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Types

Affixed Cards | Affixed Labels | Affixed Stencils | Integrated Cards | Integrated Labels | General Uses


The specifications required for manufacturing integrated and affixed products vary according to the product type. Each product requires a thorough understanding of the application, its workflow, and end use or processing in order to adequately determine the proper specifications for all components of the final product. Shown below are some of the different types of integrated and affixed products available. Included with the type description is an explanation of the construction of each type.

Affixed Cards

An affixed card is a separate card that is attached to a paper carrier which acts as a holder for the card. The carrier can be either a continuous, unit set, or cut sheet product. The card is attached by being "blown-on" or "tipped-on" and fastened to the carrier. The card can then be imprinted through an impact or non-impact printer.


 

Note: Cards can be affixed more than one up. Consult with your manufacturer on their capabilities.

 
The affixed card is made up of two basic parts, the card and the carrier. Listed below are some factors to consider when planning for the construction of your affixed card.

  • The carrier needs to be heavy enough to support the card that is attached to it. The recommended minimum weight is 20 lb.. Using a heavier weight, such as 28 lb., will enable the product to run smoother through the printer.
  • There are many points to consider when deciding the construction of your card. It is important to have the card the right thickness for its end use. It is also important that the card is the right thickness and is flexible enough so that it will run through the printer that will be doing the imprinting. A product having a card attached to the surface of the carrier, can be difficult to imprint with a laser or impact printer due to the thickness of the card and carrier. This would not be a problem if the affixed card is used for a purpose that does not require it to be imprinted.
  • Be sure that the proper amount of glue will be used to affix the card to the carrier. If the product will be run through any finishing equipment after the card is attached, it will require extra gluing. The more handling of the product, the more glue that will be necessary. You will also want to be careful that the manufacturer does not use too much glue or the carrier may tear off with the card when the card is removed. The use of a fugitive glue usually allows for a clean and easy removal of the card. Running tests is the best way to assure proper gluing if your are not sure of what the right level of gluing should be.
  • Be sure to discuss all aspects of your product with the affixing company so that they have a thorough understanding to enable them to determine what will be the best method of affixing to satisfy your product requirements.
     

For best results, the affixed product should be tested through the printer that will be doing the imprinting.

 
Specialty Affixed Card Products


 

LaserWell Cards

A patented process that affixes a thin card to a carrier sheet having an embossed, impressed and flattened area. The impressed area is slightly larger in overall dimensions than the card and acts as a pocket into which the card lays. It enables the card to lay flatter on the carrier, enabling it to also lay flat as it travels through a laser printer.

 

Clean Release Cards
 

When the clean realease card is affixed to the carrier, it has two layers of vinyl material on the back of the card. The outside layer has an adhesive coating on the side that attaches to the carrier and a release coating on the side that the second layer of vinyl is attached to. When the card is removed from the carrier, the first layer of vinyl stays with the carrier and the second layer is released and stays on the card. 


 

The "clean release" card can be affixed to continuous or cut sheet carriers. This product allows a very clean and easy removal of the affixed card. Also, the area under the release patch can be preprinted with a message or information, which would be revealed when the card is removed.

 
Affixed Labels

An affixed label is a separate label that is attached to a paper carrier which acts as a holder for the label. The carrier can be either a continuous, unit set or cut sheet product. The label is attached by being "blown-on" or "tipped-on" and fastened to the carrier. The label can then be imprinted through an impact or non-impact printer.


 

Note: Labels can be affixed more than one up. Consult with your manufacturer on their capabilities.

 
The affixed label is made up of two basic parts, the label and the carrier. Listed below are some points to consider when deciding the construction of your affixed label.

  • The carrier needs to be heavy enough to support the label that is attached to it. If the label is attached to a one part carrier, the carrier should be at least 20 lb. in weight. If the label is to be affixed to a multiple part carrier, it can only be affixed to part one.
  • There are many points to consider when deciding the construction of the label itself. Some of the factors to consider are the end use of the label, the type of adhesive to use, the size, the type of facestock, whether or not the label needs to be imaging or non-imaging (see Labels - Types), the conditions that the label will be exposed to, and how the label will be imprinted. For details on what needs to be considered for the construction of your label, see Labels - Construction.
  • The additional thickness of the label will affect how well it will run through the printer. Be sure that the printer being used for imprinting has the capability of printing your affixed label. If the printer is a laser printer, be sure all materials are laser compatible. Quite often the label is used for a purpose that does not require imprinting and then the printer capabilities would not be a concern.
  • The label can be affixed by using a piggyback label which involves a second label for affixing or a single label can be attached to a release coating that is applied to the carrier before the label is attached. For more details on the affixing methods, see Labels - Types - Label/Form Combinations.
     


 

  • Using a single label with a release coating on the carrier will provide less thickness in the label area which would improve its performance when running through a printer. Before deciding on this type of affixing be sure to consult with your manufacturer on their capabilities.
  • Under the label in the area of the release liner or coating, the carrier can be printed with copy pertaining to the label information, with a phrase or message, or with a control number. This area is preprinted and displayed when the label is removed.
     

For any questions or concerns about the construction of your affixed label product, consult with your manufacturer. Request samples or a test run if necessary to guarantee your product meets all of your requirements.

 
Affixed Stencils

A stencil is an efficient, low cost method of creating multiple labels for cartons going to the same address or for marking products with customer identification data. Generally, the stencil is affixed to a paper carrier over the section of a document with the customer identification. On invoices or shipping forms the stencil is placed over the "Ship To" section. On other documents, the stencil is often placed where the identification data related to the customer will be imprinted.

Stencil Types

 

 

Framed Stencil

A stencil that is framed with lightweight cardboard around all four edges. The stencil is glued to the carrier on all four sides.

 

 
Taped Stencil
 


 

A taped stencil is not framed. It is taped to the carrier along the top edge of the stencil. The stencil may also be glued to the carrier at the bottom corners. They are also available with tape at top and bottom or at left and right edges.
 

Note: Stencils can be affixed to continuous, unit set and cut sheet carriers.

 
Stencil Imprinting
 


 

To improve the quality of the image, use a type font that is legible and 12 pt. or larger in size. Using a type less than 12 pt. may create an impression that is difficult to read.

The stencil must be imprinted with a typewriter or an impact printer to create the stencil data to be transferred to carton labels. When the form goes through the printer, the data is imprinted on the form and the label is created. The stencil is then detached from the carrier and attached to an ink pad applicator. The applicator with the stencil attached is used as a stamp. The applicator contains the ink that transfers to the image on the stencil. Lightly touching the carton with the applicator will result in a clear impression on the carton.
 

Note: Be sure that the printer being used to imprint the stencil has the capability of printing through the thickness of the form. You should count the stencil as one ply of the form. If the printer is only capable of printing a 4 part form, your affixed stencil product can only be a 3 part form plus the stencil.

 
Other Affixed Products

There are a variety of products that can be affixed to a printed carrier, such as envelopes, plastic bags, vinyl strips, coins, paper products, and other related materials. The limitations of the affixing equipment will often determine the scope of products that can be affixed. Consult with your print provider about their capabilities or the capabilities of other manufacturers in the market. The number of available options and affixing sources are limited, so be careful to consult with affixing sources before designing the product.

 
Integrated Cards

The integrated card is actually part of the carrier stock, it is not an affixed card. The card is perforated or die cut into the carrier. The carrier can be continuous, or cut sheet. If the carrier is a multiple part continuous form, the part that has the integrated card would have to go through the card integration process before it was collated to the rest of the parts. Generally, the carrier for an integrated card is a single part continuous or cut sheet form. The integrated card runs smoother through laser and impact printers making it more receptive to imprinting and personalization.


 

  • The copy for the card and carrier are printed at the same time, making color matching and copy registration between the card and carrier easy.
  • The area for the card is then die cut or perforated into the carrier. The carrier can have more than one card die cut or perfed into it. If the card is to be die cut out of the carrier, it will have to have a patch of some type attached to the back of the form, over the card area to hold the card to the carrier until the card is to be removed.
  • The card can remain unfinished and have the same surface as the carrier. If the carrier is a plastic material, the card would be the same as the plastic carrier. If the carrier is paper the card would also be paper. If the carrier is paper and is not to be finished in any other manner, it should be a heavier grade of paper to allow the unfinished card to be as durable as possible. Whether the carrier is plastic or paper, if it is to be imprinted, it will need to have a finish suitable for the type of imprinting that will occur.


 

If the carrier is paper, durability can be added by having a laminated patch applied to the face or back of the card, or the patch can be applied to both the front and the back. The lamination can vary in thickness and is available in a variety of finishes to allow the surface of the card to accept the ink or toner from the printer.
 

Note: If the card or carrier will be imprinted through a laser printer, be sure that all materials (carrier, card, and lamination) are  laser compatible.

 
Integrated Labels

The integrated label is actually part of the carrier stock, it is not an affixed label. The carrier can be continuous or cut sheet. If the carrier is a multiple part continuous form, the part that has the integrated label would have to go through the label integration process before it was collated to the rest of the parts. Generally, the carrier for an integrated label is a single part continuous or cut sheet form. An integrated label runs smoother through laser and impact printers making it more receptive to imprinting.

  • Adhesive is applied to the back of the carrier stock in the label area. Then a liner patch is applied on the back of the carrier over the adhesive area. The liner has a release coating which allows the label to be pulled off from the liner patch. The label is then die cut into the face of the carrier, but not through the patch liner.
  • The carrier that the label has been integrated with is printed with copy relating to the purpose of the label. The form can contain multiple labels and the labels can be almost any size or shape.
  • A laminated finish or liner could be added to the label if extra durability is needed for the label.

For more details on integrated labels, see:
Labels - Types - Integrated

To see the advantages of an integrated label, see:
Labels - Types - Advantages of Integrated Labels

General Uses

Affixed or Integrated Cards

Applications for an affixed or integrated product include, but are not limited to, some of the following:

Application

End User

ATM and Check Cards

Banks and credit unions

Credit Cards

Banks, credit unions, retailers and fuel dealers

Frequent Patron Cards

Airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, resorts and retailers

Guest Privilege Cards

Hotels, resorts, restaurants and health clubs

Identification Cards

Schools, universities, insurers, medical/health care facilities, security access situations

Membership Cards

Trade associations, various clubs, video stores, auto clubs, libraries, museums, wholesale outlets and other related organizations

Pre-paid Cards

Phone debit cards, transportation concerns, and cafeterias

Promotional Cards

Financial institutions, travel agencies, insurers, and health clubs

Season Passes

Parks, museums, historical landmarks and zoos

Smart Cards

Healthcare, telecommunications, transportation, insurance and financial institutions.


Affixed or Integrated Labels

Applications for an affixed or integrated label product include, but are not limited to, some of the following:

Application

End User

Invoice and Shipping Label

Organizations shipping a limited numbers of cartons with each order

Invoice and Remittance Label

All types of organizations - the integrated label is designed to be placed on an envelope, thus replacing the printed envelope.

Shipping and Receiving

Manufacturers, direct marketers, retailers, associations, financial organizations, insurers and transportation providers

Return Label

Direct marketers and product providers

Repair Forms

Service firms requiring multiple labels for servicing equipment

Lab Forms

Clinics, hospitals and medical testing facilities

Patient Information Forms

Medical care facilities requiring patient identification

Inventory Tags

Manufacturers, direct marketers, retailers and other similar uses


Affixed Stencils

Applications for an affixed stencil product include, but are not limited to, some of the following:

Application

End Users

Invoice and Shipping Label

Organizations shipping multiple cartons with each order

Picking Tickets

Warehouse firms and fulfillment facilities

Packing Slips

Manufacturers, direct marketers, retailers and other similar users

Bills of Lading

Manufacturers, direct marketers, retailers and other similar users

Specialty Marking Applications

Vehicle Identification markings on windshields

 


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