Vintage Playing Cards

Vintage Playing Cards pulls its Ace card by choosing the right substrate

Combining vintage nostalgia with stylish, retro design is what has driven the success of creative and personalised gift company Vintage Playing Cards since it was established back in 2008. When the company wanted to expand its range into greeting cards and gift wrap, co-founders Allen Perkins and Tracy Kemp began their search for substrates that would match their ethos for producing unique and traditional gifts that would enthuse appeal to a bygone era. By discovering the Rives Tradition range of papers and Olin premium paper range, Vintage Playing Cards was able to achieve its objectives of combining traditional values with modern innovation.

The concept of the company was created when co-founder Allen Perkins found an old pack of art deco playing cards and saw the potential for upcycling the cards to produce uniquely framed cards and gifts. Today the company has expanded from a small cottage business to supplying renowned retailers such as Selfridges, Liberty, Fortnum & Mason and Not on The High Street.

Unaware of how exactly to translate their new product designs into reality, Allen turned to their printer, Flowprint of Maidenhead for advice. A longstanding customer of Antalis, the production team at Flowprint were quick to suggest two innovative substrates – Rives Tradition Natural White and Olin Regular Cream, that had the look, feel, colour and composition to produce the exact results Allen and Tracy were looking for.

“Recreating the vintage feel with a ‘twist of modern’ was central to our new range, and with cream and off-white shades being our signature, it was vital that we found a paper that would reflect these qualities”, explains Allen. “The extensive selection of cream, white and off-white shades offered within the Rives Tradition and Olin ranges from Antalis were fantastic enabling us to achieve the exact look we wanted.”

The Rives Tradition Natural White was selected in a 250gsm weight for the greetings cards giving them a modern, refined subtle felt finish, which were printed digitally on a Konica Minolta Bizhub Press C8000, while a 100gsm Olin Regular Cream was chosen for the 18,000 sheets of gift wrapping, which is printed on an offset press.

“There were a few design and print challenges to overcome,” continues Allen. “One of them was to produce a high density black, which we were unable to achieve through lithographic printing. However, by transferring to a digital press, this gave us outstanding results and the very intense black print we were looking for.”

The flexibility of the digital print technology has also enabled the company to produce shorter print runs and personalised products, adding to the success of this new range and enabling them to respond quickly to increasing demand – to date over 30,000 cards have been printed and thanks to the popularity of their new range, Vintage Playing Cards now require a monthly print run.