Also I know there are programs where you can do eveything on your
cumputer and print them on your home printer, has anyone done that?
Game Design FAQ 38 - http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson38.htm
Tom Sloper - Game Development Consultant
- Sloperama Productions. Services for game developers and publishers;
"Making Games Fun, And Getting Them Done."
- Helpful information and answers for game industry hopefuls.
- Information and bulletin boards about the game of mah-jongg.
These guys make pretty short run orders, for that time your are in
between one offs and thousands.
I doubt most home printers could handle the heavy paper stock required
for playing cards. And without some kind of lamination, I doubt their
ink or toner could handle the non-stop sweaty fingers and palms on the
cards without a lot of smearing.
Not to mention that cards, good ones anyway, are printed on a special
textured stock that makes them behave the way they do.
I was once hired to film a commercial which utilized some specially printed
cards with the client's products on the fronts and his logo on the backs.
They were not printed by a card manufacturer but an ordinary print shop on
some coated card-weight stock. They would have been impossible to
manipulate effectively had I not had the foresight to bring along a
container of fanning powder which did make them useable enough to get the
Remember also that "normal" bicycle stock is actually 3 pieces of paper
glued together! You have the back pattern on glossy/coated print as
well as the face printed in the same manner and then there is the centre
sheet that is paper, just of a higher grade and GSM.
Find any of the DVDs and instructional videos out there that teach you
how to "split cards" and they will show you how to "make your own" that
are just as good as the real ones (well, ok, depending on ur skill and
I have made a few and am about to make some more - Im splitting the face
off some blank face bikes, "soft sanding" the face paper and then,
printing onto the face paper, when let to dry they look great, quick
(and very light!) coat of artist "fixer" and then rejoin them again!
It takes a while, patience and a steady hand - but the results look like
proper cards - now this is usually good for a "small run" of a few
dozen, but if you want more, seriously, its cheaper to get them
manufactered - I mean, for a few hundred to cost u in the realms of
$8.00 a pack for 100, or $0.80c for 1000 - u would spend billions on
If my effect works well and I intend to market it - I will have the
cards professionally made - it will work out better in the long run, as
well as be MUCH less hassle! :P
:D - Richard J W
Using an inkjet printer, the easiest way that I found was to put a
white inkjet quality label on the face of a blank card (packs of blank
face cards are available from my local shop - Mike Danata's
naturally), then trim round the edge using a very sharp knife.
First print some thin cardboard (of roughly the same thickness as the
labelled card) with your design (I print 4 cards at a time on an A4
sheet), and then cut out the design. Put the blank labelled card in
the resulting hole in the thin cardboard (which must be the same size
as the card of course) and use the type of sellotape that you can
write on - as it peels off easily - to tape it in place. Tape the
back to the cardboard - not the side to be printed on!
Run the card through the printer again using the inkjet quality paper
After drying, you have to use fanning powder on the printed face.
The result is good, but it's a bit thicker than ordinary cards.
Colour matching can be good - note that US playing cards are not
white, but the finish is slightly yellow and takes a bit of trial &
error to get right.
The other option that I tried was to use transparent label film. The
result was very good, BUT the finish is not scratch resistant. The
paper labels were better for durability.
I'd like to hear if anyone has tried to use a colour laser printer, as
I'm sure this could print straight onto blank card stock.