Case Studies

A Membership Card for Exploring Our Freedom of Expression

ID cards provide a glimpse of the past, present, and future of our First Amendment Rights

Prominently located on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the U.S. Capitol, the Newseum’s current headquarters opened in 2008. The sophisticated and modern structure boasts seven complete floors of interactive exhibits, extensive galleries, and elegant theaters.

The Newseum’s mission is an unwavering and passionate commitment “to free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. Through exhibits, programs, and education, the Newseum works to ensure that these fundamental freedoms remain strong and protected both today and for future generations.”

In addition to upholding the basic tenets of Americans throughout the nation, the Newseum visually and tangibly captures the historical growth and metamorphosis of electronic communications – from the humble beginnings of radio to the complexities of today’s Information Age to the exploration of tomorrow’s technologies.


Implement an Efficient & Reliable Membership Card Program

The Newseum’s membership program was developed in tandem with the new building opening in 2008. The overarching goal was to issue membership cards that provided exclusive member privileges and benefits.

Front of the Newseum

The organization’s leadership team felt an integrated pre-printed card program would be the optimal choice, requiring the printing of member data on one side rather than both sides of the cards. This would ultimately save valuable time and resources while adding efficiencies to the program.

After researching a number of ID card providers online, they found ID Wholesaler, the photo identification equipment industry leader. Once their dedicated ID Wholesaler Account Manager at the time listened to their needs and requirements for their membership program, they decided to purchase the Fargo Persona C30e single-sided ID card printer.

Although she was not a Newseum employee until 2014, Membership Relations and Operations Coordinator, Mandie Middleton recalls from her predecessor that the pre-printed program was the perfect solution for the organization. “We chose to use pre-printed membership cards because it was more economical. We were able to order cards in bulk which streamlined the process,” Middleton clarified.

“Single-side cards are much easier to produce because we only have to print the logo and member information on the front,” Middleton said. “We use the graphic-quality PVC plastic cards from ID Wholesaler that produce colorful, professional-grade results.”

Example of a Newseum Pre-printed ID Card

Appropriately named the “Press Pass,” the membership card features their logo, member information, and a picturesque image of the Newseum on the front. The back of the card includes pre-printed information regarding how the card is to be used, how membership funds are used in support of programs and exhibits, and how to contact the organization.

“At the start, the conversation about membership cards and equipment was largely driven by our Visitor Services / Admissions department,” explains Middleton. “They wanted a card with the member’s photo to prevent misuse of the memberships, so they looked for printers that would suit those specific requirements,” she said.

“However, members would then have to come into the museum to have their photos taken and retrieve their cards. This became somewhat cumbersome as we grew and as membership became a larger piece of our operations, so the member photos were phased out,” Middleton commented.


Upgrade to a High-performance Printer & Manage a Growing Demand

As the number of memberships steadily grew for the Newseum, it was apparent that a new printer would more effectively manage the substantially higher volume of cards than the C30e printer was able to produce. So in early 2015, the ID Wholesaler Account Manager recommended an upgrade from their Fargo C30e to the Fargo DTC4500e.

But due to budget constraints, the Newseum staff felt the Fargo DTC1250e was the best option for the organization’s printing program. With print speeds up to 50% faster than the C30e model – coupled with more robust features and printing flexibility – the DTC1250e printer was the logical upgrade choice.

Fargo DTC4500e ID Card Printer

However, after several months of use, Middleton came to realize the DTC1250e printer was not quite keeping pace with the growing card production demand.

Middleton reached out to ID Wholesaler for help, and her newly assigned Account Manager, Robert Hayles, shared a number of customer reviews for the DTC4500e printer with her. He also thoroughly reviewed the models' outstanding specifications. This machine not only printed a higher volume of cards in a much shorter time; it also included a dual-card hopper that enabled considerably less refilling so the printing process was even more convenient and reliable.

At this point, Middleton obtained the necessary approvals. “And, not more than two days later, we had the DTC4500e delivered and ready to print,” Middleton exclaimed.

“Because we print a batch of cards nearly each week – up to 150 cards in each batch – I value the high-capacity performance of our new DTC4500e,” explained Middleton. “We really like that the printer ribbons can print up to 500 cards per ribbon; it’s an exceptional benefit for our program, and I’ve come to depend on the high level of quality.”


Trust a Leader to Consistently Deliver Results

Artwork from the Berlin Wall at the Newseum

Although the Newseum still uses their DTC1250e ID card printer, the Fargo DTC4500e is undoubtedly Middleton’s favorite. “While the printer ribbons cost more, they print an increased number of cards per refill, so we are ultimately saving money. A penny saved per card really does add up every year,” says Middleton.

“I also appreciate the level of dependability this printer provides. It sits on my desk, and because the card output is considerably larger, I’m not constantly having to grab the cards. Plus it keeps cards in perfect order which helps immensely during the mailing process,” Middleton stated.

When asked whether Middleton and the Newseum would recommend the Fargo DTC4500e, her answer was clear. “So far, yes! It is affordable and has many great benefits. We print roughly 5,000 cards or more annually, and I like being able to depend on the printer’s quality and operation.”

She added that “having a dedicated representative helped because he offered recommendations and saved us valuable time on research. Further, it was useful to understand the available options, what the printer’s primary benefits were, and having someone helpful like Robert was a real bonus!”

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