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Why Should I Care If My Plastic Card is Laminated?


You’re ordering plastic cards—gift cards, membership cards, or the many other options—and the topic of lamination comes up. The card is already plastic, so why does it need to be laminated? This is a common question with many answers.

Why lamination is needed on plastic cards

  • Longer life: increases durability and strength of the card.
  • Surface protection: shield the printing and images on your card. It is like putting your card in a sealed, protective bag.
  • Save money in the long run: your cards will be protected and last longer, there will be fewer scratches, fading and the card will stay cleaner which means you’ll have to replace cards less often.
  • Look professional: most people want their card to look nice and stay that way. It protects the card and keeps it looking professional for an extended period.

What is lamination?

Lamination is an additional layer of plastic placed over the printed image, sealing and protecting it. It is an industry standard for plastic cards, but there are different types available.

CARDSource‘s platen lamination provides the highest-quality card lamination and makes your card to look great for years to come. Platen or hydraulic lamination require card printing completion prior to processing, which means the print won’t wear off.

Roll lamination is another industry option but provides an imperfect finish. You may also hear about UV (ultraviolet coating which is a thin layer of clear ink applied over the printed image. Platen lamination is the method used for virtually all VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, and other bank credit cards. For more information on qualities of lamination, check out our guide to PVC plastic cards infographic.

Add a signature panel to your card if your process requires signature verification.

Lamination is included on your plastic cards from CARDSource. It helps protect your cards, makes them look professional, and last longer, so you can save money!

Browse our card options and designs.

Interested in learning more about qualities of plastic cards, assessing risks when finding a print partner or understanding price? Download our free guide: 

Plastic Card Solutions: A Guide to Quality

Kayla Latterell
ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Kayla Latterell
Graphic Designer
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