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What the heck is CR80News?

Resources to build your campus card program.

Perhaps the best way to answer the question, “What is CR80News?” is to explain the term CR80. For those who do not recognize it, CR80 is the industry name for the accepted standard ID card size. At any given time, nearly all of us are carrying a number of CR80-size cards on our person. Bank cards, drivers licenses, campus ID cards, employee badges, key cards, library cards– the list goes on and on.

Thus, the name CR80News came to life for this publication that focuses on the implementation and application of card technology. Pretty straightforward it would seem–but the name quickly came to take on a more symbolic meaning. As we researched the CR80 term, it’s origins proved incredibly difficult to pinpoint. It seemed each source we spoke with and each reference we read had a different concept of the term’s creation. No one, it seemed, was really certain.

This seems a fitting parallel for the information that CR80News will provide its readership. While card technology is pervasive in our wallets and our work responsibilities, reliable information on the obstacles, issues, and technologies is scarce. Like the term CR80, everybody has ideas, but the truth is often illusive.

While we do not claim to know it all, we do commit to work tirelessly to compile valuable, useable information from a wide variety of sources. Additionally, we will strive to present it to you in concise and user-friendly formats.

For those of you who are curious, the most likely origin of CR80 seems to be that it was the code used to identify the size selected by the Addressograph Corporation for one of the earliest ID card manufacturing machines. Addressograph is remembered for its machines that stamped names and numbers into metal tags–from military ‘dogtags’ to the precursors of the modern credit card.

There is an interesting story in how this early card technology ended up intertwined with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund list of toxic sites … but we will save that one for later.

Enjoy the publication, and please provide your feedback and suggestions as we strive to make this a true resource for the campus card industry.

 

Chris Corum, Editor

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