Plastic card printing
When it comes to plastic card printing, we find a lot of our customers are looking for something a little bit different. Something that will stand out from the crowd, catch the eye, become a talking point and will be kept and remembered. We are experts at plastic card printing.
We have a range of plastic cards that can be printed using a hot foil printing process. This plastic card printing process uses 8 tons of force and temperatures around 140 degrees C to fuse the printed image onto the surface of the plastic card.
We have a wide range of colours available, more details can be found here
Our range includes metallic colours such as metallic gold, metallic silver, metallic red and also a metallic colour with a difference called holoprint. When holoprint is printed on a plastic card, it looks similar to metallic silver until it is angled in the light then all the colours of the rainbow can be seen.
I wouldn’t recommend any small important text is printed with holoprint as it may be hard to read but larger text will be ok and certainly when used for graphics or part of a logo, it will look stunning.
Talking about ink colours, when ink colours are printed on our frosted translucent plastic cards, the readability of any text (typically the smaller contact details etc) will be vary depending on the lighting conditions it is viewed in and the background behind the frosted translucent plastic card.
We have videos here of all the ink colours printed on the frosted cards against a white and a black background so you can decide which colour combinations suit your plastic card printing needs.
For example, if you had dark grey ink printed on a frosted translucent plastic card for the contact details at a size of 8pt, it may be difficult to read in a dimly lit room especially if the background behind the card was dark, i.e. a dark desk or dark carpet.
However, in bright light, e.g. outside it will be much easier to read or inside in good lighting with a light coloured desk behind it.
This of course is due to the translucent nature of the frosted plastic cards, and of course we have no control over the lighting or environment that you are viewing the frosted plastic card printing in.
We find when plastic card printing is required with the best readability in most situations, black or white ink provides the best results.
As we are a plastic card printing company, we have very bright lighting within our plastic card printing facility, so we are blessed in being able to see anything within our facility better than most people.
Sometimes customers are looking for plastic card printing with a difference and we find that a frosted translucent plastic card printed with clear foil on the back to create a subtle watermark is a great way to create a stunning looking plastic card with will certainly stand out from the crowd.
Plastic cards with a difference
The clear foil, when printed on a frosted plastic card is indeed very subtle. The parts of the frosted plastic card printed with the clear foil are less frosted and as the card is angled to the light the watermark effect will be come more or less visible, a video of the effect can be seen here
Unfortunately, as with everything in life, there are limitations with the type of printing that can be applied to our frosted plastic cards.
The cards measure 86 x 54 mm but we are unable to print any closer than 3mm from the two long card edges.
We can however print right upto the two short edges.
Also, it is not possible to print gradients or halftones. All artwork must be lineart.
So if you have a logo that fades from light blue to dark blue, we are unable to print it like that. We could print it all in one shade of blue from the shades we have available or one option is to print it with a metallic blue. A metallic blue can be a good option as this will naturally look lighter or darker in the light being a metallic.
Also very fine detail when printed can fill-in. We recommend fonts are 8 pt minimum in size for ease of reading.
Because the cards are printed using heat and pressure, it is not possible to print very large areas of ink coverage.
More ink coverage requires more heat and more pressure which results in the plastic card melting, don’t worry though, we are experts at plastic card printing and can advise you. Email your artwork to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will advise.
Our studio also tweaks all customers artwork when necessary (free of charge) otherwise it will not be possible to print. For example, if any aspect is too thin to print, i.e. a line then we will thicken it up slightly so it is actually printable. If we didn’t do this, then the line may not print at all or print with parts of the line breaking up. We recommend all lines are a minimum of 0.25mm thick.
We also add something called trapping to customers artwork. This is applied to parts of the artwork where two colours are touching each other. Because the colours are printed individually as separate printing passes what we do is add trapping which means extend one of the colours so it is actually slightly underneath the other colour by a fraction of a mm. When the second colour is printed, if there is any mis-registration (movement by a fraction of a mm) then there is not a gap between the two ink colours as the trapping takes care of this.
A few people call the hot foil printing process hot stamping or hot foiling or evening foiling or foiled plastic cards. It all means the same thing and this is one of the printing processes that we use to create beautiful plastic cards.
We always call the colours available ink colours as this is what most customers understand. In reality they are all foils, even the non metallic colours. Some customers understand that foils are metallic but never think on non metallic pigment colours. So for ease, we just say ink colours to keep things simple.