5 Steps To Manage Your Game Card Printing Design

Game card printing design represents the final phase of crafting your artwork, marking the juncture where meticulous setup is essential for optimal printing results.

While card game creators may possess a grasp of design and artistic formulation, they often lack comprehensive insights into the intricacies of the printing process. This absence of knowledge regarding printing techniques and best practices can inadvertently compromise the excellence of their visual content.

At WJPC, we’ve developed an extensive series elucidating the nuances of game card printing design.

Within this article, we will expound upon the fundamental principles, ensuring the attainment of superlative outcomes.

Game Card Printing Design vs. Game Card Web Design

Print Design

Digital graphic design markedly diverges from its print counterpart. This distinction hinges on the fact that digital graphic design intended for online consumption can be effortlessly converted into formats such as JPEG or PNG. The audience viewing this digital image experiences it precisely as visualized.

Conversely, in the realm of printing, meticulous supervision by the print engineer is indispensable. This supervision encompasses the regulation of color rendition within the printing apparatus, as well as the precision alignment of printing zones, both of which collectively ensure the emergence of a splendid final product.

Consequently, the approach to graphic design for print diverges significantly from its digital variant; meticulous handling and adept control are prerequisites to success.

Ensuring Optimal Quality For Your Game Card Printing Design

Aiming for impeccable print results in your graphic design entails careful consideration of four pivotal aspects. Paying meticulous attention to these areas is paramount:

  • Precise File Specifications
  • Flawless Color Management
  • Text Precision and Clarity
  • Prudent File Handling

It’s crucial to acknowledge that this comprehensive checklist is indispensable for attaining flawlessness in your artwork and game production.

While the majority of manufacturers, publishers, and players may not readily discern these nuances, our primary objective is to ensure your contentment with the final result.

It remains within your purview to diverge from this list, yet it must be underscored that deviating from these guidelines may preclude us from guaranteeing the print quality in such instances.

1. Defining Your File Specifications

Ensure that the dimensions of your file match those of the final printed version. This prevents potential issues such as pix elation or distortion when preparing the file for printing. To generate precise files with bleed, you can utilize our Custom Art Templates.

Incorporate bleed and margins into your files to prevent any crucial content from being trimmed off during printing. For accurate alignment, it’s advisable to employ grid lines. Please note that we are unable to correct misaligned elements.

For optimal results, Adobe Illustrator is recommended due to its utilization of vector graphics, which maintain quality regardless of scaling. In situations where pixel graphics are necessary, ensure a minimum DPI of 300 for standard artwork and consider using 450 DPI for text-intensive designs.

2. Achieving Precise Color Setting

CMYK color mode

Starting from the artwork creation phase, it’s essential to work exclusively with CMYK color mode, avoiding the use of RGB.

Implement swatches in your file to maintain consistent colors across all elements. This ensures uniformity in your components.

For optimal color results on extensive surfaces, exercise restraint in color blending. Utilize a maximum of two colors from the CMYK color palette, with the option to incorporate black if necessary.

For instance, consider combinations like C+Y+K, C+M+K, or M+Y+K, avoiding the use of all four colors in a single mixture.

Maintain vigilance to ensure that the cumulative color percentage on large surfaces remains below 180%. Exceeding this threshold can result in the ink becoming muddled.

When dealing with gradients, it’s advisable to create them in PSD format and subsequently flatten them into PNG files.

3. Ensuring Crisp Text Appearance

Text predominantly consists of delicate ink strokes, making it susceptible to registration errors, which involve the misalignment of overlaid patterns in color printing. To mitigate this risk, observe the following three guidelines:

  • Isolate all text on a separate layer, enabling the addition of an extra protective layer against registration errors.
  • Black text should be entirely composed of 100% K (black), or if using a different color, limit it to a combination of only two colors (such as C+Y, M+Y, M+K, etc.).
  • Consider converting text to outlines for added security against unexpected issues.

4. Outputting Your Files

Adobe Illustrator format

When incorporating assets from diverse software, convert them into smart objects to prevent pix elation when resizing is necessary.

Maintain the files in their dynamic, unflattened state to retain control over colors and assets if adjustments are required.

For optimal color adjustment and printing effects, structure file assets across three or four layers: Background, Images & Icons, Text, and any cutting line templates.

Submitting files in Adobe Illustrator format is preferred. However, editable PDF or PSD files are also suitable. Use PNG/JPEG/flattened files only when you are fully confident in the flawlessness of your artwork.

5. Uploading Your Files To WJPC

To submit your files, please utilize our Contact Page. Organize your submission by creating distinct folders for each file type, such as Cards, Box, Booklet, etc.

In the event that your cards feature varying back designs, establish a separate folder for each distinct back design. This arrangement allows us to identify that all cards within a specific folder share the same back design.

If all your cards use the same back designs, please upload the back side of the cards just once, placing them in the appropriate matching folder. There’s no necessity to upload the same card back multiple times.

In instances where certain cards are intended to appear multiple times within the game, kindly replicate these cards as needed and label them sequentially. For instance: game card1, game card2, game card3.

If you want to maximize the printing effect of your design, you also need to choose the suitable finish and process, which you can check 9 Game Card Finishes to learn more.

Also, our team of skilled sales designers is readily available to provide you with comprehensive support and answers!