Choosing the right card-stock to match your artwork can make the difference between an “OKAY” looking card and an “AMAZING” looking card. There are a variety of things to consider when making your decision and sometimes more than one option could work. Since we have a large amount of experience in this field, you can always send us your artwork and we can give you an idea of what might work best to achieve what you are looking for. We only carry a select inventory to be eligible for our 72-hour turnaround, which is generally a combination of Silk and Matte cards. For a full list of the card stocks eligible for the 72-hour turnaround scroll to the bottom of the page.
The magnetic stripe is where important data is stored on many different types of cards. There are the little bars that run edge to edge on the back of the card similar to your debit and credit cards. While these are usually Black or Brown, they can be custom ordered in a multitude of different colours.
There are 3 different options when it comes to the size of the mag stripe on your card. A track 2 mag is the most common, this is what you have on the back of your debit and credit cards.
As There are 3 different options when it comes to the size of the mag stripe on your card. A track 2 mag is the most common, this is what you have on the back of your debit and credit cards. As the name suggests, this mag has up to two lines of data that can be encoded. A track 3 mag is slightly thicker and is what you usually see on the back of your hotel room keycards. As you may have guessed, the track 3 mag has up to three lines of data that can be encoded. Finally, you can simply opt to have no magnetic stripe at all!
Once you have determined the size of mag you are looking for, you have to determine the coercivity (oe) you need or would like. In very simple terms the oe is like the ‘strength’ of the mag stripe. The lower the oe, the weaker the mag stripe is. There are many different levels of oe that you can order through a custom order with us, however, we work with 2 standards that are used for 99.9% of cards. First is 300oe, this is what we refer to as a “Lo-Co” mag. Traditionally most Track 3 cards will be Lo-Co. This is a great choice when you have a need to re-write the data on the mag stripe, which is why you often see these used in hotel room keycards. Next up we have 2750oe, or as we refer to it a “Hi-Co” mag. Due to the difficulty in re-writing the data on these, they are great for cards that carry a value or are tied to personal information such as gift cards or membership cards.
If you are unsure about what magnetic stripe you currently have or want to know more information about how they work, please feel free to “contact us” and we will be happy to help you out!
Silk is our default card stock option. The surface of this card is very smooth and allows for a higher amount of detail to be retained. On its own this card is not reflective, however, if you require a reflective surface you will need to ensure you have full ink coverage on the card and/or apply a full coat of varnish. Any type or style of artwork will work well with a silk card.
Matte is our second most common type of base card stock used. This card is similar to silk in the sense that it is not reflective on its own, however, this card is more textured than its smooth counterpart. The textured effect that matte offers is excellent when printing specific designs. Some examples we have done in the past would be a chalkboard, pavement, dirt/grass or wood background cards. You want to try to avoid using a matte card if your artwork has any fine details or text. Since the matte has the extra texture, these fine details tend to get lost when the ink fills in the texture and mixes a little different. A matte card will also slightly modify the final colour result and generally make it a bit brighter than it would otherwise be on a silk card.
We try to be as environmentally conscious as we can here at QuickCards. That is why we are happy to offer our customers a 100% recycled paper option to print their cards on. This cardstock is very close to “Matte” when it comes to what designs it works best with, however, it is more forgiving with the fine details since it is not quite as textured. Since paper cards are not quite as durable as plastic ones, it is not recommended to use this stock for cards that are going to have a repeating use (i.e. ID Badges, Loyalty or Membership cards, etc). They do work great for gift and promo cards (i.e. Buy 9 get the 10th free punch or stamp card)!
Nothing says style quite as much as a nice flashy card. Our selection of metallic cardstocks will give your card that sparkle that is sure to catch the wandering eye. Coming in a wide range of colours, these are suitable for most any brand. It is very important when picking a metallic base card to remember that our process does not print white at all. What this means is that the colour of your final artwork can be drastically modified by the colour of your metallic base card (red printed on a metallic blue card will come out purple). Generally, we recommend using a “Metallic Pearl” as there is no change in colour, but you still get the sparkle. For the other Metallic colours, you should try to design your card so that it is predominately black with the elements you want to show the metallic through to be white. Take a look at some “samples” to get some different ideas.
Foil cards are the Ferrari of cards. They look extremely good, but there are very limited designs that will work with them. Foil cards give an extremely reflective surface to your card, basically like a mirror. There are many different colours and styles available, but similar to the metallics, different colours will modify the final printed colour of your cards. If you are looking on getting a foil card we require you “contact us” to complete a custom order, due to the particular nature of the stock. You may not get your cards within 72 hours with this option, but you will have the best and brightest cards of anyone around!
Card Stocks Eligible for 72 Hour Turnaround
The following card stock options are eligible for our 72 Hour Turnaround, based on quantities of 5,000 or less. For all other cardstock options, please “contact us” to get an estimated completion time for your order.