For most companies, color badges are a requirement. Some use full color fronts only and others use full color fronts and backs. These ribbons can get pricey, though, so is there any way to save on your print costs? The answer may be YES.

YMCKO (Yellow, Magenta, Cyan, Black, Overlay) ribbons are standard color ribbons where the YMC panels print in full color, the Black (K) panel prints in real black (required for bar codes) and the O is a clear overlay to ensure the colors don’t bleed off the card.

Half-panel color ribbons are different, however. For the half-panel ribbons, the Yellow, Magenta and Cyan panels are half the size of the regular panels but the K (Black) and O (Overlay) are full size panels. This allows for cards that only require color on up to half the card (with black available for any part of the card) to use half-panel ribbons.

YMCKO Full Panel and Standard Panels

So, will a half-panel color ribbon work for you? If your card design is set up so that the full color items (i.e., company logo, photo) are on half of the card and that the rest of the card is blank or black, you can use these ribbons. If you need to print more than half of your card in color, these ribbons are NOT an option.