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Subject: Card Design Questions rss

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James Mangum
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I am designing a card that is describes both a light mechanic and a darkness mechanic. I have currently bisected the card so the top half is white with black text. The bottom is black with white text.

Are there any guidelines on font sizes for clear reading?

Also, is white two plain? Should I go with a yellow instead?

(I obviously did something wrong in GIMP for the text on the bottom. I am going to try again in Photoshop.)

This card, of course, is just a first draft prototype, but I would appreciate any suggestions.

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Shelby Buttimer
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I think a border around the edge would make it look more finished. A white border on the dark part and a black border on the white part. Other than that I think it's fine.
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James Mangum
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Thanks, Shelby. I do think it looks sharper.

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Steve Zagieboylo
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You can't really make a thin border like that, because cutting it is not that precise. When you design cards, you leave a trim space of an 1/8 inch, and then you should not put anything important in the next 1/8 inch. My experience with professional printing is that they are within 1/32 of the trim line, and extremely precise. That is, they will all be cut at the same spot, accurate beyond where my eye could tell. (I'm using an engineer's definition of accurate and precise.)

If it is important that you can't recognize cards from the side, you should make them all the same for that quarter of an inch. It's ok if it isn't a solid color, because, as I said, they will all be cut at the same point, even if it is a tiny bit off from the cut line, so they will all have the same bleed through showing at the edges.

BTW, I made my first game using primarily Paint.net, a tool which fills the same niche as Gimp. However, I just learned about NanDECK, and I already love it. (Cue the dog from "Up.") Using NanDECK, you'll have a spreadsheet that has "BROOM STRIKE", "0 = 3 Damage", etc. Then in your NanDECK module, you'll tell it font and location for each piece of text, based on the column name, and it will construct all the cards for you. If you decide that you want to change the font for the text from that column (because someone like me points out to you that anything in all caps should be in a sans-serif font) then you just change that in one place and push a button.
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Braden Nash
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Zag24 wrote:
You can't really make a thin border like that, because cutting it is not that precise. When you design cards, you leave a trim space of an 1/8 inch, and then you should not put anything important in the next 1/8 inch.


I learned that lesson the hard way by putting a black board around the back of the cards I created. Every printer has a certain amount of inconsistencies when printing from front to back... Even with those being minimal, it is way noticeable when you start cutting them out. Create a document with 1/8 bleed lines, and safety lines (1/4 inch total) so that there is no doubt it will look spot on.

Your card looks really cool though! I wouldn't worry to much about font size. What I have noticed is that the text seems to grow when you see the physical cards So if anything, make the font smaller then you think it has to be.
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DesignMachine Games
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Normal reading size is between 9 pt - 12 pt. So says my old design Prof.
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Braden Nash
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DesignMachineGames wrote:
Normal reading size is between 9 pt - 12 pt. So says my old design Prof.


I guess you should start worrying if you have a font size of like 20 or above or 6 and under. Think college paper format!
 
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Luis da Ponte Alayza
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DesignMachineGames wrote:
Normal reading size is between 9 pt - 12 pt. So says my old design Prof.


Depends on the font used, but yes that's agood rule of thumb. Anyway you would like to print a sample to see if the font size is not too small.
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Patrick Fahy

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I feel like the black and white areas need some texture to them. Maybe light lines radiating from the title on the top white section. The bottom black section could have wispy haze / smoke. You could keep these black and white and maybe just make the line weight different... or you could make them a medium gray tone to join the entire card together as one in its over all design. This could flow out into a cool looking border as well.

The picture in my head right now seems pretty cool at least hah!
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Andrew Rowse
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If cards are held in a player's hand and they get to choose whether to use them for the black or white ability, I really hate the practice of putting the second effect upside down like this - it raises the cognitive load of being aware of all your options, and makes it easier to forget that you were saving a card for its white effect and accidentally use it for its black effect.

If, OTOH, the cards don't get held in hand, or black/white is not a choice the players get to make, then I have no problem with it

Nandeck is well worth learning how to use. Automation will make your life MUCH easier!
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Filip W.
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Being of that age where I need glasses: don't waste space on nothing! Increase the size of the text to use as much of the empty space as possible!
 
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