I was looking through some old topics and I found one on how to make playing cards. However this was talking more about the design stage, I was wondering how to get your playing cards printed.
For those interested, the topic I was referring to can be found here: http://www.playingcardforum.com/index.php?topic=8424.0
Also, does the process differ depending on what printer you use (as is LPCC or USPCC)?
I've merged the two topics together, as they are closely related to each other.
Here's the basic framework for how to make playing cards.
1) Get an idea for a deck.
2) Create a design that reflects the idea (or hire someone with the talent to do it for you).
3) Approach a printer that makes playing cards to get a quote.
4) Pay for the cards - this can be out of pocket, or you can try raising funds by finding either angel investors (small number of people contributing large amounts of cash) or crowdfunders (large number of people contributing small amounts of cash).
5) Printer ships you the cards, you ship them to the people that bought them from you. This step can be tweaked if you're using a fulfillment service - many of the boutique, small-run printers that do high-quality work are now offering fulfillment services to appeal to their customers.
The experience is very different when comparing a big company (USPC is owned by the massive consumer products conglomerate Jarden) to a smaller company (EPCC, LPCC, MPC, etc.). Getting anything done in a big company usually involves a lot of people, a lot of time, a fair amount of inefficiency and a big price tag. Smaller companies tend to be more attentive to the needs of the customer and more willing to accommodate where possible. Even the basics are different sometimes - for example, USPC uncut sheets for playing cards and tuck boxes aren't always the same configuration as those used by Legends, Expert and MPC.
Bigger companies do volume work best - they often have a much-higher minimum for a print run's size. USPC won't touch your project unless you're making at least 2,500 decks, whereas Expert will go down to 1,000 (sometimes less, if it's part of a larger order), Legends goes to 900 according to their website, and MPC is willing to make a print run of one if that's all you need. However, with MPC, you're getting a digitally-printed deck - made from a really large printer not entirely different from the one you use at home to print pages from your computer. The quality isn't the same as using an offset press. They've improved, sure, but they still have issues of colors printing darker than they look onscreen.
If you're looking for more specifics, you should check out this post
, where you can download Special Issue 1 of CARD CULTURE Magazine for free. I wrote an eight-page article about the stocks, finishes and other features available from Expert PCC, complete with photos of the stocks up close - it originally appeared in issue #08 (July 2015) of CARD CULTURE, so the information is about as current as it gets. Best to view it in Adobe Reader rather than in your browser - the links will be live and you can zoom in closer without losing resolution. The issue is a promotional offer to entice people to subscribe to it by joining the 52 Plus Joker Club.