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Subject: Printerstudio card quality - linen vs smooth rss

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stummy ache
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I haven't ordered cards from a POD before. I was set to get linen because I like textured cards and the heavier weight cost just slightly more than standard. But the linen looks more "dotted" than the criss-cross pattern that I usually see on cards. In other words, the pattern doesn't look like fabric linen. It looks like a series of dots.

Is this what "linen" really looks like? Does it bother anyone?

Pic from PrinterStudio site:


I asked PS for samples. The actual is covered in little indented dots and not glossy as the above pic might suggest. I see very positive reviews on the linen cards, but I have never seen dotted cards in games before and the dots don't look very good IMHO. It looks like a perforated edge, except it's a giant perforated rectangle covering the entire card.

I am being nitpicky because I want to print custom cards to match Bang!'s deck which has a very nice textured criss-cross pattern.

Would appreciate any comments about whether the rows of dots fade over time, whether it looks better after the art is printed, alternatives, or just to get the smooth cards. I think right now I am leaning to just get the smooth, but mostly for future order's sake I'd like to hear whether all linen orders from PS come out like this.
 
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Johan Haglert
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What you are seeing is likely the groves between crosses and I think it's pretty normal.

It bothers me more or less. Sometimes it doesn't disturb that much, but I still don't know whatever it's actually good. Sometimes it disturb quite a bit.

Lowers details and contrast.

Some may think it look more classy, I don't know why, because playing cards are glossy? WOTC doesn't use linen finish on Magic ..

I see your samples comment: I don't know whatever I've seen them with dots. Guess it works the same for handling and possibly help saving the edges.
 
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Holger Doessing
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arkemist wrote:
I asked PS for samples. The actual is covered in little indented dots and not glossy as the above pic might suggest. I see very positive reviews on the linen cards, but I have never seen dotted cards in games before and the dots don't look very good IMHO. It looks like a perforated edge, except it's a giant perforated rectangle covering the entire card.
Wait, I'm confused. Are you commenting on the picture or are you describing an actual, physical card you got from PS? (The photo depicts a proper criss-cross linen texture.)
 
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Andrew Rowse
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Here's a picture of some linen-print cards I had made:
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/14322153#14322153

Zoomed in - scroll to the bottom to get a good view of the pattern
http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1867932/kandrw?size=original

I really like the linen cards - they have a lovely feel to them, like Thunderstone cards, and they shuffle extremely well.
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Jake Staines
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The linen texture that Printers' Studio uses is just a grid of indentations, leaving a raised area which approximates but is not perfectly equal to the texture you get on linen stock.

If you need it to match existing linen cards such that the difference can't be told from close examination of the backs, you're out of luck - but if you just want nice-quality cards, they feel fine, shuffle fine, play fine... you can't tell the difference unless you examine them closely.

I've noticed the same pattern on several commercially-printed games I own - IIRC Fantasy Flight games in particular, although I'd have to double-check to be sure. I think Lords of Waterdeep is the only game I remember having a 'proper' linen-stock texture, though.
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Chris Schumann
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One nice thing about the linen texture compared to their smooth cards is that the smooth cards scratch very easily. If you slide a smooth card across a table and happen to have a mote of grit under a card with a big solid color, you're likely to get a very noticeable scratch. Their linen cards are much more resistant to this because of the texture.

Here's another picture FWIW of my tiny Dominion cards. The texture is plainly visible, especially on Remodel.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/1673738/whizkid?size=orig...
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Jake Staines
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Whizkid wrote:
One nice thing about the linen texture compared to their smooth cards is that the smooth cards scratch very easily. If you slide a smooth card across a table and happen to have a mote of grit under a card with a big solid color, you're likely to get a very noticeable scratch. Their linen cards are much more resistant to this because of the texture.

The other big advantage to linen cards is that they have reduced friction, but not so reduced as a completely glossy card - so they shuffle better than non-textured cards (and far better than cardstock) and stack better than glossy/laminated cards.


EDIT: Now I have the time to look - here's an example of the same texture on a commercially-printed game card, from Gears of War:
http://boardgamegeek.com/image/1097160/gears-of-war-the-boar...
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stummy ache
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holgerd wrote:
arkemist wrote:
I asked PS for samples. The actual is covered in little indented dots and not glossy as the above pic might suggest. I see very positive reviews on the linen cards, but I have never seen dotted cards in games before and the dots don't look very good IMHO. It looks like a perforated edge, except it's a giant perforated rectangle covering the entire card.
Wait, I'm confused. Are you commenting on the picture or are you describing an actual, physical card you got from PS? (The photo depicts a proper criss-cross linen texture.)

Yep I did, they mailed it and it was received pretty timely. I tried to take photos with my camera to show the difference between their finishes, but it didn't show up well because really need to zoom in. Going to need to find another camera.

Thanks everyone for the quick and helpful replies. I really hadn't seen the dotted textures in games before. I suppose if one were looking to print a standalone deck, linen would be cool. But if you were matching something that is not already dotted, might go for smooth (my OCD/perfectionist side is still gnawing at me though).

Just an aside: the plastic cards are really nice! They feel great, durable, and the edges won't fray (I love this about the edges). They're thin, which is no problem with their durability, and means they won't take up a lot of space. My only pause might be the colours, I feel they might not pop as much (saturation/contrast), but the samples - which included a full photo - still looked fine. Well, that and the cost. They cost like 2x the standard/linen cards.
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Scott Dye
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I recently ordered both the smooth cards and the plastic cards from printer studio for a retheme I did of Love Letter. For that low-card-count game the plastic cards turned out great, but the full deck of 50+ cards did seem slick when holding it all at once. Seemed like they might be too slick if shuffling a large deck.

I had another set done in the sooth finish, and I initially liked those as well. However, I put them in a box and left them a few days. Now several of them have started to curl. One deck had about 40 cards, and two of them were curled quite a bit, so they won't lay flat on the table. Other smaller Love Letter decks (approx 20 cards each) are bowed as well. Frustrating.

FWIW, I ordered twice from them, but I would say they were printed within about 3 days of each other. Both sets of smooth finish ended up curling to some degree.

I have another retheme I and wanting to do, and can't decide which way to go…curious if the linen ones would have the same curling problem.
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Raithyn
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I haven't had any problems with curling on the linen finish cards. I don't have any smooth finish to compare to, but I imagine our humidity/temperature is fairly similar.
 
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Brett Nolan
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So just to be clear, the smooth finish shouldn't have any of these cross hatching marks...right?

The reason I'm asking is because I ordered two different decks, one of a game I am creating in smooth and the other (a PnP game I bought) in the linen finish and both clearly have a textured finish.

I had previously ordered a copy of one of my decks from Game Crafters, but their cards felt pretty cheap to me (so did the tuck box), so wanted to compare Printer Studio's smooth cards.
On the linen deck I did receive I noticed some stray marks, some bleeding on one card and few white unprinted pixels on several of the cards. The colors didn't seem uniform throughout the deck either, but that may just have been some poor lighting, need to check them again. :(

I sent them a message about the lack of smooth finish and waiting to hear back. Though the curling issues a few ppl reported with the smooth cards has me a little concerned now. However, I definitely think my game looks better with a smooth finish.
 
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