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Subject: Any advice on card material? rss

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Nick Wirtz
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I'm very close to ordering a print run of cards, and am pricing things based on aesthetics and durability, hoping to get some advice on material and finish.

The cards are standard tarot dimensions (oversized: 2.75x4.75"), and we've been looking around. We've gotten some samples at 350 GSM, which felt a little light, despite being pretty durable (shuffled them violently and like an idiot for quite some time before seeing any ill effects, even bent them so the ends touched without any damage other than a temporary warp).

We're looking at going up to 400 GSM stock, as it has more heft, which will have a nicer feel (and hopefully more durability), but not sure if this will be a notable difference...

On finish, linen finish costs a lot more than simple gloss coating and I've heard arguments either way for the aesthetic value of the material.

Any thoughts?
 
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Patrick Barry
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increasing the thickness of the card might actually make them more vulnerable to creasing if bent.
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Jake Staines
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spiralingcadaver wrote:

We're looking at going up to 400 GSM stock, as it has more heft, which will have a nicer feel (and hopefully more durability), but not sure if this will be a notable difference...

On finish, linen finish costs a lot more than simple gloss coating and I've heard arguments either way for the aesthetic value of the material.


a) I would personally always always go with a linen finish over gloss. More texture means less chance of cards getting stuck together, better grip when holding them, and more subjectively, a nicer feel (to me, gloss finish often just feels cheap).

b) Don't worry so much about the weight or the thickness of the stock, worry about the spring and the opacity and things like that. I have cards from two separate PoD printers which are printed on similar weight card; one is much springier (better to shuffle) and more opaque than the other by far. I would rather have cards in a thin, light, opaque and springy stock than a thick and heavy stock that I can see through with a light behind it and doesn't bounce back to shape when a card gets slightly bent.

c) That said, I would tend to expect tarot cards to be proportionally heavier and thicker than regular playing cards, just because they're larger in size. But that's more of a psychological concern than a practical one!
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Nick Wirtz
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Thanks for the tips!

Patrick, that's a good point, I think I'll need to look at some more info on that aspect.

Jake, on stock, we've decided to go with linen if we can afford it- like you're saying, it's functionally better, and has a nicer feel. I just got some similar tips elsewhere on how to tell what nice stock is, so am feeling good on that (btw, though, would you recommend either PoD printer you mentioned?).

On weight, yeah, that was kind of our reaction- the 350GSM felt a little too close to regular cards- we're feeling confident on durability, but there's the all-important subjective first impression to take into account.

 
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