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Create Your Own Custom Card Breaking Mats - A How-To Guide

custom card breaker playmats

How to get your own custom mat for your breaker channel! 


I have made the guide below for you. Going from the advanced to the basic. If you are an old hand at design read the top section “General Guidelines for those in the know.”. If you are a rookie you may wish to start with the “The basics” section. Regardless of ranking feel free to check out the “Other helpful hints.” section at the bottom. Now onto the show!  


  • General Guidelines for Those in the Know

  • Custom 24x14 inch Sports Card Break Mat


    -For our 24x14 inch Standard Size Playmats we recommend a resolution of 3675x2175 at 150 PPI as best.

     

    -Quite a few folks like the larger 35x16 inch XL Extended Mousepad as it gives them more room. 

     

    -For our 35x16 inch XL Extended Mousepad we recommend a resolution of 5325x2475 at 150 PPI as best.


    We do have templates that you can download to check your image with. They are on each product's page under "How do I prepare my file?", as well as listed on the right-hand side of our Art Instructions Page. 


    They work best in Photoshop and GIMP, but most image editing software should be able to make use of them with no problem. 


    When you are looking at the image in the template anything between the outer guideline and the edge will be cropped off. Anything in between the 2 guidelines may be in danger of being cropped off. Anything inside the inner guideline should be safe.


  • The Basics

  • “I have a full image that is the recommended resolution mentioned above.” Cool. You are all set. Just upload the image on the Sports Card Break Mat page linked above. You can upload the image by clicking the big grey “Upload Image” button. Add any of the upgrades (I have those listed in the “building blocks” section if you have any questions) you think you want and then click the big blue “Add to Cart” button. 


    “I have a full image but I do not think it is that resolution.” That is A-OK. You can check the resolution to see if it is close. (See “How to check the Resolution/PPI of an image?” in the next section below if you need a hand with that). If your image is around ¾ of the recommended resolution you should be all good. Most folks submit images that are ½ to ¾ of the recommended resolution and they come out fine. 


    “I have a full image and I know it’s well below the resolution mentioned above.” Here there are a few ways to go. 1. You can use the templates mentioned in the first section to check how blurry it will be when enlarged to cover a mat. And then use them to rework it if needs be. 2. If you had a designer make the image for you, you can reach back out to them to see if they have a higher resolution copy they can give you. 3. Or if you need/want a hand with the layout we do offer an Editing Service. 


    -The editing we offer includes sizing, color correction, collage work, and the addition of text or card zones. 


    -You can choose the "Editing & Preview" option in Step 2 while on the Mat ordering page. Our Editing Team will reach out to you via email and help you with your layout.


    -If you leave a note or two about what you are looking for in the SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS box(which is on the Shopping Cart page, below your last item), our Editing Team can take a first pass at it before reaching out to you. 


    “I have a logo but not a full image.” Again there are options on the direction you can go. 


    1. You can either add it to a colored background of the color you are thinking of and then upload that new image. The templates mentioned are a big help for setting that up. 

    1. Or we can help you with setting that up via the "Editing & Preview" option in Step 2 as mentioned above. 

    “I have more than one image I want on a mat.” Sure thing! We can print a collage for you. You can either make the collage yourself (Again the templates are a big help there) and then upload the finished image on the Sports Card Break Mat page. Or, if you need a hand with setting that up we can do that via the "Editing & Preview" option in Step 2. 


    If you leave a note or two about what you are looking for in the SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS box (which is on the Shopping Cart page, below your last item), our Editing Team can take a first pass at it before reaching out to you. In the case of a collage let us know that is what you would like to do. You will need to upload one of the images as a placeholder. Then the Editing Team will reach out to you for the rest of the images once the order reaches the front of the editing queue.


  • The Building Blocks of the Basics

  • PPI? DPI? What do they mean?


    -PPI = pixels per inch DPI = dots per inch.


    -PPI is a monitor display term and DPI is more of a physical printing term. But they are effectively synonymous with each other. Heck, some versions of PhotoShop for example use the two terms interchangeably. 


    -So to break it down say your image is 960x480 at 96 PPI. that would translate to 10x5 inches. 960 divided by 96 would = 10. While a 960x480 at 150 PPI image would only be 6.4x3.2 inches. 960 divided by 150 = 6.4


    How to check the Resolution/PPI of an image?


    To check the resolution of a file please follow this guide. 


    -Right-click on the image file. 


    -Then select "Properties" (usually one of the last options on the right-click menu that just popped up). 


    -Next, select the "Details" tab. 


    -Then look under the "Image" section. There you should see the resolution of the image. 


    Upgrades?


    Yes. We offer the following options: 


    Editing & Preview - We offer an editing service. The editing we offer includes sizing, color correction, collage work, and the addition of text or card zones. 


    Stitched Edging - Stitched Edging is a band of thread stitched along the outside edge of the mat that acts as both a cool effect as well as a bit of reinforcing for the edge of the mat. 


    The stitching is applied to the mat prior to us pressing the image. So it will come out the same color as the edge of your image.


    Colored Backing - We offer a blue colored backing option in addition to the black color that the neoprene rubber backing normally is. It is still a rubber backing but blue instead of black. 


    If the blue goes over well, we are hoping to start offering other colors. 


    Please note we can do either a Stitched Edge or a Colored Back on a mat but not both at this time. 

    Play Zones - These are templates we offer for the major collectible card games. Unless you play Magic or Yu Gi Oh etc. you will probably want to avoid this option. 


    You can check out the templates for the Play/Card Zones by selecting the play zones box. 


    Once you have that checked, you can click the small grey circle with the "?" in it just below the dropdown menu. 


    That will bring up a popup window that shows all the templates we currently have available. 


    What images can I use?


    We cannot print any trademarked or copyrighted work without permission. This includes company logos, sports teams, college logos, other artists’ work, etc. 


    If the image passes these guidelines, it should be good to go. If not, you will need to receive permission from the artist or copyright holder. 


    Please refrain from uploading anything that contains content that defames or vilifies any person, people, race, religion or religious group and/or is obscene, pornographic, indecent, harassing, threatening, harmful, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, abusive, inflammatory, or otherwise objectionable. As we will not be able to print those images. 


  • Other Helpful Hints.

  • Patterns tend to work a bit better than solid colors printing wise. Solid colors show up stains better for example. 


    Related to that darker neutral colors will show the cards better and hide any soiling better. 


    Use an easily readable font for any text you have on your mat. If it’s easy to read your fans are more likely to remember your name/brand. Sans Serif fonts tend to work better. 


    What the heck is a Serif and why would I want it Sans? Serif’s are the little feet looking things at the bottom of some fonts. They help the font look fancy. Sans is a fancy old French word meaning “without”. So Sans Serif are the more blocky/cleaner fonts that do not have the extra little frills at the edges. 


    Most importantly have fun with it. This is your mat. It will be the visual most of your fans see on a regular basis as you do breaks. 


    Hope this page has helped you out a bit. Look forward to seeing your creations. Drop us a line if you have any questions. We can be reached via our Support page


    Cheers,

    Sherpa Jim

    Inked Gaming