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Subject: My recent Printerstudio experience rss

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Eric Etkin
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[Re-posted from a different thread, since I figured this Printerstudio info might be useful to others]

My prototype cards arrived yesterday from Printerstudio, exactly when specified in the initial order (so... about 4 days to make and another 3-4 for shipping). this was my first time dealing with PS, and I selected them because I had a large batch of cards (198) and I wanted an easy uploading interface (rather than the templates SuperiorPOD and Gamecrafter use).

I'll try to post pictures when I have access to decent lighting (which is hard to do when it's overcast all the time....).

Anyhow - I ordered 198 cards with the linen finish. Some quick thoughts as follows:

- Quality of stock is excellent. Corners look great. Linen looks great... I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between these cards and those of a mass-printed game.

- Registration is tight. Cards were cut consistently. My only gripe here is the futtzing required to get a standard 2.3 x 3.5 card with a 1/8 inch bleed to fit their template. It took some trial and error, and I had to create a script in CS3 to format the cards. At the end of the day, the "safe area" PS requires is much, much too generous and was misleading. I ended up shrinking my cards to accommodate the alleged safe zone, and IMO I overcorrected where it was unnecessary.

- Color saturation and depth is not apparently up to par with Superior POD. This may have to do with the linen finish or CMYK to RGB jpg conversion (when working with Spod I send CMYK PSD files), but since I have no other type of printerstudio cards to compare, I can't say for sure. Others may offer similar or differing experiences.

All told, the cards in general look great, and the detail is fine, though not quite on par with Spod. The main point of contention is the color depth - the colors in general just look washed out and not nearly as vibrant as Spod's print job. Still - good looking cards, especially with the finish, but the beautiful color palette my graphic designer provided is somewhat lost in translation. soblue

So, Printerstudio advantages:

- A generally easy-to-use and edit upload GUI. Once you have the bleed area figured out, it's painless, but there's a learning curve. Just be aware that the red box PS suggests for the "safe area" is very, very conservative.

- Super quick turn around with good, pro packaging.

- Linen finish option is near-pro looking.

- Registration and card cuts are consistent and clean.


Printerstudio disadvantages:

- Color depth is somewhat washed out, giving your cards a flat look. If you design for personal or private use and use RGB instead of CMYK, this might not be an issue. It may also not be an issue with non-linen finish.

- No (obvious) way to share a project so others can access your cards for personal ordering (I'm testing a workaround for the TactDecks: Reign of Heroes PNP).

- Detail level and "chrome" not quite as good as SuperiorPOD. SPod is still the best-looking POD out there.

- Price level a little bit higher than others (though coupon codes and discounts are abundant). For three decks of 198 cards with linen finish, I paid just under $60 USD. Shipping was free (for orders over $30).

All in all - Yes, I'd definitely use them again.
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Patrick Robles
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Do you have pictures that would illustrate the safe zone disparity, or however it should be referred as.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Did this include a rulebook? Or are the rules on some of the cards?

At 20$ a deck for nearly 200 cards thats not too bad really.

Game Crafter I checked out and to make a 108 card game with box came to 12.15. 198 cards would cost 17.16. + 5.58 for two 108 card boxes.
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Eric Etkin
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Patrick Robles wrote:
Do you have pictures that would illustrate the safe zone disparity, or however it should be referred as.


I will... but the lighting in my house sucks, and I'm at the mercy of the sun and clouds.

In the meantime, the original thread might give you a decent idea:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/908997/pod-printers-for-a-ea...
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Eric Etkin
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Omega2064 wrote:
Did this include a rulebook? Or are the rules on some of the cards?

At 20$ a deck for nearly 200 cards thats not too bad really.

Game Crafter I checked out and to make a 108 card game with box came to 12.15. 198 cards would cost 17.16. + 5.58 for two 108 card boxes.


That was purely for a deck of almost 200 cards with linen finish. Nothing else.

Yeah - really, it's not bad if you factor in the free shipping... if you're ordering one deck of 200 cards though, you're looking at about $19 for the deck, plus a hefty shipping charge.
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Russ Spears
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MOTHDevil wrote:

- Color depth is somewhat washed out, giving your cards a flat look. If you design for personal or private use and use RGB instead of CMYK, this might not be an issue. It may also not be an issue with non-linen finish.

I placed a small test order of cards with Printerstudio of cards I had also ordered from Artscow. As you stated above, the Printerstudio cards were a little more flat in their color that the Artscow, but only because I was looking at them with a critical eye.

When I was uploading to Printerstudio I was worried about everything being in the safe area in the preview even though I had laid out the graphics to be within the safe area. As part of my test, I changed the size of the graphics I uploaded:
Card 1 was 780px X 1081px @300DPI
I reduced the size of each successive card file by 1%, until:
Card 19 was 640px X 886px @300DPI

When I received the cards the graphics on each were scaled up to full size (780x1081) and everything important was in the safe area as I had designed. This eased my mind enough that I went ahead and placed a full order, which should hopefully arrive Tuesday.

I have a future project which requires some half-size cards. Originally The Game Crafter was the only place I could see to easily produce these, but since Printerstudio just started offering this size I'll probably stick with them.
 
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