Ribbon selection for ID card printers is based
The printer ribbon you chose to use should also be based on the brand, make and model of your ID card printer. There are a number of common formats and printer ribbons that are used most frequently. These include:
Laminated PVC cards
Various printers offer a laminating system that is built in to the printer. This lamination system prolongs the life and quality of a PVC card and protects it from abrasion. Lamination usually ensures that an ID card is more durable and long-lasting.
The panel on a ribbon that is useless for lamination is the O panel; thus there are many ribbons that are specially designed for laminating printers that don't have an O panel. It is important to keep this in mind in you have a lamination system within your ID card printer.
Single or dual sided monochrome printer ribbons
Monochrome refers to one color and a dual sided monochrome ID card usually has simple black and white graphics and only contains barcodes and plain text. Most monochrome ribbons have one panel for color and another that contains a clear overlay varnish to eliminate discoloration.
While most monochrome ribbons are black, manufacturers also produce colors such as blue, red, white, green, silver and gold.
Full color single-sided printer ribbons
Full color single-sided printer ribbons apply material to only one side of the card. Printing may include graphics, photos, text, backgrounds, barcodes, and more. The ribbon that is used for this task is normally a YMCK ribbon.
Full color dual-sided printer ribbons
The ID card printer applies a full color image to each side of an ID card. It usually uses the same YMCKO ribbon that is used for single-sided printing. The drawback is that it only prints half the number of cards as a single-sided printer because it uses two images for every card. This process is also referred to as duplexing.
Black back, full color front dual-sided printer ribbons
A black back and colored front is the standard print application that is used with double-sided ID cards or other PVC cards. The ID card has full-color imaging on the front and black on the back. The back either contains a barcode, plain text, or other element that consists solely of black and white. A YMCKOK ribbon is made especially to print this card. The YMCKOK dual-sided ribbon is also popular because there is no ribbon waste.