Review by Solandia
PlainCards are a new product designed for easy creation and printing of your own professional-looking Tarot cards.
Each package of Plain Cards contains 22 sheets of four-up micro-perforated cards, a sample printed card to demonstrate the finished texture and appearance, instructions for best printing, and a small square piece of emery board for filing off the perforated tabs and card corners at the end of the project.
Made from high quality card stock on sheets of paper 8.5” x 11” in size, each sheet has four perforated 2.75” x 4.75” cards with rounded corners. There are two different types of PlainCards designed for tarot products: the blank Coatable stock and blank Matte stock.
The Coatable cards are made from true playing card stock and have a very smooth and comparatively glossy finish. They would be a bit slippery to draw on directly and would need special care when printed to avoid smudging while still wet, but can be sprayed with a clear acrylic spray at the end of the printing process for an even glossier protective coating on the card. (PlainCards also sell an acrylic spray to use with their cards, but as it’s not possible to ship the spray outside the continental USA, a clear acrylic spray can be bought at a craft store instead.)
The Matte cards are the same size and shape as the coatable cards, but made with regular uncoated card stock. They would be easier to work with and print on in my opinion, and according to the Plain Cards creator, Ken Kleker, the matte cards mean a simpler printing process and higher quality of printed cards.
The PlainCards website has useful information to help with designing your tarot cards, such as links to free software programs, free clipart and photos, and how to make custom card boxes from templates. The QuickCards companion program, especially for use for the PlainCards, is also available for download from the website.
QuickCards allows very easy playing card, flash card or tarot card designs to be made using the program’s fonts and symbols and your own imported images. (At this stage the tarot features of the program are not as extensive as those for playing cards, but a font is being developed that has symbols for cups, swords, wands and pentacles and should be available within a few weeks.) QuickCards doesn’t replace more sophisticated image manipulation software like PhotoShop or PaintShopPro, but is much easier to use with PlainCards.
Making your own Tarot cards has never been so easy. There’s no need to use rectangular index cards and spend hours cutting corners off your finished cards any more – instead you can draw directly onto the rounded cards, or create your cards on the computer and print them out on your own printer.
PlainCards can be purchased for $12.50 per set and the full-version of the QuickCards software for $14.95, both through the PlainCards website at www.plaincards.com.
Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) is the founder and editor of Aeclectic Tarot, and has reviewed more than 200 decks over the years.