Sequential and serial numbering


Sequential or Serial Numbering is a kind of Dynamic Printing that prints a different number (or code, address etc.) on each printed piece (also known as Variable Data Printing).

Sequential numbering means that each printed piece will have a unique number printed on it within a range (for example 001-251). Sequential numbering may be used for such things as raffle tickets and membership cards.

Serial numbering means that a unique number/code will be printed on each piece that does not form any kind of series (for example: X47YK, M83RQ…). Serial numbering is used for serial numbers and tickets.

Sequential/Serial numbering can also be printed using a barcode font to generate unique barcodes on each product.

Sequential/Serial numbering is available on many products such as business cards, flyers, and posters (at an additional cost) but can only be done with our Digital Output printing service (not available with Offset Output). This service is not included as standard on our products and requires a Custom Print Quote.

Please note, there are a few issues with sequential/serial numbering that you should be aware of:

  • We require at least 20% extra numbers for overs (extra numbers in-case some are discarded due to quality control – meaning for example: if you order 100 cards, you will receive at least 100 finished product, but the sequential numbering might go up to 120 because 20 of the cards had to be discarded during quality control).
  • There may be certain numbers missing – due to quality control (as above)
  • Sequential / serial numbers may not be packaged in order

There are two ways to set up the design file for Sequential/Serial Numbering:

Merged Document

You can supply one PDF with multiple pages, each of the pages with the unique sequential/serial number.

The benefit to this is that you are not limited in the layout and font used, however the file size can often be too large to upload to our website. If supplying your artwork this way, it must a press-ready PDF file – our prepress team will not be able to make any adjustments to the file.

Un-merged Files

This way you can supply your design and our prepress team will apply your numbers/codes to each card for you before printing.

  • A press-ready PDF (without the sequential/serial numbers)
  • A PDF file for guidance of layout and placement for sequential/serial numbers (the sequential/serial must be in a common font – such as Helvetica, Arial, Times New Roman)
  • For sequential numbering, please include a note regarding what series of numbers you would like (eg. 001-250)
  • For serial numbering, we require a spreadsheet document with the codes – all in the first column, with each code on a separate row.


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