A Must-See Help Guide: Custom Cards Printing Quote Walkthrough

WJPC’s basic business can be divided into 3 major categories: custom cards printing, custom card boxes printing, and custom instruction booklets printing. If you happen to have custom printing needs in the above areas, you are welcome to cooperate with us – one of the largest custom card printers in China. We will provide you with the first-class & high-end products, the very cost-effective prices, and the most attentive & detailed service experience.

Once you send us an inquiry/quote, our customer service staff will reply to you with a specific quote as soon as we receive the relevant information. Of course, if you wish to avoid multiple rounds of conversation and receive a more complete quote the first time, please refer to the following help guide of process for a walkthrough and hands-on exercise.

PS. please note that for some of more complex printing needs, we may need to take more time to put together a price list, usually no more than a week.

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Q: “I have an amazing idea for custom cards printing, but have never touched custom cards printing. Therefore, I would like help. What kind of process will I go through? What details and information should I provide you with?”

Sales Manager

A: “If you have never printed your own cards, or have had some unpleasant experiences with custom cards printing, we are confident that you will have a complete understanding of the process and be satisfied with your experience. So, let’s start with a step-by-step walkthrough!”

How To Place An Order In WJPC?

Custom Cards Printing

  1. Applications

First of all, you have to be clear, what use and occasion your custom cards printing is for. Based on our past experience with customization and printing, we have broken down all card types into 5 categories, including:

  • Custom playing cards

The playing cards we are talking about here are mainly used for tabletop games, casinos, magic, advertising, gifts, etc. Common products are Bridge cards, Poker cards, Cardistry cards, Casino cards, Magic cards, Promotional cards, Gift cards, etc.

  • Custom game cards

The game cards mentioned here are mostly used for board games, anime peripherals, video game peripherals, etc. Common products include drinking game cards, party game cards, children’s game cards, anime collector cards, game collector cards, etc. The complete card games not only includes cards and instruction booklets, but also covers a variety of accessories such as maps, dices, and role pieces.

Our tarot cards are mainly based on the three major tarot systems: Marseilles tarot cards, Rider-Waite tarot, Thoth tarot cards. Or you can divide a deck of cards into affirmative, negative, neutral and exception cards according to the meaning of the tarot, where the main products are Affirmation cards. 

  • Custom oracle cards

Oracle cards are similar to tarot cards, but they are more flexible and diverse (if you want to learn more about the differences between oracle cards and tarot cards, you can click custom oracle cards to learn more). You can completely create your own system rules, character images, card sizes, number of cards, etc.

  • Custom flash cards

Flash cards are usually used for home education, school & institutional education, corporate training and other purposes. Its main products include: educational flash cards, word flash cards, alphabet flash cards, animal flash cards, music flash cards, math flash cards, language flash cards, sports flash cards, etc.

Custom tarot cards custom cards printing
Custom tarot cards
  1. Design
customer

Q: “I have defined my usage requirements and roughly prepared the rules, questions, colors and names of the custom cards printing. Can you do the design for me?”

Sales Manager

A: “Unfortunately, we don’t own the card design service, but we can provide professional pre-press layout guidance and adjustment. For example, we will tell you where the bleed and safety zones are for printing, whether certain color combinations are appropriate, whether there will be too much text for a certain size, what surface treatment processes can be used to make a certain pattern brighter… All of our suggestions are made for printing purposes only, and we do not censor or tamper with your ideas or designs.

We support PDF, PSD, AI and other file formats. Please make sure that the images in your files are in CMYK format and the 400~600 DPI range, too low or too high is not conducive to print (More on this will be updated in a new section Process, please stay tuned).”

  1. Size

For the time being, we offer a total of 24 different card sizes:

1.25″x1.75″ (31.8mm×44.5mm)1.61″x2.48″ (41mm×63mm)1.73″x2.64″ (44mmx67mm)1.75″x2.5″ (44.45mm×63.5mm)
1.75″x3.5″ (44.45mm×88.9mm)2″x2″ (50.8mm×50.8mm)2″x3.5″ (50.8mm×88.9mm)2.2″x2.54″ (55.9mmx64.5mm)
2.2″x3.43″ (56mm×87mm)2.25″x3.5″ (57mm×89mm)2.32″x3.58″ (58.9mm×90.9mm)2.45″x3.95″ (62mm×100mm)
2.48″x3.46″ (63mm×88mm)2.5″x2.5″ (63.5mm×63.5mm)2.5″x3.5″ (63.5mm×89mm)2.6″x3″ (66mmx76.2mm)
2.75″x2.75″ (70mm×70mm)2.75″x4.75″ (70mm×120mm)3.25″x3.7″ (82.55mm×94mm)3.5″x3.5″ (88.9mm×88.9mm)
3.5″x5″ (89mm×127mm)3.5″x5.75″ (89mm×146mm)4″x6″ (101.6×152.4mm)5″x7″ (127×178mm)

There are 4 regular sizes, and they are the most common sizes we print: 2.25 “x3.5” (Bridge size), 2.48 “x3.46” (Poker size), 2.75 “x4.75” (Tarot size), 3.5 “x5” (Jumbo size). In addition, we can also customize more specific sizes according to your individual needs. If you are not sure which size is more suitable for your custom cards printing design, please feel free to consult us.

  1. Shape

We have the ability to cut different shapes of cards, including rectangle, round, polygon, oval, heart, car, cat, etc. Usually, playing cards, tarot cards, oracle cards are recommended to use square or round cards, while study cards, advertising cards, gift cards, etc. are more suitable to use shaped cards to enhance the card presentation.

Shape
  1. Card face
customer

Q: “When you talk about custom cards printing, do you mean single-sided printing, or double-sided printing, and what are the differences in design and cost for these?”

Sales Manager

A: “We support both single-sided and double-sided printing of cards. If you wish to have only the front or back side design, the other side can be directly used from our design templates, or from our product listings; or if you seek complete personalization, you can directly give us the design artwork for each and every side. Note here, however, that if you need each back side to have a different design pattern, it may make the price go up significantly.”

Playing card back template
Playing card back template
Playing card front template
Playing card front template

For more information on design templates and colors, etc., please ask us.

  1. Size of deck
customer
A: “How many decks of cards do you have in a deck? Can I make 100 or even other larger number of decks?”
Sales Manager

Q: “The regular number of cards is different for each type of deck. Besides the regular number of cards, you can also customize a lower or higher number of cards. But different number of printing plates are required for different sizes of deck. The more printing plates you have, the higher the cost.

Take Poker size for example, if you have 110 cards or less and the same design on the back, then only one printing plate is needed for the front and one for the back (total 2 sets). Once the number of cards exceeds 110, or if a different design is used on the back, the amount of printing plates used will increase accordingly, resulting in an exponential increase in the final price of your cards.”

The following are the optimal number of cards for different card stock options at different sizes:

Blue core/ Art paper/ Plastic
Poker size (2.48″x3.46″)54 cards/deck
Tarot size (2.75″x4.75″)29 cards/deck
Square size (2.5″x2.5″)65 cards/deck
Mini size (1.61″x2.48″)95 cards/deck
Black core
Poker size (2.48″x3.46″)55 cards/deck
Tarot size (2.75″x4.75″)34 cards/deck
Square size (2.5″x2.5″)71 cards/deck
Mini size (1.61″x2.48″)107 cards/deck

For more options of custom cards printing, please send a message to us.

  1. Cardstock

In the field of cardstock, we often use the terms weight, core, and texture to distinguish between different types. Cardstock’s weight is measured in GSM (rams per square meter) and is commonly available in weights of 300gsm, 310gsm, 330gsm, 350gsm. Generally, the lighter the paper, the more suitable it is for repetitive shuffling and splicing, while the heavier the cardstock will present a higher quality.

Cardstock layer
Cardstock layer

Card texture mainly refers to the surface texture of the cardboard. These textures can be classified into two types: smooth and linen. The smooth face is the standard cardstock surface on the market today and helps to highlight colors, shuffles and other manipulations. The linen face makes the cardstock lighter and softer, and the linen cardstock we currently use uses “air infusion technology”, which means that each side of the cardstock has unique air pockets. These air pockets can transmit vibrations, provide a smoother and more fluid handling experience.

Cardstock texture
Different cardstock texture

There are the 6 main types of cardstocks we recommend for custom cards printing:

  • S30 Standard Smooth blue core

Weight: 300gsm

Core: Blue core

Texture: Smooth

Blue core

This is the most standard choice of cardstock on the market. It has the advantage of being cost effective, having good memory and flexibility, and being able to limit the amount of light transmission through the card to a certain extent. It is mainly suitable for lower budgets and lower products, or for customers aiming at game design, advertising promotions, weddings, etc.

  • S33 Superior Smooth black core

Weight: 330gsm

Core: Black core

Texture: Smooth

Black core smooth

This cardstock is one grade higher than S30. It uses black core to enhance the opacity of the card while maintaining excellent smoothness, and increases the stiffness and texture of the cardstock by adding weight. It is suitable for scenarios where it is over-handled for use or where cheating issues are emphasized, such as casinos, magic, high-end gifts, high-end games, etc.

  • L31 Linen air black core [min.250] & L33 Linen air black core [min.1000]

Weight: 310 & 330gsm

Core: Black core

Texture: Linen air

Black core

These two cardstocks are illustrated together because they are both black core and linen air textured, only in terms of weight, L31 is 310gsm, and L33 is 330gsm. These two papers are absolutely perfect for top-notch products. They have an ultra-high standard of visual contrast for clean, detailed and lustrous card graphics.

At the same time, they maintain a high level of stiffness, smoothness and confidentiality, which greatly prevents card bending, wear and tear, and translucency, and enables excellent handling. They are very popular with our customers of high-end gift cards, casino cards, tarot cards and oracle cards.

Please pay attention that the minimum order quantity for L31 is 250 decks, while the min. for L33 is 1000 decks.

  • A35 Thick Standard art paper

Weight: 350gsm

Core: Coreless

Texture: Smooth

Art paper

This is the heaviest and thickest card stock in our recommended options, and we call it art paper (some people also call it core-less paper). It achieves vibrant and evenly printed patterns and maintains a high degree of stiffness. However, because it does not contain a paper core, it can transmit light and is less confidential. Therefore, it is suitable for use with game cards, tarot cards, oracle cards, study cards, etc. that emphasize a steady handedness, and is not suitable for casino cards.

  • P10 Plastic white [min.500]

Color: White

Thickness: 0.3mm

Texture: Smooth

PVC

This cardstock is special, made of 100% white, 0.3mm thick PVC. It stands up to the test of harsh environments, has excellent water resistance and flexibility, and can maintain excellent shape, color and mobility even after long exposure, wetting, violent shuffling & cutting, and other operations. It can be said to be the first choice of top poker players and game card players. The min. of this cardstock are 500 decks.

For more cardstock options (such as recyclable and eco-friendly paper), please contact us.

  1. Print type
  • Full color print (CYMK) & Spot Color print

First, let’s explain the terms. Full color print is a standard color technology in the custom cards printing that achieves individual colors by mixing four primary colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) to allow for millions of shades and a greater number of individual colors. However, because CMYK mixes four colors of ink, the colors will always show slight differences when actually printed.

Spot Color is used when you want a 100% accurate color, or a color that is unique to your company. It requires a special matching system that identifies each color with a number so that it can be mixed with individual inks. Also, it is an important corporate identity that is critical to maintaining corporate image and protecting proprietary products. In general, it is not possible to match Spot Color and CMYK color exactly, and Spot Color is much more expensive and difficult to implement.

For WJPC, we use one of the highest standards in the industry for color printing: the Pantone Color Guide Suite, Heidelberg offset & digital printing presses and the Heidelberg color management system. So whether it’s individual proofs or small runs, or large quantities of cards, we can use the most appropriate printing method to achieve a rich, true and deep color spectrum (stay tuned for more on printing technology in our new section Process).

Full color print
Full color print
  • Lamination

Lamination is essentially an adhesive film covering the surface of cards. It serves to protect the cover from creasing and scratching, which is waterproof and dustproof, and to this extent enhances the visual design of the cards.

Holographic film [min. 250]

Effect: Super shiny

Fit: Tarot cards, game cards, collector cards, etc.

This is a premium lamination’s option with different patterns and a relatively high price. After holographic treatment, the card surface will become very shiny and cool, bringing a luxurious visual feeling by itself. In addition, it can also protect the card to a great extent from warping, delamination, fading, moisture, etc. However, it will reduce the smoothness, resulting in less smooth in shuffling or cutting. The minimum order quantity for this option is 250 decks.

Gloss lamination

Effect: Shiny

Fit: Poker cards, game cards, flash cards, etc.

Gloss lamination creates a bright, vibrant and beautiful effect on the card surface. Generally speaking, we would recommend it for card faces with lighter overall colors of patterns (such as a lot of pink, white, etc.). It can perform well to protect against fading, water, rubbing, scratching and so on, but it cannot be used at the same time with the edging finish.

Matte lamination

Effect: Elegant

Fit: Tarot cards, oracle cards, affirmation cards, etc.

Matte lamination gives a non-smooth effect to the card surface, which makes the color more subdued and elegant. For some overall darker colors (such as a lot of black, dark blue, etc.), matte lamination is recommended. Besides, it can be matched with spot UV and spot gold stamping to present a more stand-out visual effect.

Our standard matte lamination can be both colorfast and waterproof, but there is an inevitable risk of scratching or scuffing. If you have higher requirements, we recommend using our higher-end anti-scrath matte, which can largely avoid scratches.

  • Stamping

Stamping in cards mainly plays a decorative role by transferring different colors of aluminum foil onto the card surface by heat pressing, thus creating a special metallic color. Our common colors are gold and silver. For other colors, you need to ask our customer service staff.

  • Edging

Likewise, Edging plays a kind of edge decoration effect in the card, which can greatly improve the grade of the whole product. According to the different techniques, it can be divided into heat treatment and cold treatment. Among them, heat treatment is suitable for cards after oil treatment, while cold treatment is suitable for cards after glue treatment. Our commonly used colors are gold, silver and holographic, for other colors, please ask us.

More information on print type, please consult our staff.

  1. Surface finish/ varnish

Finish, as mentioned here, mainly refers to the covering of the card surface with a layer of paint. It is also known as varnish, which can improve the gloss and smoothness of the card, and serve as a colorfast, scratch-resistant and moisture-resistant. Moreover, in today’s world where environmental protection is advocated, varnish-treated cards are more environmentally friendly and can be easily absorbed by the soil.

Gloss/ Matte finishUV/ Spot UV finish
Similar to lamination, the difference between gloss finish and matte finish is that they present a different surface effect. Our customers often choose gloss for casino cards, Cardistry cards and PVC cards, so as to maintain a more perfect feel and slipperiness.
However, for PVC cardstock, gloss may have the problem of color loss because it is too slippery. And for customers such as tarot cards, oracle cards and game cards, matte is often chosen to enhance the quality of the products.
This is a more special kind of finish, usually used with edging, can make the card surface become particularly shiny and attractive. Also, it has the function of high temperature resistance. This option is highly recommended if you need high-grade advertising cards, gift cards, tarot cards, etc.

In addition, we also offer butter finish, aqueous finish and other more advanced options, please ask us for details.

Surface finish
Surface finish
  1. Order quantity
customer

Q: “I have a general grasp of the basics about custom cards. However, what is your minimum order number?”

Sales Manager

A: “The starting quantity for our regular products is 100 decks, but if you choose the more advanced cardstock or print type, the quantity will be higher. Please refer to the appropriate section above for the exact quantity. If you would like to order a single sample or less than 100 decks, please ask our staff.”

Custom Packaging Pinting

For the cards, we have a complete line of custom matching products, the bags and the boxes being two of them. Also, the boxes are sold as our separate products, all made of high quality card stock, and come in a wide variety of sizes, with the same or higher quality than the top packaging you see on the market.

  1. Application

Shrink-wrapped

The most common and simple packaging in the card industry directly uses heat shrinkable plastic to shrink and wrap around the outside of the cards, thus achieving the most basic protective effects such as waterproof, dustproof and transparent.

Velvet bag

Mainly used for tarot and oracle cards, some game cards with pieces or chips can also be used. It is a professional packaging, not conventional bags can be replaced. It is made of velvet material, mainly in black and purple, with dense and soft velvet surface, wear-resistant and not easy to shed lint. You can choose our plain bag, or customize it by printing your own logo or pattern on the surface.

Magnetic book box

Commonly used in high-end gift cards, card games, tarot cards, and affirmation cards. It is a structure with magnetic closure, which makes its side look like a fine and heavy book and has a flap effect like reading a book. The material determines its hardness, stiffness and resistance to compression, providing perfect and long-lasting protection for your cards, with sufficient weight and texture.

We offer both plain box and custom box and a wide range of size options to fit all of our deck sizes and card counts.

Rigid box

A popular card game box, consisting of 2 parts: the base and the lid. Beautiful, easy to open and affordable are its biggest advantages. Also, it achieves excellent hardness, stiffness and resistance to pressure and wear, and is much less expensive than the magnetic book box.

We support both plain box and custom box and a wide range of size options that correspond to all our card sizes and sheets.

Tuck box

The most common box for playing cards and game cards. It uses a top and bottom insert for easy packaging, versatility and low price, and is suitable for standard playing cards, flash cards and lighter weight products. This is arguably the most practical and minimalist type.

We have both plain box and custom box sets of prices and a wide range of size options to meet all our cards.

Window tuck box

The window tuck box opens in the same way as the tuck box, but it has a “window” cut into the front of the box so that the first card can be displayed in it. It allows your customers to see the product at a glance and increases the credibility. The price of it is slightly higher than the tuck box.

Currently we only offer plain box option. It also has a wide range of size options that can correspond to all of our deck sizes and sheet counts.

For more packaging methods in custom cards printing, please send inquiries to us.

  1. Print type
customer

Q: “Just like the cards are divided into front and back, can your boxes also print front and back, or even outside and inside?

Sales Manager

A: “Yes. You can choose to design and print all sides of the exterior box (6 sides in total) or all sides of the interior + exterior (12 sides in total), depending on your needs. However, we are unable to offer the service of printing just the inside of the box.”

  1. Surface finish

Similar to the cards, you can design different patterns and finishes on the custom boxes for a more ornate, higher quality package effect.

  • Lamination

It is a process of covering the box’s surface with an adhesive film. We classify this process by texture and gloss according to the different adhesive films:

Smooth or Linen mainly refers to the textures of the box surface. Smooth, which means no texture, is a standard finish and is generally chosen by customers who do not have particularly strict requirements. Linen, on the other hand, is more popular in the field of game cards, tarot cards, etc. because it makes the packaging look more professional and performs better in terms of non-fading, anti-scratch and anti-wear.

Gloss or Matte really depends on personal preference, there is no absolute advantage or disadvantage between them. We offer the following 3 more detailed options in this section, with increasing gloss levels from left to right:

MatteSilk matteGloss
An elegant, sophisticated coating. It provides a softer, more natural look and makes the text on the box surface easier to read. It also softens the contrast of darker colors, making them less prominent.A unique coating. It lies somewhere between 100% shiny and 100% matte, i.e., to a certain extent, it allows for a smooth touch in the glossy way and durability and ease of writing in the matte way.A shiny coating. It produces a glass-like appearance, which enhances the color and vibrancy of the box’s surface pattern. It is one of the most common lamination options.

Note: The lamination process and the edging process conflict with each other and cannot be used together.

  • Finish/ Vanish

Finish is a process of covering the box’s surface with a layer of paint. You can choose any kind of brightness paint according to your preference, because there is no absolute good or bad between them. We offer the following 4 choices in this section, in increasing order of gloss from left to right:

Matte aqueousCommon glossUV glossHigh gloss
A subtle matte effect. It provides scratch and wear resistance while maintaining a degree of color richness and vibrancy. It is a cost effective process.Normal gloss effect. It has standard dirt and water resistance, and makes colors appear brighter and richer.The effect that has been chosen most often. It has a higher gloss (especially for deep colors), higher abrasion resistance and clarity than the two methods on the left. It is also a recyclable and environmentally friendly material.A super shiny, dazzling and reflective effect that makes the surface look almost like a mirror. If you want your packaging to stand out at once, this is the best choice.
  1. Surface effect
  • Full color print

Our full-color printing produces rich and true colors on the box surface and is cut and pasted using a special machine for perfect folding.

Full color print
  • Embossing/ Debossing

Embossing and debossing are both based on the principle of using a mold or metal plate to emboss the surface of a box, thus achieving a convex or concave surface effect. It can emphasize the local design and turn 2D into 3D in terms of visual and tactile sensation. Embossing is often used to highlight names and logos, while debossing is often used to emphasize borders, underlines, background patterns, etc.

Embossing and debossing box
  • Stamping

The surface with stamping can bring a very professional and luxurious feeling. We offer both gold and silver colors, so you can choose according to your preference. We also recommend pairing stamping with embossing and debossing to create a more stunning 3D look.

  1. Box seal

The seal sticker is not a must-have option, but it can finalize your card product and make your package look more authentic, complete and professional. We support both WJPC standard seal (standardized sticker with WJPC’s logo) and custom seal options, so you can choose as you like.

  1. Wrapping

Again, this is not an absolute choice. However, we generally recommend it to our customers, as this can effectively prevent the surface of the package from being scratched, worn or even getting wet during shipping. We currently have two selections: one is shrink-wrapped , as a free standard configuration, can be well protected. The second is cello-wrapped , which is easier to unpack than shrink-wrapped and has the same protective features.

  1. Hang tag

Hang tags allow your cards to be hung on the shelves parallel to the customer’s line of sight, thus making them easier to spot in the store; rather than stacked up and down or left and right, thus increasing the risk of damaging boxes or products. We currently have different shapes of hang tags, which is made of high quality 100% transparent plastic or color printed cardboard with super adhesive, strong and beautiful, can fit most store shelves.

Custom Booklets Printing

Booklets act as illustrations and promotions in the cards, promoting your products to your customers and explaining clearly the themes and rules you have set, thus leaving a professional impression. With a wide range of sizes and folding methods, our booklets are perfectly adapted to different sizes of packaging.

  1. Folding method
  • Cross fold

A simple and generous style suitable for booklets with little content and focus, such as children’s game guides, flash card instructions, etc. It folds a printed sheet of large-size paper (2 sides) twice to form a cross in the middle, thus dividing it into 8 different small content pages.

Cross fold booklet
Cross fold
  • Bi-fold/ Z-fold/ Accordion

All three are left- and right-folded booklets that are not only small in size, but can also be easily unfolded and read. They are mainly printed on art paper and CMYK colors, and are processed with water-based varnish on the cover.

  • Saddle stitch

It uses the traditional sewn method of folding and cotton thread stitching larger size sheets in half. Compared to metal stitching, it avoids scratching your fingers or cards, while remaining small, compact and thick.

Saddle-stitch
Saddle stitch
customer

Q: ”What is the maximum number of sides for these booklets above?”

Sales Manager

A: ”The limit of max sides is determined by the way the booklet is folded. Currently, folded booklets can be made up to 8 sides, while saddle stitch booklets can be made up to 56 sides. If you need more sides or effects, please ask us.”

Even if these basic knowledge of custom cards printing is clear to you, you may still feel doubtful about the actual effect. Don’t worry, we provide sample shipping service for cards, packaging and booklets. Among them, you can choose from stock sample, digital printing sample with your design or custom samples with your design. Please see the video below for the specific design ways:

The above is all about custom cards printing quote walkthrough and guide. If you have more questions about this, don’t hesitate to ask our staff. Hope you have a happy and smooth shopping experience at WJPC!

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