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ID Zone Learning Center

Find answers to your questions about photo identification and plastic card printing!

Should I Buy a Single-Sided or Dual-Sided Printer?

Your company or school ID badges, visitor passes, membership reward cards, and more can be created in-house, giving you added control, convenience, and cost savings! All you need is a card printer system that consists of a computer with downl_oaded ID software, a digital camera (if printing photos on the card), ID cards, and a card printer/encoder.

At the heart of an ID printer system is the printer. The first question an ID printer specialist will ask is if you will need a single-sided or dual-sided printer. Not sure how you’d answer? Read on…

Single-Sided Printers

Single-sided photo ID printers print on one side of your card in one pass. Most single-sided ID badge printers are lightweight and compact in size, making them ideal for any workstation.

­Is it right for me?

Single-sided printers work well for those needing basic ID cards (cards with only the employee name, photo, and company logo, for example). Some single-sided ID badge printers can be upgraded to two-sided card printing, magnetic encoding, or lamination as your needs change. So if your needs may change in the future, opt for a printer that is upgradeable!

Dual-Sided Printers

Duplex ID badge printers print both sides of your card in one pass, eliminating the time consuming process of manually flipping your cards. They also help prevent smudging your cards or damaging your printhead from unnecessary handling.

Is it right for me?

Dual-sided printers work well for cards that require a considerable amount of information, such as:

  • Additional Card Holder Data: information that can’t fit on the front of the card such as employee anniversary date, date of birth, contact information, etc.
  • Schedule/Calendar: listing of upcoming events, sales, activities, holidays, etc.
  • Rewards/Membership: program requirements, contact information, expiration date
  • Disclaimer/Lost Card: property information, cardholder responsibilities, how to return a lost card

Some duplex ID badge printers can be upgraded to magnetic encoding or lamination as your needs change. If unsure about your future needs, select a dual-sided model that is upgradeable.

Laminating Printers

 In a laminating printer, a thin film is applied to the card with heat and pressure during the printing process. This layer of lamination offers protection against abrasion, fading, and dye migration. Thermal transfer overlaminates can also increase the security of ID cards with the inclusion of a standard or custom watermark or holographic image. These images can be visible to the human eye or only with special equipment. A laminating printer can be either a single-sided or dual-sided printer.

Is it right for me?

Laminating printers are ideal for companies that need a long-lasting, durable card. They also are required for some security features, such as custom or standard or holographic images.

Ready to shop for a printer? Use our Printer Finder.

Have questions or need assistance? Talk with an ID Expert at (800) 910-5987, Chat Live, or email us at [email protected].