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Subject: Looking for a high-quality printer rss

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Lou Lessing
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I have a couple of games about two-thirds written (I'll be releasing print-and-play versions with both high-quality and stylized black-and-white art when they are done) and I am wondering if anyone here knows a website that will do very high-quality printing for me, because I want to have a nice copy of my own game. One of the games has a large, full-color board, and I suppose that could be done by any printer and just pasted onto a board. The other, however, has hexagonal tiles and circular tokens that need to be printed in color on cardboard thick enough that they will stay in place. I am also looking for somewhere that will print the cards that go with these games. If at all possible, somewhere that will die-cut them too, but if I end up with the sheets I've been meaning to get a die of my own anyway. I really can't afford a large run, so I need a printer that will accept a small job. I'm obviously new here, but this looked like the place to come for help like this.

Thanks!

-Bris
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Glenn Ironhat
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Syracuse
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I think most printers these days will try to do your job with a color copier if possible.

I would check out the kind of work that a print shop like Kinkos or Office Depot, etc. would be able to do for you.

If you have cardboard counters that need to be cut, that is a different story. But someone here will point you to the right place. I know there is a post about it on the site.
 
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Loren P
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Winston-Salem
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What I would recommend: open the yellow pages to "printers" and begin calling everyone. Seriously. I had to print some non-gaming stuff once - it was a very peculiar job with many qualifications (including, of course, a low price).
Just tell people what you want and request a quote. I'm not sure that an internet site would be that much cheaper (especially once you have to get everything shipped). Plus, this way you can drop by to look at proofs or something if you wish.
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Lou Lessing
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I'll give it a go, but I'm in Vermont, which is fairly nowhere-ish. Thanks! (Can print shops really print on thick cardboard?)
 
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Andrew Swan
Australia
Randwick
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The two print shops I went to recently (Kinko's and Kwik Kopy) could only print on cardstock up to 300gsm, which is not nearly as thick as cardboard. One alternative to printing on cardboard is printing on full-page labels (mine were A4, but maybe they go even bigger) and sticking the labels onto cardboard. This works well if the labels are good quality, i.e. aren't prone to peeling off. The Xerox labels I used for my copy of Valor & Victory seem very good.
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Mark V
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Regarding making counters:

In the USA, Avery makes the full sheet labels, I bought a pack of 25 sheets at Office Max for $13 and had them print counters from a couple Avalanche Press demos I got off their website. These labels come for inkjet printers as well, but the ones for laser printers are called:

(Avery) White Shipping Labels [Full Sheets 8 1/5" x 11"] Laser 5265

I'm fairly happy with the prints I got from Office Max and before I mount these counters on "Illustration Board" (a far less expensive non-archival option to Mat Board) I sprayed them lightly with Krylon "Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating 1303") which I got from Aaron Brothers Art Market along with the $4 sheet of Illustration board (30" x 40"). The coating added a slight bit of shine but didn't seem to affect the color laser print in any bad way.

I'm pretty happy with the color laser prints I got from Office Max, if anything they are a little bit dark (maybe the PDFs were dark to begin with?) - so next time I print counters I'll have them run two prints, one on a slightly lighter setting and then I'll choose which counters are easier to read.

By the way, if you go to places like Avalanche Press, they have articles on how to print and mount counters, I imagine other PnP sites that sell might have articles as well. Hope that helps.
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Matt Raven
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Nebraska
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I am an amateur game designer too.

I have struggled to find good printers to make my game designs. Unfortunately, I have had to settle for doing it myself, and investing in a large and powerful laser printer.

If your game is card based, or even just uses some cards, I have a good cheap trick for you:

Buy pre-cut, rounded corner, laminating pouches. I use the "School Card" size from laminator.com (5 mil weight). Print out your cards on card stock paper, cut them out neatly, then laminate them in the pouches.

Not only does this prevent the annoying "the cards arent exactly the same size so dont shuffle" problem, but it also makes them super strong and durable. They will last forever, and the pouches are dirt cheap. I use full page pouches to laminate big sheets, and cut out the shapes, too.

The downside is you will need a Hot Roller laminator to do it. You might be able to find cold laminating pouches, but the hot kinds heat up the glue and make a crystal clear finish. It actually brings out the colors in the card and makes them look even better.

That is what I do.

Matt
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Steve Sisk
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Another great resource for game designers is the Board Game Designers Forum (www.bgdf.com).

MattRaven wrote:
I use the "School Card" size from laminator.com (5 mil weight). Print out your cards on card stock . . .

The only problem is that 5 mil is a bit thick for cards, not a big deal with a smallish deck, but can get unwieldy if you have a fairly large size deck to shuffle or deal with.
 
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