Comparing ID Card Printing MethodsThe first basic question that is fielded by our sales representatives and support staff is: what is the difference between Direct-to-Card Printing and Re-Transfer Printing? The final products look similar, so to answer this question let’s take a look at the technology behind these two types of ID card printing, and what it means to a consumer.

Direct-to-card (DTC) printers has been around for quite a long time, much longer than re-transfer printers. It is the most common technology used by photo ID card systems to print images directly onto the surface of a plastic card. The ID card printer does this by heating a special print ribbon beneath a thermal print-head, one color at a time using a variation of a YMCK ribbon, resulting in the transfer of color from the ribbon directly to a blank card. It is considered to be quite reliable, and is often times cheaper than re-transfer ID card printing.

Re-Transfer printing, also known as Reverse Transfer printing, is a two-step process that transfers your image to a film before applying it to the card. First, the image is printed in reverse directly onto a clear layer of film. Next, the print-head heats up and bonds the imaged film to the card’s surface by applying heat and pressure. The two step re-transfer process creates a true over the edge (no white space around the edge) high quality image on PVC cards and other card types. These types of printers are generally more expensive than direct-to-card  printing, but produce high quality prints.

AdvantIDge offers a wide variety of all of the card printer systems, or other visitor management devices, to fill any of your asset tracking, visitor management, or identification card needs. From card printers and supplies for issuance, through to badge clips, reels and other peripherals to put them into your users hands. With more than 40 years of combined industry experience, we’re ready to help you achieve your identification goals. For specific information please contact our Sales department at [email protected] or call 800-965-5932 for more information on this update, we provide excellent customer service!