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JOdel  JOdel is offline
Join Date: 28 Jul 2014
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 41

Originally Posted by tarotbear View Post
Hopefully your deck is a labor of love first - a commercial success later down the road!

Since I have mentioned Gamecrafter and Printer's Studio ....

"Even if you haven't started designing yet - what do you foresee for the finished end product?"

Will you make a deck for your personal use with only 5-6 copies, or are you hoping to sell it down the road (with or without a profit)?

For sheer ease of user-friendly - Printer's Studio has it hands down - but there are limitations. PS will print an image on anything - so if you want to create a deck, have it's images splashed on mouse pads, coffee mugs - or even puzzles - they will do it for you - for a price. They are literally: pick your image, drop and click, review the files, click & pay - and VOILA! there it is. However - NO BOXES. They are strictly shrink-wrapped. They are also ONLY THE PRINTER - they do not market your item. Their cards stock is decent and their lamination is decent; color repro very good. Bulk rates are available if you want to market the item yourself. Their rates are decent and they offer specials to regular buyers. They do not pay royalties or commissions - they just print. Order turn-around time decent.

The GameCrafter - as much as I like GC - remember that they are an indie game manufacturer and they do cards as a sideline to their business. They have rigid guidelines and templates - if a logo needs to be 300 x 300 pixels and yours is 300 x 299 pixels it will get rejected. They do have videos to watch about how to use their system. They also want Tarot cards to be BOXED {other card sizes are shrink-wrapped or bagged} - and you have to design a box using their template. NOTE: they DO NOT put the cards into the box in any kind of order (PS does) so if you want the Fool card first, etc, etc - it doesn't happen that way. The box will be shrink wrapped.

GC is there to market your deck. You will get a 'shop page' (which also has specific size requirements) with photos, banners, logos, etc. They also issue accolades for numbers of decks sold. Their card stock is excellent, lamination very good. My deck is B/W so I can't comment on color repro. Their retail prices can be a little steep. They pay royalty with shop credits, so don't expect any checks from them. The more decks you sell the better your royalty % becomes; conversely, if your deck drops off your royalty increase drops off, too. The order turn-around time can vary depending on printing demands or when the latest GameCon orders are done. They will keep you updated, though.

There are also many other card printer companies out there. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, so don't sell your deck short by having it done by the corner copy store your brother-in-law works for just because he can get you a deal.
Adding to this: (MPC) operates very much like Printer's Studio. They have templates for the different standard size/proportions of the cards they offer *and* templates for a box if you want a custom box. You can also just have your shrinkwrapped deck sent you in a plain white box, with or without a window in it, for an extra $0.10 each deck.

Their templates have a generous bleed area so mis-registration or overlaps is not very likely. I'm pretty sure that their actual printing is done on a high-resolution plotter, so all the colors get applied during the same pass rather than the traditional four-fountain press with a distance that the stock has to traverse between each color being applied.

They use much the same method of having you upload the files and place them for the actual printing layout. I discovered that they *do* in fact stack the cards in order for shrinkwrapping and shipping. But it's *reverse* order. And it's the cards which will be shrinkwrapped, not the box.

They are also only a printing service. They do not market the finished cards for you. They will do bulk orders which are somewhat cheaper per deck than a single deck would be, but they will print a single deck if you want it. The file stays in your account, so you can reorder at a later time.
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