How do you like your cards finish????


Hi there!

i'm getting inspired tonight, and having my own inner dilemma on card finish, I was advised by an "angel" to ask you:

How do you like your cards finish?
- mat varnish?
- plastiky varnish?
- laminated-mat?
- laminated- shiny?

Please note, that some art styles only go with some finishes, e.g: an antique look, would look odd in a mat lamination...
SO, let's consider that the artists would choose properly...
still...I want to explore beyond the standard US Games finish,, and maybe experience "new heights" in shuffling???


I like the usual US Games type finish, but I also like the way the T of Prague was finished too.

Am I confusing you more. As long as it keeps the cards protected, I am happy! :)


hey you!!!!
No, no, you are not confusing me more...
As you can see, I dived in the realms of finishings now, and i want to understand what really "makes" it....

Is the aging very important?
I like nicely aged cards, but then again, I see some at professional readers, that make me think"can't she just buy a new one"?
Ripped, and all that, seem sloppy and can't say too much good energy tehre (even if theycarry many readings in them...)...

Most decks (by the big guys especially), are printed on a cardstock with three layes-the one in the middle being carbon. That makes sure that the cards will stay "straight"...
BUT, it's hard for small presses to do that, this is very expensice papaer, and makes sense only of you order big amounts...

So, how do people feel with decks that are laminated (definitely protected!)? or that have a solution out of the standard, just because they are not made in the main chain?


This is a really good question and I don't think we've had a whole thread on it.

Sooo -

Alex and I have slightly different views (in a good way). I quite like UV lacquer as long as it isn't too shiny - it's what most large publishers use. He objects to the fact that it in fact leaves tiny lines on the surface (no, I didn't believe this either until he showed me under a magnifying glass - though I bet only about 1% of the users would ever remotely notice this). I think we've found a solution for the new cards that we are both happy with - a different card stock from Tarot of Prague (yes, it's the special card type, but we had difficulty getting it, I agree it is not easy for small presses) and slightly heavier non-UV lacquering (I just got a bit worried by constantly having to tell everyone that they honestly ARE lacquered - I'd rather it was just a bit more obvious).

I have very mixed feelings about lamination. Sometimes it is just TOO plastic for me. But it does depend a lot on the technique used. I think other people here can give good advice on this?


Thank you baba ;)

When I look at the ToP cards, and slightly turn the towards a light, I can see the laq, and even lines of it at the edges, BUT what I like most about it, is the SOUND of the shuffling which is diferent that what we are used to...
Musical tarot, that is!

another point is, the way they are cut--- I'm sure the results must be different, not only according to the cutting technique, but also the laq or lamination...

anybody has any Chronicle decks (not tarot, but decks)?
what do they look like to you?


I don't know the technicalities of different finishes but I know what I don't like: Anything too shiny or anything too plasticy. I'd give the Glastonbury tarot as an example of an awful finish - really love that deck but I hate shuffling it.

My favorite type of finish is the one used in Tarot of Prague too :) I wish all of my decks had that finish.


Sulis xx

Laura Borealis

I'm not sure I'd know the difference between lacquer, varnish, and lamination unless I had examples from decks I'm familiar with (I don't have the Prague... yet). But I agree with others who don't like plastic-y feeling decks. I like a matte or low-shine finish and cards that are not too slippery.

The kind of lamination I'm familiar with encases the object in a thick layer of plastic -- I would not like that at all. There may be types of lamination that are not as thick and stiff, but I'd be leery if I saw a deck to purchase online and it was described as laminated.

The worst finish I've encountered is on the Tarot Nova... it's shiny, yet sticky, and makes handling the deck a real pain. :p


I actually really like laminated decks. They have a great feel to them and you don't have to wory about ruining a tarot deck if you spill you pop on them. Also the laminated cards are nice and flexible without getting bends and creases like the pro decks. There are + & - to both versions. The Samantha's Tarot deck that I created comes in both a laminated version and a unlaminated version and I find that I really like the feel of the laminated cards.

I also had a customer write to me to tell me that she took them into the ocean with her (she lives in Australia :) ) and they came out perfectly without any problems. What a way to cleanse a deck huh! Now if I could just fit myself in a box and get me to Australia I would have it made :p


Nothing too shiny, I like matte instead. And not too slick. The Medicine Cards were so slick they flew everywhere when you tried to shuffle, it was hard keeping them under control. Outside of that, anything would be ok I think.


Even though Baba had to reassure me (and others on this forum) that the Tarot of Prague did indeed have a finish, my visual senses just cannot comprehend that, and even though my conscious acknowledges it, my subconscious just because of it, i tend to be very scared to use them on a daily basis....It is first impressions that unfortunately tend to stick... I do prefer a good lamination as I want my deck to stand the test of time and get my money's worth out of them. After all, isn't that what they are designed for, to be used, and used and used?