How Are Card Games Printed?

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By Eric Wilson

Card games are a popular form of entertainment that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages. From classic games like poker, solitaire, and blackjack to newer games like Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens, the variety of card games available is endless.

But have you ever wondered how these cards are printed? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the process of printing card games.

The Printing Process

Printing card games involves several steps and requires specialized equipment. The process typically starts with designing the cards using software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Once the design is finalized, it’s time to start printing.

Step 1: Pre-Press Setup

The first step in printing card games is pre-press setup. This involves preparing the artwork for printing by separating each color into its own layer and converting it into a format that can be used by the printer. This ensures that each color is printed accurately and in the correct position.

Step 2: Printing

Once the pre-press setup is complete, it’s time to start printing. Card game printers use a technique called offset printing, which involves transferring ink from a metal plate onto a rubber blanket before finally transferring it onto the paper or cardstock.

The printer loads the paper or cardstock into the machine and aligns it with the metal plates containing the artwork for each color. The printer then applies ink to each plate one at a time, transferring it onto the rubber blanket before finally applying it to the paper or cardstock.

Step 3: Cutting and Finishing

After printing is complete, it’s time to cut and finish the cards. The printer uses specialized cutting machines that can cut large sheets of paper or cardstock into individual cards with precision.

Once cut, the cards may undergo additional finishing processes such as rounding corners, applying a varnish or UV coating, or embossing.

The Importance of Quality Printing

Printing card games is a complex process that requires attention to detail and specialized equipment. Quality printing is essential for creating cards that are durable, visually appealing, and easy to shuffle and deal.

Poor quality printing can result in cards that are difficult to read or easily damaged. It’s important to choose a reputable printer with experience in printing card games to ensure that your cards are of the highest quality.


Printing card games is a complex process that involves several steps and specialized equipment. The process starts with pre-press setup, followed by printing using offset printing techniques and finishing with cutting and additional processes such as varnishing or embossing.

The importance of quality printing cannot be overstated. Choosing a reputable printer with experience in printing card games is essential for creating cards that are visually appealing, durable, and easy to use. So next time you’re playing your favorite card game, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into creating those cards!