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Playing Card Finish Types & Styles

Finishes are applied on top of your printed project for the purpose of adding protection and artistic style. When choosing a finish, you will need to decide between either varnish or lamination.

Packaging Finish Types and Styles

Playing Card Finish Types

The finish type (varnish or lamination) protects the ink and prevents scratches.

Varnish is the most common finish type used for playing cards. This liquid gloss finish is applied by the offset printing press to seal in and protect the ink. Lamination is the most protective finish and makes your cards water resistant. Lamination is a thin polypropylene film that is applied after the printing process is complete. Lamination is available in gloss and as an anti-scratch matte lamination (discussed below).

Matte (Anti-Scratch)

Anti-scratch matte lamination is highly recommended if you prefer a matte style and your card artwork has a large coverage area of a dark color. Regular matte is more prone to showing scratches on dark ink, which is why we offer anti-scratch matte-lamination via the custom quote option.

Matte (Soft-Touch)

The soft touch matte lamination, like the anti-scratch matte lamination, adds extra protection against scratching and scuffing while adding in extra smooth tactility. It’s the card you’ve got to feel to believe as this lamination adds a supremely luxurious feeling finish to the faces and backs of your cards.

If you’re interested in reading more about custom game printing, be sure to check out our custom board game hub and our custom card game hub. These parts of our site contain all the information you need to know about creating a board game or a card game – beyond just the standards listed here, these hubs also contain detailed information on all the types of materials and packaging types we offer for your game. We’ve also analyzed board and card games to figure out what makes them work – and how you can apply these principals to your custom game. Check it out!

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