Skip to Content

Backs of Cards

12 replies [Last post]
Pt314
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969

I am thinking that I may need to have a pattern on the back of my cards, but I am wondering if flipping over the piece of cardstock and printing on the other side is accurate enough.

I usually don't bother, because I don't want to go through the trouble of making all of the backs look the same. But since I want to cut down on looking at the card from the wrong side, and I am doing it on the computer anyway, I might as well attempt.

Any suggestions before I start printing?

Oracle
Offline
Joined: 06/22/2010
Backs of Cards

For starters make sure the software you're printing from doesn't have an "auto fit to page" type feature active. With that on, the difference between front and back can easily be 1/2".

Even with that off, consumer printers aren't very accurate. The CD labelling software I have has a calibration procedure so the software can compensate for errors in the printer. My printer is off 1-2mm along each axis.

If you just want a pattern to make it hard to see through the cards, you can just print the pattern across the whole page so you don't have to worry about alignment at all. The pattern should be small enough that people can't recognize exactly where the cuts are to identify a card.

Jason

NuYawkDawg
Offline
Joined: 08/22/2009
re: card backs

when i was developing my card games, initially i went with the full page of the company name. that worked fine until we came up with a game that had two different decks in it.

the 3x3 MS Word textbox download is where we started and through trial and error got it to line up with the front of the cards. took about 2 hours.

Nu Yawk Dawg

Nazhuret
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Backs of Cards

for an upcoming game with two decks i plan on using a diagonal pattern with the name of both of the decks and the name of the game in it. for deck one transparency of decks two is turned way up and for deck two the transparency of deck one is turned way up.

if you didn't have a program that allows you to control transparency just do one text in solid and the other in outline or something.

IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
Backs of Cards

I sometimes put the game name (and a cheesy clipart graphic) on the backs of my cards. I print the cards out on 8 1/2" x 11" 110 lb. cardstock with an ordinary inkjet printer, and cut the cards with a rotary trimmer. Here's what helps...

* Make sure the front of your cards are printed in a light color (i.e. grey, not black)
* Make sure the back of your cards are printed in a dark color (i.e. black, not grey)
* Put a grid on ONE side of the cardstock - not the other. You'll use the grid to cut out the cards.
* Make sure that both sides of the cardstock have the same margins.
* Print one side upside-down. You may need an image program to "rotate" the entire page image. This way, when you flip over the cardstock page to print on the other side, the backs and fronts of the cards are properly oriented.
* Print test pages on ordinary paper. Hold the page up to the light and make sure that both sides of the card are properly centered in the grid.

These cards aren't 100% bulletproof; if you hold them up to the light, you'll probably see the other side of the cards. They probably wouldn't work for an official game release. But they work fine for honest playtesting, and are pretty easy to make. They also hold up surprisingly well to repeated shuffling, even without rounded corners.

Good luck!

Ken
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Backs of Cards

This is something I've spent many hours fiddling with too.

Gil, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one standing by my window holding pages up to the light (The neighbours wonder about me much of the time.) With the software I was using I couldn't find any "easy" way of rotating the images so I printed the same page twice, placed them back to back (using one as the Card Back) in the light and measured the printer's 'margin of error'. Then I compensated on my Card Back page by that amount (shifting the margins in the opposite direction) and I could print them front and back without any trouble.

It is not very precise, but if you keep words and pictures a little from the edge you shouldn't have any trouble.

Ken

Anonymous
Great ideas

These are all great ideas for overcoming the front/back registration issues with printing 2 sided cards.

These are the things that will need to be considered when using the blank micro-perfed card sheets.

GM

Pt314
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Backs of Cards

So far the fronts of my cards aren't very dark. Most of the cards are yellow-white gradient, whith cyan-white gradent making up most of the rest. However some of my cards have pictures on them that have some dark areas.

I am thinking of making a dark tile pattern on the back, would it suffice to fill the backside of cardstock with the pattern?

Anonymous
card backs

If you'll be working with the micro-perf'd sheets, then this idea is a winner. You'll only need to tweak in your registration on the card faces. Then you can flood the whole back with a pattern and not be so concerned with front/back registration.

GM

Pt314
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Backs of Cards

Well I am almost done with pre-printing work (One more portrait to draw). Hopefully it wont be that long before I can report on how well it worked out.

Afterwards comes the part I'm looking towards, Playtesting!

Anonymous
Backs of Cards

IngredientX wrote:
I sometimes put the game name (and a cheesy clipart graphic) on the backs of my cards. I print the cards out on 8 1/2" x 11" 110 lb. cardstock with an ordinary inkjet printer, and cut the cards with a rotary trimmer. Here's what helps...

* Make sure the front of your cards are printed in a light color (i.e. grey, not black)
* Make sure the back of your cards are printed in a dark color (i.e. black, not grey)
* Put a grid on ONE side of the cardstock - not the other. You'll use the grid to cut out the cards.
* Make sure that both sides of the cardstock have the same margins.
* Print one side upside-down. You may need an image program to "rotate" the entire page image. This way, when you flip over the cardstock page to print on the other side, the backs and fronts of the cards are properly oriented.
* Print test pages on ordinary paper. Hold the page up to the light and make sure that both sides of the card are properly centered in the grid.

These cards aren't 100% bulletproof; if you hold them up to the light, you'll probably see the other side of the cards. They probably wouldn't work for an official game release. But they work fine for honest playtesting, and are pretty easy to make. They also hold up surprisingly well to repeated shuffling, even without rounded corners.

Good luck!

Yea.. I have to agree.. it's doable, but a pain in the butt to print on a commercial printer... it's always just a hair off on the alinment and you can always see thru them a bit.... Granted these are good for playtesting but unless you're game is really really cheap most consumers don't want to spend there money on a game that looks like it was cut but a 3rd grader.... I use this method alot (and I use a tan/textured heavy stock paper for my prototypes..), but I also ususally also lamanate them using 'id card' laminating pouches.. they're prerounded so you don't have to worry about rounding cards, makes them last longer, you can make notes in dryerase marker on them and people for some reason are partial to rounded cards... (everyone seems to complain if I don't round the edges or toss 'em into laminating pouches before we play test a game...)..

If you buy in bulk you get a pretty good deal on laminate also....
This is the site I use to order mine from (I'm sure I could get cheaper, but I never buy more than a case at a time...)
http://www.affordablelaminatingsupply.com/site/389898/product/BC32-100

Hope this helps..

Satori

Pt314
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Quick Update

I got a bunch of cardstock (I would like it to be thicker), and printed my cards onto it. The only problem I have so far is that I was running out of black ink on by last couple sheets, I will probably reprint them later.

I love my new printer, it can handle cardstock & can print at a really high resolution, unlike my old one.

Anonymous
Tight Front-Back Registration

For development and prototyping, I plan on using both forgiving art design as well as trial and error to create a single original that I am intending to take to a printing shop to roll off a few thousand sheets.

BUT: Is copy-shop equipment any better at front-to-back registration than a home laser printer? Is it futile to make a "perfect" original at home?

Are there any further options for getting that kind of two-sided tight registration?

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut