How to Create Effective ID Badges: Security


We all know the feeling  when we can't find our credit card. Heart pumping. Breathing stopped. It could be anywhere. 

These days security is fore-front in our collective conscious; from identity theft to terrorism, we have a litany of security concerns that we fight to protect ourselves against every day. Whether at work or school, identity authentication has become a regular part of our lives in order to protect ourselves, our organizations and our proprietary information. ID card printer systems offer a variety of security features ready for you to turn your office into a fortress.



Possibly the easiest and most well-known ID security feature. Barcodes are a simple black and white graphic made up of rectangles used to encode data and information, usually numbers or a line of text. Barcodes can store up to 100 characters depending on which you use which makes these good for URLs and ID numbers. Barcode encoding is a standard feature inside of ID Maker 3.0.



The new player on the team. These are popularized on the web and common in modern consumer advertising due to their ease of use in being read by most of todays smart phones.

QR codes are similar to barcodes in that they are a black and white graphical representation of the encoded data (often depicted as a grid of black squares). However, QR codes are able to contain up to 2000 characters as well as can be read from any direction making them more effective and easy to use. As with barcode encoding, QR code creation is standard in our ID Maker 3.0 software.



A programmable black or brown stripe on an ID card that when swept through a reader accesses loaded information such as an employee or student account number, name, purchase history, or other designated information. Magnetic stripes commonly hold up to 926 bits. Mag stripe encoding must be programmed to your ID card printer prior to purchasing your system but is a very common upgrade do to its widespread use. Information on magnetic stripes is susceptible to theft due to magnetic readers so we always recommend using an RFID badge holder to protect against theft.


Smart Chips:

America is well on its way to wide spread adoption of smart cards for many instances, one of which being credit and debit cards. Europe and now North America utilize this technology do to its stranger security, durability and larger data storage, between 8,000 and 128,000 bits. The only con is that each card tends to be more expensive than a traditional mag stripe card.



This unique feature can be used in a couple of ways on an ID card. A custom holokote key can be programmed for your printer. When the custom key is inserted into the printer, it produces a holographic overlay that prints to the ID card. A gold foil square called a holopatch can also be printed on each card. The holopatch can be used to print anything, including your company logo, for added protection from forgery.



Another unique marking, most often an organization’s logo, which lightly prints across any ID badge. Because this watermark is unique to your company, it makes unauthorized card duplication nearly impossible. You can also make an ID one-of-a-kind with a mirror screen image of your ID picture, usually smaller and located in the bottom corner of the ID card.


Especially useful in government agencies and schools for child ID programs. An employee or student fingerprint can be included with the rest of their ID card information.

For more tips on designing an effective ID cards read through the rest of the posts in this series.

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