Better Quality Cards or Much Faster Fulfillment?

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Better Quality Cards or Much Faster Fulfillment?

Unread postby undefinedknowledge » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:29 am  

Hello All,

I have posted here before, but it has been posts of decks we have launched on KS. Maybe some you remember me or recognize the name. If so hello! If not, nice to meet you! I have a serious question from the creator side of things that I would be interested in any UC community feedback...

When we launched our first couple of projects we were unaware of all the different printing options. We didn't even fully understand that the KS playing card community was as strong as it was. Our first project was a card game, not playing cards, so there were certain production aspects that were of less concern to us at the time because, we just focused on the game itself, and trying to make it unique, fun, look good, etc. All of the details that it takes to make a really quality deck of playing cards on the other hand... I admit, I've been learning as I go. haha. Let's just say there was/is a learning curve there for myself as a graphic designer... However I find designing cards to be very fascinating. Moving on...

When we selected MPC to print our card game, it was because they offered no minimum order, had a quick turnaround, and we could load the files directly to their site without having to go back and forth with a graphics dept. We got the product from them quickly, and other than a few inconsistencies in the alignment of the borders, the quality was pretty decent. We stayed with them for our second and third projects and were able to get the cards from MPC and turn around the cards to our Backers in under a month.

After our last project, Super Suits, we've had a lot of people ask/mention/advise/suggest that we step up our game and use a better printer. EPCC, Legends, or USPCC. I had looked into all of these companies previously and was turned off by the lack of info they provide on their website to those interested in using them for their custom services. I believe all pretty much stated you had to email them directly for any real details. Also when I emailed any of them, there was usually a 2-3 day wait for a reply. MPC always got back to me right away. Anyway, we've settled on using EPCC for our next project, but the 1,000 minimum order has me a little scared that we won't hit a goal necessary to print that many decks, but more so the turnaround time for production is 60 days....60 days! This seems crazy to me when MPC can crank out their decks and get them to me in under 2 weeks. So my question is this... is it worth the wait, to you the backer? Are you cool backing a project that you know you might not see that deck for over two months? Also, are you turned off if you back a deck and then the creators launch another project while you are still waiting for the first deck to arrive?

Anyway, I'm just curious what everyone else's thoughts are on the matter, any input would be appreciated and thank you as always for your time!!!

Andy
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Re: Better Quality Cards or Much Faster Fulfillment?

Unread postby Sher » Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:40 am  

I think most people who frequently back playing card projects on KS are very much accustomed to waiting for approximately that long for their cards, because many playing card creators having been using both USPCC and EPCC for quite some time now. I collect for the art, so I backed your previous project regardless of the printer, but there are many who would really appreciate a higher quality product and to them, two months is definitely worth the wait. :)
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Re: Better Quality Cards or Much Faster Fulfillment?

Unread postby undefinedknowledge » Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:43 am  

Hi Sher,

Thank you for the reply! I see, yes it makes sense that most people that collect decks based on the quality are probably used to waiting the normal turn around time for USPCC and EPCC. We really want to do a high quality deck, but we might have to wait until we come up with a design that we are optimistic that it will be successful at a higher funding goal to compensate for the higher quality deck costs. Thank you for your input and I like that you are into backing decks for the artwork! I came into all of this as a designer, not a card collector/player, so I have always put the majority of the emphasis/energy on the design... just trying to figure out the quality production side of it all now.

Thanks again!
Andy
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Re: Better Quality Cards or Much Faster Fulfillment?

Unread postby montecarlojoe » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:23 pm  

I'd say quality is king - a long wait is usual (as Sher says), but the trick is managing the expectation of the wait.

If you say to me "It'll take 3 months" and We hear nothing for 2 months and there are delays I'll be pissed off.

If you say to me "it'll take 3 months, here's the time table" and then give regular updates of progress I'll happily wait as long as it takes.

It helps an awful lot to be a good blogger in this game!
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Re: Better Quality Cards or Much Faster Fulfillment?

Unread postby MagikFingerz » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:24 pm  

montecarlojoe wrote:I'd say quality is king - a long wait is usual (as Sher says), but the trick is managing the expectation of the wait.

If you say to me "It'll take 3 months" and We hear nothing for 2 months and there are delays I'll be pissed off.

If you say to me "it'll take 3 months, here's the time table" and then give regular updates of progress I'll happily wait as long as it takes.

It helps an awful lot to be a good blogger in this game!

This, and I'll add: Get things done as early as possible. Most of the ones who have delays tend to be in the design phase while the project is active, or wait until the end of the project or backerkit period to send in the artwork for approval, or whatever other things they put off that could easily have been done before or during the project. Even if this is conveyed to the backers while it's happening, it reeks of poor planning and lack of initiative. Most of us here at UC seem to have a basic understanding of these things by now, and it shouldn't take that much effort from a project manager to do the research and know what to do and when to do it.
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Re: Better Quality Cards or Much Faster Fulfillment?

Unread postby Mike Ratledge » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:41 pm  

Fully agree with Sher,Joe & Tom, and wanted to add the fact that 60 days is a next to impossible goal, whether it was Expert/Legends or USPCC/Bicycle.

A LOT of projects that were scheduled to be delivered in November or December are looking at late January or even February through no fault of the designers & artists.

That just emphasises what Tom said about managing expectations. If you have good news, be careful not to set expectations too high, conversely bad news - throw it all out there as soon as you know.

I know from "ride-along" on several recent projects that both companies (Expert & Legends have been using the same factory and of course Bicycle is USPCC) have stumbled badly of late in setting realistic expectations, mostly due to the shere volume of decks.
>Mike<

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Re: Better Quality Cards or Much Faster Fulfillment?

Unread postby LilRogue » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:51 pm  

I'm very interested in this thread as well. I'm looking at the same dilemma with my KS, it launched yesterday, but already I'm hearing everybody just USPCC. I was planning to go with another company that did smaller print runs, but I would not sacrifice quality even if it cost me more per deck. However, if you order the minimum of 2,500 with USPCC, what do you do with all the remaining decks??? :? I mean selling 2,500 would be pretty tough on KS.

If you ask me though, I would not mind waiting the 2 or 3 months for a deck of cards, as long as they are the best quality.
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