Which Printer Ribbon Should You Use

Now that you have an ID printer in the office, finding all sorts of applications is easy. Along with ID cards for your employees, you also use the templates to create cards for marketing campaigns to be used at trade shows, and several other projects. That means going through quite a few ribbons over the course of the year. Here are some tips to finding the perfect printer ribbon.


Not all ribbons are compatible with every ID printer. The first thing to do is determine which ribbons are compatible with your equipment. Along with your original printer ribbon, you may find some third-party brands work well too. Depending on the quality and pricing offered by these brands, you can make your selections from there.

What About Colour Needs?

Do your projects mainly call for black lettering and other elements on each card? If so, then a monochrome printer ribbon will work nicely. However, if you’re someone who uses multiple colours for various assignments and tasks, you may want to consider a YMCK ribbon.

This type of printer ribbon allows you to utilize the four main colours needed to produce any hue you like. These colours include yellow, magenta, cyan, and black. Combined, it’s possible to come up with high-quality images if you prefer ID cards with a photograph. This also makes it easier to create discount cards sporting your company colours, which come in handy at trade shows, conferences and other networking events.

A Ribbon That Adds an Overlay

An overlay is simply a protective layer placed on the top of your cards as they’re printed. Overlays eliminate the need to laminate your cards, and results include cards that resist more wear and tear and last a lot longer.

Overlays also make it more difficult to tamper with the information printed on the card surface. From a security perspective, it does make sense to go with this feature if you’re printing identification cards that allow entrance to a secure area. When it comes to your printer ribbon, it’s possible to purchase one that has a built-in overlay. Double check your printer to make sure an overlay or YMCKO ribbon will work with it. If you’ve been thinking about adding protective coating to your cards, this is an extra touch that will pay off in the long run.

The Print Capacity

Always find out how many cards can be printed from a single printer ribbon before making a purchase. While the exact number will vary based on number of colours used per card, it still pays to focus on options that provide the greatest production volume.

Perhaps the ribbon offered by the printer manufacturer is the best bargain, even though the cost per unit is higher. That’s because the printer ribbon is capable of producing a few hundred more cards before it needs to be changed. You’ll lose money and likely quality if an alternative brand only lasts half as long as the recommended brand. Choosing your printer ribbon wisely will ensure your cards look great each time. Go with a ribbon that meets all your needs, works with your printer well and produces the most benefits for least cost. Once you figure out which printer ribbon works best, you won’t need to research options again for a while. Contact us to purchase the right one today.

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