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How Do I Prevent My Cards From Easily Breaking?

Whether you’re printing ID cards, membership cards, loyalty cards, driver’s licenses, or credit cards, it’s important to make the cards durable to prevent them from breaking or scratching easily.

Lamination & Overlays

Lamination is the process of applying a thin protective film onto a card’s surface to make it resistant from wear and tear as well as from ultraviolet rays. A card printer with a laminator is needed to laminate a printed card. A composite PVC card is likewise required, as regular PVC cards tend to warp during lamination due to the extremely high temperature produced by laminators.

Overlays, overcoats, and topcoats are the "O" panel of a YMCKO/YMCKOK ribbon. This clear panel offers less protection than a thicker, more durable laminate, but still offers some protection for your cards.

There are two ways to add protection to a card during the printing process

The first and simplest method is by using a YMCKO or YMCKT ribbon with your card printer. The “O” or “T” panel in the ribbon refers to overlay or topcoat. These overlays, while providing edge-to-edge protection from abrasion and fading, are not as durable as regular laminates. They do not, however, require special equipment or laminators to apply, making them an attractive option nonetheless.

The second and superior way is by utilizing laminates. These are rolls or patches made of polyester films. They offer superior protection compared to overlays. Laminates are thermally applied to the card by a laminator immediately after a card is printed. Laminates are available in various thickness, size, and layout options. Apart from making cards more durable, laminates with holographic designs add a layer of security to the cards, making them difficult to reproduce and harder to tamper with.

Badge Holders

In addition to protecting the card with laminates and topcoats, an economical way of keeping cards from cracking, bending, and breaking is by putting them inside badge holders.

If you’re like most people, your credit cards and driver’s license are probably kept inside your wallet, which is likely in your back pocket. You may not realize it but you’re probably sitting on your cards right now. This often results in bent or cracked cards. While you can move your wallet to your front pockets, some habits are just too hard to break.

The simpler solution, as many have found, is rigid cardholders. They offer unparalleled protection for all kinds of cards and are available in different sizes, colors and configurations. Some can even hold multiple cards, making them a very convenient and practical solution.


Avoid the hassle of having to replace your cards all the time, call our card professionals at 1-800-667-1772 for expert advice. You may also send your inquiries via e-mail.

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