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ID Card Printer Ribbons

Printer Ribbons
Designed for producing vibrant prints onto your ID cards
Printer Ribbons
Printer Ribbons

Essential Consumables for your Printer

We not only hold thousands of ribbons in stock, ready for when you need them, but all of our printer ribbons are also genuine branded products, 100% optimised for your printer. How's that for complete peace of mind?

Printer Ribbon Fast Finder

Save time searching through thousands of ribbons by using our fast ribbon finder. Select your Printer Brand and Model and we will show you every compatible ribbon we have available.


Ribbon Types

ID card printer ribbons come in different variations depending on what you need for your design. Monochrome printer ribbons produce only one colour, and are ideal for printing text or single colour icons. For a full colour print, used for colourful logos or photos, you will need a ribbon that consists of more than one colour panel.

Specialist ribbons add extra elements to your card that aren't often found on standard ribbons, such as security holograms or scratch off panels.

Retransfer films are only for use with retransfer printers, but are required to complete the printing process.

Single Colour
Single Colour

Ribbons that offer just a single colour print are classed as monochrome ribbons. This could be red, blue, green, silver, gold, white or black. Even specialist scratch off and signature panel ribbons are classed as monochrome.

Full Colour
Full Colour

Full colour ribbons are classed as any ribbons that contain separate yellow (Y), magenta (M), cyan (C), and black (K) panels. These panels can be used to create virtually any colours required for your ID card design.


Specialist ribbons allow you to add extra features to your ID card design that standard ribbons can't deliver. Holograms, scratch-off panels, and signature panels, can all help to add security to your cards and prevent cloning.


Retransfer ribbons apply a base film layer to your card prior to any colour design being printed. These ribbons can only be used with retransfer printers, but are ideal for cards with an uneven surface or access control cards.

Ribbon Panel Codes

ID card printers typically use printer ribbons that are divided into a number of panels, each being the size of a standard (CR80) ID card. The ribbon panels vary in type and are usually just represented by letters, leading to confusion for those not familiar with them, or buying for the first time. Understanding the various panels that exist, and how they can be used in combination with one another, is the key to producing fantastic quality cards, that are both eye-catching and durable.

Colour Panels

When mixed in the right proportions, these colour panels will create virtually any colour required for your print job. The dyes are transferred on to the surface of your ID card as they pass through a heated printhead.

Overlay Panels

Some ribbons include additional panels that act to protect and seal your ID card design. A UV panel allows you to add additional content to your design that is only visible under ultraviolet light. Some ribbon manufacturers may label ultraviolet panels as 'F' (Fluorescent).

Black Resin Panel

All full-colour ribbons will have at least one black (resin) panel that is primarily used for printing any text, barcodes, and QR codes that you may be using in your design.

Sub-Colour Panels

Primer panels help colour adhere to your chosen card surface. Inhibitor panels allow you to mask areas of your card, such as signature panels, so they remain design free.

Half Panel Ribbons

Some YMCKO printer ribbons are available as half panel variants, which differ slightly from the standard full panel options. They are the perfect choice for anyone printing ID cards that limit the use of full colour to just one side of their card design. They are designed to save money and reduce waste. Half panel ribbons are typically made up of the same YMCKO panels as the standard ribbon, but with the colour panels (YMC) being half the normal size. The black resin (K) and overlay (O) panels remain full size.

Half-Width Colour Panels

The Yellow (Y), Magenta (M), and Cyan (C) panels cover half the width of a standard (CR80) ID card, reducing the amount of waste when printing 50/50 designs.

Full-Width Overlay Panels

The Black Resin (K) and Overlay 9O) panels both remain full size, allowing for black text and detail to be added anywhere on the design and for the protective overlay to apply to the entire card.

Full Panel Ribbons

Generally speaking, YMCKO printer ribbons will normally come as full panel variants, unless a half panel is specifically requested. They allow for ID cards to be printed in full colour anywhere within the card design. With full panel ribbons the colour panels (YMC) are the full width of a standard (CR80) ID card, along with the black resin (K) and any overlay (O) panels..

Full-Width Colour Panels

The Yellow (Y), Magenta (M), and Cyan (C) panels cover the full width of a standard (CR80) ID card, making them suitable for creating stunning full colour business or ID cards.

Full-Width Overlay Panels

The Black Resin (K) and Overlay 9O) panels are full size, allowing for black text and detail to be added anywhere on the design and for the protective overlay to apply to the entire card.

Double-Sided Printing

Should you wish to print full colour to both sides of your ID card, then you can use a standard (full panel) YMCKO printer ribbon as this will allow you to use all five panels on the first full side, then the same on the reverse of the card.

Should you only need to print full colour to the front of your ID card and and just require black print to the reverse, then a YMCKOK ribbon is the perfect choice.. This type of ribbon will print the first five panels, Yellow, Magenta, Cyan, Black, Overlay (YMCKO) on the front then just use the additional black panel (K) on the reverse.

Speciality Printer Ribbons

If you need any additional security features on your ID cards, there are a range of speciality printer ribbons available. These help to prevent forgery and card cloning, so you can be sure that staff data remains safe and your organisation cannot be accessed by anyone without the authority.


Hologram ribbons print a design over your design, which can only be seen under a special light. The reflecting colours make it difficult to copy your design.

Scratch Off
Scratch Off

With a scratch off ribbon, you can print a panel on your ID card to cover any sensitive information, such as PIN numbers, activation codes, and more.

Signature Panel
Signature Panel

Create cards, suitable for signing with a pen. Signature panel ribbons are full-width ribbons allowing you to print your panel any size or shape on your card.

Routine Maintenance For Cleaner Prints

To ensure your printer is producing consistently high quality prints, you should use a maintenance kit every time you change your ribbon.

Maintenance kits are specific to the brand and model of your printer, and are available in the form of cards, swabs, or wipes that pick up any dust and debris in the internal workings of your printer.

Browse Ribbons By Brand

We stock a large range of printer ribbons from all major and popular ID card printer brands and manufacturers. Feel free to browse by printer ribbon brand. Each printer ribbons brand will then further allow you to view ribbons by printer model.

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