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775 E. 14 Mile Rd, Clawson, MI 48017   map   (Just east of Rochester Road)         Hours:    Mon: 11:30 - 9pm       Tuesday - Saturday: 11:30 - 10pm            Sun: 11:30 - 8pm
Print-on-Demand Services

POD Playing Cards
POD Books

POD Cards
Layout & File Prep
POD Card Design Guide
Packaging & Accessories

The company, DBA The Guild of Blades Retail Group is a separate legal entity from the Guild of Blades Publishing Group. The Guild of Blades trademark is used under license. Any and all inquiries for the Retail Group should be addressed to 775 E. 14 Mile Rd, Clawson MI 48017. Or call 248-430-4980.

Print-on-Demand Playing Cards

03/28/2011: GOB Retail POD at this time is not accepting any new print clients. We remain operational but are only doing reprint for existing clients while undergoing a series of equipment and program upgrades. We shall resume taking new clients when all upgrades are complete.

In March of 2008 we pioneered the process of making customized, print on demand die cut playing cards. It was an major advance in the POD printing field, where previously there were only books. Print on Demand cards was a technology our sister company, the Guild of Blades Publishing Group had been waiting anxiously for someone to figure out. After one failed attempt by a company and several others having declared intent to offer such a service, but it never materializing, we set out to piece together the puzzle and do it ourselves. Having mastered that puzzle, print on demand playing cards became the service we founded the new Guild of Blades Retail Group around. Now, the GOB Retail Group does much more today, including POD Books and Mini Books, operating brick and mortar hobby game stores, an e-commerce store, consulting services and more. But we remain at the forefront of the fledgling print on demand industry for custom playing cards and are committed to expanding the field, both in service, price and overall quality and package offerings.

Presently the GOB Retail Group is only printing standard sized playing cards. Those are 2.5" x 3.5" game cards with 1/8" rounded corners. This is the standard card sized used in the printing of most poker decks and almost all trading card games. Cards are printed onto a 12pt cover stock with a clear clay coating using high quality Xerox printers. We can print both white bordered cards and cards with full bleed edges and can provide a variety of packaging formats and services to accompany your card printing. The 12pt stock is not exactly the same thing as true "playing card" stock, but is the absolute closest thing that we have found can be printed using digital printers as they exist today. A couple minor differences should be noted, which are remarked further below. We remain hopeful that continued advances in digital printing technology will allow for actual playing card stock to be printed in the future.

As the original and market leader for print on demand custom die cut playing cards, we have found the demand in the market has far out paced our ability to meet that demand. This is due to the non existence of previously designed die cutting equipment specifically tailored for efficient POD production of playing cards. So for the moment, we are only accepting new clients on a case by case basis, as we reserve the bulk of our production capacity for meeting the ongoing and growing needs of our existing POD card clients. We are, however, working with some local machine shops to get some custom tooled die cutters and other equipment to help us expand our ability to service the POD card market. This is a virtual laundry list of equipment that will first allow to both improve the die cut accuracy of the cards further and expand our production capacity to keep up with the growing demand, then eventually expand into mounted POD game boards, tiles, hexes, die cut markers/counters and nice 2 piece set up card and board game boxes.

If you would like to keep up with developments as they happen, feel free to join our Yahoo Group for our POD Printing services.

How Do These Cards Differ From Regular Playing Cards?
It should be noted there are two principle differences between POD Playing Cards and traditional playing cards produced on offset presses. These are as follows:

1) Paper Stock: Traditionally playing cards are printed on specialized clay coated stocks designed specifically for playing card printing. The clay coating gives the cards some "bounce", allowing them to snap back more easily after being bent during shuffling. Sadly, clay coated stocks simply do not work well on the digital printers most oft used for doing POD style printing. The Carolina cover stock we print on has some bounce being a cover stock and because the stock has a gloss coating on both sides, however, that bounce is perhaps only half that of the clay coated stocks. Not all playing cards are printed on the same paper stocks. A game like Magic the Gathering is printed on a two ply stock for extra durability and bounce giving it a thickness roughly equal to a 16pt cover stock while a card like Yugio is printed on a much thinner weight stock. The 12pt Carolina cover we print on is the maximum thickness most digital printers can handle and is roughly equal to the card thickness of a Yugio or other comperable card games.

1) Gloss Coating: Without running the cards through a traditional 5 color (or more) offset printing press, we have no cost effective means to apply a post printing glossy layer such as a flood varnish or UV coating. However, the cover stock we have chosen to for printing on was specifically chosen because it has a nice glossy coating on both sides. This means the cards still have a glossy appearance, however, the printing is printed on top of that glossy layer, so where you have a sizable patch of printing that is a dark and solid color, the gloss appearance shows less. The difference is not very noticable, but to someone experienced at printing, close scrutiny of the print would show this.

You can join our Yahoo Group for our POD Printing services.


Layout & File Prep

POD Card Design Guide

Packaging & Accessories

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