Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cardboard Creations: Need Some Advice

Recently I was asked by a fellow member of SCF (Sports Card Forum) about them printing some of my custom card designs, particularly my Fractal Mask designs. Apparently he knows a print shop that can produce decent quality printed hockey cards. My question for you guys is what should I do here? Have you been in this spot before?

I am definitely interested in seeing what my designs would look like on an actual piece of cardboard, but at the same time I do not want to worry about copyright infringement or any of that mess with all the pictures and logos I've "borrowed" for these designs. Have any of you that design and print custom cards had any issues with printing them?

The other thing is the guy offered to pay me for the designs, which I am really leaning against at this point, just to avoid any possible legal issues. Instead he threw out the option of printing me my own set for my efforts, which in my opinion is much cooler anyway.

Decisions, decisions....

That's only one of the dilemmas I'm facing with this whole situation. The other is the fact that I have no card back design for any of my custom sets, let alone the only one the guy wants to print. Just for a refresher, here's what the fronts of these cards look like:

Now for the backs, something I've never attempted to design before. It's got the obvious necessities like the card number and player info, but beyond that I had to kind of just wing it and this is what I came up with:

What do you guys think? 

I think for the sake of simplicity, I will keep the same fractal on the back of every card in the set, just to make it so I only have one back template file to deal with. Other than that, I'm open to any suggestions you guys have about the design. 


  1. I've thought about what it would be like to see my customs printed out "professionally" but have passed on it for just that reason.

    I have pursued where to get my cards printed in the past (I've gone to local print and photocopy shops, but nothing major) and have had mild success. It's more the quality I noticed was lacking. I ended up printing them out myself. While not "professional", I am most happy with the results currently.

    I would suggest that if you do get help from someone else in printing your cards that you trust the person implicitly. I would also say that initially, they would need to be printed for you and you only. To print a card "professionally" for someone else's benefit (and by someone else's request), as fun and harmless as it would seem, would leave me feeling uneasy.

    Baby steps, build the relationship, total trust.

    In my opinion, all three are needed when venturing down that road.

    But that's just me. I know others that leap before they look. Some have even had their cards done up.....heck, some even turn around and sell them......a few even pop up on ebay.

    Hope that helps.

    1. Thanks for the info, I definitely have a lot to think about here.

      I know you've done some custom work for other collectors, do you ever worry about anyone coming after you for "borrowing" official logos, pictures, etc?

    2. Not really. For one, I don't advertise my work (as in solicit clients). They come to me. Second, I've never charged for doing the work. I have one where I am accepting some money, but that's more for supplies and such. Third, I don't go around selling my works on ebay and such. It would be a whole different story if I did.

      And if I ever received such a notice from a photographer, card company, etc. I'd cease immediately. The last thing I want to do is compromise the integrity of the hobby.

  2. BTW....nice job on the back. I like the simple, easy look to it.