If you are a happy owner of a Magicard ID card printer you know that one of its most powerful elements is the printer driver. The printer driver is a control panel for card printing and sometimes, the right or wrong settings in the driver can make the difference between a beautiful card and a washed out image.
Luckily, the Magicard printer driver is easy to use. Most of the controls are simple and understanding how to set them will greatly enhance the quality of your printed cards.
First things first: to open the Magicard driver, start the print process from the program you are using to print your cards, then select “Setup“ or “Printer Setup”. In some programs, you may have to select the printer then “Preferences” to open the driver.
There are four main tabs to focus on right away: Printer, Card Front, Card Back, and Advanced.
The main control to adjust on this tab is the duplex printing mode. This tab is set to single side by default and if you want to print dual sided cards on an upgraded Enduro+ or Rio Pro, it is important to select Both Sides under the Duplex Printing header. This page also gives you useful information on card dimensions which can be very helpful when you are setting up your file.
Card Front & Card Back Tabs
The tabs for setting up the card front and back are critical to ensuring your card prints correctly. You should always check these panels before starting your card printing. Depending on the film you are using in your printer, some tab options may not be available.
The first setting on this page is Color Format. The color format setting allows you to select from two color modes or greyscale printing. For normal color printing, it is best to select “Color with resin black (YMCK)”.
This means all color is printed in YMC and black is printed with resin ink and the YMCK setting will usually give the best printing results. “Color with Composite Black (YMC)” sets all black in your image to print using layers of color instead of true (resin) black.
Monochrome (K) is used when you are printing with Monochrome (one color) film and is automatically selected when you put monochrome film into the printer.
Be sure to set the colors for the back of the card as well if you are printing double sided.
Below the color settings are the overcoat settings. For most applications, you will always want to have “Print Overcoat” checked. Overcoat helps cards last longer and protects the card from scratches, fading, fingerprints, and other accidental damage.
HoloKote is a proprietary Magicard technology that puts a security watermark into the overcoat layer, providing an added level of security, visual identification, and pizazz to the cards you print.
To print HoloKote, select the checkbox then click the “security settings” button. This opens a box which allows you to select the HoloKote style you want to print, define areas you don’t want the HoloKote printed, and rotate the HoloKote image if necessary to match the card design.
If you are printing on HoloPatch cards, be sure to select the “HoloPatch” button for the side of the card (front or back) which the HoloPatch is located. This button keeps the printer from putting color over the HoloPatch on the card.
Finally card orientation and rotation settings can be useful if the cards you print are not coming out in the correct orientation.
The final step in setting up the driver is in the advanced settings. The most important setting here is the Color Correction setting. If you are using the Enduro+ or Rio Pro you can set this to use the printer’s internal ICC colour profile – this will give you the truest reproduction from your source image. If you prefer a more saturated or dense image select the Gamma 1 setting, but try changing this if your cards are not coming out the way you want them.
If your cards are printing too light or too dark, you may need to adjust the printhead power. This is done by selecting the Printhead Power button in the advanced settings box. In the dialog box, you should only need to adjust the YMC slider to give darker (higher setting) or lighter (lower setting) card images. If black resin text is coming out grainy, try adjusting the Resin power down. If there are scratches or folds in the overcoat layer, try decreasing the Overcoat power.
In the advanced settings you can also adjust the sharpness of the print (less sharp often makes black text print smoother) and the image position if the card is not lining up properly when printing.
As with all of these settings, trial and error is the best way to figure out what works best for your application and card graphics. What works perfectly with one card image may not look good at all with another so plan to print a few test cards every time before you print a new batch.
Recommended custom settings for a double sided, full color card:
- Duplex Printing: Both Sides
- Color Format (front & back): Color with Resin Black (YMCK)
- Overcoat (front & back): Print Overcoat, HoloKote
- Print Speed: Normal
- Sharpness: 0
- Printhead Power: 50 YMC, 50 Resin, 50 Overcoat.
If cards print too light, ramp up the YMC by 5-10 points until desired color is achieved.