Whether banking, fidelity, gift cards, social services or telephone, the decoration of the plastic card is divided between three printing modes:
- Offset UV (and offset waterless UV)
- Solvent-based and UV or UV LED -based screen printing
- Digital processes (especially for personalization Variable Data): thermal transfer, sublimation and ink jet
Depending on the requirements, the print is either laminated with an overlay (protective plastic film, essential for the credit card) or varnished/coated. In the latter case, the varnish/coated film is often laminated (pressed) to obtain the desired surface condition (mirror, satin or matte).
A lamination varnish/coating may also be required. It is used either to ensure the adhesion of the overlay (often pre-coated with a thermoplastic adhesive) on the card, or to assemble the various plastic films in the case of a multi-layer card manufactured with layers.