Category: Education Learning

FAMILY ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND FOUNDING SHUFFLED INK: CHARLES LEVIN’S CARD STORY

FAMILY ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND FOUNDING SHUFFLED INK

(top row, left to right) Charles, Matthew, Jonathan; (bottom row, left to right) Lori, Lisa, Melissa

In December 1999, Charles Levin, Founder & President of Shuffled Ink (formerly known as QPC Games), was raising three girls and two boys, ranging in age from one to 12. As a marketer living in the top U.S. travel destination (Orlando, Florida), he wanted to create an alternative to brochures and discount books.

He believed that custom-printed playing cards could deliver impactful marketing and branding applications, educational usefulness, and of course, fun-filled family game nights.

This thought, matched with an eager, entrepreneurial mindset, kickstarted Charles’ very first custom card project: advertisement playing cards, or Super Deck.

Charles’ Card Story: From Concept to Reality

The purpose of Super Deck was to promote and elevate tourist hotspots and establishments in the Orlando area. The original pack consisted of a map and cards with discounts and coupons for local attractions, dinner shows, restaurants, shopping, golf, and recreation. Soon after pitching the concept to prospective vendors, Charles had secured the marketing deck in 90 percent of Orlando hotel rooms.

Throughout the early 2000s, Shuffled Ink’s first employees were his 5 children: Melissa, Lori, Matthew, Lisa and Jonathan. The Levin family would regularly clear off the dining room table and use the space to create playing card prototypes and other related personalized products.

As sales blossomed and new opportunities arose, Charles moved the business into his three-car garage. For several years, this is where all marketing, sales, administration, and shipping took place.

For the past 9 years, Charles and his team of production facilitators, project managers and graphic designers have operated in an 8,000 square-foot office and production facility in Orlando, Florida. By Summer 2022, we are expanding into a 35,800 square-foot manufacturing and office space in Winter Garden, Florida.

Charles’ business model has changed quite a bit since Super Deck. Today, Shuffled Ink specializes in printing custom playing cardstarot and flash cardspackaging, and more for businesses and individuals worldwide.

Family Entrepreneurship: The Shuffled Ink Team

Three of Charles’ kids are still involved at Shuffled Ink today.

Matthew, his oldest son, moved back to Orlando from New York City in 2016 to help him run the business as Chief Executive Officer. His daughter Lisa worked at the company part-time for many years but now oversees all customer services as Vice President of Sales. And youngest son, Jonathan, assists behind-the-scenes in the manufacturing facility.

“Throughout the past 22+ years, my kids’ incredible contributions and influence have added to the existence, growth, and success of Shuffled Ink.”  –Charles Levin, Shuffled Ink Founder & President
The Levin Family (left to right): Charles, Lisa, Matthew and Jonathan Levin

Get To Know Us Better!

Shuffled Ink is a multigenerational family business with an unwavering, decades-old mission: to provide an unparalleled experience in customer service and product quality to ensure that all clients’ card visions meet reality.

See what our clients are saying about the services, product quality and pricing we offer: Shuffled Ink Google Reviews.

To receive complimentary samples of our card products, include your delivery address and phone number on your custom quote request form.

If we manufactured your card project and you would like us to share your Card Story on our blog, feel free to connect with our Marketing Team here.

CHANGING THE WORLD ONE CONVERSATION AT A TIME: HANNAH FRAZER’S CARD STORY

CHANGING THE WORLD ONE CONVERSATION AT A TIME

While conversation-starter games are not new, Question Connection is unlike any other: It was created for kids by a kid.

Rising freshman at Harvard College and creator of Question Connection, Hannah Frazer, wonders how different middle school would have been if she’d had a safe way to meet and connect with her peers. And while she can’t alter past experiences, she can do the next best thing: change the social narrative for everyone else.

“I was the girl who loved to talk but needed a way to start the conversation.” –Hannah Frazer, founder of Question Connection

This non-invasive, supportive style of facilitating conversation, helps promote inclusion, foster relationships and build genuine connections in the classroom.

Growing up in a diverse, bilingual community, Hannah and so many of her classmates were unsure how to expand beyond their inner circle. Deep-leveled conversations, and even facilitating a surface-based one, felt out of reach. So, Hannah decided to create a practical and fun game that would ultimately redefine the nature of connections.

In this exclusive Shuffled Ink Card Story, game designer Hannah Frazer shares how an independent study transformed into a tangible product that cultivates empathy worldwide.

 

From Independent Study to Tangible Solution

Young adults like Hannah, who have spent the better half of their lives navigating the world through a digital lens often feel more comfortable communicating via a screen than face-to-face.

Hannah says that the constant presence of technology and social media only complicated her social challenges. This is one of the reasons why she decided to tackle such issues through a year-long independent study project.

Headed by her AP Psychology teacher, Hannah, a junior at the time, worked alongside and learned from other teachers, students, graphic designers and Shuffled Ink manufacturing to bring this idea to fruition. After starting a GoFundMe page for the card game, she covered the cost of production for the first two groups of cards (English and Spanish).

Soon enough, Hannah was actively introducing the conversation-starter game into classrooms, national organizations and other programs.

“I am always incredibly proud to be able to share this game with students and other young people,” Hannah said. “I love seeing the differences in kids’ body language and facial expressions before and after they connect with their peers.”

Join a group, grab a deck and start connecting! Info on classroom visits.

Hannah’s Advice on How to Design a Card Game

Step 1: Developing a card game that tackles social challenges takes a lot of research, time and effort. So, be patient!

Step 2: Coming up with good ideas and gaining support is not a walk in the park. But that doesn’t mean you should fold and give up. It will all be worth it when you see the positive impact that your card game provides.

Step 3: Play it forward, relax and have fun!

Play it Forward!

Hannah says that no one should ever be excluded from starting a conversation. This is why all deck proceeds go toward supplying Question Connection to under-resourced communities.

“In today’s world, there has been a huge rise in hate crimes, antisemitism, racism,” she said. “A conversation can make a world of difference when it comes to educating oneself about people from different backgrounds.”

Become a Question Connection Student Ambassador

Question Connection strives to put an end to social divisions and you can, too! Send a message to questionconnectiongame.com if you or anyone you know is interested in getting involved!

Hannah Frazer’s Question Connection has also been mentioned in:

Chicago Tribune

Sheridan Road Magazine

Better Chicago Magazine

JUF News

25 Under 25 Young Entrepreneur’s Magazine (p. 20)

Diller Tikkun Olam Award

Springboard Chicago Blog

If we manufactured your card project and you would like us to share your Card Story on our blog, feel free to connect with our Marketing Team here.

FLASH CARDS & VIRTUAL LEARNING

FLASH CARDS & VIRTUAL LEARNING

As COVID-19 continues to run its course, we are preparing for a relatively new wave in our school system: online classes. Some students and their parents are concerned that learning won’t be the same. To an extent, this is true, which is why it’s important to have a go-to study tool: custom flash cards.

Flash cards are incredibly helpful in a traditional classroom environment, so consider the impact they will have on students who are taking all online classes for the first time.

When we were younger, we used flash cards to learn our multiplication tables and how to spell. As we grew up, yes, the content did change, but the need for flash cards remained.

Flash Cards

During the 1800s and 1900s, flash cards were popular among students who lacked higher education. These cards were quite inexpensive, which helped those who couldn’t afford tutors and other outside sources.

The Benefits

For many generations, from preschoolers to graduate students, flash cards have proven incredibly valuable. Retrieval Practice reported that 50 percent of college students and 20 percent of K-12 students use flash cards. Here are some benefits:

Repetition: Studying is essentially cycling through definitions, formulas, data, etc. This skill is a common and efficient form of studying because it allows information to seep into your subconscious. But the point isn’t just to memorize. If you can’t understand the information on the card, then it’s likely that you won’t do as well on the test.

Zero-In: One of the best parts about studying with flash cards is you make the rules. Rather than reading entire blocks of text in a book, you’re extracting only the important details. Zeroing-in is key because overloading yourself with too much information, especially during a short time period, is difficult to retain.

The Three-Step Process: Studying begins well before you pick up a deck of flash cards. During each step, you are already consuming bits and pieces of the information.

  1. Read through notes to determine what is most valuable.
  2. Write or type all the information on the cards.
  3. Memorize, understand and retain!

Online Learning

Today, virtual learning is quite common. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 25.8 percent of college students, or approximately 5.4 million students, take at least one online class. Now, it’s no secret that this way of learning is not for everyone, especially our younger learners. Not only can it be challenging for children but also for parents.

The need to maintain and increase student engagement has never been more imperative, so it is essential to bring flash cards into the equation.

During March, we got a glimpse into what learning at home looked like. Obviously, it was quite different from the conventional in-class teaching many were used to. Nevertheless, online learning is not entirely new. In 1989, the University of Phoenix was the first institution to launch all collegiate courses virtually. From then on, other schools started implementing similar programs.

Flash Card Maker

At Shuffled Ink, there isn’t just one way to create a deck of flash cards. Every student has a different way of studying, which is why all components are customizable. No matter the subject, you are constructing an ideal learning experience for yourself with a deck of custom flash cards.

Our custom options include:

  • Implementing your own personal designs
  • Determining the perfect card size & number of cards
  • Instructions/booklets or any other custom printed top-quality accessories and packaging.
  • Art Templates as a helpful guide
  • Complimentary graphic support

To receive free samples of our card products, include your delivery address and phone number on the custom request a quote form.

● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Flash Cards at: Shuffled Ink Custom Flash Cards

HOW TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED THE WAY WE USE FLASH CARDS

HOW TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED THE WAY WE USE FLASH CARDS
Students are constantly relying on flash cards to study, but they aren’t the only ones who benefit from this valuable learning tool.  Generally, flash cards are associated with multiplication tables and definitions, but they certainly expand beyond just that. At Shuffled Ink, our clients have created customized flash cards with QR codes and Augmented Reality implementations.  You may remember your parents flipping through flash cards with pictures and words for your educational benefit.  It was simple and successful.  So, naturally, the introduction of technology-instilled flash cards further the effectiveness of learning.

QR Codes:

These audio-enhanced flash cards, known as Linguacious, developed an innovative way to learn languages. Geared toward children, an image of the designated word is displayed with a QR code.  Upon scanning the code with your phone, you will hear the pronunciation of the word in the targeted language.  Here is a visual of the fronts- and backs- of these game-based vocabulary flash cards.

Augmented Reality:

A flash card’s sole purpose doesn’t always reside in the classroom. Whether you are reading the newspaper or talking with a friend, you are exchanging information and learning something new. Technology is endlessly advancing and, with that, Augmented Reality has entered the flash card and playing card world. This relatively new term, Augmented Reality, is an interactive experience enhanced by our phones, where computer-generated images are layered on top of our real-world environment. Think about the multimedia messaging app Snapchat.  When you are taking a photo of yourself and use one of the many Snapchat lenses to place virtual sunglasses on your face, you are using Augmented Reality. But Augmented Reality can take on many different forms.  In relation to flash cards and playing cards, we have found a way to link the image on a card to a video.  So, once you place your phone over the target image, a video layers directly on top of the card and will play.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbIMoSVdZm0

More Learning Tools:

Deaf Education:

These “Sign Me Cards” are designed for children, family and friends to learn basic American Sign Language with flash cards.  This is beneficial for deaf children to easily and accessibly learn how to communicate with others.  The cards have also been known to impact children with other disabilities like cerebral palsy who struggle with verbal communication skills.

Creative Storytelling Cards

Character cards box sets are known to provide ideas that assist with improvisation, storytelling, playwriting, pantomime and creative writing.  This allows for the mind to think outside of the box when crafting a story that involves characters with various occupations, personalities, mannerisms and more.

Employee Training

Creating PowerPoint slides and conducting meetings are not always an effective route for some business settings.  Flash cards utilize repetition to encourage time management, communication skills, risk management, etc.  This reiterates the expectations that an employer has for their employees and vice versa. If a student uses flash cards to study for an exam, then it will similarly benefit an employee who is studying on-the-job training tactics.

Redefine Flash Cards

Our clients’ abilities to design and customize has redefined the ways that flash cards are used in our daily lives.  And it has also created learning tools that are fun, entertaining and resourceful.  Explore more card options today, so we can help bring your customized flash cards to life! ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Flash Cards at: ShuffledInk

7 FUN WORD GAMES AND MORE FOR KIDS

7 FUN WORD GAMES AND MORE FOR KIDS
It’s important to play fun word games for kids as school wraps up and summer sets in.  A healthy amount of school-related games must be in the cards, so check out these must-play learning games!

1. Bananagrams: Word Game

This family-friendly word game for kids consists of letter tiles that resemble the popular board game Scrabble.  But in this fun game, you create your own crossword grid and produce as many or as little words as you can.  This allows your child to brush up on previously learned words, as well as discover new ones. The end goal here is to create words by using every single tile to win the game. In the Bananagrams word game, there’s a little bit of luck involved and a whole lot of fun!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGRF5KwQApw&feature=youtu.be

2. Codenames: Board Game

This board game Codenames is directed toward older children, with the age being 14+.

Codenames Game Versions

  • Codenames Word Game: During this fun word game, you are given an outline of words in the set that belongs to you and your partner.  If you are the spymaster in your team of two, your goal is to describe the word(s) to your partner without specifically using any of the words in your set.
  • Codenames Pictures Game: Now, for the abstract drawing version of Codenames, you have to describe what you see in the drawing, and hopefully, your partner will see and understand the same drawing that you happen to see.
For more information and rules for this game of guessing, watch the video below!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8RWBooJivg

3. Summer Crossword Puzzle Game

This summer, crossword puzzles are the perfect word games for kids. It’s a simple game to acquire (printable online) and it’s mobile. Make a long car ride more interesting and fun with a summer crossword puzzle game. Choose beginner, intermediate or difficult based on the age level of your child. This fun word game will not only allow for an increase in word development but also clue-solving skills for your child.

4. Go Fish!: Numbers Card Game

All you need to play this classic number card game Go Fish! is a standard 52-card deck.  Your child will develop strategy and number skills as they seek any four of a kind, such as four kings, four aces, etc.  In this card game, the rules are quite simple. There aren’t too many factors that go into booking four a kind because the suits (hearts, spade, diamond, clubs) don’t matter.  This allows for a fair playing field and a positive learning environment for your child during summer vacation!

5. Uno: Numbers Card Game

This timeless numbers card game will keep your child focused on matching colors and numbers to maintain their learning skills this summer.  The rules are straightforward.  You can play a RED card on top of a RED card (or a green on top of a green and so on). You can even change the color streak if you have the same number as the last number played.  Of course, there’s the infamous Draw Four, Draw Two, Skip and Reverse cards that will make you either shriek with frustration or laugh with glee! While UNO is extremely fun and entertaining for people of all ages, it equally benefits your child’s learning development while on break.

6. Multiplication Flash Cards

I distinctly remember my mom going through a set of multiplication flash cards with me every single night before bed during summer vacation.  If your child isn’t gung-ho about math and numbers, make it into a fun numbers game, where there are positive rewards for correct answers.  It’s important to make learning and practice feel less like a chore and more like a fun game, which it is!

7. Create Your Own Fun Word Game for Kids

If you’re looking to be completely in control with the types of learning games you want your child to be introduced to, consider creating your own with us!  By personalizing playing cards, card games and/or flash cards into a school-related way, you’re heading in the right direction to keep your child’s learning skills to par this summer vacation.

by Peggy Bourke

Types of Summer Learning Games to Create:

  • Matching Card Games (numbers, colors, shapes, pictures, etc.)
  • Vocabulary/Pronunciation Flash Cards
  • Standard Playing Cards: There is a multitude of games that can be played with a classic 52-card deck but when you add your own personal touch (photos of your child’s favorite sports team, action figures, animals, etc. it allows you to add something unique to whichever learning game you’re playing)
  • Board Games Aimed Toward Strengthening Word and Number Skill Levels
● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Tarot Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Flash Cards at: ShuffledInk

HOW CUSTOM PLAYING CARDS ARE THE PERFECT PARTY FAVOR FOR ANY OCCASION

HOW CUSTOM PLAYING CARDS ARE THE PERFECT PARTY FAVOR FOR ANY OCCASION

When planning an event, party favors are a necessity.  There are a variety of different themes that can be incorporated into custom playing cards, making it the perfect choice for your next party favor.

Wedding Favor Custom Playing Cards

To celebrate the love between two people while surrounded by friends and family members is such a special moment in one’s life.  Nevertheless, there are definitely moments of stress and touches of insanity when it comes to planning a wedding ceremony.  Among those pressures of creating your dream atmosphere for you and everyone else involved, is coming up with the best party favor for your guests.  A popular requested product is personalized wedding favor custom playing cards.  It is a memory within a game that they will play for many years to come.

Wedding Custom Playing Card Ideas

  • Your proposal photos
  • Both of your baby photos
  • Old photos from when you started dating to the present day
  • Include fun facts about your relationship (quirks, interests, dislikes, etc.)
“Mr. and Mrs.” Wedding Party Favor Custom Playing Cards

Educational Custom Card Games for Kids

Planning a birthday party for your child takes as much time, effort and energy as it does to plan a party for an adult.  While you are organizing various events that will occupy the liveliness of young children for a considerable amount of hours, you have to also think about a custom favor or “goody bag” that will be passed out after the event because the fun and games don’t end when the party concludes. Whatever supplementary items you decide to place in these bags, consider the benefit of providing the young guests with customized educational card games that are designed for explicitly for children. Young minds are constantly being influenced day-after-day by anything and everything they are introduced to. It is our responsibility to implement education and learning skills into their impressionable minds, and it’s easy to create.  Here are some educational card game party favor examples created by our customers.

“Linguacious” Game-Based Custom Flash Cards for Learning Vocabulary

Positive Affirmation Cards

Party favors do not necessarily have to only be passed out during or after a party.  There is something thoughtful about random acts of kindness distributed toward the people who you love like your family members and friends, or the people who you see every day like your co-workers or even a stranger who you pass by on the street.  Custom Affirmation playing cards can mean a lot of different things to people, but one thing they do for everyone is relay positive messages.  With many people opening up about their mental health, and even for anyone who simply has a bad day, affirmation cards can truly help someone to embrace a positive mindset.  It is simply a reminder that everything will be OK.  With positive and motivating thoughts at one’s fingertips, it can be a comforting feeling for any person at any point in their life.

“I Am Power Deck” Custom Affirmation Cards

How to Create These Playing Card Party Favors

One of the great aspects of our company is that most of our custom printed products are manufactured in the U.S.A. We are grateful to have the team, tools and equipment necessary to make nearly all of your products, including the possible last-minute party favor ideas you desperately desire.  Creating your ideal product, whether it be one of the suggestions listed above or one of your own original ideas, is easy to create with our accessible Design Shop.  The basic steps include choosing a canvas/template, designing your custom playing card’s images and texts, etc.  And how you want your party favor to look is completely your decision, but of course, our design team is always happy to help assist. 

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RETENTION: WHY FLASH CARDS ARE SO EFFECTIVE

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RETENTION: WHY FLASH CARDS ARE SO EFFECTIVE

Everyone retains information differently—there’s certainly no question about that. But there is one learning technique that has repeatedly proven effective for most types of people, and that is the use of flash cards. So the question must be asked: why?

 

As human beings—regardless of age, gender or race—we have a natural need for learning. And because of that need, we are challenged to find the best and most effective ways to do it. There are visual learners who learn best by observation, auditory learners who prefer listening and taking notes, kinesthetic learners who learn best through experience and physical activity, and so on and so forth.

But almost every type of learning style works well with custom flash cards. Here’s why:

THEY ENGAGE IN ACTIVE RECALL.

Unlike some learning techniques (like picking from a multiple-choice quiz, re-reading a passage or  highlighting text), using flash cards lets users recall the information from scratch.

THEY UNLOCK OUR METACOGNITIVE FACULTIES.

Flash cards allow users to self-reflect and assess their progress. This is known as metacognition. They prompt users to ask questions like: Was my answer close to the correct answer? If not, how far off was it? If so, how accurate was it? How many questions have I answered correctly today?

The more answers that are correct, the more inclined the users are to continue learning.

THEY PROMOTE CONFIDENCE-BASED REPETITION.

Due to the fact that flash cards are independent from books or other documents, users can categorize cards into piles that need to be studied more. This confidence-based repetition has been proven to be the leading method of improving memory performance.

THEY ALLOW FOR SUCCESSFUL LONG-TERM RETENTION.

According to a publication by Nate Kornell from the Department of Psychology at UCLA, “Maximizing long-term learning requires creating challenges for learners that engage the type of active information processing that creates lasting memories (Bjork, 1994, 1999).” With flash cards, users are challenged to recall information purely from memory (best for long-term retention), rather than select an answer from a multiple-choice question (best for short-term retention).

Over the last decade, board games have surged in popularity. With a growth rate of up to 40% year over year, this “Golden Age for Board Games” (as deemed by The Guardian) has brought many new games into fruition, and is now one of Kickstarter’s top-funded project categories.


 Interested in creating your own custom flash cards? Click below to get more info!

● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk

● Make Your Own Custom Flash Cards at: ShuffledInk