Art & Card Specs

File Support

We support Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign CS4 and Acrobat. We also support PC versions of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (some programs may be subject to extra system time charges.)


Please prepare artwork to size and include all linked graphics. Keep all critical text and logos inside the Safe Design Area as shown on our card templates.


Submit art files at no less than 300 dpi at 100%. Lower images will result in poor quality.


Allow 1/8” over cut lines for bleed images. Ruler scales must bleed at least 1/8” and the shortest increment of the scales by be 1/8” from the cut edges.

Reverse Text

Should be bold and at least 6 pts at the thinnest part of the character, as fine serif or script type may fill in.


All colors need to be properly CMYK defined (do not use RGB colors).

Hole Punches

Must have 1/8” clearance from cut edge and/or from image to hole placement.

Standard Card Dimensions

Finished Standard Card cut size is 3.375 x 2.125. Please make art 3.625 x 2.375 to account for bleeds.


Send all fonts or convert text to outlines. By doing this, your project will go more smoothly and quickly. Watch this video to learn how.

Standard Criteria for Data Transformation or Creation

Data transformation is the process of converting data from one format (e.g. a database file, text file, or Excel sheet) to another. Because data often resides in different formats, data transformation is necessary to ensure data from one application or database is moved into the correct format needed for personalization. Data Creation is the process of taking a string of numbers and inserting the necessary machine codes to create a format needed for personalization. This document lists the standards for the inbound data files and what is with-in the scope of standard data transformation and creation at CARDSource.

Standard File Formats That We Accept
  • Excel (.xls or .xlsx)
  • Comma Separated Value (.csv Dos Formatted)
  • Tab Delimited (.txt Dos formatted)
  • Pipe Delimited (.txt Dos formatted)
  • Fixed Length Text File with carriage returns at each record (.txt Dos Formatted)
Standard File Format Best Practices
  • Please provide a header in the file that accurately lists what the data in the field represents.
  • No Floating lines of data. Keep all fields lined up in the file.
  • Keep text Casing as you want it to print. Unless specifically requested, Data is printed as is.
  • If supplying multiple files, ensure that file names are uniquely identified per version of card.
  • Data is scrubbed and ready for transformation processes.
Data and Card Layout
If CARDSource is creating the data, Please provide:


  • The starting number as it needs to be printed on the cards.
  • A layout of the card with the fields shown for printing position.
  • Any specific fonts or barcode symbology needed.
  • If you need a check digit added to the barcode data.

If you are supplying CARDSource data to be used for personalization, Please provide:

  • A Data layout of where to pull the information from in the inbound data or a header records in the data that states what each field represents.
  • A layout of the card with the fields shown for printing position.
  • Specific Font types or barcode symbology needed.
  • If you need a check digit added to the barcode data.
Other Data Services

CARDSource offers Data scrubbing, Truncation or Concatenation of data fields, and Presort services for mail files including NCOA services. All data cleansing, reformatting or manipulation of data files other than the standard data transformation processes listed above is billed at $175.00 per hour. You will be notified of pending issues with data files and an estimate will be provided to you in advance of the work being preformed.