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Signature Card — What’s in Your Wallet?

February 2008 By Cheryl Adams
Managing Editor
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IS YOUR wallet packed with “Preferred Customer” cards from rental car agencies, airlines and hotels? Is your keychain filled with supermarket, retail and food discount key fobs? Does your child have a stack of gift cards that he/she received as birthday gifts?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are pretty good that you’re already familiar with Richardson, TX-based Signature Card. That’s because there’s a pretty good chance that at least one of those cards was manufactured by Signature.

“Our products are everywhere,” says Jack Farris, partner/owner. “Signature Card produces almost any type of customized plastic card, just short of the secure MC/Visa and Amex product lines. This includes gift cards, loyalty cards, frequent shopper cards, supermarket keytags, hotel keycards and many more.

“On your next hotel stay, please throw away that plastic hotel keycard,” he quips. “We’d like to print some more of them!”

Signature Card is a leading manufacturer in this short-run niche, which includes card runs from a few hundred up to a million cards. By utilizing multicolor Plextor UV presses, the company is able to print in a one-up fashion, as opposed to printing on large sheets and then cutting them down to individual cards. “We are able to turn on a dime with our production,” says Farris, “experiencing very little waste product along the way.”

The vast majority of cards manufactured today require some sort of personalization, whether it’s a barcode, magnetic encoding or turnkey fulfillment, including affixing, folding, addressing and mailing services, he explains. Signature Card built a secure data facility that runs high-speed Atlantic Zeiser and Ga-Vehren personalization systems as part of the company’s recent expansion to accommodate these needs.

In accommodating the need for “green,” the company offers short runs of cards printed on either corn stock for a biodegradable solution or on recycled card, whereby Signature Card donates a portion of the proceeds to the preservation of rain forests.

“Printing on plastic is a very tough and demanding business that has few specialists within a rapidly growing market segment,” Farris claims. But Signature Card—which operates with 58 employees in 10,000 square feet, running nine Plextor press lines two shifts per day (plus its secure data facility)—has become a major player in plastic card manufacturing.

Short Runs, Fast Turns

“Many of North America’s leading large-format card houses and printing companies have come to rely upon us as their short-run, fast-turn partner,” says Farris. “Although the gift card market has been around for more than a decade and is very mature among the ‘big box’ retailers, growth and acceptance have been pushed down to the broader, small retail marketplace. It is in this small-run, fast-turn segment that Signature Card has thrived.”

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