Belle of the Ball Prototype Cards from SuperiorPOD

New Belle of the Ball prototype cards from SuperiorPOD
For independent or DIY game designers, there haven't been many affordable options for printing card games until recently. I decided to try out SuperiorPOD mainly because their pricing structure was clear, their interface was easy to use and their templates were super-helpful. Here are the results of two separate card orders.

These cards are pretty thick and sturdy. They're not matte or linen, which would normally be ideal for game cards, but they still shuffle extremely well. Above, you see the thickness of a full 108-card deck, which is the largest deck SuperiorPOD offers on their website.

The first order printed much brighter and yellower than I intended. That order was printed from a print-ready PDF (PDF-X 2008 Protocol). I suspect some of those vector elements just rendered unexpectedly. In the second order, the files were simple flattened TIFFs. Larger file size, but also simpler to render.

As you can see, the reds, grays and oranges are mostly the same in both printings. However, the second printing more accurately picked up the subtle beige background patterns as intended.

The blues, teals and greens were the biggest problem areas in the first printing. They printed much yellower, which turned a teal into an aqua. The second printing still had a touch too much yellow in the skin tone, but otherwise was much improved.

And take a look at how thick they print black ink. You can really see it raised off the surface of the cardstock. This might be what makes the cards easier to shuffle. The irregularly raised black ink may create just enough void between the cards to let them sift easily between each other. In the aggregate, this may also make the deck bigger than you expect, so make sure your box isn't too small.

First Order
Files Sent to SuperiorPOD: April 8
Shipment Sent by SuperiorPOD: April 24
Package Arrived: April 27

Second Order
Files Sent to SuperiorPOD: May 2
Shipment Sent by SuperiorPOD: May 14
Package Arrived: May 17

Overall, I'm satisfied with the results! It takes some very conscious tweaking of your files to get the best output, but if you're looking for an affordable POD printer for your card games, give SuperiorPOD a shot. Soon, I'll print some cards with The Game Crafter and report the results.
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.