Monday, October 21, 2013

Back from the Printers - 2012-13 ABL In Hand

Well, I received the my first batch of 2012-13 ABL cards from the printers on Friday, containing just over 50 cards. Here's quick review of how they came up:

I've already got my fisrt part of my 2012-13 ABL cards into a binder.
  • Matte finish. Historically I've had my cards created with a hi-gloss finish. The matte finish on the cards is noticeable, making them appear a bit duller to what I'm used to in previous season's cards.
  • Card stock. Again a lighter card stock than what I've used in the past, but they're acceptable. As I suspected, the cards have very much a "Playing Card" feel about them, especially with the rounded corners. I'm actually quite a fan of rounded corners - the number of cards I've gotten in the past with corner damage from shipping, even from new printed cards, is annoying and has sold me on rounded corners.
  • Size. Despite the "playing card" design, they do have the normal 3½" x 2½" size sans corners. Happy with that as some printers offer the ability to print trading cards, but they're often non-standard sizes. 
  • Centering. Is pretty good - not every card is 50/50 - maybe a couple of 55/45, bur most seem to be good. The US printer had always been good until my last batch where there were a bunch of 70/30 centred cards. Despite taking my design over the bleed markings there were occasionally a few slivers of white in the bottom left hand corner
  • Colour. The colouring appears consistent, but some of the backgrounds seemed a bit oversaturated for teams like the Cavalry, and the matte finish made the Bite's cards seem a bit lacklustre in comparison.
  • Clarity. The photos appear reasonably crisp with only a slight reduction in clarity from the on-screen designs Whilst the American printed cards were always very crisp image wise, it always felt like there was a bit of "Colour bleed" in the images.
Close up of the printed copy of my 2012-13 Adam Buschini card

Close up of the printed copy of my 2012-13 Stefan Welch card

So, how would I rate these Chinese printed cards compared to the American printed cards in the past? There are some greater strengths (rounded corners, not as dark), and some negatives (matte finish, slight inconsistency in where bleed edging finishes), but overall, definitely an acceptable standard, especially at roughly a quarter the price of the American cards. Now I've got to get the card backs for the next 50 cards finished so I can send them off to get printed.

1 comment:

  1. Personally, I've always hated glossy cards. I feel it is usually a waste of extra production costs that only makes what should be normal base cards, just a bit more expensive, for no real gain. That's sort of how I felt when comic books went away from newsprint, to glossy paper. It didn't help the story, but it drove the comics prices up $1 an issue. And I really like the idea of rounded corners. That seems to be something that you really only see with trading card games and a few sets from Asian countries.