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Printing Lingo: What are Flip Cards?

A set of six Flip Cards with sealed-edge gloss laminate and binding ring

Flip Cards are durable cards, usually created as sets, which convey printed information in a simple and convenient format. Used most often for reference or instructional purposes, flip card sets may consist of just a few cards or they may compile a thick deck.

Flip cards are very versatile and can be created in any size. They can be printed on one or both sides in virtually any color scheme, from full color to simple black and white. Also, because most flip cards are designed to withstand frequent use, they are usually constructed from heavy cardstock.

In addition, flip cards usually have a gloss or matte laminate applied to add stiffness and boost wear resistance. The laminate can be cut flush with the edge of the cards, or it can overhang the perimeter slightly to completely encapsulate the cards in plastic. Encapsulation is especially recommended for any flip cards intended for use in damp or dirty environments.

A deck of laminated Flip Cards with corners rounded for safety

Because certain cardstocks and laminates can add quite a bit of rigidity, the corners of thicker flip cards are often rounded to improve safety during handling. Corner rounding also provides a very professional and finished look to a flip card set.

Why are some Flip Card Sets Bound?

Certain flip cards, such as educational flash cards, are often left unbound. But, many flip card sets are bound together in some fashion. A bound card deck provides several benefits over a loose deck. First, it helps prevent any cards in the set from becoming lost or misplaced. Second, it ensures the cards stay in a designated order. Third, a bound deck is easier to handle and flip through than a stack of loose cards.

Metal rings and beaded chains are popular methods for securing flip cards as a set, and are especially useful if the deck needs to hang from a hook or suspend from a piece of machinery or equipment. For extra strength, grommets can be used to reinforce the holes where the ring or chain passes through.

Optional grommets add reinforcement to the holes

Flip card sets can also be bound using the spiral coil or wire-o binding method. This allows the flip cards to form a simple handbook, with pages that turn freely and open a full 360 degrees. Another method for binding flip cards is the screw post. A screw post binds the cards securely as a unit but allows them to pivot, or fan out, from one corner.

A set of laminated Flip Cards spiral bound into a handy booklet format

Whether Flip Card sets are bound or unbound, they provide a quick and durable method for conveying instructions, procedures, reference materials, and other important information.

If you have an upcoming Flip Card project and would like to explore your options, give Formax a call at 314-434-5500 or 866-367-6221. Or, click here to access our quote request form. Let us help you create the optimal solution for your custom Flip Card needs.

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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