Today’s customers and consumers continuously look for added value in the products they acquire or buy and playing cards are no exception to that rule.

The printing industry offers many possibilities to add value to a printed product by use of special techniques and materials. Finding the most optimal technique or combination for a design, however, can be very difficult and challenging.
The Cartamundi specialists will be glad to help you to use the techniques that are the most effective for your card game or board game.



The substrate quality and its properties have a large impact on the visual result and appearance of a card game.
The whiteness of a substrate defines how colors will finally appear on the printed product.
The smoothness of the surface influences the sharpness of print.
The gloss of the substrate plays an important role on how crisp and vivid a graphic design will be reproduced during printing.
In order to avoid the playing card faces can be seen through the playing card backs, special opaque layers are inserted in the central core of the substrate.
Last, but not least, the stiffness of the substrate sets the standard for the durability and usability of the cards.

Offset Printing Red Color

Offset Inks

The primary function of standard printing inks (CMYK) is to reproduce the graphic design and image.

However, special ink features can increase the attractiveness of a print design, thus adding value to the final card result. Cartamundi offers a wide variety of special inks.

Silk Screen

Cartamundi’s principle printing method uses the offset process and inks. In addition we often use silk screen printing methods to create additional effects that are not possible to achieve with offset printing. A large range of silk screen options is available, ask here for advice.


Varnishes, also called print coatings, are the final top layer applied on printed products. They can be water – or solvent based.

Varnishes are used on printed material mainly to protect the printed product. Printed material that has not been varnished will get easily dirty and the image on the board can be easily damaged.

To create a certain visual effect you can also combine 2 types of varnish, adding pigments, applying foil …. .

The varnish can be applied to one or both sides of the printed piece to create a glossy or matte finish and so highlight certain visual elements.
The varnish will also improve the gliding of the cards. Certain varnish will provide a much better gliding than others. It will be much easier to deal these cards.

Special Techniques Foils


A wide variety of metal foils can be used to enhance the graphic design of playing cards and packaging. This is one of the most common used techniques to distinguish special rare cards in a collection. Each technique has its own visual, manufacturing and costing characteristics. The manufacturing methods to apply foil or all based on the same principle: a very thin metal layer will be glued on the playing cardboard. The glue can be applied all over the sheet, applied on spots, with hot glue and with cold glue.


Special finishing techniques provide additional opportunities to add value to a deck of cards. The finishing techniques can be used in combination with other special techniques, although some combinations will have some technical restrictions as indicated with each finishing technique.

    Do you want to apply one of the above techniques on your game?

    Get in touch! We will be glad to help you further!