plastic card printingcard printing Plastic Card Printing

production video

Shape & Size

test Reflecting on the current trends of the prepaid phone card, we observed a gradual switch from conventional phone cards to rigid board packaging.

test Retailers prefer the rigid board because it offers a 4 1/2 X 6 inch billboard that effectively competes with other impulse items hanging from j-hooks.

test In retail marketing situations where the "fast scan" is considered the window of opportunity, this type of packaging has proven to be an excellent means of attracting retail dollars.

test Packaging and image are what makes a customer pick up your card for the first time, and a good rate will keep them coming back for more.


There are 2 types of material that are commonly used in this industry:

Paper and Plastic - both come with different thicknesses. We always make the attempt to match the appropriate card type to customer needs type to customer by asking the following questions:

How durable must the card be?

(i.e. life of 1 month, 6 months..etc.)

How should the card feel?

(i.e. Thin - saving wallet space, or thicker-more substantial image, collectible)

The most popular thickness that the majority of people use is 13mil. With lamination, this thickness is in the position to deliver both image and durability. The next option is 10mil plastic, it has the same benefits of a paper card but the price is slightly higher.


Frequently Asked Questions!

Allstate Printing & Graphics maintains its ability to offer low prices, fast service, and high quality in part by maintaining cash payment terms. Reduced expenses via lower bad debt write-off, and expenses associated with handling and collecting delinquent accounts are passed on to you, in the form of sharply lower prices. All orders totaling $750.00 or less must be paid in full at the time your order is placed, unless your order is billed to a previously approved open account


What is your phone number and operating hours?
You can call us Toll-free at 1.800.942.6618 from 9am to 6pm EST Monday through Friday. You can send a fax (973.473.0022) or email at any time.

What about privacy and security?
No information we collect for order processing or from inquiries is shared with any other company or website. Your information is only used to contact you when necessary. Credit Card information is only used to bill you for products and services ordered.


Can I order 2-color printing from you?
We suggest you get the best value for your dollar and go for full color. Nonetheless, you may use any of our product pages (with the exception of postcards and business cards) to order 2-color printing. Simply place your order as usual, then specify in the comments section that it's a 2-color job and what PMS colors you have selected. Since we are so efficient at producing high-quality 4-color work, 2-color pieces will be priced the same as 4-color. 2-color postcards and business cards will be converted to 4-color process equivalents before printing.

Can you print jobs that are different than the standard formats that you offer?
Yes. Please call us at 800.942.6618 to request a quote on any job that doesn't fit our standard formats.

How do I order multiple pieces?
To keep things simple, please place a separate order for each different printed piece you want produced. For example, if you want 3 different 11x17 brochures, please place 3 orders. Obviously, the price for 3,000 of one brochure is not the same as the price for 1,000 each of 3 different brochures.

What kind of paper will my job be printed on?
We have several paper types available, depending on what you are ordering. The individual pricing pages show available options.

How well will my job match what I see on my monitor?
Most people are surprised at how well their job matches what they see. But because of wide differences in monitor calibration and the different technologies used, some printed colors may not exactly match the colors on a your specific monitor. We do our best to make your job look good. See our design hints page for a more technical description.

Will you match a sample I print out on my own printer, or a previously printed sample?
At, part of the way we offer fast turnaround and low pricing is by printing to a "pleasing color" standard, using standard ink densities. Therefore, there is no guarantee that your finished piece will approximate your printed sample. This is due in part to the widely varying results from different output devices including inkjet and laser printers, continuous tone proofing devices, high-resolution film-based proofs, and different than true offset lithography. Even from one commercial printing firm to another, there can be significant differences in results. In particular, inkjet and laser prints are known to look substantially different than true offset lithography.
If you require precise color match, please contact us to arrange for a film-based Press-Match proof. Once you approve the additional fees (starting at $200), we will produce and send you a hard proof via overnight delivery. When you approve and return the proof, we will strive to match the color of the proof when printing your final piece.
There are substantial additional charges for precise color match service. Also, if you request color correction or other changes after you see your proof, there will be a minimum of another $200 charged for color correction time and a new set of film and proof. Bottom line: the final product we produce for you is unlikely to match the output from your inkjet -- it will look more professional!

Is there a discount if I re-order my job?
Yes, exact reprints will be charged $50 less, $20 less on cards. But notice how little additional copies cost. It's way cheaper to print a few extra the first time. To place a reprint order, simply go to the pricing and ordering page for the product you want, and enter the quantity and other specifications as usual. In the Select Your File Transfer Method section, choose Exact Reprint of Previous Order # , then enter in the number of the job you want reprinted. Enter in your billing and shipping information and we will post a proof for you to approve right away! (This guarantees that we are reprinting the job you want.)

How do I place an order and have my graphic designer upload my files separately?
Use the ordering pages and select the "I would rather send my file on a CD, Zip or Jaz disk" option. Give your designer your order number and have them upload the files from our File Upload page. Do not have them upload the files without your order number, or we may not be able to match them with your order.

How long does it take for me to get the proof of my job?
Once you have placed your order, you should get it within 2 business days after we receive your electronic files.

How long will it take to get my order?
Most jobs will be shipped within 5 business days after you approve your proof online. Cards ship 8 business days after you approve your proof online. Shipping by UPS takes from 1 to 7 business days to get to you depending on your location.

How can I get my order even faster?
Our standard service is quite fast. We ship your order within 5 days (8 days for cards) after you approve your proof online, via UPS-ground. In most parts of the country, that means you will have your order in about 7-10 days (10-12 days for cards). If you want to receive your order faster, select one of our faster handling options or upgraded shipping options when you place your order.

Shipping Services
Our online shipping prices are valid within the continental United States. For Alaska and Hawaii, please order using 2nd Day Air service. We are also happy to ship to you anywhere around the world. Please provide us the exact shipping address (street address if available), along with the quantity and product type you want to order, and we will let you know the additional shipping costs. Please note that some services are not available to all countries.

Where can I check shipping transit times?
We primarily use UPS for standard ground shipments. You can view UPS Ground Time-In-Transit map by entering our zipcode, 10010, at this page: Since these are not guaranteed times, please allow an extra day in your schedule, or upgrade to a faster shipping option.

Will I always receive exactly the quantity I order?
Most of the time, we ship you slightly more than you ordered, free of charge. On occasion, we ship slightly fewer pieces than you ordered. Printing industry trade standards allow for underages of up to 5%. If you plan to send your print order to a mailing list or need a guaranteed quantity, we recommend that you order 5% over the minimum quantity you need.

Do you offer such low prices by "ganging" my job together with others?
NO! We are not a gang-house. Your brochure will be run on its own, and given the individual attention it deserves.

What if I want to change something on my order after I've placed it or approved the proof?
We require an electronic "paper trail" for all changes made after your initial order is placed.You may make changes to such things as quantity, shipping method, or shipping address by contacting our sales department (800.942.6618). Please note that some changes cannot be made after certain stages in the production process -- for instance, the quantity cannot be changed once your job has been printed.

File Preparation

Can I send you documents created in MS Word or PowerPoint?
Absolutely! If you have created documents in Word or PowerPoint that contain photos, clip-art, or other color images, send them in. Same great service, same great pricing.

What other file formats can you take?
We can take any Mac or PC version of Quark, Pagemaker, InDesign, CorelDRAW!, Illustrator, Photoshop, Freehand, Publisher, Word, PowerPoint and any file output as a PDF.

What types of storage media do you accept?
We can take your files on a CD, Zip or Jaz disk. Please see this page on informtation on where to send it.

How well will my job match what I see on my monitor?
Most people are surprised at how well their job matches what they see. But because of wide differences in monitor calibration and the different technologies used, some printed colors may not exactly match the colors on a your specific monitor. We do our best to make your job look good. See our design hints page for a more technical description.

What is the difference between the RGB and CMYK color space and why does it matter?
RGB refers to the primary colors of light, Red, Green and Blue, that are used in monitors, television screens, digital cameras and scanners. CMYK refers to the primary colors of pigment: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These are the inks used on the press in "4-color process printing", commonly referred to as "full color printing".
The combination of RGB light creates white, while the combination of CMYK inks creates black. Therefore, it is physically impossible for the printing press to exactly reproduce colors as we see them on our monitors.
Many programs have the capability to convert the layout/images from the RGB color space to the CMYK color space. We request that you convert your colors from RGB to CMYK if your tools allow you to. By doing it yourself, you have maximum control over the results.You may notice a shift in color when converting from RGB to CMYK. If you do not like the appearance in CMYK, we recommend that you make adjustments while working in CMYK (usually lightening). Generally, you should specify CMYK color builds that look a little lighter than you want, since the dots of ink "fatten up" on press, giving you more pigment on paper than you see on your monitor. Be especially careful to keep backgrounds light if there is black or dark colored text over it, so that the text remains readable. See our design hints page for more details.

If I'm sending a Publisher file, should I compress it with "Pack and Go," or should I just send the normal *.pub file?
While we can work with either type, we prefer to get the normal, uncompressed file. Please do not use Publisher's "Pack and Go" feature. If you are sending Publisher files with linked graphics (generally NOT recommended in Publisher), please gather all the associated files into a single Zipped file, and send us that. Compressing files with Winzip or PK Zip (or StuffIt on the Mac) is also the preferred method for Quark, Pagemaker, Illustrator, InDesign or any file with linked graphics. If you are using a font that is not included with Publisher, please send it along with your Publisher file. You can either Zip them together, or upload the font as an additional file upload (or include it on cd or zip-disk if you are sending files via mail.)

How do I check for proper imposition or backup?
"Imposition" and "backup" refer to how the front of a printed piece is oriented to the back. In the case of a brochure, you normally turn it over right-to-left (like you turn the page of a book) in order to have the back side read correctly -- not upside down. Seems simple, until you get to a postcard where one side is layed out in landscape (horizontal) orientation, and the other side in portrait (vertical) orientation. We use our best judgement when imposing a job, so that it backs up in the most natural or normal manner. Some designs, however, contain both portrait and landscape elements on both sides, making it difficult to make a clear call. When reviewing your proof online, we will always post the front and the back in the orientation that they will print in relation to each other. So, if page 2 appears upside down, that is how it will be printed on the back of page 1. (Some people want it that way, so that the recipient of the piece must turn it over top-to-bottom in order to read it correctly.) Be sure to print out a copy of your online proof, and attach the two sides to each other to create a "mockup" or "dummy." This is especially important when a job will be folded.

How much bleed should I have for an envelope?
1/16 inch is the correct amount since it will wrap a little to the back of the envelope.

Do I need to impose my business cards 8-up or 10-up if they will be printed more than 1 to a sheet?
No, send us a single layout of your job unimposed, we will handle any imposition needed on our end.

How should I take pictures with my digital camera?
Digital cameras are wonderful tools that allow us to capture our images in many different ways. The camera is designed to actually take three pictures; one in red, one in green and the other in blue (similar to the way a projection TV works). It then combines the colors together and saves the image onto the picture card. It is very important to make sure that the camera is set to the highest quality setting possible. This means that if you can only save one image on the picture card instead of 12, 64 or 128 images, then this is good! You want to create the best quality picture that the camera can make. This will mean large file sizes and slow downloads from the camera itself, but it will get you the best possible results from your camera. Remember, images should be at 300dpi in their final size in the layout!
More often than not, we notice that images that come from digital cameras print darker than expected on the printing press. Check to see if you have a brightness option in your image editing program to lighten the entire piece. If you have the opportunity to change the color space from RGB (red, green, blue) to the printing press colors of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black), then do so! It is always better to have you change the color space if you can, than for us to do it. Remember, not all colors that you can see that are created by elements of light (RGB) can be created by the elements of ink (CMYK) on press. If you do not have this capability with your software, do not worry about it, we will change it for you for free! Finally, we recommend that you apply a little sharpening to the image. This will make the image a little crisper and will print better on press.

How can I tell what resolution the image from my digital camera is?
Some digital cameras will let you know what the image resolution is, while others will tell you what the pixel dimensions of your image are. If you know what the pixel dimensions of your images are either from the camera itself or through the image editing software, you can do a little math to determine the resolution, and the size you can print the image at for clear and crisp printing.
Simply write down the pixel dimensions of your image and divide those numbers by 300 if the image does not include text and 400 if the image does include text. For example: An image without any text has a pixel dimension of 600 x 900 pixels. Once each dimension is divided by 300 the result is 2 x 3 inches. This means that you can use this image at 2 x 3 inches or smaller in your layout for quality printing results.
If your image editing software does not tell you what the pixel dimensions are, but it does tell you what the resolution is, then you know the maximum size you can use that image in your layout. We recommend that images be at 300dpi in their final size in the layout and 400dpi if the images include text. Please keep in mind that resolution and physical dimensions are in direct proportion to each other. If you have an image that is 2x2 at 300dpi and increase its size in the layout to 4x4 the new resolution is now 150dpi. So remember, when you bring an image in to your layout you can shrink it down in size (because the resolution will increase) but you will be limited as to how far you can increase it in size.

Where can I get more information on file preparation?
Visit our Graphic Guidelines page for an helpful tips on design, printing, and graphics software. And of course our technicians are always available to assist you during business hours. You can reach us by email at and by phone at 800.942.6618.

File Transfer

What types of storage media do you accept?
We can take your files on a CD, Zip or Jaz disk. Please see this page on informtation on where to send it.

How long will it take to upload my files?
It will vary depending upon your file size, the speed of your Internet connection and the volume of Internet traffic at the time you send it.

"Why can't I see my graphics file in the file upload utility?"
You need to change the "Files of Type" dialog box away from the default of "HTML FILES" to "All Files (*.*)". The dialog box will then display all file types. We apologize for this inconvenience. It is an annoying feature of Netscape which is well known (and disliked) but doesn't happen with MS Internet Explorer.

How do I place an order and have my graphic designer upload my files separately?
Use the ordering pages and select the "I would rather send my file on a CD, Zip or Jaz disk" option. Give your designer your order number and have them upload the files from our File Upload page. Do not have them upload the files without your order number, or we may not be able to match them with your order.

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