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All of Your Embossing Questions, Answered.

It's easier than ever for businesses to emboss plastic cards. Embossing is a traditional way to personalize cards, giving them a high-value look. Most major credit card companies use embossing for their variable data, I'm sure you have a card in your wallet that's embossed right now.

If you're interested in embossing your plastic cards, there's a few things you should know. For instance: the font, size, color, character limit and other information involving embossing regulations.

Luckily, we have all of your embossing questions, answered. 

How much information can I emboss on my card, and what is the font regulations?

Emboss fonts are standard worldwide. There's 7 CPI (Character Per Inch) for large numeric numbers and the 10 CPI for small alpha or numeric cards. 

  • 7 CPI font can have 21 characters per line starting at the left most position on the card, this includes spaces. A standard card will allow 5 lines of 7 CPI font. The CPI font only allows numbers.
  • Since the 10 CPI is much smaller than the 7 CPI, you can fit 30 characters, including spaces, starting at the left most position on the card. The 10 CPI will allow 6 lines on a standard card. The 10 CPI allows numbers and alphabetical letters. 

embossed credit cardThe 7 CPI is the card number while the 10 CPI is the name and smaller information.

Does it matter where I place my embossing information?

It does! if you have information printed on the back of the card, you should make sure that you're not embossing over important information. Embossing punches the card and creates a raised character by reshaping the card. Printed text on the back of the card may become distorted. Cards that have magnetic stripes will require that any embossing stays away by at least 1/4 inch.

embossed card with woman

Can I use center or right justification on my card?

Yes, you can! You can use center, right or left justification as long as it's within the artwork boundary. 

What color options do I have for embossing?

Embossed characters are "tipped" with colored foil in the embossing process. Standard tipping colors are: black, silver, and gold. If you're looking for a non-standard color, let us know!

How do I need to format my embossing data?

Create your data file using Fixed Length, Excel, Comma Separated Quote Qualified and Delimited (examples: Tab Delimited, Pipe Delimited, etc...) Data should be provided with a data layout showing which fields need to be used to personalize the cards and where that personalization is supposed to go on the cards. 

You're officially an expert on embossing regulations. If you have any more embossing related questions, ask us in the comments. We are always happy to help! 

In the meantime, enjoy our free gift card guide for business owners:

the ultimate gift card guide for business owners free download 

Jade Beaver
Marketing Coordinator
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Plastic Card Solutions: A Guide to Quality

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