Our ID Card Printing Experts Recommend…

IDP Smart 51 GDPR Edition

IDP Smart 51 secure GDPR ID card printer

The IDP Smart 51 secure GDPR printer is a perfect fit for any organisation looking for a reliable, easy to use and secure ID card printer. With low-cost consumables and an unrivalled 5-year manufacturer warranty included, it's the perfect solution for those printing staff ID cards in-house.

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IDP Smart 51 secure GDPR ID card printer with two staff photo ID cards

Printer Lock

Unique ribbon lock ensures used printer ribbons cannot be removed from the printer.

Card Security

This low-cost feature adds a layer of visual security to each card, lowering the risk of card cloning attempts.

Kensington Lock

Kensington lock significantly decreases the risk of your card printer being stolen.


Stress free printing with a five-year unrivalled manufacturer warranty.


Print a full colour secure card in just 17 seconds.

Printer Finder

Need our help? Answer three simple questions and find the perfect printer.

Are you printing access control cards?

How important is security in relation to your cards and your card printer?

Is being able to print cards business critical?

How Do Plastic Card Printers Work?

Card printers are specifically designed and developed to print photos, images and detailed text directly on to blank plastic or proximity cards. They share many similarities with a traditional desktop inkjet printer, commonly found in the home or office.

The blank plastic card is passed through a thermal print head at the same time as a colour or monochrome (single colour) ribbon.

The colour from the ribbon is then transferred onto the card through the heat given out from the print head.

As a result your photo, images and text are visible on the card, and the card is ready to issue.

What is a Direct to Card Printer? (DTC)

Direct to card is by far the most common printing technique used today for plastic ID card printing in low volumes. This print process works by the printhead coming in to direct contact with the surface of the blank card. The printhead applies heat directly to the ribbon panels to print vibrant colours and crisp detailed text to the card.

The main benefits of opting for a DTC printer are:

  • Easy to setup.
  • Reliable.
  • Low cost consumables (Ribbons and cleaning kits).

What is a Retransfer Printer?

Retransfer printers, also referred to as reverse transfer printing is a more secure type of ID card printer and is traditionally used by corporate organisations with a high volume requirement. The print process works by creating a mirror image that is then printed onto a clear film called a retransfer film, which is then fused onto the surface of the card.

The main benefits of opting for a Retransfer printer are:

  • Significant improvement in the clarity of images.
  • Print on cards with uneven surfaces such as proximity cards.
  • Increased time saving for large print volume requirements.

Single-Sided or Dual-Sided?
Which Printer is Right For You?

Single-Sided Printers

Single-sided card printers print to one side of the card only, whereas dual-sided will print to both sides of a card. When addressing your needs, think about the card design and information being added. Will all of the information fit onto one side of the card and still look professional?

view single-sided Printers

Dual-Sided Printers

The benefit of a dual-sided printer over a single-sided is flexibility. With more space to add images, photos and text, the card looks less cluttered. Please bear in mind that if you opt for a single-sided machine, and further down the line you need to upgrade, this will be an additional cost to the business or organisation.

view dual-sided Printers

ID Card Printer Security: Don’t Take the Risk.

All ID card printers offer a range of security features, but different manufacturers will offer different types and levels of security, both for the machine itself and the printed cards. Adding a layer of security to your card printing setup helps reduced card cloning attempts, keeps your data secure in light of GDPR, and also ensures your printer cannot be stolen from the premises. When thinking about which printer is right for you, consider your long-term goals and whether your printer will be able to adapt as the security needs of your business change.

UV Ink SmartMark Holokote ® All-in-one Lock Kensington Lock
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Plastic Card Printer Manufacturers

If you want to find out more about the leading card printer manufacturers, then below is a fully comprehensive selection of the leading ID card printer manufacturers available. Furthermore we are the official UK distributors for IDP Smart, HID Fargo and Magicard, meaning you will only ever receive genuine products at the lowest possible prices all year round.

Buy in Trust from the Official UK Distributors

We are the official UK distributors of IDP Smart, Magicard and HID Fargo. Our customers receive unrivalled support pre and post-sale, with rock bottom prices all year round.

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