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Subject: Alternative to Artscow? rss

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Chris
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I bumped into one of the vendors I used to work with, at a presentation on (ironically) using games in the workplace for training/engagement.

She mentioned that her company also could produce playing cards (similar to Artscow).

I sent her the Artscow website (since I've never used them yet), and asked her to compare/contrast her service. She responded, saying they have cards in all sizes and shapes, (round, ergonomic, triangular, bridge size, poker size) custom faces, stock designs, etc., and they are certainly competitive when it comes to pricing.

I've never used them for cards, either; but I have used them for other collateral, and always been happy with the results.

If anyone wants to check them out, the name of the company is Bradley Marketing Group (http://bradleymg.com/). You can contact my contact directly - Sheila Ziegler, SZiegler@bradleymg.com. You could probably tell her you saw this post (if only to show her where the lead is coming from).

In the issue of disclosure, I don't get anything out of this -- I just happened to see a lot of threads on artscow, and asked her if this was an area they were competitive in. At best, this provides another alternative (which is never a bad thing!)

Chris
 
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Andrew Tullsen
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I don't really see a place to order cards, or anything that shows they can do cards.

Or is it one of those places where you have to contact them, and then they'll set it all up for you?
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Matthew Kloth
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After poking around I found the storefront and searched for "custom playing cards"
http://tinyurl.com/yht3stu (the link was 280 characters long and broke when pasted into BGG)

I'm not sure if they are actually the printer since I've seen a lot of those identical pictures in other promo/marketing/solutions type places. The prices are the same as the others I've seen. It's possible the printers don't want to talk to individual customers and go through places like that. The prices are reasonable from what I've looked at.

Edit: I quick google search confirms the printers only talk to promotional product firms. Example: http://www.bluprimecards.com/
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Walt
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This seems to be a promotional product firm rather than a print on demand company like Artscow. The playing cards are $2.21 per deck, bridge size, but it's two-color printing, not four-color (full color) and minimum quantity 1000, or $2210.00.

So, this company might be good for self-publishing--though 1000 copies is a full production run for a lot of game companies--but it's no good for one-off decks.
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Jesse McGatha
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Do they have square cards?
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Chris
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Tall_Walt wrote:
This seems to be a promotional product firm rather than a print on demand company like Artscow. The playing cards are $2.21 per deck, bridge size, but it's two-color printing, not four-color (full color) and minimum quantity 1000, or $2210.00.

So, this company might be good for self-publishing--though 1000 copies is a full production run for a lot of game companies--but it's no good for one-off decks.



Agreed - but, I asked about one-off decks, and she said they could do that (she said, "we can 52 cards, all the same; or 52 cards, each one different") I had explained to her that the people on this site would only be interested in one, maybe two, decks.

I've never used Artscow, so I have no way to compare. But, I figured, it doesn't hurt to put it out there. It's possible they're not ideal for this market - but, I'd suggest someone contact her directly, with a comparable product to what they used for Artscow to get a price. As I said, she indicated they were "very competitive," in pricing...I doubt she'd be suggesting that only if people had to buy 1000 quantity!
 
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Walt
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Lemur wrote:
Agreed - but, I asked about one-off decks, and she said they could do that (she said, "we can 52 cards, all the same; or 52 cards, each one different") I had explained to her that the people on this site would only be interested in one, maybe two, decks.

I wonder if she really understood that you meant one or two copies of one or two decks, or whether she thought you meant 1000 copies of one or two decks. Printers have different assumptions than print-on-demand (POD) people. More info on offset printing.

I'm pretty sure from their offerings they're talking about offset printing on the offerings when I looked at their site. Offset printing has significant set up costs. If they also have POD capability, I didn't see it.

POD is comparable to what comes off an inkjet printer. I've played with an Artscow deck. They have good color, but are a rather mediocre deck of cards. Nothing really wrong with them, but they don't feel as nice as a Bicycle deck, much less linen finish or plastic.
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Chris
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Tall_Walt wrote:
Lemur wrote:
Agreed - but, I asked about one-off decks, and she said they could do that (she said, "we can 52 cards, all the same; or 52 cards, each one different") I had explained to her that the people on this site would only be interested in one, maybe two, decks.

I wonder if she really understood that you meant one or two copies of one or two decks, or whether she thought you meant 1000 copies of one or two decks. Printers have different assumptions than print-on-demand (POD) people. More info on offset printing.

I'm pretty sure from their offerings they're talking about offset printing on the offerings when I looked at their site. Offset printing has significant set up costs. If they also have POD capability, I didn't see it.

POD is comparable to what comes off an inkjet printer. I've played with an Artscow deck. They have good color, but are a rather mediocre deck of cards. Nothing really wrong with them, but they don't feel as nice as a Bicycle deck, much less linen finish or plastic.



I think/thought I was pretty explicit about what people would want. It's very possible (as someone else said earlier) that it's not a situation where it's advertised on their site (there were times, when I was looking for collateral, that I had to ask about something I didn't see).

In the end, I haven't used artscow and have no plans to do any custom card decks, so I have no frame of reference (otherwise, my inquiry would've been more specific). Someone who has used artscow can ask about such a thing and determine the suitability/competitiveness, I'd think.
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