CosCards: On the Paper Trail

6 Sep , 2011,
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Ever wonder what all those numbers and letters mean? Now you know! XD

Part of the fun of creating CosCards is picking just the right kind of paper to print ‘em on.

In this weeks tutorial, the last in our series of articles about CosCards, we take an in-depth look at paper quality and selection, and how these elements can enhance your card design.

But first off, we’ll start by examining what makes for good paper selection.

1. GSM what?

Typically, you’ll want to consider the thickness of paper when you’re printing your CosCard.

This is measured in gsm (grams per square meter) and the higher the value, the thicker (and more durable) your card will be. For most card types, an optimal value is between 250 to 300 gsm.

2. Finish it!

Next, it’s important to choose the right kind of finish.

This includes choosing between matte (unreflective) or gloss (reflective) surfaces, as well as texture.

Textured paper, such as linen paper have patterns woven into the surface. On top of offering a better tactile experience, textured paper also lends weight to ‘classy’ CosCards, by giving it a more aged, organic look.

There’s one drawback to using textured paper though, and that is that sometimes, solid colors (especially blacks) don’t always seep into the grain, resulting in uneven blotches.

Here are some recommended paper types:

Transparent paper. XD

...and the almighty pearl paper. XD

a. Ivory Card (250 gsm)

The gold standard for white art card. This is your default paper choice. It’s also available at most print and craft stores.

b. Diamant Transparent (200 gsm)

This paper is translucent and has a frosted appearance. It is ideal for single-side CosCards, especially if you’d like something with an ephemeral quality.

c. Chromolux Magic Chrome Gloss (250 gsm)

Highly reflective, with a silver finish and a mirror-like quality. Printing on the silvered part creates a hologram-like quality.

d. Pearlux Ice White (250 gsm)

Opaque paper with a shimmering, pearlescent sheen. Also comes in other colors, including gold and silver. Has a foil-like effect.

3. Picking up the pieces (of paper)

I’m sure one of the things you’re wondering is where to pick up sheets of special paper.

The paper shop! They're pretty cheap too!

Well, your best bet is the shop called (aptly enough) Fancy Papers Supplier at North Bridge Center (420 North Bridge Road, #01-26).

It’s situated just across the road from the National Library, and stocks plenty of paper ideal for CosCard printing.

What’s more, single A3 sheets (which can fit up to 20 default size CosCards) tend to cost less than a dollar apiece (I’ve gotten mine for as low as 30 cents), so putting out those CosCards could be really cheap, especially if you’re proficient in Photoshop and have ready access to an A3 sized printer.

And if you don’t, you could always pop by Peace Center, where you can get your cards printed at a reasonable rate at Leadership Trading & Supply (1 Sophia Road, #01-51).

Eager to get printing yet?

Until next time, cheerio!

Crimson's new CosCard. XD

Incidentally, we’re putting out a new run of CosCards at The Neo Tokyo Project, so if you’re a cosplayer and would like one of Crimson’s limited edition Netherblade Rogue CosCards (we’ve got 10 of them), do comment here or on our Facebook fanpage.

We’ll be conducting a raffle at the end of the month, so who knows?

You just might be one of our lucky September winners. XD