Optimize Your Trading Card Printing Costs With Affordable Solutions

Trading Card Printing Costs

If you’re a newcomer to the world of trading card printing, exploring a print-on-demand (POD) publishing service could be a great starting point. However, as you cultivate a dedicated community of avid readers and nurture a robust, engaged email list, you may find it advantageous to transition into the ranks of savvy self-publishing “authorpreneurs.”

Many in this group are leveraging cost efficiencies and enhanced quality offered by traditional commercial printing. In the following, we’ll delve into ways you can optimize printing expenses for your self-published TCG.

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The prevailing belief that traditional printing is costlier and more burdensome than Print-on-Demand (POD) has become deeply rooted in the culture, leading to the unfortunate failure of many intelligent TCG self-publishers due to misinformation and lack of awareness.

Fortunately, a positive change is underway as an increasing number of accomplished authors are realizing that traditional printing not only allows for exceptional product quality but also offers superior profit margins.

However, let’s be frank – opting for traditional digital or offset printing might not be the optimal decision for every writer. It’s crucial to thoroughly examine all your options, scrutinize your business plan, assess your budget, conduct market research, and then arrive at an informed decision.

Please don’t dismiss traditional printing based on outdated notions of higher costs and the need to store thousands of trading card decks in your spare room. While this may have been true 30 years ago, the printing industry and times have evolved.

Self-Publish Using An Offset Press
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The payment framework for TCG is uncomplicated and clear. While it may exhibit slight variations among manufacturers and issuers in various countries, the typical payment structure in the trading card printing industry involves three or four payment mechanisms.

1. Sample payment

Many customers prefer to create game prototypes to assess the quality of selected materials and the cohesion of game components before committing to mass production. Upon reviewing the prototype, adjustments to the game, artwork, and production may be considered.

Presently, WJPC factory’s cost for a single TCG sample order exceeds $500, contingent on factors such as the number of cards, card finish, sorting method, packaging method, etc.

This cost can be a significant barrier, particularly for first-time creators. Fortunately, we offer favorable policies to alleviate this burden during mass production:

WJPC offers:

1) Get Free Sample Packs of various materials and finishes (no quantity limit, just pay the basic express shipping fee of $35).

2) Card projects that follow the KS Support Policy can get up to 6% Off the factory price (excluding shipping costs).

Promote Your Kickstarter with WJPC

2. Advance payment for mass production

After obtaining authorization for the final version of the card, a formal invoice (PI) will be dispatched to the customer. This invoice serves as a comprehensive agreement encompassing all production specifics, such as game specifications, production timetable, payment arrangement, and delivery status.

Considered a legally binding document akin to a contract, the invoice may also incorporate an estimated shipping cost, especially when a publisher necessitates shipment from WJPC.

Typically, the initial payment required is 30% of the total invoice value. Once this down payment is received, the manufacturer initiates the mass production of the Trading Card Game (TCG).

During this phase, the manufacturer meticulously reviews all documents and dimensions, procures necessary raw materials, and commences the TCG manufacturing process. The timeline for mass production varies, contingent on order particulars and factory scheduling, typically falling within the range of 60 to 180 days.

3. Balance payment for mass production

Upon the completion of production but prior to the delivery stage, it is imperative for the game creator or publisher to settle the outstanding balance of the order. Only after this payment is made will the shipment be authorized.

4. Shipping payment (optional)

In the event that the publisher has availed WJPC’s shipping service, the shipping fee will be computed and settled before the actual shipment. Alternatively, if the publisher opts for a distinct shipping provider, and the agreed shipping terms with the manufacturer are FOB or EXW, the shipping charges are to be remitted to the chosen freight forwarder.

The timeframe for shipping delivery is significantly influenced by the destination country and the selected shipping method. The payment for shipping costs is typically made after the conclusion of mass production. In cases where a different carrier is employed, the publisher is required to prepay this amount prior to collecting the item.

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When it comes to trading card printing costs factors, there are multiple variables to consider. For example:

1. Design Documents

Ensure that all your files are set to “printable.” In contrast to numerous other trading card printers, we conduct a thorough manual check before proceeding with the printing process because we prioritize accuracy. However, incorporating changes at this stage may extend the timeline as our designers may need to undertake additional work, potentially resulting in increased costs.

Accuracy in this phase is of paramount importance. To assist you in this endeavor, we have provided a comprehensive Design Guide to help you prepare everything adequately before the printing stage.

2. Cardstock

Perhaps you haven’t given it much thought, but the choice of paper not only influences the performance of your Trading Card Game (TCG) but can also have a notable impact on the overall cost of your printing order.

Typically, we suggest opting for a cost-effective option like 300g art paper to ensure both quality and suitability for the intended purpose.

The durability and strength of the TCG’s paper are crucial considerations, as thin and flimsy materials are unsuitable. Given that TCG cards are often reused multiple times, ensuring a certain level of durability is essential.

thickness 0.35mm art paper

3. Ink

You might hear about the expression “ink is more costly than blood” due to the high expense of ink. Although this statement is greatly exaggerated, the type of ink used significantly influences trading card printing costs.

Opting for specific spot colors or five- or six-color printing can substantially increase costs. Consequently, we advise utilizing four-color processing (CMYK) printing whenever feasible.

4. Quantity

It’s quite straightforward – the higher the quantity needed, the higher the expense. Interestingly, the cost per card for the initial batch of TCGs might be elevated due to fixed design costs, among other factors.

However, as larger quantities are acquired, the price per card decreases. For instance, ordering 1,000 copies is cheaper per unit compared to ordering just 200 copies. It’s a classic case of benefiting from economies of scale. We recommend that you make at least 500 decks.

5. Size

Similar to the impact of page count, the dimensions of the TCG also play a role in determining the cost. It’s no surprise that larger sizes generally come with higher expenses.

If cost-saving is a priority, adhering to standard print sizes like 63 x 88 mm is advisable. While custom sizes are an option, opting for standard dimensions is not only more economical but also ensures a faster turnaround, helping to minimize capital expenditure.

6. Finish

Numerous special finishes can raise the overall cost of your TCG order. TCGs come in various finishes, each with its own associated cost.

If you’re working within a budget, consider using holographic film paper with diverse patterns to achieve distinctive card surface effects, rather than incorporating more elaborate features like foil stamping, UV stamping, Scodix Sense™, and the like.

Holographic paper GM6
Holographic paper GM21
Holographic paper GM91

7. Package

Several packaging options are available to safeguard the integrity of your TCG project, and each type influences the overall cost. Common TCG packaging includes aluminum booster packs, white paper boxes, and plastic sleeves, which are relatively straightforward to produce and cost-effective.

However, if you require more intricate structures or materials like unconventional sealing packs, trays, lid boxes, tin boxes, etc., the cost will increase significantly.

Card Sleeves
printing trading cards
Printing Trading Cards Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf

8. Production

This encompasses the entire process from inception to completion – encompassing design, printing, cutting, and the final touches on the print job before it’s prepared for pickup or shipment. Turnaround times differ for each project, and if brands are willing to be more patient with their orders, costs can be reduced.

This flexibility provides the printing company the chance to collaborate on other projects with you, leading to savings in time, paper, and other resources. In essence, for cost savings, it’s beneficial to consider being adaptable with your turnaround times.

9. Shipment

We endorse various transportation methods such as shipping, land, air, and express services. Opting for a combined printing and mailing approach can enhance cost-effectiveness, allowing you to oversee project progress with a single provider rather than multiple ones.

While there is an extra postage charge, shipping by sea is typically the most economical choice. If you don’t require all copies immediately, we also provide warehouse storage. Feel free to inquire about our available space at the moment.

Some Questions You May Be Interested In:

  • Is the prototype TCG the same as the final product?

We use a digital printer for the speedy and cost-effective production of samples, whereas mass production orders are executed using an offset press. Digital prints may appear slightly darker, exhibit a less polished finish, and may begin to fade after approximately two months. However, aside from these nuances, the samples will closely resemble the final production game.

  • How can I be sure that TCG will do what I want?

The sales team at WJPC will meticulously document the progress of your TCG production, providing continuous updates on your project. While the digital content may not be an exact replica of the physical game in your possession, any errors can be identified, giving you the assurance to proceed with the printing process confidently.

  • If I start printing and then decide to change the design, can WJPC change it?

Once the factory initiates the printing process, you will bear the cost of any reprints required. The fee is specific to the sheets you wish to replace and does not encompass the entire order.

6 Free Printable Christmas Games For Kids And Card Backs

Free Printable Christmas Games

Prepare for the most enchanting time of the year! From late November to the start of the new year, the festive spirit of Christmas permeates the air. It’s that special time when families and friends unite without any disruptions.

To add a dash of festive fun to your gatherings, we would like to share 6 free printable Christmas games for family. These card games are ideal for holiday parties and are sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces.

Additionally, we’ve thoughtfully provided free printable poker-sized card backs (63 x 88mm, 2.48 x 3.46″) for you to effortlessly craft your own card game and infuse a personalized touch to your celebrations.

(The download button of Printable Christmas Games PDF is at the end of the article).

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A printable set of 25 Forbidden cards + 2 blank cards.


Print and cut the Forbidden cards, then place them in a jar or basket. Divide the players into two teams. A team member picks a card and conveys the main word written at the card’s top to their teammate. However, they must avoid using the forbidden words stated under the main word.

The rest of the team has just one minute to guess the word on the card’s top. If they guess incorrectly, they lose a point, and the opposing team takes a turn to draw a card. On the other hand, if they guess correctly, they earn a point, and another team member must draw the next card. The game continues in this manner.

Christmas Forbidden To Say

A set of 16 printable Christmas flash cards.


Thoroughly shuffle the deck and restack all the cards. Upon flipping the first card, participants respond to the questions, articulate the words, and elucidate characteristics based on the images. The player providing the correct answers claims the card, and the individual amassing the most cards emerges as the winner. To enhance longevity, it’s recommended to laminate the cards.

Christmas Mini Flashcards

A set of 36 matching cards.


Trim the cards and arrange them face down. Engage in a matching game by uncovering pairs of cards. Participants take turns revealing two cards, closing them if no match is found, and passing the turn to the next player.

When a match is made, the player claims both cards. The individual with the highest card count at the end emerges as the winner. This game serves as an effective tool for memory training.

Christmas Make A Pair

A set of 44 Rather cards + 4 blank cards


Select a card, read the “Would You Rather…” question, and respond based on your personal thoughts. Perfect for families, school groups, or other child-focused community gatherings, this activity effectively hones children’s speaking and debating skills.

Christmas Would You Rather

A set of 66 phrase cards + 6 blank cards


Nominate a player to initiate the game. Participants randomly select a card (without peeking) and, without uttering a word, act out the word or phrase on their chosen card to the other players. The signaling of the number of words is done by raising fingers (e.g., one finger for the first word, two for the second, and so forth).

Articles like “a,” “the,” “of,” and “and” can be conveyed by holding up the thumb and index finger together. Observing carefully, the other players make their guesses. The first person to correctly guess the word or phrase advances to the next round.

Christmas Guess the word

A set of 32 character cards + 8 blank cards


Prepare to don the elastic band loop around your head. After shuffling the cards, place them face down in a stack at the center of the table. Each player picks a card from the deck and secures it in the elastic headband, facing outward, without peeking.

Commencing with the youngest player and proceeding clockwise around the table, participants take turns posing questions about the character card positioned above them while simultaneously deducing the identity of the character on their own card.

For instance, a player might inquire, “Am I male or female?” or “Am I a character from a movie?” or “Am I human?” Responses from other players are limited to a simple yes or no.

When players feel confident in identifying their character, they can make a guess during their turn. The first person to correctly recognize their character becomes the winner of that round. Subsequently, other players can continue taking turns, asking questions about their respective cards until all characters have been successfully identified.

Christmas Who Am i

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If none of the aforementioned games quite tickle your fancy, here’s an exciting proposition: craft your very own bespoke Christmas game card! We offer four distinct styles of card backs below, each measuring 63 x 88mm (2.48 x 3.46″). Let your creativity run wild as you custom design the content on the front, injecting a personal touch that reflects your unique holiday spirit.

Whether you want to infuse it with inside jokes, family traditions, or elements that resonate specifically with your group, the blank canvas of these cards allows you to curate an experience tailor-made for your festive celebration.

printable christmas cards poker back

In conclusion, if you’re interested in creating your personalized game card project, we’re eager to learn about your unique concepts and ideas!

Math Card Games For Kids With A Playing Card Deck

Math Card Games For Kids

Looking for simple and fun math card games to engage your learners? Playing games is a great way to engage kids who hate math drills (and a fun way for anyone to review important skills!). Here you’ll find some cool math card games, organized by theme!

Are you in search of enjoyable and uncomplicated math card games to captivate your students? Incorporating games into your teaching approach can be a fantastic method for involving children who despise traditional math exercises (and it’s an enjoyable way for everyone to reinforce crucial skills).

In this article, we’ve gathered a selection of cool math card games, conveniently categorized by math concepts!

Benefits Of Math Cards Games

Occasionally, board games can be unwieldy, filled with numerous components, or require a significant investment. However, there’s a simple, portable, and cost-effective alternative that’s always at your disposal: a deck of playing cards.

A standard deck of cards opens the door to a myriad of math games suitable for students of all skill levels. Moreover, each game offers the flexibility to adjust its difficulty level, making it easier, more challenging, or even more intricate, depending on your preferences.

Whether you’re on a road trip, dining out at a restaurant, or simply unwinding at home, you can bring your math studies with you, all with the convenience of a standard deck of playing cards!

Please note: In these games, Aces are valued at 1, and Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Jokers are typically removed, unless otherwise specified.

3 Types Of Math Card Games For Kids

Math Concept: Arithmetic (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division)

  • 24 Card Game

In this game, every player receives four cards from the deck, and their challenge is to utilize all four cards, employing fundamental arithmetic operations (+, -, ×, ÷), to construct an equation that results in the value 24.

This engaging activity not only stimulates the application of all four mathematical operations but also introduces the use of parentheses and the principles of the order of operations (PEMDAS).

24 card game

  • 3 Card Game

To set up the game, place the cards face down in a row. Players then take turns flipping over three cards. If a player can form a valid mathematical equation using the numbers on the three cards, they get to keep those cards. For example, if a player reveals cards with the numbers 2, 5, and 10, they can say “2 x 5 = 10.”

Players are allowed to use addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (x), or division (÷) in their number sentences. If it’s not possible to create a valid number sentence with the three cards, the player must turn them face down again.

The game continues until either all the cards have been collected or only a few cards are left, and no valid number sentence can be formed using those remaining cards. The winner is the player who accumulates the most cards.

3 card game

  • Pyramid Card Game

To get started, take a standard deck of playing cards, shuffle them, and construct a 7-row pyramid with 28 cards placed face up. The remaining cards form the draw pile.

Initially, only the unobstructed cards at the bottom of the pyramid can be played. This means that you can only consider the bottom 7 cards until you start removing them.

You are allowed to remove cards that sum up to 10, with a maximum of two cards being removed at a time. For instance, you can take away a single card with a value of 10, or you can remove a pair of cards whose values add up to 10, like 6 and 4. However, you cannot remove three cards, even if their combined value is 10, such as 2, 4, and 4. When there are no more available open cards to combine into a total of 10, you must draw a card from the draw pile.

Continue playing until all cards not part of the original pyramid have been revealed, or until you run out of cards to play, meaning no further card combinations can add up to ten. The score is determined by the number of remaining cards, and a lower score indicates a better performance!

Pyramid Card Game

Math Concept: Place Value

  • “Closest To” Card Game

This game provides an excellent opportunity for young math learners to hone their skills in comparing digits, from ones and tens to hundreds and beyond. Commencing with a two-digit number, each player is given two cards. The objective is to arrange these cards to form a number as close to 50 as possible.

Afterward, players unveil their hands to one another, and the player whose number is closest to 50 emerges victorious, claiming the cards from all participants. The game proceeds by dealing two more cards to each player, and this continues until the entire deck is utilized. The player with the most cards at the game’s conclusion is declared the winner.

If you wish to add complexity, you can opt for dealing three cards to each player in every round, and the goal would be to create a number closest to 500. Alternatively, you can introduce unique target numbers like 88, 252, or even 3567 for an added challenge and variation.

  • Rounding Card Game

In this game, students pair up and employ playing cards ranging from Ace (1) through 9. The deck is positioned face down on the game board, and each player selects two cards from it.

The players’ objective is to round the numbers on their chosen cards to the nearest ten, and this rounded number becomes their score. The player with the higher score wins the round and collects all four cards involved.

In the event of a tie, the students each reclaim their respective two cards. The player who accumulates the most cards by the end of the game emerges as the ultimate winner.

Rounding card game

Math Concepts: Fractions And Decimals

  • Compare Card Game

The objective of this game is to promote discussions involving the comparison of fractions with varying numerators and denominators. The game begins by setting the target number at zero, and the player who can achieve the smallest score (closest to zero) wins the round.

To play, deal three cards to each player. Players must select two cards to form a fraction: one card serves as the numerator, and the other as the denominator. Players take turns revealing their created fractions, engaging in discussions about who has the lowest score and the reasoning behind it. The player with the lowest score gathers everyone’s cards as their score for that round and sets them aside. Deal three cards to each player once more and repeat the process.

For students who may be less confident with fractions, you can adapt the rules to make the game more approachable. For instance, consider allowing players to use two cards to create a new numerator or denominator through addition or subtraction. Alternatively, you can deal four cards to each player and specify that they must creatively use all four cards in their fraction creations.

  • Make Big Money Card Game

The game employs a complete deck of cards, where A represents $0.01, Two represents $0.02, Three represents $0.03, and so forth, with Ten equating to $0.10, J representing $0.11, Q representing $0.12, and K signifying $0.13.

To commence the game, the deck is thoroughly shuffled, and each player is dealt ten cards. Subsequently, players take turns drawing and discarding one card at a time, doing so until the deck is exhausted, or a player accumulates precisely $1.00.

The player who first amasses ten cards worth $1.00 wins the round and earns 1 point. If no player achieves this goal by the end of the game, the player who comes closest to $1.00 (or not) receives 0.5 points. After ten rounds, the player with the highest score emerges as the overall winner!

This game encourages the use of logic and problem-solving skills as children must determine which cards to keep, which to discard, and strategize how to reach the target of $1.00.

Make big money card game

Tips For Math Card Games

None of the game rules mentioned above are set in stone. You have the flexibility to adapt and customize the rules based on the particular teaching progress and the conditions of your students, making the game more accessible and engaging.

Because, it’s more beneficial to explore games that have a higher likelihood of being successful and offer greater opportunities for achievement, as opposed to games that only occasionally succeed and more frequently result in failure.

In cases where traditional playing cards are not readily accessible, you can also hand-make digital cards or even customize flash card math games for your own lessons!

Identifying The Yu Gi Oh Trading Card Game: Insights From A Card Manufacturer

Identifying The Yu Gi Oh Trading Card Game

Yu Gi Oh trading card games are produced in various locations, with each country having its own card supplier. These cards are distributed worldwide through international trade, making it simple to spot disparities in their printing.

However, the use of diverse printing technologies and paper types introduces numerous perplexing elements that can befuddle both players and sellers.

In this article, we will delve into the causes behind these disparities in card production, offering insights from the standpoint of card manufacturers to assist you in distinguishing the origins and genuineness of these cards more effectively.

Regional Difference From Yu Gi Oh Trading Card Game

At present, yu gi oh trading cards are predominantly categorized into three main types:

1. US Cards: Manufactured in North America and exclusively released in the United States. These cards are printed exclusively in English.

2. European Cards: Produced in Belgium and distributed across Europe. These cards are printed in all official European Union languages, including English.

3. Asian Cards: Manufactured in Japan or Korea. These cards are available in Japanese, Korean, Chinese, or an “Asian English” version, intended for gameplay solely within Asian regions.

Regional Difference

While cards produced in distinct regions are not compatible for intermixing in gameplay due to varying rules, it’s essential to note that they are all legitimate and suitable for play. These cards exhibit noticeable distinctions. The following are some of the most prevalent variances that will help you swiftly differentiate Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards.

Primary Distinctions Between American and European Cards

The overall tone is lighterUsing a darker ink, and the entire card has a darker toneYu Gi Oh trading card game 1
The text is slightly thicker and the text background is lighterThe text is slightly thinner and the text background is darker Yu Gi Oh trading card game 2
The foil cards have a brighter picture and a more linear pattern (less glittery)The foil cards have a more glittery Yu Gi Oh trading card game 3
Purple is used morePurple is used lessYu Gi Oh trading card game 4

Certain individuals hold the belief that European-printed cards surpass their American counterparts in terms of quality, particularly in the case of foil cards, which often exhibit a shinier and more vibrant appearance.

However, when viewed from the perspective of the card printing process, these differences are not indicative of quality issues but rather stem from variations in factors such as the proportion of CMYK inks, line thickness in printing, and the specific foil film utilized.

Numerous factors, including differences in file formats, display settings, raw material quality, and environmental conditions, contribute to the inherent divergence between cards produced by distinct manufacturers. It’s important to note that no offset printer worldwide can achieve a 100% color uniformity (color differences that are not obvious to the naked eye within 15% are acceptable generally).

Furthermore, the scarcity of European cards within the United States lends them a higher value, mainly because of their distinctiveness and limited availability. Similarly, American cards possess added desirability among European players for the same reasons.

Primary Distinctions Between Asian cards

Nonetheless, it’s not widely known that cards printed in Asia may exhibit subtle variances when produced in Japan compared to other countries, such as Korea.

Japanese-Asian cards, often abbreviated as JA and designated as JP in the card set number, refer to Japanese cards created for distribution and sale in Asian countries beyond Japan. Cards originating outside Japan (JA) typically display a more pronounced contrast and richer coloration than their Japanese counterparts (JP).

Moreover, distinctions in the quality of the coating and the coloring of foil elements are noticeable, especially in card versions like the “Ghost Rare.” Differences can also be perceived in the thickness of the text, with JA cards featuring a more distinct font compared to JP cards. In higher rarity levels, such as “Secret Rare” cards, the foil pattern itself differs, with JA featuring a horizontal pattern and JP a vertical one.

Primary Distinctions Between Asian cards

Card Weight Difference

A standard Yu-Gi-Oh card usually weighs approximately 1.65 grams, but this number can vary based on factors such as the edition, rarity, and the type of foil utilized. Among them, American cards often exhibit a slightly lighter weight, a difference that can be linked to variations in the ink and finishing layers used during their manufacturing (the weight of the raw material itself).

Card Rarity Differences

The rarity of yu gi oh trading card game is determined by variations in card title coloring, foil design, and texture. When viewed from the perspective of the trading card game printer, the more intricate the craftsmanship involved in creating a card, the greater its production cost. Consequently, cards with higher rarity feature more complex craftsmanship. Notably, foiling stamping tends to be more costly than standard lamination and varnish, whereas the pricing for holographic film with different patterns remains consistent.

Here are a few examples of cards with discernible differences in craftsmanship levels:

COMMON (C)Black/white text, not foil. COMMON (C)
ULTRA RARE (UR)Gold name, foil card ULTRA RARE (UR)
ULTIMATE RARE (UtR / UL)Gold and embossed name, foil card ULTIMATE RARE (UtR UL)
SECRET RARE (ScR / SEC)Silver Holographic name, rainbow polarized foil card (diagonal)SECRET RARE (ScR SEC)

The term “Parallel Rare” is a broad designation employed to describe cards with a holographic surface covering the entire card. These cards are indistinguishable from their non-parallel equivalents but come with a complete surface coating.

The patterns on this coating can vary, depending on the specific rarity type. However, it’s important to note that, from the card manufacturer’s viewpoint, these patterns typically do not impact the cost (unless it’s a specially customized pattern). They generally adhere to the same style as other cards of the same rarity type.

MOSAIC RARE (MSR)Foil square pattern surfaceMOSAIC RARE (MSR)
STARFOIL RARE (SFR)Foil star pattern surfaceSTARFOIL RARE (SFR)

Colorful Rarity Differences

Colorful rarity, occasionally known as “Special [color] version,” pertains to cards that employ a foil color for their names other than the typical silver or gold.

The expression “colorful rare” originates from the rarity ratios specified on card packs, where “colorful Ultra Rares” are mentioned. These cards feature various foil name colors, including blue, green, purple, copper, wedgewood (light blue), and red. In terms of material, they are identical to holographic foils, with the only distinction being that they are typically “plain,” lacking any patterns.

colorful rare red
colorful rare purple
colorful rare green
colorful rare blue

The above are the most obvious card differences in Yu Gi Oh Trading Card Game. For TCG, the choice of finishes is very diverse, and different combinations will produce unique effects. You can see more in Custom Trading Cards.

7 Ways To Get Sponsorship For Custom Trading Cards

Sponsorship For Custom Trading Cards

When seeking financial support for a new project of custom trading cards, the notion of turning to crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter often comes to mind.

Nevertheless, did you know that some of our TCG clients have achieved remarkable success by securing sponsors to cover the expenses associated with their trading cards? This arrangement proves mutually beneficial!

But securing sponsorship is no walk in the park. To persuade the sponsors you desire to be generous, you must employ effective tactics. In the following section, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to secure sponsorship for your custom trading card printing.

Who Can Provide Sponsorship For Custom Trading Cards?

Local Businesses include auto stores, insurance agencies, pet supply retailers, coffee shops, convenience stores, real estate agents, restaurants, and more.

Large Corporations include McDonald’s, Walmart, Coca-Cola, Goodyear, Sprint, Interstate Batteries, State Farm Insurance and Wells Fargo Bank.

Organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, city councils, clubs, and charities are also potential sponsors.

What Advantages Come With Your Sponsorship?

1. Heightened Awareness

Sponsorships serve as an effective means to promote your business or concept. Trading cards stand out as distinctive promotional items with inherent collectible worth.

This uniqueness ensures that people are less likely to discard these cards, allowing your promotional materials to linger longer and subtly enhance people’s familiarity with your company or organization.

Advertising card

2. Promoting a Content Society

Sponsorship qualifies as a tax-deductible donation. When a company embraces social responsibility, it not only fosters goodwill but also boosts employee morale.

Team members appreciate working for an organization that aligns with their values and supports worthy causes, fostering a happier and more content work environment.

How To Get Sponsorship For Your Trading Card Printing?

When seeking sponsors, it’s important to recognize that the company or organization you approach is likely inundated with sponsorship requests from numerous project organizers in the area.

To ensure you grab their attention amidst the competition, here are some valuable tips to set yourself apart:

1. Provide Overviews Of Your Custom Trading Cards

Much like tailoring your cover letter for a job application, crafting a unique trading card sponsorship proposal is crucial.

Considering that the company likely reviews proposals of a similar nature regularly, it’s essential to distinguish your proposal. Why should a company choose to sponsor your card over other opportunities?

Within your proposal, it’s vital to paint a vivid picture by including the following key elements:

  • Narrate the story behind your project. Did it originate from humble beginnings? Was it founded with a compelling vision or ambitious goals? Forge an emotional connection that resonates with the prospective sponsor.
  • Elaborate on your mission statement. Explain how your team consistently upholds it in your day-to-day operations.
  • Provide a detailed profile of your target audience. Ideally, your audience should align with that of your potential sponsor, ensuring that their support reaches the right demographic.
  • Be clear and transparent about the financial support required. Avoid ambiguity and specify the purpose of the financing, whether it’s for production, logistics, promotion, leasing, or any other necessary aspects of your project.
  • Show your landing page in advance. Landing pages play a pivotal role in the email address acquisition process. A well-constructed and aesthetically pleasing landing page enhances investor confidence in your venture.
  • Furthermore, having a transparent project timeline is advantageous. Every organization values individuals who are well-prepared.

By addressing these components, your proposal will stand out and demonstrate the unique value your project brings, increasing the likelihood of securing sponsorship.

2. Offer Incentives to Sponsors

Sponsorship should be a mutually beneficial partnership. Sponsors naturally seek a substantial return on their investment. So, what can sponsors expect when they support your project?

Here are some suggestions to sweeten the deal:

  • Engage in local TCG events or exhibitions, providing complimentary space for sponsors to showcase their products through posters or brochures.
  • Feature the sponsor’s name or logo prominently on all project promotion materials and banners.
  • Highlight sponsors in your blog posts, email newsletters, and social media updates. Encourage your social media followers to engage with and share sponsored content.
  • Extend card-related perks or discounts to customers who purchase the sponsor’s products or subscribe to their services, further enhancing the sponsor’s exposure and reach.
TCG events

3. Present Low-Risk Solutions

Securing sponsorship for your project can be a daunting prospect, particularly when your team and project are on the smaller side. To mitigate these concerns, consider proposing a low-risk solution.

Rather than seeking the full amount you require upfront, suggest a smaller investment in exchange for modest returns. For instance, if your funding goal is $10,000, request $1,000. In return, sponsors would enjoy some of the aforementioned benefits at no additional cost.

This low-risk, low-reward approach offers sponsors the opportunity to dip their toes into the collaboration. In the event that the project faces difficulty, the impact on them would be minimal.

This strategy holds particular appeal if you intend to establish a lasting partnership with the sponsor for future projects. Test runs enable sponsors to evaluate whether continued collaboration in printing trading cards is a viable prospect with your team.

While this approach may necessitate multiple sponsors to fully fund your project, it serves as a strategic advantage. By diversifying your sources of support, you avoid over-reliance on a single sponsor, distributing the risk effectively.

4. Research Potential Sponsors’ Activities

Prior to approaching potential sponsors, it’s essential to conduct thorough research. Take the time to delve into each sponsor’s background and current undertakings. Some key aspects to investigate include:

  • Recent Involvement: Scrutinize recent news and developments related to the sponsor. Have they been engaged in recent events or activities?
  • Company Changes: Keep an eye out for any alterations within the company, including shifts in leadership or organizational updates.
  • Assess how major current events might be affecting the sponsor’s business or industry.
  • Identify if the sponsor is launching any new products or services.

Leverage these insights to your advantage by incorporating them into your proposal and potentially weaving them into your project.

For instance, if a sponsor has recently introduced a new product, propose a collaborative effort to promote it as part of your project’s marketing strategy. When reaching out to sponsors, position your project as an opportunity to showcase their latest offerings and attract fresh clientele.

To stay well-informed about company developments, the most effective approach is to follow sponsors’ blogs and social media channels and regularly scan news websites for updates related to their activities.

5. Utilize Data to Inspire Investor Confidence

Ultimately, your sponsors will establish their own financial objectives for your project. The greater their confidence in achieving these objectives, the better. However, quantifying the expected return on investment can be challenging unless substantiated with relevant event data.

This advice is particularly effective if you have organized similar projects in the past, and the encouraging news is that it can be highly persuasive. Here are essential data points to incorporate into your pitch materials:

  • Total Cards Sold, Total Attendees, Conversion Rate from Visit to Purchase, and Geographic Coverage.
  • The current count of active community members, including those engaged via social media or email subscriptions.
  • An assessment of potential audiences, encompassing both online and offline channels.

Any pertinent event key performance indicators (KPIs) will be valuable. Presenting such data will significantly bolster the confidence of potential sponsors in the success of your project.

TCG data

6. Identify the Most Appropriate Point of Contact

Sponsorship decisions within organizations typically involve a select group of key decision-makers. To navigate the varied job titles and hierarchies across different companies, it’s advisable to keep these fundamental principles in mind:

  • Steer Clear of the Obvious Titles. In your quest to find the right contacts, it’s essential to position yourself strategically. Recognize that sponsorship managers are often inundated with numerous offers. While others may be following the beaten path, consider exploring less conventional options.
  • Engage with the Brand Team. Brand managers, who concentrate on shaping a company’s public image, can be your most valuable allies. They understand the significant benefits of event sponsorship and should be a top priority when initiating contact.
  • For Smaller Companies, Follow the Budget. In smaller organizations, individuals responsible for managing national or regional budgets may hold the authority over sponsorship funds. They are worth considering as key contacts.
  • Leverage Your Existing Network. Don’t overlook the potential of turning your current business relationships into sponsorship opportunities. Start by reaching out to those in your network who are already engaged in conversations with you.

In essence, the individuals best suited to explore potential sponsorships are those offering the highest return on your time investment.

Investigating less conspicuous job titles and tapping into your existing network can prove to be highly fruitful avenues for establishing direct connections.

7. Nurture Ongoing Partnerships Proactively

Don’t discard your sponsors once the event concludes. Seek their feedback, express your gratitude, and keep them engaged to cultivate their interest in supporting your future projects.

Bear in mind that the magic lies in the details; sending a one-size-fits-all thank-you letter is not advisable. Invest the effort to tailor your expressions of appreciation!

If you’re prepared with the necessary funds to begin, gather additional insights from the Strategies For Kickstarter Promotion!

A Small Card =¥6.3 Billion, Who Can Squeeze Into China’s Trading Card Market?

Trading Card Market

Today, the card game is the biggest winner in the Chinese toy market, occupying more than 90% of China’s trading card market share.

In this wave of boom, Zhejiang Kayou Animation Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Kayou”) is the biggest winner. According to its official website, its products are available in more than 100,000 terminal stores in 31 provinces, districts, and municipalities in China.

Although Kayou does not disclose its results, according to sources, Kayou’s annual revenue is about 3 billion RMB and net profit is over 1.5 billion RMB, with the Ultraman series contributing the majority of this revenue and the second-largest IP, “Soul Land” only generating a tenth of Ultraman’s revenue.

The Trading Card Market In China

The ability of Ultraman cards to attract money in China is evident, and Kayou is firmly targeting a large audience – children – by distributing Ultraman cards through wholesalers in any location within reach of students and setting up flagship stores at the most crowded gates in children’s areas.

These Ultraman cards are sold in a blind box or pack. You cannot confirm exactly which card you are buying until you unwrap it, and the price of it is proportional to the probability of drawing a rare card. Exactly how many classifications and levels there are, parents may never figure out, and kids can never buy them all.

Ultraman cards are also a “social tool” among Chinese children and even a social necessity. When all the surrounding kids are playing, having Ultraman cards is the only way to meet with friends and not be isolated. The higher the level and the rarer the cards, the more satisfaction and pride you can get from displaying them.

What’s more, there is a special card tournament called “Hero Battle”. It is known that Kayou has held this tournament for 3 years, including novice tournaments, monthly tournaments, SP tournaments, city tournaments, etc.

More than 50,000 people have participated in the tournament, covering nearly 30 provinces and more than 100 cities in China.

The Trading Card Market In China

The rise of Kayou has also brought the trading card game market back into the public eye in China. According to the data, the global market size of trading card games reached USD 11.13 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand to USD 31.26 billion in 2027, maintaining a high growth rate.

China’s TCG market is expected to reach RMB 30 billion in the future, and the penetration rate has more room for improvement. Currently, the majority of the domestic card market is still in the younger age group, while the two major gold mines of the youth and adult markets have yet to be fully explored.

In September 2021, SCC Growth VI Holdco AD, Ltd. (an investment fund of Sequoia Capital China Fund) announced a 3% stake in Kayou and a $1 billion valuation for Kayou. In addition, Chinese card makers such as JasonAnime, Hitcard, and FansMall have also received investments.

With the accelerated entry of various players, a tough battle will be fought on China’s TCG circuit. It is predictable that the Chinese market is just starting to wake up, and opportunities for growth are expected to emerge.

How To Make Money With Trading Cards?

In fact, Kayou’s business model is simple and effective: first, it gets authorization from the copyright holder and prints the IP on paper before selling it. Now Kayou gets the licensed IPs, including Ultraman, Marvel, Naruto, Harry Potter, etc. As long as the potential IPs are taken, new card products may be incubated.

From this perspective, card products seem to be a business that can be expanded indefinitely. Excluding IP licensing fees, the gross profit margin can be very high as the printing cost can be extremely low.

WJPC is one of the largest Chinese trading card printers in China and has cooperated with many renowned brands such as Kayou, Disney, and BANDAI. It once gave a comprehensive introduction on how to sell a card game.

According to its description, if the demand is high, the lowest production cost of an ordinary card is only 0.07 RMB; if it is five or six thousand, the single price is 0.1 RMB; but the selling price of a single card reaches 1-2 RMB; and there are even card books that sell for hundreds or even thousands of RMB.

WJPC extends a warm invitation to popular international IPs looking to collaborate and leverage local advantages to enter the Chinese market successfully!

How Much Does Printing Game Cost?

Printing Game Cost

The pricing of printing games can fluctuate due to numerous factors, encompassing raw material expenses, printing costs, finishing touches, packaging, and more. When combined, these elements contribute to the overall expenditure.

We have outlined the printing procedure and associated expenses for card games below. If you require further assistance in estimating the cost of printing your game cards, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

The Basics Of Card Printing Game Costs

Generally, the cost of the printed materials that constitute your Card Game comprises:

1. Raw Materials Costs

The size and quantity of raw paper sheets are significant cost factors. Utilizing larger sizes or more raw paper will inevitably result in increased costs.

Within the paper industry, there are several standard sizes, with the most frequently employed ones by custom card printers being:

  • 740x470mm blue core paper
  • 740x510mm art paper
  • 510x660mm black core paper
  • 740x510mm white paper

Each of these dimensions can accommodate the printing of 55 poker-sized game cards (63x88mm) and can be efficiently printed using the Heidelberg 4mo machine, making it one of the most budget-friendly combinations.

If your cards are smaller or larger, rest assured that we will diligently seek the most cost-effective solution for your needs.

For substantially large order quantities, you have the option to request a custom size from our raw material supplier. However, many customers are often constrained by the standard paper sizes.

Therefore, your aim should be to minimize paper wastage by considering designs that align with conventional card sizes. Utilizing excess paper not only has environmental implications but also escalates the costs of your game card printing.

Additionally, please remember to incorporate a 3mm bleed on all sides of your artwork. Be sure to factor this bleed requirement into your paper size selection, using millimeters (mm) as the unit of measurement, rather than inches.

Soft Print Proof - prepress work

2. Card Game Printing Costs

In general, it’s important to note that the setup fee tends to increase with larger printing formats. Startup costs primarily stem from expenses associated with creating plates, fine-tuning the press, and compensating operators during the printing process.

While many creators and industry experts might assume that the cost of a print is solely based on the price per print, this isn’t entirely accurate. Instead, a significant portion of the cost comprises fixed expenses related to plate creation and machine calibration.

Furthermore, it’s essential to take into account the wastage experienced by each machine, typically ranging from 15% to 30%, depending on the complexity of the printing job. This wastage is inevitable as machines undergo debugging and quality control processes.

As a result, you’ll observe that the per-unit cost of printing for a small print run is considerably higher than that for larger card game print runs spanning thousands of units. In fact, the total cost of printing 500 game sets may not differ significantly from the cost of printing 100 sets, as both require a similar amount of time and entail similar setup expenses.

We often utilize three types of printing presses along with their respective printing formats:

  • Heidelberg Speedmaster 2mo machine: 1020×705 mm
  • Heidelberg Speedmaster 4mo machine: 740×585 mm
  • Heidelberg Versafire digital printer: 740×510 mm
Card Game Printing Costs

3. Coating And Card Linen Finish

The cost of coating is influenced by the thickness and quality of the materials applied during this stage. Typically, lamination is more expensive than varnishing and is priced per square millimeter.

On the other hand, decorative coatings like hot stamping, spot UV, and others are priced based on the number of printed sheets. Similar to printing, most of these processes entail a setup fee.

4. Cutting And Gluing

The cutting process primarily involves the precision cutting of cards and cardboard for boxes. As long as the card size falls within a reasonable range (for example, not too small, such as 25x100mm or 41x63mm), the machine can automatically handle the cutting process. Please note that this process incurs mold fees.

Currently, we offer over 300 card molds of various sizes, which can accommodate a wide range of design requirements. However, if your card size falls outside these standard molds, it means you’ll require a custom mold, which will involve an additional customization fee.

When it comes to the gluing of cardboard boxes, our machinery handles most of the gluing automatically. However, if your box design is exceptionally intricate, manual gluing may be necessary, significantly increasing the cost.

Cutting And Gluing

5. Assembly and packaging

This phase encompasses the meticulous organization of all cards and components, shrink-wrapping, placement into game card boxes, and the subsequent sealing of these boxes. Much of this process relies on manual labor, and the cost can vary significantly depending on the number of components involved.

Additionally, this stage involves the careful placement of the card games into shipping boxes. It’s essential that these shipping cartons consist of at least five layers of thickness to ensure the protection of the merchandise.

This is a crucial precaution since many games are susceptible to damage during shipping. Shipping insurance typically only covers damage when the carton is of higher quality.

In addition to comprehending production costs, selecting the right card game printing manufacturer is equally vital. Essentially, there are two types of manufacturers to consider: print-on-demand (POD) manufacturers and mass manufacturers.

What Is a Print On Demand (POD) Manufacturer?

Print-on-demand (POD) manufacturers specialize in producing small game batches, often starting as low as just one deck of cards. They serve as an excellent choice for game designers aiming to create a limited-edition game before launching a crowdfunding campaign.

POD manufacturers employ digital printing technology, CNC cutting, and manual bonding and coating processes to craft games on a per-order basis. This approach eliminates the need for maintaining large inventories and specialized machinery.

However, one drawback of using a POD manufacturer is that you’re responsible for handling the artwork setup yourself. This can pose a challenge for designers who aren’t well-versed in the technical intricacies of print production.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that the dimensions used in POD paper sheets are fixed and cannot be customized to accommodate larger or smaller game components. This limitation arises from the considerable expense involved in creating molds for the manufacturing process, and it’s not feasible for low-volume products produced by POD manufacturers.

What Is Mass Manufacturer?

Mass manufacturers specialize in the production of high volumes of games. They employ large-scale manufacturing techniques like offset printing to create game components, granting greater flexibility for customization, including the capacity to craft both larger and smaller gaming elements.

Leading card game manufacturers, such as WJPC, frequently maintain in-house graphic design teams capable of assisting with artwork setup and providing expert printing guidance for your game.

One of the primary advantages of partnering with large-scale manufacturers lies in their ability to manufacture games at a reduced unit cost. This cost efficiency is achieved through economies of scale, as they produce playing cards in substantial quantities.

Additionally, these manufacturers often cultivate enduring relationships with raw material suppliers and couriers, effectively curbing material and transportation expenses.

Furthermore, opting for mass manufacturers can yield benefits such as financing options and discounts.

For instance, WJPC may offer a payment scheme involving a 30% deposit upon booking and the remaining 70% upon order completion. Collaborating with us on Kickstarter projects may also qualify you for a 6% factory discount.

If you want to know more details about tips to save card game printing costs, please check out Optimize Your Trading Card Printing Costs.

11 Card Game Design Blogs And Websites You Should Bookmark

8 Card Game Design Blogs

Navigating the realm of card game design can prove challenging for newcomers to the field. Even self-proclaimed game-creation experts can find value in continuously expanding their understanding of game design.

The subsequent blogs and websites present an exclusive avenue to delve into the nuances of card game design, catering to all experience levels.

Through personal anecdotes, triumphs, and setbacks, these platforms offer an engaging and genuine means to enhance one’s comprehension of the card game design process.

You can embrace these resources, which promise an enjoyable and authentic approach to cultivating expertise in the realm of card game design.

11 Card Game Design Blogs And Websites

The League of Gamemakers

The League of Gamemakers

The League of Gamemakers stands as a collaborative haven for ingenious minds in the realm of game creation. Comprising visionary game designers, adept publishers, and skilled artists, this collective has united with a common goal: to forge an unparalleled game blog that emanates creativity.

With remarkable dedication, they unveil fresh and insightful posts thrice weekly, solidifying their status as a prolific source of gaming wisdom.

Within the virtual confines of their digital domain, an array of subjects come to life through their words.

From the intricacies of design philosophy to the labyrinthine pathways of publishing intricacies, and from the fine-tuning of mechanics to the contemplative musings that shape the very essence of the gaming world, their posts encompass a captivating spectrum.

The League’s synergy fosters an environment where discourse and exchange flourish, nurturing both novices and veterans in their pursuit of excellence.

In the ceaseless march of time, The League of Gamemakers remains a beacon of inspiration and a cornerstone of the gaming community. Its rhythmic cadence of knowledge dissemination enriches minds, empowers creativity, and perpetuates the legacy of game design innovation.

Cardboard Edison

Cardboard Edison

Cardboard Edison stands as a vanguard, tirelessly assembling a treasure trove of resources tailored to the needs of aspiring and seasoned board game designers alike.

With an unwavering commitment, they curate an invaluable collection that encompasses an array of indispensable tools and insights. This platform serves as a guiding light, illuminating the intricate path of board game creation.

At its heart, Cardboard Edison is a wellspring of knowledge, offering an assortment of board game design tips that range from the fundamental to the esoteric, providing designers with the compass to navigate the uncharted waters of creativity.

Their meticulously crafted infographics and reports serve as visual waypoints, distilling complex concepts into easily digestible forms that ignite innovative sparks.

Perhaps most notably, Cardboard Edison’s board game publisher directory is a testament to their dedication. This curated repository of industry contacts empowers designers to bridge the gap between creation and publication, offering a bridge to turn dreams into tangible game boxes.

Cardboard Edison

Games Precipice

Games Precipice stands as a remarkable testament to the power of collaboration, an intimate two-person endeavor that delves unfailingly into the intricate labyrinth of tabletop game design.

Conceived by the dynamic duo of Alex Harkey and Matt Pavlovich, this venture embarked on its journey in 2013, sparking a beacon of enlightenment for game design enthusiasts across the world.

The origins of Games Precipice trace back to a shared passion for game design that Alex and Matt cultivated while navigating the halls of academia. Gradually, their individual pursuits coalesced into a shared vision, leading to the inception of a platform dedicated to dissecting the very essence of game creation.

What distinguishes Games Precipice is its unwavering commitment to depth. With every topic they explore, they excavate the layers that constitute the bedrock of tabletop games. Their posts act as immersive workshops, where readers are invited to introspect the nuances of mechanics, narratives, and player dynamics.

Stonemaier Games

Stonemaier Games

Stonemaier Games’s mission encompasses crafting games and fostering communities that embrace seasoned players, newcomers, those who enjoy solitary play, couples, larger gatherings, and people from all walks of life – regardless of ethnicity, gender, beliefs, culture, nationality, sexual orientation, abilities, or age.

Beyond traditional board games, it enhances the creative landscape by sharing its entrepreneurial victories, blunders, insights, and its passion for a wide array of games.

Mechanics & Meeples

Mechanics & Meeples

Mechanics & Meeples stands as a vibrant hub celebrating the multifaceted world of board games, with a special penchant for Eurogames.

This platform, a haven for enthusiasts, delves into the intricate realm of game mechanics, fostering an understanding of the inner workings that drive the joy of play.

With a spotlight on Eurogames, it unravels the artistry behind strategic gameplay, immersing readers in the nuances of these engaging creations.

Whether exploring the mechanics of worker placement or the elegance of resource management, Mechanics & Meeples offers an intellectual journey through the heart of board gaming.

Board Game Designers Forum

Board Game Designers Forum

The Board Game Designers Forum stands as a beacon of knowledge and camaraderie for creators and aficionados of tabletop board and card games.

This invaluable resource encompasses a wide spectrum of design intricacies, ranging from the conception and refinement of game mechanics to the nitty-gritty of prototyping, playtesting, and the labyrinthine journey to publishing success.

One of its core strengths lies in its expansive coverage of topics. Aspiring designers and seasoned creators alike can feast upon a banquet of insights encompassing every facet of the creative process.

Whether unraveling the tapestry of engaging game design principles, fine-tuning the delicate art of prototyping, or deciphering the invaluable feedback obtained through rigorous playtesting, the forum offers a treasure trove of wisdom.

Beyond its educational prowess, the forum fosters a sense of community that unites like-minded individuals sharing a passion for game design.

It serves as a nexus where beginners find guidance from experienced mentors, where ideas germinate and grow through collaborative discourse, and where the journey from concept to a fully-fledged, polished game becomes not just achievable, but also rewarding.

Make Them Play

Make Them Play

Make Them Play unfolds as a strategic guide for crafting board games tailored for both commercial success and personal enjoyment. The platform propounds a concise sequence of steps that resonate with wisdom:

Immerse oneself in gameplay experiences, fostering an innate understanding of mechanics and dynamics, and engage in brainstorming sessions to spark ingenious ideas.

By advocating active participation in gaming culture and nurturing the imaginative process, Make Them Play empowers aspiring designers to transform abstract concepts into tangible, engaging board game experiences, effectively bridging the gap between vision and reality.


WJPC stands as a seasoned card game manufacturer, offering a wealth of expertise in not only crafting exceptional card games but also in generously sharing their professional insights.

Our commitment extends beyond production to encompass an altruistic sharing of knowledge concerning card design, printing intricacies, effective sales strategies, and more.

This dedication to education fosters a supportive community, where aspiring designers and industry enthusiasts alike can tap into the reservoir of wisdom cultivated by WJPC.

Our willingness to impart their experience solidifies them not just as a manufacturer but as a guiding light for those navigating the multifaceted landscape of card game creation and distribution.

Some Lists Of Articles From Personal Designers To Watch

Greg’s Design Blog

Greg’s Design Blog stands as a rich repository, a testament to the profound insights and expertise of game designer Gregory Carslaw.

This compilation encapsulates a treasure trove of his illuminating game design articles, spanning a vast spectrum of topics. With a diverse array of entries numbering in the hundreds, the blog becomes a comprehensive index that navigates through the intricacies of game creation.

Whether delving into mechanics, narratives, or the nuances of player engagement, Greg’s Design Blog is an invaluable compass for both fledgling designers and seasoned creators seeking to enrich their understanding of the art and science of game design.

Jeff’s World of Game Design Blog

Jeff’s World of Game Design blog is the eloquent musings of the mind behind BGG’s 7600th top game flow like precious nickels from a wellspring of creativity. Delve into a realm where insights about game design and its nuances are intricately woven with words.

Jeff’s perspective shines a light on the art of crafting experiences that resonate. Each post is a gem, offering readers a treasure trove of thoughts from a unique vantage point.

Join it on this intellectual journey as it explores the realms of design, unleashing innovation in every syllable, and savoring the riches of game creation.

Adam in Wales Blog

Immerse yourself in a captivating video series from Adam in Wales Blog, that not only explores the exhilarating world of playing boardgames, card games, and dice games but also delves into the captivating realm of creating them.

With the picturesque backdrop of Wales, Adam guides you through the intricate dynamics of gameplay while offering a behind-the-scenes peek into the art of game crafting.

From riveting strategies to the nitty-gritty of design, this blog is your passport to a dual adventure of enjoyment and innovation in the ever-evolving landscape of tabletop gaming.

5 Steps To Manage Your Game Card Printing Design

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!

Enhancing Your Print Projects: Choosing From 9 Game Card Finishes

9 Game Card Finishes

Every printed element requires a proper finish, particularly game card components. The presence of a game card finish is essential to prevent ink smudging and excessive stickiness in the printed materials. Nevertheless, numerous creators lack the knowledge of the optimal and most fitting card finishes for their games.

This article aims to address the concepts of the most suitable 9 Game Card Finishes, offering you a comprehensive elucidation of each option.

Choose The Most Suitable For You Among 9 Game Card Finishes

Required Game Card Finish


When deciding between oil varnish and lamination, the primary factors to consider are the intended usage of the components and the demographics of the players engaging with the game.

Lamination involves a plastic-based finish that is notably robust and thick. It proves particularly advantageous for games aimed at children, who often handle objects with a certain degree of roughness.

Lamination effectively safeguards the cards from tearing, ensuring their structural integrity even when bent over extended periods.

In contrast, the function of an oil finish primarily revolves around safeguarding the ink without notably reinforcing the inherent durability of the cards.

However, lamination does present certain drawbacks. Due to its plastic composition, it does not align with eco-friendly principles. And it impedes the ease and speed of shuffling.

The lamination layer’s static friction occasionally leads to cards adhering to one another, hindering seamless shuffling. In contrast, oil varnish serves to smoothen cards, reducing friction and thereby improving shuffling capabilities.

Another aspect to contemplate is the desired level of glossiness or matte appearance. While lamination offers the choice between matte and glossy finishes, oil varnish resides in an intermediate realm. Often referred to as a Semi-Glossy finish, oil varnish straddles the two options.

When considering packaging such as board game or card game boxes, opting for lamination is consistently recommended. These boxes demand heightened protection, even for the most meticulous card game enthusiasts who handle them delicately during storage and retrieval.

Moreover, the most irksome scenario is the splitting open of a box corner, a predicament that lamination effectively averts.

Opt for Varnish WhenOpt for Lamination When
Game components are handled with care by players.The target audience includes children.
Shuffling plays a crucial role in the game.Cards are intended for frequent and consistent use, remaining readily accessible.
The choice between matte and glossy finishes is challenging.Card shuffling is not a dominant aspect of gameplay.
A lighter-weight game box is preferred, with a semi-glossy appearance being important.The game box falls within the medium to heavy weight range.
Prioritizing eco-friendly production is a key consideration. 

Linen Game Card Finish

Game Cards Linen Finish

The process of achieving a linen finish on cards involves employing a press machine equipped with steel plates featuring a specific pattern. During this process, the paper is fed through the machine and compressed to replicate the pattern on the surface.

Linen finishes are applied to cards for two primary reasons: to facilitate smoother shuffling or to impart an appealing visual texture. However, it’s important to note that the linen finish can slightly reduce the thickness of the paper.

To counter this effect, we advise using a card stock of at least 350gsm and adjusting the press pressure for the linen finish to prevent any potential damage to your cards.

The application of a linen finish is an independent process and can be utilized with various surface treatments. Whether your cards possess lamination, oil varnish, or an aqua-based finish, the linen finish can be seamlessly integrated.

Decorative Game Card Finishes

Incorporating decorative finishes can significantly elevate the visual appeal of your cards. By synergizing various treatments, you have the opportunity to craft truly remarkable and captivating card designs.

1) Metallic Inks

Metallic ink is formulated by incorporating metallic particles into the ink composition.

Metallic Inks

These particles reflect light, resulting in a distinctive metallic appearance for your cards. It’s categorized as a spot color, which signifies it’s a pre-mixed ink utilizing a single printing plate, as opposed to the four plates utilized for traditional CMYK colors.

Spot colors, also known as the Pantone Matching System (PMS), allow for printing colors beyond the standard CMYK spectrum. This is particularly effective for highlights or metallic effects.

Metallic Ink vs. Foil Stamping

While metallic ink is blended and applied similar to CMYK inks, foil stamping involves applying metallic foil to printed paper stock using heat and pressure. Both techniques yield unique visual appeal, but specific projects are better suited for one method over the other.

Metallic ink offers a subtler outcome because it’s applied early in the printing process and subsequently covered with a finish (lamination or varnish). Conversely, foil stamping produces a more vivid impact and an exceptionally realistic metallic sheen, applied after the printing process.

Delicate, intricate designs are better suited for metallic ink as it’s applied during the printing press operation. Foil stamping involves cutting the design out of foil stock. If the design is small and intricate, metallic ink is likely the more suitable choice.

For designs predominantly intricate and metallic, opt for metallic ink over foil for a softer shine. Designers sometimes find excessive foil use can create an overly flashy appearance, hence favoring metallic ink for such applications.

Metallic ink offers a wide array of color possibilities as it combines the ink color of choice with gold or silver metal particles. Even holographic foil options are available for a truly impressive effect.

If your project involves additional specialty printing techniques like embossing or debossing, foil stamping is more compatible. Metallic ink contains real metal fragments, which could potentially lead to cracking during embossing or debossing.

Foil stamping tends to surpass metallic ink in terms of durability. Over time, the ink’s metal particles might result in cracking.

From a cost perspective, metallic ink is generally more budget-friendly compared to foil stamping.

2) Foil Film

A frequently used form of foiling involves applying a foil film as an extra layer across the entirety of a card’s surface.

Foil Film

This imparts a luxurious holographic sensation to the card. However, depending on the specific finish and application method, certain disadvantages can arise, notably including the potential for card warping.

Gold, silver, and holographic foil cards (also referred to as hologram cards, holofoil cards, or simply foil cards) are a popular variety often seen in TCG trading cards or sports cards. These cards essentially feature an ultra-thin layer of rainbow foil meticulously applied onto the card prior to undergoing the printing process.

3) Cold Foil Stamping

The card passes beneath a foil roller, which binds the foil to the designated area. Afterward, the card undergoes curing, typically using UV light, followed by the application of a finishing layer.

Cold Foil Stamping

One of the most notable distinctions between hot foil stamping and cold foil techniques becomes evident in their terminology.

The term ‘hot’ alludes to the requirement for heat and pressure in the former process, while cold foil relies on ultraviolet light instead of elevated temperature.

Whether employed in sheet-fed lithographic or flexographic printing, cold foil application can be seamlessly integrated inline.

The foil is dispensed from an inline roll and placed over the substrate, where a UV adhesive has been printed in the desired pattern. A pressure roller secures the foil onto the sheet before the adhesive is cured by exposure to a UV lamp, effectively locking the design in position.

The versatility of foils extends to customization, allowing for the application of CMYK or PMS colors onto traditional silver or gold foils.

4) Hot Foil Stamping

The application of a hot foil stamp involves imprinting the card with the foil, creating an embossed effect.

Hot Foil Stamping

This imparts a certain level of texture to the card. The pivotal tool in the process of hot foil stamping is the hot foil stamping machine, requiring manual operation by a skilled operator.

Remarkably, the same machinery can facilitate both foil stamping and embossing (or debossing), making it possible to combine embossing with foil stamp printing for an even more captivating printed outcome.

Hot Foil Stamping Vs Cold Foil Stamping

Hot foil stamping works great for precise applications, defined patterns in small areas. Cold foil, on the other hand, is the preferred technique for large areas, such as moderate or full coverage of folding cartons.

Then there are customization considerations: Hot foil stamping allows for debossing or embossing in a single pass; cold foil gives you control over color.

5) Gilding

Once the card sheet has been trimmed, the cards are arranged in a stack, followed by the application of either foil or ink to the card edges.


This imparts a colored or metallic edge to the cards. For certain uses, the edges undergo beveling before being adorned with gilding.

Elevate your custom game cards with gilded card technology, infusing a touch of opulence to their edges. Our impeccably finished gilt edges are bound to captivate anyone who beholds them, providing your cards with the awe-inspiring flair they truly deserve.

6) Spot Varnish

A supplementary layer of high gloss varnish is meticulously added to targeted sections of the card, introducing contrast and expertly accentuating specific elements on the card’s surface.

Spot Varnish

This strategic application of gloss not only enhances the visual allure but also contributes to a heightened tactile experience, further elevating the overall quality and sophistication of the cards.

The interplay between the glossy and matte textures lends an engaging dynamic to the design, ensuring that every aspect of the card exudes a captivating and refined presence, leaving a lasting impression on anyone who engages with it.

Which Game Card Finish Suits Your Needs Best?

Reach out to WJPC today to discover how we can empower your products to stand out prominently on store shelves and instantly capture the attention of discerning customers.