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  #1  
Old March 26th, 2019, 03:42 PM
Bsoder52 Bsoder52 is offline
 
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Card printing in 2019

So I've been looking at older posts about printing cards and looking for some up to date info/resources on printing custom cards. I've been looking but most of the posts I've seen are dated.

I'm not talking about the creation of cards as much as the physical printing of the cards.

Hopeful to find:
- Best paper that will fit in a normal home Injet printer (I have a Cannon MB2320).
- Where to buy the best paper.
- How to print front and back.
- Printer settings that are best.
-How to optimize and tweek for best results.

Thanks for any help!
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  #2  
Old March 26th, 2019, 03:44 PM
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Re: Card printing in 2019

Cardstock is the best to use if you can, but it's tough to do at home. I used to do it for Superheroscape at Office Max until they started hassling me about licences from Marvel and DC.

Now I'm just holding off until the poker-style playing cards project japes is working on is done and then I plan to get all of those printed together from a website, en masse (C3G Superheroscape is at 800+ unit designs now, so it's too much printing to stay tied to hex cards!).

C3G can be played with official Heroscape, but it's not recommended.


DISCLAIMER: C3G claims no ownership of the characters or artwork used for C3G customs. All rights for the characters belong to their respective publishers/creators. C3G cards are not intended for sale, and C3G does not authorize any party to profit from C3G cards.

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Old March 26th, 2019, 03:59 PM
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Re: Card printing in 2019

See my post below - from 2013 originally but have been updating slightly. Still cheapest and easiest way is to find a local independent print-shop (look at your physical copy of yellow pages under Printing or Google Maps search for Printshop) and they will be able to print with best quality of anywhere and cheaper than you can do at home or Office Superstore, including double-sided. If you want a more accurate way to get double-sided cards 3/page (requires downloading all PDFs first) than X-2 use my GIMP Script-Fu to combine any 3 cards 3/page, but regardless if you use that script or X-2, see my printing tips on that thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefton4ya View Post
...
Printing at home
  • You can print in GIMP, but make sure in the print dialog Image Settings has "Ignore Page Margins" set and it is 8.5*11.
  • You can also open the exported file in any image program or even Windows or Macs built-in photo viewer, and then print from that program, but make sure you do not crop/resize by unchecking boxes like "fit picture to frame" in print dialogs. Again, if after it prints, the edges gets cropped off, adjust the margins in the script dialog.
  • Buy 80-110 lb (144-240 gsm) semi-gloss vellum/index, preferably at 90-96 brightness. Glossy is fine but will might look too shiny compared to official cards, and cover is fine but might be too stiff compared to official cards. 50-75 lb (90-164 gsm) paper works OK, but won't be as thick as official cards. 115-160 lb (208-350 gsm) matches the thickest cards (Wave 2/3) but is much harder to both buy as well as print on. Sometimes paper is advertised as card-stock/poster/catalog paper as opposed to cover/vellum/index, but just look closely for the paper weight in lbs (different stiffness of paper have different lbs-index conversions).
  • For more tips, including more info on which paper to get and what printer is best, see Xorlof's card printing tips
Taking to printer (Staples, OfficeMax/OfficeDepot, UPS/FedEx office, or preferably local independent printshop):
  • It is recommended to have a PDF printer installed, then print the PNGs (exported/saved from GIMP] to a combined PDF and it is better quality than GIMPs built-in one. Open exports in an image/gallery program (such as Windows or Macs built-in photo viewer) print multiple page PNGs at the same time to combine to one PDF file. Google "Free PDF Printer [Windows/Mac]" if you need to. A more advanced but better way is if you have Adobe Acrobat Pro or Foxit Reader (free), you can just create a new PDF from combining the PNGs.
  • Save/copy all pages you want to print in a root folder of a USB drive.
  • I highly recommend finding a local independent printshop over Stapes/CopyMax/UPS/FedEx for multiple reasons: They are cheaper (some have setup fee but if you print a bunch at a time they are always cheaper if you average per page), they have better quality paper and ink, they have printers and workers capable of printing double-sided, they are usually more friendly and care about the work, plus its always better to support the independents. If you do go, bring an official card in and ask to match the thickness and glossyness, as well as size. Always call ahead before going in, and you may be able to e-mail a file in.
  • If you must got to Office/Copy superstore:
    • Buy your own paper in the office part of the store then take to print part of the store and pint on your "own" paper. Paper costs less than $1 a page and printing on your own paper costs 50-60 cents/page, verses printing on printshop cardstock is $2 a page, so this saves at least 50 cents/page. Plus the printshop usually does not stock the best paper compared to the office part of a store.
    • Buy 80-110 lb (144-240 gsm) semi-gloss vellum/index, preferably at 90-96 brightness. Glossy is fine but will might look too shiny compared to official cards, and cover is fine but might be too stiff compared to official cards. 50-75 lb (90-164 gsm) paper works OK, but won't be as thick as official cards. 115-160 lb (208-350 gsm) matches the thickest cards (Wave 2/3) but is much harder to both buy as well as print on. Sometimes paper is advertised as card-stock/poster/catalog paper as opposed to cover/vellum/index, but just look closely for the paper weight in lbs (different stiffness of paper have different lbs-index conversions).
    • Make sure when they print they do not crop/resize by unchecking boxes like "fit picture to frame" or "fit to window" in print dialogs. In my experience, if you don't actually show them by watching them on the computer when printing, they do it wrong and the cards are slightly smaller and lower resolution than normal.
    • If double sided on cardstock, office stores all have issues, with printers jamming, paper shredding, and people working there too ignorant to know how to flip pages correctly. Some printers are incapable of doing double-sided on anything more than 54 lb weight, and each office store (even different stores of the same chain) have different printers. If you really want double sided you might need to shop around testing 1 page at a time, and again I highly recommend local print-shops over office stores, especially if you want double-sided.
    • Always ask to print one page first, check how it looks, then if it is good print the rest. Every one of my time I have been at an office copyshop it takes at least a couple pages to get right.

Enjoy!
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Old March 29th, 2019, 11:22 AM
Bsoder52 Bsoder52 is offline
 
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Re: Card printing in 2019

This all helps alot thanks! One more question. I'm using GIMP to print cards, but it always prints them in the corner of the 8.5x11 page. Is there a way to tell Gimp to print in the center of the page so I can run it back through and print the card back on the other side after? Or a better way? Thanks again!
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Old March 29th, 2019, 02:03 PM
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Re: Card printing in 2019

On the Print Dialog, click the "Image Settings" tab and make sure to check "Ignore Page Margins" and Center: "Both"
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Old March 30th, 2019, 11:45 AM
Bsoder52 Bsoder52 is offline
 
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Re: Card printing in 2019

Did this but can't seem to get it to print in the center of the page. My print preview looks correct when iselect both center and ignore the page margins, but the dang printer still prints in the corner of the page for some reason. I've tried horizontal and vertical neither get it right. Any other thoughts?




Quote:
Originally Posted by lefton4ya View Post
On the Print Dialog, click the "Image Settings" tab and make sure to check "Ignore Page Margins" and Center: "Both"
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Old April 8th, 2019, 01:15 PM
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Re: Card printing in 2019

@Bsoder52 - I see now. You have to change the width and height on the Image Settings tab to slightly below the Page size (i.e. Width:8, Height: 10.5 for 8.5x11 portrait) and still check "Ignore Page Margins." If you make the resolution an even # in pixles/in (100, 150, or 300) you should get it around that and it will print the best quality. Also, see my Combine any 3 cards 3/page with GIMP Script-Fu which will take three cards and place them on the page in 2 corners and one side center, and you can select "Flip Left-Right" on my dialog to print backs.

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