. Dimensions are 3.303" x 2.051" (83.9 mm x 51 mm).
CR80 Card (Standard credit card size) – Dimensions are 3.375" x 2.125" (85.6 mm x 54 mm).
CR90 Card (Driver's license size) – Dimensions are 3.63" x 2.37" (92 mm x 60 mm).
CR100 Card (Oversize/military cards) – Dimensions are 3.88" x 2.63" (98.5 mm x 67 mm).
CSV (Comma separated values) – A file format in which data values are separated by commas. An ID card software that offers import capability of CSV data allows you to access records from stored CSV text files.
CAC Card (Common access card) – Is a smart card distributed by the US Department of Defense (DoD) as a standard identification for active-duty military personnel, reserve personnel, non-DoD government employees and state employees of the National Guard and eligible contractor personnel. CAC cards are used as a common identification card as well as for authentication to grant access to DoD computers, networks and facilities. CAC establishes an authoritative process for the use of identity credentials.
CardJet Card – A Fargo Electronics, Teslin-based CR80 card with a surface that is specially formulated for thermal inkjet printing. CardJet inks bond to cards and dry instantly, without smearing. CardJet cards stand up well to abrasion, dye-migration and UV fading.
CardJet Printing – A discontinued printing technology by Fargo Persona that uses an HP inkjet-based print engine to transfer color and monochrome inks onto specially formulated CardJet cards. This particular inkjet printing process involves heating the inks within an ink cartridge. The heat generates vapor bubbles that are ejected in tiny droplets through nozzles in the ink cartridge. The droplets form text and images on the printable card surface which then bond and dry instantly. Example printers are the discontinued CardJet 410 and CardJet C7.
Card Dispenser – A container used to store blank cards in order to keep them free from dust and debris.
Chip – A piece of semi-conducting material (usually composed of silicon) on which an integrated circuit is embedded. Fitted inside an ID card that is used to store user information and access privileges, chips also provide added security to prevent card counterfeiting.
Cleaning Card – Assists in keeping a printer clean and maintaining the crucial components of the printer including the printhead, transport rollers and magnetic encoding station. Many card printer manufacturers recommend cleaning the printer with a cleaning card each time the ribbon is replaced.
Cleaning Roller – Includes an adhesive surface to gather dust and debris from blank cards. Many card printer manufacturers recommend replacing the cleaning roller after every 1000 prints or sooner.
Cleaning Tape – A roll of adhesive-lined material used to pick up dust and debris from blank cards prior to printing.
Combination Card (Combi Card) – Contains both contact and contactless chip technologies, using two different chips. Learn more about technology cards.
Composite Card (Comp or Polyester Composite Card) – A polyester core sandwiched between PVC material. Stronger and more durable than regular PVC cards, comp cards are recommended for utilization in high-usage environments or if lamination is part of one's particular ID card printing process. (Composition is 40% polyester/PET and 60% PVC material.)
Contact Smart Card – Contains a single embedded circuit chip that contains memory, or memory plus a microprocessor. Contact smart cards must be inserted into a card acceptor device where pins attached to the reader make "contact" with pads on the surface of the card to read and store information on the chip. Learn more about technology cards.
Contactless Smart Card (Proximity Card/Prox Card) – Contains a chip that is connected to an antenna (rather than contact pads as in contact smart cards). The communication between the chip and the reader is therefore wireless. Learn more about technology cards.
Cut and Paste – Refers to the very manual and outdated process of creating ID cards. This process involves taking a photo, manually cropping it and sticking it onto a card and then laminating it with a thermal laminator.
Florescent Panel – The F panel of a dye-sub printer ribbon allows you to print fluorescent grayscale text or images that are only visible with ultraviolet (UV) light. Using the F panel of a ribbon allows you to economically add a covert security feature to your printed ID cards.
Guilloche Pattern (Fine Line Design) – A visual security element on a card that consists of a complex pattern of curving and overlapping fine lines. Guilloche patterns produce an illusion of motion when viewed at certain angles and therefore can be verified by the naked eye but not reproduced via a desktop printer.
Half Panel YMCKO Ribbon – Consists of half of the normal size yellow (Y), magenta (M) and cyan (C) color panels, but full panels of the black/monochrome (K) and clear overlay (O). This ribbon allows twice the normal ribbon yield than the standard YMKCO ribbon at a lower cost per card. YMCKO half panel ribbon is suited for cards where a color ID picture is needed, along with some background black resin text, logo or barcode printing. Examples of what this ribbon can be used for include student ID cards, employee ID cards and driver's licenses.
High Coercivity (HiCo) – Magnetic coding on a magnetic stripe. HiCo stripes are encoded at 2750 Oersted. HiCo magnetic stripes are generally black and store information on a more secure basis than low coercivity magnetic stripes due to the higher level of magnetic energy required to encode them. Information is harder to erase on HiCo cards; therefore, they are common in applications where cards are swiped often and require a long life (e.g., credit card applications).
High Volume Printing - Fast, efficient printing for producing large quantities of cards with minimal down time for supplies loading or maintenance.
High Definition Printing (HDP) – A process involving the printing of full color images onto clear HDP transfer film. The HDP film is then fused to the card through heat and pressure via a heated roller. This technology enhances card durability and consistently produces the best card color available - even on tough-to-print matte-finished cards, proximity cards and smart cards.
Hologram – A unique photographic printing that provides a three dimensional (3D) effect on a flat surface. Holograms cannot be easily copied and are used for visual security and aesthetic purposes on cards. Holographs are usually applied to ID cards as laminates, but they can also be built into blank card stock.
HoloKote – A Magicard patented card watermark technology; Magicard printers print a HoloKote watermark into the card overlay layer during printing. View a sample card with HoloKote and HoloPatch.
HoloMark – A tamper-evident, instantly verifiable 3-D image in a high resolution hologram embedded onto a card. Fargo standard and custom HoloMark cards provide an added level of protection against ID counterfeiting. HoloMark cards are for use with Fargo Direct-to-Card (DTC) series card printers/encoders. View a sample custom HoloMark card.
HoloMark Seal – A Fargo-brand peel-and-stick 3-D seal that if removed from a card, is not reusable. A checkerboard pattern will appear to indicate both the card and the seal have been tampered with. The HoloMark seal is a quick, economical way to add a level of security to an existing card.
HoloPatch – A unique Magicard visible gold patch built into blank card stock; HoloPatch works with HoloKote to highlight one of the HoloKote watermarks, providing daylight-visible ID card security. View a sample card with HoloKote and HoloPatch.
Hopper – Card input and output hoppers hold card stock as they are fed and ejected from the ID card printer.
HSPD 12 (Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12) – HSPD 12 established the requirements for a common identification standard for ID credentials issued by Federal departments and agencies to Federal employees and contractors for gaining physical access to Federally controlled facilities and logical access to Federally controlled information systems.
Inkjet Printer – A printer or an all-in-one unit that shoots fast drying ink through tiny nozzles onto a page to form characters. The inkjet is currently the standard for personal computer printing. Inkjets are fast, affordable and relatively quiet, they provide high quality graphics and print in color.
Interface - A connection standard for transferring data that's recognized by all PCs or Macintosh computers. For example, a parallel printer port is a common interface found on virtually all PCs for transferring data from the computer to a printer.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – In the ID card printing market for instance, ISO defines specifications for magnetic stripe encoding. Printer encoders generally support dual high/low coercivity and tracks 1, 2 and 3. Please check printer specifications.
Key FOB – A security token that can be attached to a keychain.
JIS II – Japanese Industrial Standard for magnetic stripe encoding. JIS II is published and translated into English by the Japan Standards Association.
Lamination (Overlamination) – The process of combining lamination material and core material using time, heat and pressure. Available in clear or holographic designs and in varying thicknesses, laminate patches are typically used for high usage cards (e.g., cards that must be swiped through a reader) or to add advanced visual card security.
Lanyard – A ribbon with a clip worn around the neck, usually used to display one's ID card.
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) – Shows the current status of the printer, and changes according to the printer's current mode of operation. LCD communicates an error with text, which is easier to interpret than LED lights.
Light-Emitting Diode (LED) – Shows the current status of a printer, and changes according to the printer's current mode of operation. LED communicates with a blinking light.
Lockable Hopper – Some ID card printers provide a lockable card hopper door. This lock is intended to help prevent theft of your blank card stock. This feature is especially helpful if using valuable card stock such as preprinted cards, smart cards or cards with built-in security features such as holograms.
Low Coercivity (LoCo) – Magnetic coding on a magnetic stripe. LoCo stripes are encoded at 300 Oersted. LoCo stripes are generally brown and store information less securely than high coercivity magnetic stripes.
Machine Readable – A code or characters that can be read by machines.
Magnetic Stripe (Magstripe) – Refers to the black or brown stripe on the back side of a card. The stripe is made of magnetic particles of resin. There are two types of magnetic striping: high coercivity (HiCo) and low coercivity (LoCo). The resin particle material determines the coercivity of the stripe; the higher the coercivity, the harder it is to encode or erase information from the stripe. Magnetic stripes are often used in applications for access control, time and attendance, lunch programs, library cards and more. HiCo magnetic stripe cards are used in applications of frequent usage and need a long life (e.g., credit card applications); LoCo magnetic stripe cards are often used in hotel room access control applications.
Per the ISO 7811 format, the amount of data you can encode to a magnetic stripe is as follows:
Microprocessor Card (Asynchronous Card) – A type of smart card that features 1 kilobyte to 64 Kbytes of memory and is suitable for portable or confidential files, identification, tokens, electronic purses or any combination of uses.
Microtext – A visual security element on a card that is usually placed within a line or artwork element. Microtext is only a few thousandths of an inch tall, is visible only under magnification, and cannot be duplicated by dye sublimation, inkjet or laser printers.
Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) – The manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) or an alternative factory-established price that some products are required to be advertised at.
Monochrome – A single color (does not pertain only to black).
Network ID Software – Software that allows the saving, storage and sharing of cardholder records and data across multiple facilities, departments and applications.
Network Printer – A printer available for use by workstations on a network.
ODBC (Open database connections) – ID card software with ODBC connectivity allows you to share card data between internal and outside databases.
Oersted – Pertains to magnetic encoding. The unit of magnetic coercive force used to define difficulty of erasure of magnetic material.
Output Stacker – Stores printed cards in a first-in/first-out order. This feature makes it easy to keep printed cards in a specific order for faster issuance or to print serialized cards.
Overcoat (Overlay, Topcoat) – The last layer ('O' in YMCKO) that is placed onto an ID card after the color or monochrome panels have been applied that protects an ID card from fading and scratching.
Oversized Cards – Used for more efficient visual identification and are available in many non-standard sizes. The most popular sizes are CR90 (3.63" x 2.37"/92 mm x 60 mm) and CR100 (3.88" x 2.63"/98.5 mm x 67 mm).
Overlamination (Lamination) - The process of combining lamination material and core material using time, heat and pressure. Available in clear or holographic designs and in varying thicknesses, laminate patches used in card printers come on rolls, with and without carriers/liners and are typically used for high usage cards (e.g., cards that must be swiped through a reader) or to add advanced visual card security.
Overlay (Overcoat, Topcoat) – The clear overlay panel (O) is provided on dye sublimation print ribbons. This panel is automatically applied to printed cards and helps prevent images from premature wear or UV fading. All dye sublimation printed images must have either this overlay panel or an overlaminate applied to protect them.
Over-the-Edge (Edge-to-Edge/Edgeless) – Refers to the maximum printable area on a card. Printers with this capability can print past the edge of a card resulting in printed cards with absolutely no border.
Parallel Interface – A channel or transmission path capable of transferring more than one bit simultaneously.
Polyester Composite Card (Poly-Comp or Comp Card) – A polyester core sandwiched between PVC material. Stronger and more durable than regular PVC cards, comp cards are recommended for utilization in high-usage environments or if lamination is part of one's particular ID card printing process. (Composition is 40% polyester and 60% PVC material.)
PET Card (Plain Polyethylene Terephthalate or Polyester Card) – Composite cards produced for use in the identification industry are made from PET-G, also known as glycolised polyester. The 'G' represents glycol modifiers, which are incorporated to minimize brittleness and premature aging that occur if unmodified amorphous polyethylene terephthalate (APET) is used in the production of cards.
PIV Card (Personal Identity Verification Cards) – A smart card issued to an individual for the purpose of identification verification. PIV cards contain stored identity credentials (e.g., photo, electronic fingerprint representation) so that the identity of the cardholder can be verified against stored credentials by another person or computer. PIC cards must be personalized with identity information for the individual to whom the card is issued, in order to perform identity verification by both humans and automated systems. Humans can use the physical card to conduct automated identity verification.
Printhead – Card printer component that applies the text, graphics and images to the card material.
Printer Driver – The software that enables your operating system to properly build and format commands and data bound for your printer; in effect, a printer driver tells your operating system all that it needs to know to successfully operate your printer.
Proximity Card (Prox Card/Contactless Smart Card) – Used for access control applications. Embedded in the card is a metallic antenna coil, which allows it to communicate with an external antenna. Because the cards require only close "proximity" to a RF antenna to be read, they are also referred to as contactless cards.
Proximity Card Encoder – The prox card encoder uses a HID ProxPoint Plus reader mounted on the e-card docking station inside the printer/encoder. The ProxPoint is a "read only" device producing a Wiegand signal that is converted to RS-232 using a Cypress Computer Systems CVT-2232. Application programs can read information from HID prox cards via a RS-232 signal through a dedicated DB-9 port on the outside of the printer labeled "Prox."
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC Cards) – The primary material used for typical plastic cards.
Radio Frequency ID (RFID) – A wireless technology for communication between electronic devices. In the ID card industry, it is RFID technology that enables a contactless smart card to communicate with a reader.
Restrictions of the Use of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) – An advanced Japanese and European directive that regulates maximum concentrations of six hazardous materials that are used in electrical and electronics equipment. These materials are lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE).
Resin Thermal Transfer – The process used to print sharp black text and crisp barcodes that can be read by both infra-red and visible-light barcode scanners. It is also the process used to print ultra-fast, economical one color cards. Like dye sublimation, this process uses a thermal printhead to transfer color from the ribbon roll to the card. The difference is that solid dots of color are transferred in the form of a resin-based ink which fuses to the surface of the card when heated. This produces highly durable, single color images.
Resolution – Dimension of the smallest element of an image that can be printed. Usually stated as dots per inch (DPI).
Retransfer (reverse image transfer) – ID card printing technique where the card image is first printed onto transparent retransfer film that is then stuck onto the card surface. Retransfer printing provides high quality images and provides the ability to print on uneven card surfaces and/or differing materials.
Retransfer Film (reverse transfer film) – Used with a reverse transfer ID card printer which first transfers information to be printed onto the card to the underside of a clear ribbon (the initial dye transfer), then transfers the printed information from that ribbon onto the card so that the information on the card appears under a protective "release layer" of the clear ribbon (the retransfer step). In essence, card images are transferred (or sublimated) from the YMCK dye film onto a clear film and then laminated entirely onto the card.
Rewritable Card – Contains a thermo-sensitive material that allows data to become visible/invisible depending upon the temperature applied. Cards can be erased and rewritten many times over. Rewritable card applications include uses in visitor management, customer loyalty and schools.
Scratch Off Ribbon – Used for applications such as pre-paid phone cards. Scratch off ribbon to 'hides' the PIN number that will activate the phone card until it is in the hands of the card owner. Before applying scratch off ribbon, a monochrome or full color ribbon (scratch off ribbon can be applied on top of the overlay or 'O' panel of a YMCKO ribbon) must be used to print the data and graphics desired on the card. Then the monochrome or color ribbon must be replaced with the scratch off ribbon (the card layout must subsequently also be changed so that the scratch off material prints in the area desired) and the card resent through the printer.
Self-Adhesive Laminate – A laminate that can be applied manually - without the use of a thermal lamination unit. Laminates in general can add an extra level of security and durability to a card.
Signature Capture Pad – A form of biometrics that contains a touchpad sensor that reads the pressure applied to a stylus tip used for signing, and then transmits the data to a computer.
Signature Panel – An area on a card the allows the cardholder to write their personal signature.
Single-Sided – Capable of printing on only one side of a card.
Smart Card – Cards that have an embedded computer circuit that contains either a memory chip or a microprocessor chip. There are several types of smart cards, including: memory, contact, contactless, hybrid (twin), combi, dual interface and proximity. Learn more about technology cards.
Thermal Printhead – An electronic device which uses heat to transfer a digitized image from a special ribbon to the flat surface of a plastic card.
Thermal Printing – The process of creating an image on a plastic card using a heated printhead.
Thermal Transfer Overlaminate – A card overlaminate available in a 0.25 mil thickness that increases card security and durability; often used for moderate durability applications or when additional security (such as holographic images) is needed.
Topcoat (Overcoat, Overlay) – The topcoat (T) panel of a ribbon is applied to printed cards and helps prevent images from some premature wear or UV fading. Topcoats are available as a panel on color and monochrome ribbons, or provided on a separate roll in clear or holographic styles.
Twain – An interface used for communications between image processing software and digital cameras or scanners that allows for the importing of an image into the image processing software.
TWIC Card (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) – TWIC is a common identification credential for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of facilities and vessels by the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA), and all mariners holding the Coast Guard-issued credentials. TWIC cards are a tamper-resistant credential containing the cardholder's biometric (fingerprint template) to allow for a positive link between the card and the individual.
Ultraviolet (UV) Ink – A visual security element on a card that allows invisible graphics to turn red when viewed under UV light.
Universal Serial Bus (USB) – An input/output (I/O) bus capable of data transfer at 12 megabits (1.5 megabytes) used for connecting peripherals to a microprocessor. Typically, each device connected to a computer uses its own port. USB can connect up to 127 peripherals through a single port by daisy-chaining the peripherals together. USB devices may be hot plugged, which means that power does not have to be turned off to connect or disconnect a peripheral. Most major hardware, software, and telecommunications providers support USB. Some printers do not yet support USB; however, most will accommodate a parallel to USB conversion cable.
Visitor Management Software – Software used to register, badge and track visitors.
VeriMark – A tamper-evident, instantly verifiable 2-D silver metallic foil embedded with a logo or other custom graphics onto a card using a hot stamp process. Fargo custom VeriMark cards provide an added level of protection against ID counterfeiting. VeriMark cards are for use with Fargo Direct-to-Card (DTC) series card printers/encoders. View a sample custom VeriMark card.
Wax Ribbon – Can be applied to an array of card materials and is therefore more versatile than a standard ribbon. Wax ribbon can be used with ABS and special varnished cards, as well as non-PVC card materials such as cardboards (e.g., paper cards).
Webcam – A digital camera capable of downloading images to a computer for transmission over the Internet or other network.
YMC (Yellow/Magenta/Cyan) – Yellow, magenta and cyan are the primary print colors for cards. The three colors are combined in varying degrees to make a full spectrum of colors.
YMCK (Yellow/Magenta/Cyan/Monochrome) – Yellow, magenta and cyan are the primary print colors for cards. The three colors are combined in varying degrees to make a full spectrum of colors. Monochrome or 'K' is a black resin panel.
YMCKI (Yellow/Magenta/Cyan/Monochrome/Inhibitor) – Yellow, magenta and cyan are the primary print colors for cards. The three colors are combined in varying degrees to make a full spectrum of colors. Monochrome or 'K' is a black resin panel. The inhibitor or 'I' panel is used to prevent the retransfer film from being applied to specified areas, such as signature panels or surface foils. The main use of the I panel is when printing on cards with a signature panel, since the retransfer film would make this area hard to write on.
YMCKK (Yellow/Magenta/Cyan/Monochrome/Monochrome) – Yellow, magenta and cyan are the primary print colors for cards. The three colors are combined in varying degrees to make a full spectrum of colors. Monochrome or 'K' are black resin panels - the latter 'K' is used for monochrome printing on the back side of a card.
YMCKT (Yellow/Magenta/Cyan/Monochrome/Topcoat) – Yellow, magenta and cyan are the primary print colors for cards. The three colors are combined in varying degrees to make a full spectrum of colors. Monochrome or 'K' is a black resin panel, and the topcoat panel provides the card with minimal protection against everyday use and environmental elements (e.g., UV rays).
YMCKO (Yellow/Magenta/Cyan/Monochrome/Overcoat) – Yellow, magenta and cyan are the primary print colors for cards. The three colors are combined in varying degrees to make a full spectrum of colors. Monochrome or 'K' is a black resin panel, and clear overlay or 'O' is a thin, protective layer.
YMCKOK (Yellow/Magenta/Cyan/Monochrome/Overcoat/Monochrome) – Yellow, magenta and cyan are the primary print colors for cards. The three colors are combined in varying degrees to make a full spectrum of colors. Monochrome or 'K' is a black resin panel, and clear overlay or 'O' is a thin, protective layer. The latter 'K' is used for monochrome printing on the back side of a card.