Numbering Printing Knowledge

Consecutive Numbering | MICR Numbering | Bar Code Numbering | MOD Numbering | Security Features

Consecutive Numbering

  • Consecutive numbering changes sequentially from one sheet to the next.
  • It can be used as a control feature to provide a distinct identity to each sheet.
  • The standard numbering color is red, but other colors are available. Consult your supplier for their color list.
  • Several digit sizes are available for consecutive numbering and some manufacturers of single sheet products may offer more than one size.
  • Alphabetic characters can also be used in the number.
  • As shown in the illustration below, a consecutive number can be printed in almost any location on a mailer. The number can be printed parallel or perpendicular to the rest of the copy on the mailer and numbers can be printed in multiple locations.  Numbering capabilities will differ between suppliers so it is best to check with them on special numbering requirements.

  • Mailers can be press numbered or crash numbered. Crash numbering on promotional mailers and self mailers would add an offline operation that would not normally be necessary. Crash numbering on continuous multiple part mailers would be applied when the mailer is collated.
  • Mailers can also be consecutively numbered when they are imprinted through a printer. The size and color of the number generally matches the type being imprinted.

Crash Numbering: Documents are numbered after they have been printed. They would have to be printed roll to roll and then numbered on a roll collator or printed roll to sheet and numbered on some type of sheet fed equipment. The numbering machine makes an impression of the number on the document. Crash numbering is generally used on multi-part printed products that require the number to make an impression through all of the parts.

Press Numbering: Documents are numbered at the press as they are being printed. For promotional mailers and self mailers, press numbering is generally less expensive due to the elimination of the offline crash numbering process. Press numbering on continuous multiple part mailers is generally less expensive on longer runs, otherwise crash numbering is less expensive.


MICR Numbering

  • MICR (Magnetic Image Character Recognition) is a special encoded number used on checks and other secure documents that can be read by MICR scanning equipment.
  • It is printed using a MICR character font as shown above.
  • A special magnetic ink is used to print the characters, making the MICR encoding recognizable by the scanner.
  • Banks use MICR encoding to scan account information from checks as they go through the bank's system.
  • MICR encoding is made up of a static number or a static and consecutive number. The static number is used for account, routing, and amount numbers, and the consecutive MICR number is used for check numbers.

To see a sample document with consecutive numbering and MICR encoding, click the following link: Numbering Sample


Bar Code Numbering

  • Bar code numbering is used on many types of applications to code and decode information automatically.
  • It consists of bars and spaces of various sizes as shown in the sample above.
  • The bar codes can be static (the same number on each piece) or consecutive (sequential from piece to piece).
  • A number of different types of bar codes have been developed to meet the special needs of different industries. The different bar code types are known as symbologies.
  • The scanned information is received without the input errors that can occur with the use of traditional methods of entering data. Bar coding is a much more reliable, faster, and efficient method of gathering information.

For more information on bar coding, click on the link: Bar Coding


MOD Numbering

MOD (Modulus) or check digit numbering involves selecting a numbering method (MICR, Gothic, OCR, or Bar Code) to be used on documents for which an additional digit will be printed to the right of a base sequential number. This enables the document owner to verify and control some aspect of the document, it's content, or the intended end-user of the document. Click the link, MOD Numbering, to learn more.


Security Features

A number of features can be incorporated with numbering to provide security to the mailer. Two of the most popular are Rainbow numbering and Bleed-through numbering.

  • Rainbow numbering: A special technique that gives the number a rainbow appearance.
  • Bleed-through numbering: A technique in which the numbering ink contains a pink dye that bleeds through the back of the document, 48 hours after production.

Both rainbow and bleed-through numbering features are most commonly used on checks and other negotiable forms. Click on the links above to see samples. Consult your supplier for availability of these features.

Additional Security Features


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