Skip to Content

Small quantity game cards: where to get printed?

17 replies [Last post]
lucasAB
lucasAB's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008

Another one of my notorious brick walls... where can I get "cheap" game cards printed for my upcoming production? They don't need to be fancy like ordinary game cards, they could be flimsy like the community/chance cards in Monoploy, with one color on one side. The game requires 54, so a standard deck size. So in all, about 5400 cards.

I hope I will get as much help on this brick wall as on the other two!

Lucas

NativeTexan
NativeTexan's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/04/2009
lucasAB wrote:Another one of

lucasAB wrote:
Another one of my notorious brick walls... where can I get "cheap" game cards printed for my upcoming production? They don't need to be fancy like ordinary game cards, they could be flimsy like the community/chance cards in Monoploy, with one color on one side. The game requires 54, so a standard deck size. So in all, about 5400 cards.

I hope I will get as much help on this brick wall as on the other two!

Lucas

There's a recent thread with some really good insight and resources listed: http://www.bgdf.com/node/1063

JuggernautJ
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2009
Cheap Cards

I would:
1. Go to a paper store. Buy 500 sheets of 65# Exact Offset Opaque Cover Colors stock (probably yellow or orange, like monopoly or cream would be ideal). This should cost about $25-30.
2. Lay out my cards 10 up on a sheet. Make sure you don't have any artwork within 1/8" of the edge of EACH card (1/4" would be best). Make SURE all cards are in identical positions on the sheet so the project can be cut as one piece.
3. Take the paper and layouts (on disc) to a digital copy store. Run on a high-end black and white copy machine.
4. At about $.04 a sheet, running 500 sheets would cost about $20 + a set up fee to "RIP" your files. Many set up fees are "per file" so you can get more for your money if you lay-out 10 different cards on one sheet than if you print the same card 10 "up". This would result in (for 50 cards) 5 files versus fifty. At $1-2 per file charge you can see an instant and significant savings here.
5. I would expect to pay about $10-20 for trimming. They would cut the sheets and throw away the excess but you would probably be expected to sort the cards the way you want them.

That looks like about 5,000 cards for $100 to me. Work for you?

Ask for a quantity discount or maybe pay full price and ask for the trimming for free.Tell them you will come back to them for reprints if this project goes well. If you are sincere and polite most Printers (and people) will be happy to work with you.

NativeTexan
NativeTexan's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/04/2009
110lb Card Stock is Better

If you take this route, I have found that 110lb card stock is preferable to 65lb card stock. Your mileage may vary, but definitely give both a try.

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2008
in my experience most walk-in

in my experience most walk-in printers (office depot, kinkos, alphagraphics, etc.) who charge, charge per cut ...and cutting charges and file handling charges are pretty bogus... so if you can avoid either in ANY way, that's what i'd suggest.

if you don't know how to use one of those clamp-press cutters, i'd suggest going to one place, have them explain it to you while they do a small job or whatever, and then go to your primary location and if you can't talk them out of those charges off the bat, then offer to do the "file handling" durf durf, and cutting as well, just using their equipment.

JuggernautJ
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2009
Paper

NativeTexan wrote:
If you take this route, I have found that 110lb card stock is preferable to 65lb card stock. Your mileage may vary, but definitely give both a try.

110# Cover is thicker but it generally is not available to the public in COLORS. And I believe the exact index will have the required thickness (remember, he specified "like Monopoly Cards").
Domtar makes a line of paper called "Fireworx" that comes in colors and offers a thicker weight (80# I believe). Astrobrights offer excellent colors and thickness but are far more expensive than Fireworx or Exact.

Because of the arcane manner in wich paper weights are calculated it may help to look at/feel the thickness of the stock. The "weight" can often be misleading. For instance, the 65# cover I have recomended "mics" out to 96/1000" (.0096") of an inch. A similar 65# Cover (in fact, Exact Opaque White) mics out to only .0084".And another brand of 80# cover mics out to (.0102").

Lastly, keep in mind the device on which you will be printing. It does no good to select a paper which is unusable for your output device. An example would be that the aformentioned Indigo Press can ONLY run Acid Free stocks. Choosing the best paper in the world won't work for that machine if it is not acid free.

JuggernautJ
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2009
Cutting

truekid games wrote:
in my experience most walk-in printers (office depot, kinkos, alphagraphics, etc.) who charge, charge per cut ...and cutting charges and file handling charges are pretty bogus... so if you can avoid either in ANY way, that's what i'd suggest.

Agreed. If you pay File Handling AND cutting fees you are paying retail. And we all (should) know what The Rules of Accquisition say about THAT.

truekid games wrote:
if you don't know how to use one of those clamp-press cutters, i'd suggest going to one place, have them explain it to you while they do a small job or whatever, and then go to your primary location and if you can't talk them out of those charges off the bat, then offer to do the "file handling" durf durf, and cutting as well, just using their equipment.

I would NOT recommend a beginer try to use a blade cutter. I have known too many 8 and 9 fingered JOURNEYMAN Cutter Operators to suggest an amature give this a try.
I once had to do First Aid on a cutter who smashed some fingers with a clamp. Those machines STILL give me the willies.

coco
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
GuildOfBlades

Ask GuildOfBlades. According to the pricing on their web site:

100 decks of 54 cards: $351. Maybe cheaper if back is B/W.

Jason William
Offline
Joined: 09/02/2009
I recently created a card

I recently created a card game (Make An Offer) and I uploaded my files to The Game Crafter. They can manufacture small to large run of cards.

I also uploaded my files to ArtsCow. If you join, they send you a coupon where you can get a personalized set of 54 cards (front and back) for $5.99 (I think).

You can check out my game on BoardGameGeek or at The Game Crafter.

BoardGameGeek link:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/55387

The Game Crafter Link:

http://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/make-an-offer

drewdane
drewdane's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/28/2008
It has to be said...

Jason William wrote:
I recently created a card game (Make An Offer) ...

Okay, will you take $2.75? :p

Jason William
Offline
Joined: 09/02/2009
Now that's funny!

Now that's funny!

Mondainai
Mondainai's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
I used GuildOfBlades

I used GuildOfBlades once.

They were very cheap, very friendly and very fast.

Only downside was that they saved on toner, so I got different shades of blue on different card back sides. In this game, there are cards that you put face down on the table and the other players are dying to see what you put down. Just out of sheer luck, none of those cards got a different back. But it could have been a disaster.

Having this said, I might take the risk again, unless I can find something better following the leads on this thread. Thanks everyone!

erickmain
erickmain's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
Cheap Cards

I work at a college in the print shop, we handle outside clients, I am not suppose to advertise, because we are not allowed to, but I can talk about it and through word of mouth we grow. So if you request it I can give a price guide. We do not charge for set up if the file is ready and we do not charge for cutting. We are attached to the mail room so shipping can be done as well. I usually can beat any price that Kinko’s or other big printers charge. We also do wide format cheaper than anywhere I have seen. I am a print production specialist and graphic designer there. and I can wave any set up fee if I like so if a bunch of you like this and ask I will set up a "promo code" for the users here and I will help as much as I can when I see them come in. just email me and use the "promo code" BGDF. I will also post some pictures of things I have done there in the next week. Just so you know at 10 up on a page at 500 pages x .05 = $25.00 not including tax and shipping. That’s 5,000 cards for $25.00 from us. This is on any card stock we have.

Erick Main

InvisibleJon
InvisibleJon's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
Nifty! A quick question...

erickmain wrote:
Just so you know at 10 up on a page at 500 pages x .05 = $25.00 not including tax and shipping. That’s 5,000 cards for $25.00 from us. This is on any card stock we have.

Can y'all do decent front-back registration/alignment?

Regarding shipping: How far are you from Austin, TX?

erickmain
erickmain's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
good question...

I’m just going to do a quick disclaimer. :) I do not want to get in to trouble here. If I am breaking any rules here please let me know. I love this site!!

Ok, we are located in Bakersfield, CA 93305. Registration is what I handle. So I’m willing to say it will stand up to most tests. I will go as far as .001 in shifting to achieve this. Feel free to email me more questions emain@gmail.com . I will have my web site back up by Friday and there will be more information there.
We have 90# card stock in colors on hand and I can order heaver and have it available in less then a week if needed, in any color. Check out some of my photos taken of my prototypes at various stages. I need a better camera, but this should give everyone an idea.

T Worthington
Offline
Joined: 06/25/2009
I would highly recommend superiorpod

I have been using them for my game Triumvirate and the cardstock quality and prices are very good. You have to have some competence with a design tool and should calibrate your monitor to get the colors right but the end result is a card that looks and feels completely professional

www.superiorpod.com

Pictures of cards in my game can be found here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/53168

Mondainai
Mondainai's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
GuildOfBlades again

Just an update to what I wrote earlier:

I used them again, and this time the colors were perfect. So I'm trying to order more, if they'd just answer emails ;)

As for superiorpod, they demand you use Photoshop and nothing else. What if I prefer an other application? Then I have to print somewhere else.

guildofblades
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Hi Mondainai, We recieved

Hi Mondainai,

We recieved your e-mail yesterday. Expect a reply later today. Glad to see your game is selling well.

Thanks,
Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.gobretail.com
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut