The idea of customizing is nothing new. For years you’ve been able to customize cars, your house, toys, clothing, furniture, food, and even soda. What you may not be aware of is that you can customize trading cards. The idea of custom trading card isn’t really that new. There are several companies such as MyTradingCards.com that have been creating custom cards for years, whether they’re for your kids Little League team, your pets or an event such as the Philly Card Show. You simply select the design template you want, send them the image and text for the card and they’ll create it and print it out for you. And with today’s technology, (if you have the patience and time) you can actually design your own trading cards from scratch instead of using a template.
The Non-Sport Update Card Talk Forum has some very creative people who have created their own custom cards. In the April/May 2011 issue of Non-Sport Update magazine, Ryan Cracknell discusses custom cards with Stephane Cote aka “archifou” on the NSU Card Talk boards. Stephane had posted some of his custom cards on the forums and has actually moved on to designing sets for Rittenhouse Archives, including Star Trek: The Remastered Original Series. Make sure you read the magazine to read how Stephane went from creating custom cards for his own enjoyment to working on official card sets. You can also check out some of Stephane’s custom card designs over on NSU Card Talk.
Another Card Talk member who is creating his own cards is Chris Cline. Chris has been creating his own cards to obtain autographs through the mail from some of his favorite movies and television shows. I recently asked Chris a few questions about his growing custom card collection.
How long have you been doing this?
I started making my own cards in January. I saw some of the work done by a couple of others on the site [Card Talk] and thought I would give it a try. I really started doing it because I thought it was a shame that I could not buy cards from sets I really wanted, like Chuck, or get new cards to fill in sets like LOST and Supernatural. I stared playing with it a little bit and found that it was easier than I thought so I started not just making them on the computer, but went ahead and started getting them printed. [Editors Note: This is actually a copyright violation but most copyright holders will look the other way if you just make one print for your own enjoyment and don't start mass producing cards for properties you don't have the license for. And should you think about selling them, you'll be in for a heap of trouble...you've been warned!] Once I had them printed up I started to send them off to get signed by the actors and have gotten quite a few back so far.
Do you know how many different cards you’ve created so far?
I have about 578 cards done now and cover lots of different movies and shows. I have made cards for most of the living Disney voice actors and am trying to get them all signed now. I recently did a few cards for some guys on an autograph site I belong to. I made some cards for The West Wing and some bands that they needed for their collections. I have really enjoyed doing this and have thought about taking a Photoshop class so I could use a little better program and make the cards even better but I am happy with what I have a the moment.
Non-Sport Update would like to thank Chris for his time. To find out more about creating custom cards, head on over to Card Talk and check out the “Show Off Your Custom Cards topic.