Is your company looking to order custom blank laser checks with company logo, color scheme and multiple security features?
Or are you in the business of selling checks to companies, offering different features, color combinations, sizes and formats?
In any case this blank laser check paper guide will help you identify the best solution for your business or valuable service to your customers, both US and international.
Quantity of blank laser checks
The first thing that we ask our clients is the check volume: how many checks do they print on a yearly, monthly or weekly basis. This helps to determine the optimal order amount. Most printing plants will charge a large amount of money based on per-check basis when the quantity is low. The price goes down significantly when the laser check order reaches above 7,500 – 10,000 pieces.
Custom blank laser check stock can come in 8-1/2″ x 11″ standard size or 8-1/2″ x 14″ legal size.
Paper weight for blank laser check
The standard weight for laser check is 24#. Sometimes due to the special toner grip coating, the paper weights close to 25#.
Visible and Invisible Fibers
Invisible fibers fluoresce under the UV black light. They provide authentication for the custom blank laser check that cannot be duplicated by electronic publishing techniques. They cannot be scanned or photocopied and that makes them fraud resistant.
Watermark: true / artificial on blank laser check
True watermark is considered one of the highest levels of blank laser check security available. It is created during the printing process by embedding security images in the paper. The images can be viewed when holding documents against the light source.
Artificial watermark is applied after the paper manufacturing process. It can be applied by the paper manufacturer or by the printer. The cost of the paper with artificial watermark is usually less expensive than the same paper with true watermark. Artificial watermark can be seen from one side only at an angle and is usually applied at the back on the blank laser check. Another name for the artificial watermark is ghost printing technique. The image is printed in opaque white ink or transparent ink.
The cost of checks will vary depending on how many colors are used to print custom blank laser checks. It may be 2, 3 or 4 color process. When printing logo it is important to have vector EPS files and color separated artwork, so the graphics have good quality.
Back Printing for blank laser check
Checks may come with the endorsement on the back or without. There are many country specific regulations that cover the backer / endorsement sections. For example, for Canadian checks the Canadian Payment Association specifies three elements that must be printed on the back of blank laser cheques:
1) teller stamp box with the phrase “Teller Stamp Here”
2) endorsement line with the phrase “Endorsement – Signature or Stamp” below it
3) the Verification Phrase (“BACK/VERSO”; “VERSO/BACK”; “BACK/ENDOS”; “ENDOS/BACK”; “BACK” or “VERSO”).
In security check printing, void pantograph refers to a method of making copy-evident and tamper-resistant patterns in the background of a document. It is also referred to as a hidden message technology, VOID pantograph or VOID background.
Normally these are invisible to an eye, but when copied or scanned they show “VOID” , “NULL”, “UNAUTHORIZED COPY”, “COPY”.
The signature area and amount line can be printed with pantographs that are different from background of the check. Copier’s density settings produce various VOIDs in different parts of the check.
Perforations on blank laser check
It is important to find out how many perforations are needed on a check. What is the position of perforations; how many checks per page and what is the location of the check (top, middle, bottom)? The requirements may vary depending on the country where checks will be used. Usually banks can provide this information in details.
Perforations for blank laser check
Perforations can be vertical, horizontal or partial.
Micro-printing is used to print recognizable patterns on checks that require magnification to be read. To a naked eye the characters may appear as a solid line. When someone tries to photocopy or scan the image, the micro-printed line appears as dotted or solid line because reproduction machine is not able to read or recreate the pattern. The technique adds security features to the company checks. Some digital fonts known as microtext are designed specifically for the purpose of micro-printing. You can customize micro-printed information on custom laser checks. They can ready the name of your company, the words like “ORIGINAL DOCUMENT”, “MICROPRINT SECURITY”, “AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE” as well as actual check amount.
Arabic numbering in front of the check is used to print the check numbers. The position may vary depending on the check printing software used but check number is usually located in the top right corner of the check.
Control number in the back of the check. Some companies are required to have pre-printed control numbers on the back of each check that is used for inventory purposes according to internal policy. When a new check stock is received, the company management needs to verify the first and the last stock control numbers.
MICR that stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition makes the MICR line in the bottom of the check. The characters in the MICR line provide information about the account the check is drawn on as well as check number.
The routing number consisting of nine digits, is the first set of numbers in the MICR line. Every bank has its own routing number and by looking at the check you can identify the bank that hosts the account the check is made from. The routing number in the MICR line is surrounded by two identical symbols that look like this: “|:” — a vertical line followed by a colon.
The second set of numbers in the MICR line represents the account number of the business or individual that issued the check. Account number can comprise of any number of digits starting from 5. Banks have their own policies in numbering of the accounts to comply with country regulations.
The third group of digits in the MICR line is the check number. It matches the number in the front of the check located in the right-hand corner.
MICR line is printed using special magnetized inks. MICR toner contains iron oxide, which is required by the Federal Reserve to make the check-clearing process more efficient. Automated equipment at the financial institutions can read the MICR line and identify where the money to pay the check will come from.
MICR line placement on the blank laser check is critical and needs to be in an area at the bottom of the document called the clear band.
ANSI specifications “Understanding and Designing Checks – ANSI X9/TG-2” state that the clear band must be a minimum of 5/8″ (0.625″) high (measured from the bottom of the check). The MICR line must be positioned within the clear band area, so that machines can read and process the information on the check correctly. Otherwise the check will be rejected.
Depending on the amount of information pre-printed on the checks, the check printing software can fill-in the blanks and print routing and account number only or routing, account and check numbers dynamically.
Thermochromatic ink makes paper heat sensitive. If you touch or blow on image printed with this ink, it will fade and disappear. The image will be visible again after the temperature becomes normal. The reactivity of paper to temperature changes cannot be replicated on a color copier or scanner.
White opaque ink is used with artificial watermarks. The image can be viewed when held at an angle.
Warning band is located on the top of the blank laser check. It serves as a reminder to the person cashing the check that they need to pay attention to security features on the back of the blank laser check to verify authenticity.
Check Delivery and packaging.
Depending on the type of checks, there may be different ways to pack them. Three-whole punching can be requested for check books or commercial / business checks.
If checks are numbered, it is important to know if they should be packed with numbers going up or down, face up or face down, so that the client doesn’t need to repack them after delivery.
Padlock on blank laser check
The padlock icon on the check indicates that extra security measures have been taken in designing and production of the checks or the material being used adheres to the industry standard. These steps make fraudulent check reproduction difficult.
Padlock can be pre-printed on the blank laser check during the printing process at the plant. It can be also printed on the checks with software that was authorized to use the icon.
It is important to get check format requirements from the authorized financial institution in the country where checks will be used. This will assure that blank laser check will be accepted and cleared with no issues or delay.
The most common check formats include:
- Eastern Caribbean
Many companies can provide blank laser check samples, so that you can see colors, sizes, check position and other elements before placing a large order. When creating custom checks it is advisable to order prepress proof and true color proof in full-size format. Color proof serves as a guideline for a printing press operator.
Contact us to request samples of blank laser checks for your business.