Plastic card artwork layout guidelines

Creating your artwork can be daunting and stressful; we are here to help make it a more accessible and simpler experience for you to follow. 

Card design 

Card design
  • Size of CR80 card: 54mm x 85.6mm
  • 3mm bleed all around the card, known as the safe zone - no text around the edges (see figure 1 below)
  • CMYK and not RGB (RGB will result in colour differences)
  • High-resolution print (+300dpi, vectors are even better) - meaning good quality high images and graphics.

Acceptable formats

Business card design on Canva

  • PDF (no compression, convert all fonts to curves)
  • Adobe illustrator C53 -Cs6
  • Adobe InDesign C53 - Cs6
  • Adobe Photoshop C53 - Cs6
  • CorelDraw X6
  • Affinity Publisher, Design or Photo
  • Inkscape
  • Canva pdf print design 

Note: Please convert all fonts to curves! Embed all links and save them in the acceptable formats above.

If you supply the card in any other format, e.g. jpg, tiff or Docx, you will be charged per hour to redraw the image.

Spot only applicable to litho.

Please note that colour mixes containing transparent white are incompatible with plastic card print due to yellowing during lamination.

How to create artwork

Creating artwork is tricky. We are here to help Above is a video explaining how to create artwork from Canva using easy-to-use templates and design. 

Additional add-ons to your card

Additional add-ons are a great way to personalise your card and its needs. Here are a few ways you can personalise it. Above is a video showing all our templates and how to use them in Canva. We have added a link for you to copy these templates into your card design. 

Slot or Rounded punch card 

Rounded and slotted punched pvc cards
Please note that if you are adding a slot punch or hole punch, Please allow space in your layout for the punch, or crucial information will be lost from your card. The punches can be placed in the centre of the long or short side, placed 5mm from the edge of the card, or in the corner 5mm from the long edge and 7mm from the short edge of the card.

Magnetic stripe guidelines

Magnetic stripe card

Magnetic data should have no start and end symbols, including %, @, $....

Please allow for placement of the magnetic stripe 5mm from the top of the card. The stripe is 12.5mm tall. You do not need to add a black box to your artwork but should allow for its placement.

Core values:

  • Track 1: 79 alphanumeric characters
  • Track 2: 40 numeric characters
  • Track 3: 107 numeric characters

Signature panels

Signature panels on cards

Standard panels can be placed 3mm or lower from the magnetic stripe. Our Standard Range has three sizes, with custom panels also available.

  • The large panel is 84 x 10mm,
  • The full-length panel is 75mm x 7mm,
  • The short length panel is 48mm x 7mm.


Embossing cards
Embossed (or raised) letters are available in a size of 12 or 16 points, with a maximum of 25 characters per line (including spaces).

There are three different foil colours for embossing:

  1. Black
  2. Silver
  3. Gold.

We recommend no more than three lines of embossing to reduce warping. Alphanumeric characters are ideal.

A select number of characters are available including:

  • .(full stop)
  • & (ampersands)
  • ,(comma)
  • /(forward slash)
  • ‘(apostrophe)
  • - (hyphen)

Please ask for our complete embossing guide for more information.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any information regarding your database. We will be more than happy to assist.