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Custom Printed Stock Design Center





Artwork Specifications and Guide



Print Technology:


eXpress badging's custom printed card stock jobs are ran on a variety of state of the art equipment depending on the application and material used. The print technology used is similar to standard forms printing processes. However, due to the fact identity credentials are being produced, you should be aware there that are do's and don'ts that you should factor into your ID design. eXpress badging will do all of the design work for you with this understanding in mind, and below is our process.

eXpress bagding offers custom ID design professional services to generate your design source files, or you can provided your finished design files following our specifications below. We will then provide a proof within two to three businss days for approval and sign-off. If technology is integrated within the card, we also require testing approval sign-off prior to printing.

ID Card Material:

For most identity cards projects, eXpress badging prints on PVC card stock material. The white opacity of card stock will vary between "standard" 100% PVC and "composite" 60% PVC and 40% polyester blended cards. Even over a period of extended time, the color white contrast of PVC cards can not be guaranteed due to various the manufacturing processes and material used.

We do have other material options for special projects and oversize cards that are considered custom.

  • Technology Cards: RFID, Magnetic Stripes and Barcodes
  • Lamination for added durability and fade protection
  • Adhesive Stock
  • Tri-modal Security Seals
  • UV Inks
  • Foil Stamping
  • Laminated Teslin for oversize credentials

File Formats:

Our preferred formats are Microsoft compatible EPS or PDF, with no image compression and ideally designed to exact size requiring no scaling. We accept Illustrator.Al and Photoshop.PSD files. Please include a PDF or JPG version for a quick preview.

Please ensure all fonts are converted to outlines and all color raster images are CMYK and 300 dpi at actual size. Grayscale images should be a minimum of 600 dpi; 1 bit (Black and White) images should be a minimum of 1200 dpi to maintain clarity.

We also accept JPG, TIF, BMP file and must be saved as exact size printing requiring no scaling. Do not supply files in Microsoft Word or Powerpoint.

File Compression:

ZIP or STUFFIT compression can be used to reduce final size.

Spot Colors:

Where PMS colors are to be printed as separate spot colors, please ensure objects are correctly filled with the required color and that your confirming the sales order includes the additional charges and line items calling out spot color printing.

Extended areas of filled black such as backgrounds on CMYK jobs should be filled with Rich Black (50 C, 40 M, 40 Y, 100 K) in order to generate a deeper, richer black.

Full Bleed:

A minimum of 0.125" bleed is required for any image that extends beyond the cut-line. All live elements (type, logos etc.) should be kept at least 0.063" from the cut edge to allow for movement during production.

All art should be placed in position on the final page size with allowances for bleed, slot or hole punching, magnetic stripes, barcodes etc. indicated. Templates are available on request (see below). Crop marks, cut-lines etc. may be used, but must remain outside the maximum bleed area, or be placed on a separate layer to allow for removal prior to production.


Embedded Holographic Foil/Foil Stamps:

All art submitted for foil stamping must be 1 bit Black and White only - no color or grayscale tints. When creating art please remember that fine detail can fill in/drop out during the foil stamping process. Distinct, solid line type is recommended.

Slot Punch:

If you ID card will be worn as a badge, most are slot punched for use with a badge holder (clip, lanyard or reel). Make sure if you are designing the badge, to account for the slot location; front and back sides. The standard offset is .25' to the bottom of the slot, centered on top edge. Standard slot width is .5' to .625". Standard slot height is .125". CLICK HERE to see our badge holder options.

Design Proofing:

Using your supplied card design logos and graphics, eXpress badging will create your design proof for approval, and printing will not start until approved; and technology testing is approved if applicable. eXpress badging does offer ID design professional services and can create the source design graphics from scratch for you if you do not have the internal resources.



Design Templates:

Horizontal ID Card Template
Horizontal ID Card Template


Vertical ID Card Template


Horizontal Buddy Badge Template


Vertical Buddy Badge Template

ID Badge Technology Testing:

In addition to the design and proof process, eXpress badging requires technology testing and sign-off for any cards used in a badge reader system. This ensures that the ID badges eXpress badging produces will work in all of your systems.

Sample test cards are provided based on customer provided specifications. Test cards must be enrolled in each system used; then transactions generated for each test card provided. We recommend printing a transaction report in each badge reader system to document successful ID badge enrollment and transaction generation (badge works in the reader). Does the badge open the door, record a time punch, record a tracking transaction, and then record the transaction in the system using the unique badge ID number and person assigned to it?

Testing Guidelines: Testing starts by defining all badge reader systems being used. Provide the manufacturer's name, the supporting integrator/dealer information and point of contact for each system used. Take a photo of your RFID card box label and/or back of the card and email to your sales representative.
  1. Time and Attendance
  2. Access Control
  3. Tracking Systems
  4. Point of Sale

Once you know all the systems in use, you need to document the reader type and specifications of each technology used: RFID Proximity (125kHz), RFID Contactless (13.56 MHz), barcodes, and magnetic stripes.

Providing Artwork Files:

We have several methods for providing artwork.
  • Files should be emailed to your sales representative or customer service manager if they are a file size you can email, and you should not exceed 10MEG.
  • We can setup a secure ShareFile Account for those with artwork files over 10MEG. We will email log-in credentials upon engagement.
  • We can pull them down from your FTP site.
  • Proofs will be created for review and approval before processing.