A cheap way to create your own card set using Vistaprint and a paper trimmer.

I am always looking for different ways to do things, this week I was exploring how I can reprint or create a new WhiteFire Comics card set. I ended up finding a cheap way to do this by using Vistaprint and a bit of elbow grease on a paper trimmer. In a nutshell, what a discovered was that Vistaprint has an oversized postcard that can be print on thicker stock and on these oversized postcards you can fit 4-up standard collector cards(2.5x 3.5 inches).


What the front page looked like in CorelDRAW X7 4-up. The lines through the middle are the cuts I had to do(they have arrowheads). The other cut-lines are done by Vistaprint.

Here is a breakdown of the process…

  1. Create your cards and art in a layout software, I use CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7. Keeping print bleed in mind. Link to what bleed is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleed_(printing)
  2. Layout your cards to the Vistaprint oversized postcard size of Width 2135×1535 that includes the bleed. 4-up see the graphic. You will need a back and front graphic/page.
  3. Go through the Vistaprint process and make sure to upgrade to the paper stock.
  4. Once you receive the order you cut the postcards into four typical trade cards. In my case, I used a paper trimmer I bought at Staples years ago.
  5. BLAM! Now you can make your own card sets and print low numbers or high numbers of sets as long as you don’t mind doing some cuttings.

Why a card set?

  • The profit margin is way higher than a comic book.
  • An alternative way to introduce my characters to people.
  • It appeals to a different market of collectors.
  • I was using paid for art or leveraging my own art.
  • Vistaprint has 40%+ off sales via email all the time.
  • Using Vistaprint will allow you to print small runs of sets.
  • It helps build your portfolio of products.

card caseHey, what about packaging the set?

In researching this I ended up buying a hinged card case and printing a cover and back card for the set. A picture of the card set packaged is at the end of the post. Why not a standard foil packaging? There are companies out there that will do a full card set for you, foil package and all but you need to do a large number of sets and you will easily spend 3000 to 6000 dollars(they eat your profit and force you to do large numbers of sets). The case I used cost like .35 cents each, displays the cards long term and completes a budget production of a card set.

Some other pictures….

Front and back of the cards delivered by Vistaprint.

Cards front and back delivered by Vistaprint.

Paper trimmer I have.

The paper trimmer I have.

The original offset printed(expensive) card mixed in with four Vistaprint cards. Could not tell the difference.

The original offset printed(expensive) card mixed in with four Vistaprint cards. Could not tell the difference.

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