Styles of checks: What’s The Difference?

When referring to styles of checks, we first need to breakdown the categories of checks first. There are three main categories, and within each of those categories there are a few additional options. Each style has its own features and overall look. All checks must meet or exceed the CPA (Canadian Payments Association) banking standards, and most differences come down to function and aesthetics.

1)    Laser/Inkjet checks

an example of a laser or inkjet type of checkLaser/Inkjet checks are normally used with an accounting software system. They are set up to match Quickbooks, SAGE, PC Law or any one of the hundreds of other software systems. Each software will dictate, and in some cases give options, as to where the check must positioned on the page. Quickbooks, for example, dictates that the check must be on the top third of the page and two check stubs below. PC Law on the other hand, dictates that the check be in the middle of the page, with one stub above and one below. As for the style of laser/inkjet checks, you have three main options. The first option is to choose between standard and premium backgrounds. Your next decision is to add a logo (either black & white or colour), and your third possibility is to have a full custom check done with colours, images and text that are all fully customized to meet your needs. Styles of these checks can go from basic to full-meal deal.

2)    Manual checks

an example of a manual type of check with check stubNext we move onto the manual, 2-per page or handwritten checks. Three different names, same style of check. These are the styles of checks that are filled out by hand, are normally stored in a special 3-ring binder, and have a stub on the left side to document all details of the check being written. These too are available with a standard background, black and white logo, colour logo, or a fully custom option that starts from a blank page and builds the check of your dreams.

3)    Personal checks

an example of a personal type of checkLastly, personal-style checks are wallet sized, have no stub, and do not fit in a binder. They are bound in small booklets that can easily fit in your wallet or purse. Just like the others, there are options, though. This style of check is typically for personal use and not for business. Although, some companies do choose this option for their business checks. Small black & white logos, colour logos and of course fully-custom checks are all also available with this style.
One thing in common for all three main styles of checks, is the option to purchase a designer series check at close to regular series pricing. Why chose from more than 60 standard design options, when you can just create your very own, by using a custom image for the background of your checks – all for roughly the same price? Design is all about choice – just start with a basic style of check that suits your needs and customize it the way you like it, and you’ll end up with checks that perfectly suit your style.

  • John Kittell, Owner