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 email@example.com 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.
Full Colour Plastic Business Cards
Mike emailed for a quote for some full colour plastic business cards. A reply was sent outlining our online offer for 250 cards for £99 +vat (price includes Artwork and Free delivery within England, full details can be found here
Mike was overjoyed at such a good offer and ordered immediately. He uploaded his own design for his plastic cards on to the order form. A gloss finish was chosen over matt to ensure the colours came out as bright as possible.
The artwork had been provided to the correct specifications, so the email proof was with him in under and hour. This was approved and the printing started.
The plastic business cards were dispatched around six working days later and Mike sent a lovely email to say how pleased he was with our service and his new plastic business cards.
Thanks Mike, wishing you all the best.
Plastic Cards Free Design
Every week we find some people are confused about our free artwork service and what do we mean when we say that it’s not a graphic design service?
Over the years, we have found one simple way to explain it to people as follows:
Our Free Artwork Service is ideal for people who don’t have the time or ability to create artwork to the correct specification for a plastic card.
Example 1, a decorator
One way to see it is:
You would call a decorator in to decorate the walls of your house, and paint the doors and window frames. You would do this because you don’t have the time to decorate it yourself or perhaps you lack the ability to do a good job, or both.
You would tell the decorator which wallpaper to put on which wall and what colour paint to paint the door frames and what colour to paint the window frames etc. The decorator would then proceed to do his job of decorating based on your instructions.
This is the same concept as our Free Artwork Service
Example 2, an interior designer
However, if you didn’t know how to decorate the walls and what colours to paint the doors and window frames, thats where you would call on the services of an interior designer.
An interior designer would give you colour scheme suggestions and ideas of how to decorate walls, wallpaper ideas etc.
They would provide many different concepts and work with you to evolve them so you are totally happy with the end result. This of course takes a lot of time. Once the interior designer has given you some ideas, they need to leave it with you to analyse and think about. Then when you are ready you would enter into further discussions to evolve the ideas and move them forward.
Then, once you are completely happy with the interior designers ideas and have settled on a concept, you would then instruct a decorator to carry out the decorating accordingly.
This is the same concept as the services provided by a Graphic Designer
A graphic designer would create a range of designs as a starting point to be worked on and evolved. There will be a lot of work involved and a lot of discussions between you and the graphic designer. Then once you are happy with the final design and all design aspects, fonts, sizing, wording images have been tweaked the artwork will then be ready to print. This whole process can take weeks to produce the end result.
We do not offer a graphic design service as we are not graphic designers and no one within our company has any graphic design qualifications.
We are a printing company that tries to help people Free of Charge by offering a Free Artwork Service
We fully understand that some people require a graphic design service and our Free Artwork Service isn’t the right choice for them.
However, please do understand that it simply isn’t possible for us to offer you a graphic design service as it isn’t something that we do. Some people think we are being awkward and get shirty with us. It needs to be understood that there is a huge difference between a Free Artwork Service and a graphic design service.
For a start graphic design is expensive, you could easily pay £200+ for a graphic designer to create a plastic card design for you.
When you consider we can offer you 250 full colour plastic business cards with Free Artwork and Free Delivery within England for just £99 +vat you will now really appreciate just how much of a fantastic deal this is!
We are proud to help dozens of people each and every week by providing a Free Artwork Service and appreciate all the positive feedback we receive from our many happy customers.