card option – print


UV printing on plastic cards

Plastic cards with UV / IR printing

Among many methods of securing the authenticity of cards, one of the most frequently chosen is UV print, visible only in ultraviolet light, or IR print – visible in infrared.

Printing for card security.

Some printing methods in the plastic card industry are specifically designed for card security. Those methods are UV printing (visible after illumination with an ultraviolet lamp) and IR printing (visible in the infrared). They are possible thanks to special varnishes.

Prints made with such varnish are invisible to the naked eye, and they are transparent, so checking them requires a dedicated UV or IR lamp. After placing the card under a UV lamp, the characters printed with such varnish will glow blue, which will allow you to verify the authenticity of the card.

plastic card - ID with UV printing

Applications of UV / IR printing

UV/IR printing is used in cases where securing the card is important or even critical. These are, for example:

  • employee IDs
  • school ID cards
  • plastic product certificates
  • warranty and service cards
  • high value gift cards
  • discount cards for luxury goods stores

Technical aspects of UV/IR printing

The most common way to print characters visible under ultraviolet or infrared light is to place one character or logo anywhere, such as in the corner of the card.

However, UV/IR printing can be of any shape or size. You can use a repeating mark across the entire surface of the card, on one or both sides.

To make a card with a logo visible under UV light, you need two printable files saved in PDF format. The first file is the target card graphic; the second one contains the black logo (100% K) in a selected place on the card, as in the example below.

preparing a pattern for UV printing on plastic card

UV printing is a popular choice, but it is not the only way to protect the authenticity of cards. Also check other card security options, e.g., hologram, or contact us; we will be happy to help you choose the right security for your cards.