Preparing Your Cards

Jeff Montgomery -

Preparing Your Cards

Resources you can use in preparing your printed cards, your print-n-play cards, and your rulebooks.

We recommend using InDesign or Illustrator to prepare your cards for print; both programs allow you to work well with art and text and do a great job of ensuring proper ink coverage. These programs are expensive, so you might consider Scribus (a free layout program) for getting started.

We suggest you do not use Microsoft Word or Photoshop to lay out your cards. Reasons:

  • Photoshop, while fantastic for manipulating art—used in tandem with InDesign, it will get you quality results—will on its own oftentimes not allow for full and proper ink coverage of text when you export to PDF.
  • Word will not allow you to select an actual ink for the text color and you will have a hard time getting your ink coverage just right.

Printing Specifications

Tutorials

Templates

See the above tutorials for using InDesign or Scribus. The PDF templates can be used with any layout program.

Card Size/Type

Template (InDesign)

Template (PDF)

Template (Scribus)

US Poker (2.5” x 3.5”) Get this template Get this template Get this template
Euro Poker (63mm x 88mm) Get this template Get this template Get this template
US Bridge (2.25” x 3.5”) Get this template Get this template Get this template
Mini (1.625” x 2.5”) Get this template Get this template Get this template
Tarot (2.75" x 4.75") Get this template Get this template Get this template
Tile (6” x 6”) Get this template Get this template Get this template
Tile (8” x 10”) Get this template Get this template Get this template
Page (8.5” x 11”) Get this template Get this template Get this template
Small Poster (12” x 18”) Get this template Get this template Get this template

*NOTE: If your InDesign template downloads with an .xml extension, rename the file so it ends with the proper .inx extension. 

Portrait vs. Landscape

Regardless of how your cards are meant to be played, your print-ready PDF must be in portrait orientation. However, if your cards are meant to be played horizontally (landscape), you'll still use the templates as-is, but it will raise an important question for you and impact how your file is prepped.

If you want your cards to flip this way:

OrientationHeadtoFoot.png

... then your PDF will contain the pages/cards rotated the same way, like so:

OrientationLayoutSampleHtoF.png

[Samples courtesy of publisher Cheapass Games and its "Falling: Real Time Card Game."]

 

If you want your cards to flip this way:

 ... you'd alternate the orientation every other page, like so:

[Samples courtesy of Michael Kiely, Mass Middle Games, and "Twistocity."]

Rulebook and Print-n-Play Cards

Common Card Preparation Issues and Solutions


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