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Physical Cards

Physical Cards

Highnote offers multiple options for designing and printing physical cards for Account Holders. You can choose from the following physical card options:

  • On-demand cards: Traditional plastic cards that provide you lower upfront costs, the ability to print-on-demand, and purchase one-off cards
  • Premium cards: Premium plastic or metal cards that are highly customizable, with unique printing and design options
On-demandPremium
Pricing structurePay-as-you-goPay in bulk
Minimum quantity requirementsNoYes
Program setup timeFastAverage
Material optionsLimitedExtensive
Print qualityGoodBest

Customization Options

On-demand and premium cards have different materials, printing, and design options. The following table outlines the differences in customization options for each card type:

On-demand plasticPremium plasticPremium metal
Material and printing methodsDigital PrintingOffset (Litho printing), Silkscreen, Digital PrintingEmbedded metal, Metal veneer lite, Metal veneer, Metal hybrid, Ceramic metal, Full metal
Design optionsMatte and glossy materials, FoilColored core, Decorated edge, Colored mag stripe, Matte and glossy varnishes, 3D effects, Hot stamping, Holograms, Metallic Ink, Foil, Special inks, Textures, Translucent plastic, Sustainable cardsMechanical engraving, Laser engraved personalization, Knock-out capability, Raised matte and glossy varnishes, Metallic foils, 24k gold, crystal and/or diamond embedding available on higher-end cards

General Guidelines

card-design-guidelines.png

Keep the following guidelines in mind when designing physical cards:

  • On-demand cards are printed in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (CMYK). Designing in RGB may cause inaccurate colors during printing.
  • Premium cards are printed in CMYK or Panton Matching System (PMS). Designing in RGB may cause inaccurate colors during printing.
  • Black should be set to C=0, M=0, Y=0, K=100
  • The front and back of your card design may be either horizontal or vertical.
  • The minimum type size is 6pt for optimal legibility.
  • Avoid border designs that follow the edge of the card.
  • Keep logos and text 3/32” away from the edges of the card and from required elements, for example, the card’s magnetic stripe, hologram, and signature panel.

Personalization

card-personalization.svg

Card personalization refers to a card’s dynamic content. Personalization may be on the front or back of the card, in any combination. Personalization includes:

  • Cardholder name
  • Primary Account Number (16-digit card number)
  • Expiration date

Typefaces

The following typefaces are allowed for card personalization. Typefaces not listed here are prohibited:

  • Arial
  • Arial Narrow
  • Century Gothic
  • Courier New
  • Forza Book
  • Forza Medium
  • Helvetica Neue LT Std
  • OCR-B
  • Myriad Pro
  • Open Sans (Only supports uppercase letters)
  • Open Sans Light
  • Trade Gothic LT Std
  • Univers LT Std 47 Condensed Light
  • Univers LT Std 57 Condensed

Card Design Tips

When designing your card art, we recommend keeping designs simple. Here are some general recommendations:

  • Keep the personalization on the back.
  • Don’t use busy or overly complex backgrounds.
  • Do provide white space around your logo for readability.
  • Premium cards allow you to move holograms and signature panels anywhere on the card.

Personalization tips:

Personalization Example.png

Background tips:

Background Example.png

Logo tips:

Logo Example.png

Mastercard Templates

Card templates are provided in Adobe Illustrator. Generating card designs in any other program is not recommended, as it may lead to production issues.

On-demand

Download Consumer Debit Template (.ai)

Download Commercial Debit Template (.ai)

Download Commercial Charge Template (.ai)

Download Prepaid Template (.ai)

Premium

Download Template (.ai)

Mastercard Guidelines

card-branding-mc.svg

  • The Mastercard logo must be on the front of the card. If the card art does not provide sufficient contrast with the Mastercard logo, you must add a a binocular (white, black, halo) logo.
  • There must be 4mm of clear space from the Mastercard logo.
  • Consumer Debit Card Products must include a Debit identifier.
  • Commercial Debit Card Products must include a Business Debit identifier.
  • Contactless icons should be at least 4.5mm tall and 3mm away from all card edges and elements. It must be orientated the same way as the Mastercard logo and face to the right.
  • Your Card Product is assigned a program code from Mastercard. Each code has an associated card design requirement supplied by Mastercard.

Mastercard Requirements

Here is a list of required elements to include in your card artwork:

Required InformationFront or Back
Mastercard logoFront
Program identifierFront
Customer support URLBack
Customer support phone numberBack
Issuing statementBack
HologramBack
Card Validation Code (CVC)Back
Contactless logo (if using contactless cards)Either
Cardholder nameEither
Expiration dateEither
Primary Account Number (16 digit card-number)Either

Visa Templates

Card templates are provided in Adobe Illustrator. Generating card designs in any other program is not recommended, as it may lead to production issues.

On-demand

Download Template (.ai)

Download Fleet Template (.ai)

Premium

Download Template (.ai)

Visa Guidelines

card-branding-visa.svg

  • The Visa logo must be on the front of the card.
  • There must be 3mm of clear space from the Visa logo.
  • Fleet Products must include a Fleet identifier.
  • When there is personalization printed on the card back, there can’t be any competing network brand marks displayed.
  • Contactless icons should be at least 4.5mm tall and 3mm away from all card edges and elements. It must be orientated the same way as the network logo and face to the right.

Visa Requirements

Here is a list of required elements to include in your card artwork:

Required InformationFront or Back
Visa logoFront
Fleet program identifierFront
Customer support URLBack
Customer support phone numberBack
Issuing statementBack
HologramBack
Card Validation Code (CVC)Back
Contactless logo (if using contactless cards)Either
Cardholder nameEither
Expiration dateEither
Primary Account Number (16 digit card-number)Either

Design Approval

Card design is subject to approval by both Highnote and the sponsor bank as outlined in Marketing and Collateral. When you are ready to submit the final artwork, send files to collateral-review@highnote.com.

Before submitting your design file, adhere to the following guidelines:

RequirementDescription
SizeAt least 3.5” x 2.24“ at a minimum of 300 DPI
Color profileCMYK
Layered artworkPut each design element in a separate layer
FontsAll fonts must be outlined
ImagesAll images must be embedded

File Formats

We accept the following file formats for card art. If sending an editable file format, please also send a reference image with your intended design.

  • Adobe Illustrator .eps or .ai
  • Print Quality .pdf
  • High Quality .jpg

Packaging Materials

You can design and customize packaging materials to send your cards to Account Holders. The following packaging material options are available for all card types:

  • Mailers
  • Burgopak sliders
  • Customized packaging

Mailer

When using a mailer, cards are sent to Account Holders in envelopes within a trifold insert. You can customize mailers to match your brand. Mailers are printed on white paper stock with 3/16” whitespace on all edges and does not support bleeds.

The following graphic is an example of the front of a mailer insert inside an envelope:

Mailer_Front.png

The following graphic is an example of a full mailer insert:

Mailer_Full.png

Download Highnote Physical Card Mailer Template

Card Ordering Process

The card ordering process involves submitting your card design and approving several proofs during the manufacturing process. The card ordering process differs depending on whether you are ordering an on-demand or premium card.

On-demand cards

  1. Finalized card design received from card program
  2. Design approved by card manufacturer
  3. Card program receives proof from card manufacturer
  4. Card program approves proof
  5. Card Network approval
  6. Quality assurance (QA)
  7. Pre-product order notification sent
  8. Program live

Premium cards

  1. Finalized card design received from card program
  2. Receive and approve sales quote
  3. Receive and approve proof
  4. Submit proof
  5. Card manufacturing begins
  6. Card personalization begins
  7. Receive personalization proofs
  8. Approve proof
  9. Final approval

Lead and Shipping Timelines

The following lead and shipping timelines are estimates only. Timelines are subject to change depending on material availability and shipping.

Lead times refer to the timeline in which specific steps in the card order process take place. Shipping timelines are based on the shipping method used to ship cards to Account Holders. Lead and shipping timelines are subject to change.

On-demand cards

  • Proof creation: Two days from receiving card design in the correct format
  • Brand approval: About two to five days from submission
  • Card manufacturing: About one week after proof creation, cards printed same day on-demand
  • Activation labels: One week
  • Shipping: 72 hour SLA after receiving card file

Premium cards

  • Proof creation: Two days from receiving card design in the correct format
  • Brand approval: About two to five days from submission
  • Card manufacturing: 6-12 weeks from brand approval
  • Packaging materials: About eight weeks upon final proof approval
  • Activation labels: About eight weeks plus shipping
  • Shipping: Two to three weeks premium air, six to eight weeks premium freight

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