Thermal printers – Part 3
Options in Thermal Ticket Stock for Counterfeit Protection
Counterfeiting of event tickets is widespread problem for venue owners, promoters and fans alike. In part 3 of the guide, we offer advice on the prevention of counterfeiting using the following factors for ordering your thermal ticket stock. Thermal ticket stock is available in a variety of formats and sizes and several optional security features.
First, you need to know your printer's dpi. The dpi, or dots per inch, signifies how clear any text or images will appear on your printed ticket. The higher the dpi, the better the ticket's image resolution. Knowing the dpi is important, because 300 dpi thermal ticket stock will not print on a 200 dpi printer. Always ensure that your thermal stock and printer's dpi match.
Timing bars are the black stripes appearing on the back of ticket stock. These provide your printer a point of reference for starting and printing within the space between perforated margins. The positioning of the timing bars on the back of your thermal ticket stock will depend on the type and model of printer you are using. Make sure your stock manufacturer is fully aware of the exact printers you are using.
Thermal Ticket Stock Dimensions
The standard thermal ticket size is 2" x 5.5" including the stub. Most thermal printers can handle a 2" wide ticket, and some models can be adjusted to accommodate larger widths. Normal thermal stock thickness is .007 inches, but can be as thick as .011. Thicker thermal ticket stock will result in reduced cutter and printhead life.
Thermal ticket stock should be stored in a dry and cool place, and away from direct contact with sunlight. Many thermal printer manufacturers offer free printhead replacement if their recommended thermal ticket stock is used.
Ticket Security Features
The level of security on your tickets will depend on the nature of your events and how far in advance tickets are made available to the public. Tickets that are made available months in advance offer greater opportunity for counterfeiting over tickets made available the day of an event.
Thermal security features include:
- Ultra Violet Ink - This security ink isn't visible with the naked eye without the aid of a U.V. light. Portable U.V. Lamps are easily obtainable, making this one of the most popular security options available. Ultra violet ink is used to create 'invisible' patterns, pictures or numbers.
- Thermochromic Ink - A temperature sensitive ink for images that are produced with thermochromic ink temporarily disappear when exposed to heat and reappear when the ink reaches room temperature.
- Coin Activated Ink - Tickets printed with coin-activated ink appear only when the paper and ink surface is rubbed with the edge of a coin to reveal color-changing hidden images.
- Holographic Foil - Holographic foils are considered the pinnacle of ticket security. They cannot be optically scanned by a computer or reproduced with a photocopier. Holograms provide easy visual authentication, and also provide great appeal. Holographic foil can be customized to your unique brand, while stock patterns are also available.
Typically a minimum order of 20,000 tickets is required for a custom ticket design, so attention to detail to prevent errors is vital. If you are planning on incorporating your venue's logo or require specific Pantone colors, requesting a press proof is highly recommended. A press proof will provide you with the most accurate representation of how your tickets will look once printed. Electronic PDF proofs are available, but color representation will depend on your computer's color and monitor settings. Most ticket printing companies will require your signature before printing and will not be responsible for any discrepancies after approval is received.
Additional Thermal Ticket Resources
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