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Author Topic: Does anybody make their own cards?  (Read 1247 times)

Benny Profane

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Does anybody make their own cards?
« on: August 11, 2020, 01:02:06 pm »

I use Moab Entradalopes for card stock. I'm curious if anybody has used other papers for cards, and cut and scored them yourself. What tools work best, if so?
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vrkaya

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2020, 01:28:43 pm »

Hi Benny,

I make cards all the time for local artists who paint watercolors and then want them scanned and made into greeting cards around the holidays. They want it to look like a watercolor so I really like Canson Infinity Aquarelle Rag Fine Art Watercolor paper. I love the weight of it and it looks great for my customers.

I use the LETTER size and I bend all of them manually myself. Just take a straight edge and then BURNISH the fold line (don't score it) and it has worked perfectly. I make 5x7 folded cards so after folding I trim them with my paper cutter and customers love them. A bit of labor but I get into a groove with it, plus the customers pay for the labor so it has worked well here.

The only issue I have found is the Canson is getting a bit harder to find, but I just stock up on it every so often to make sure I have plenty at the holidays.

Ron
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jmichael

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2020, 06:40:35 am »

I use a paper scorer which speeds up the scoring process. If ou buy one try to find one with a metal ridge, some use plastic which wears easily. We’ve also used the Red River pre-scored paper and like that.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2020, 10:01:52 am »

I have only used Museo Artist Cards but they have been discontinued.  Honestly, I don't do much with cards any more even though my Canon Pro-1000 can feed them from the top auto slot.  I can't sell them for a profit and the only use is to print on demand for family members.   ;D
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dkoretz

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2020, 10:58:54 am »

Red River sells scored card stock made from more than a dozen of their photographic papers. I've always used Polar Matte, but they have stock from a bunch of their fine art papers as well.
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e3

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2020, 12:53:47 am »

Hello,

Yes, I've been making folded greeting cards for the past few years - wonderful.

Here is my writeup on the process. As the first responder replied, burnishing the fold line is paramount. Other than that, the next important part is being able to write on the inside of the card.

Greeting Cards - Connecting with people and art

p.s. Apparatenly I need to be a maths genius to use this site. Ugh.
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Benny Profane

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2020, 10:26:42 am »

Awesome, thanks.
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Bob_B

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2020, 12:43:35 pm »

Red River sells scored card stock made from more than a dozen of their photographic papers. I've always used Polar Matte, but they have stock from a bunch of their fine art papers as well.

I've used Red River card stock for several years, and like the results. Their photoshop and lightroom scripts make it quite easy to get decent results fast. The quality of RR paper is pretty good IMHO, not top grade, but better than average.
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JeffSD

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2020, 05:54:15 pm »

I'm glad Benny brought this up because I'm looking for a new way to do cards.

I always enjoyed the look of the Galen Rowell cards that were sold by Mountain Light Gallery before it closed a couple of years ago. They featured small images (4.25" x 6.5") printed on high quality paper, affixed to 7" x 10" scored card stock. I thought they looked great; like holding miniature versions of Galen's prints.

Over the past few years, I emulated the MLG approach by printing 4" x 6" images on Hahnemühle Photo Rag and Photo Rag Baryta, cutting the prints down to full bleed with my Rotatrim, affixing them (using iCraft Tape Runner permanent adhesive) to scored Red River card stock and putting them (and envelopes) in clear-top boxes purchased from U-Line.

They look nice and people seem to like them, but I'd never recommend my method if you're trying make a business out of making cards. It's too time-consuming. In fact, I don't even try to sell them. I give them to friends, family and people who have an interest in my work. If someone insists on paying for them (yes, it's happened ;D) I have them make a donation to a local charity. So, a terrible business model, but, hopefully, decent marketing with a dash of good karma.

I would like to get to a point where I can print high quality cards in a much more efficient way and will be interested in learning how other folks do it.

Best,
Jeff
   

praja343

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2020, 12:39:03 pm »

Jeff:
Thanks for the details.
Definitely NOT a terrible model, business or otherwise. Spreading art, beauty and joy and benefiting local charities .... wish more people would do that.
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mearussi

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2020, 08:04:11 pm »

My technique is also labor intensive in that it requires me to cut down an 8.5x11 sheet to 5x7 final size and then score it. I also have the problem of not liking cheap paper so each 8.5x11 costs over $1.00, so it's really not worth my time to make them if I can't get at least $5.00 each, which is why I quit making them.

The only people I've seen make any money from cards are those who have them printed in mass using 4 color offset, which requires a lot of money up front. 
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Ferp

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2020, 07:39:02 pm »

I use both these approaches.  I mostly use Red River pre-scored 5x7 card stock, particularly for bulk card runs, e.g. for Christmas.  Occasionally I will print on a larger sheet of fine art paper and trim and score.  One advantage of this is that you can print the card front borderless, which is hard to do on card stock, but as others have said, it is labour intensive.  But even the RR pre-scored stock isn't a walk in the park, as you can't just load up the sheet feeder and let them run, as they don't feed cleanly this way.  So you have to stand over the printer and feed them one at a time.  Tedious.  I certainly don't regard cards printed either way as a money-making proposition. 
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mearussi

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2020, 09:11:18 pm »

I use both these approaches.  I mostly use Red River pre-scored 5x7 card stock, particularly for bulk card runs, e.g. for Christmas.  Occasionally I will print on a larger sheet of fine art paper and trim and score.  One advantage of this is that you can print the card front borderless, which is hard to do on card stock, but as others have said, it is labour intensive.  But even the RR pre-scored stock isn't a walk in the park, as you can't just load up the sheet feeder and let them run, as they don't feed cleanly this way.  So you have to stand over the printer and feed them one at a time.  Tedious.  I certainly don't regard cards printed either way as a money-making proposition.
I only rational I've ever come up with for printing and selling my own cards is advertisement. People pay a few bucks for your card and then (usually) mail it to someone else. If your web site is good and the card recipient likes your work they might buy a larger print.
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Ferp

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2020, 08:42:08 pm »

If your web site is good and the card recipient likes your work they might buy a larger print.

Not that I've noticed.  Moreover there's a risk than card sales could displace print sales.  It was pointed out to me by another photographer that 5x7 cards printed, scored and trimmed from a sheet of fine art paper, with the image borderless on the card front, are large enough to frame and not that much smaller than the prints I'd normally exhibit.  So not a good idea to do as an adjunct to an exhibition or to stimulate sales.  For that I think you need to make the image relatively small, and for that pre-scored stock is less hassle than the manual score-and-trim approach.
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Ken Bennett

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2020, 01:51:35 pm »

I use the Red River cards, all for personal work. I ran the numbers years ago, and there is almost no money to be made in card sales :)

I love the idea of making separate prints and attaching them to the cards - that would look great. Going to try it.
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mearussi

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2020, 07:26:15 pm »

I use the Red River cards, all for personal work. I ran the numbers years ago, and there is almost no money to be made in card sales :)

I love the idea of making separate prints and attaching them to the cards - that would look great. Going to try it.
The key is to not use a water based glue or your card paper will warp when it absorbs the water from the glue.
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Dan Wells

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Re: Does anybody make their own cards?
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2020, 12:51:02 am »

All of the above techniques work for personal projects - I'm still trying to find one that is not cash-negative trying to sell cards. By the time you pay for supplies and pay yourself anything at all for labor, you can't make anything. One technique that holds some promise is the use of a cutting plotter (it's in an upcoming article), which can cut cards out of roll paper very quickly and precisely. If you combine a cutting plotter with a paper scorer, it's probably possible to cut cards out of a roll economically. It'll take a lot of cards to pay off the investment, though.

The other option is the 4-color (or better yet 6-color) offset route. Finding a print shop that will use something like an HP Indigo digital press will make the minimum order more reasonable, but it's still high.
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