Category: Printing Service

ACE THE BRANDING PROCESS WITH CUSTOM PLAYING CARDS, TAROT, & MORE

Branded Playing Cards for This Dream House Ohio Radio Show

SHUFFLEDINK Guests on THIS DREAM HOUSE Ohio Radio Show

We do everything to help (our clients) create what they see in their minds. Charles Levin, Shuffled Ink Founder & President

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.

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.

THE HISTORY OF PLAYING CARD PRINTING

THE HISTORY OF PLAYING CARD PRINTING

Ever wonder how your favorite playing card decks are printed? The 20-second video below highlights one of the first steps in Shuffled Ink’s production process: printing the cards.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Pretty cool, right? Well, technology certainly makes the production process appear effortless, and as you’re most likely aware, printing playing cards looked astronomically different back in the day.

Types of Printing

Woodblock Printing

Replace Xerox machines with blocks of wood and you’ll get Woodblock Printing. If it’s difficult to imagine creating playing cards with sharp tools and wood, then check out this helpful article: How to Make Your Own Woodblock Print Like the Japanese Masters by writer and art historian Jessica Stewart. Through step-by-step details, she even explains how to transfer any artwork and/or image onto the wooden surface.

Origins

Whether used to create a deck of cards or place images inside of a book, China, as well as Central and East Asia, pioneered woodblock printing.

Countries well-versed in Xylography, or the art of printing from carved wood, often transported playing cards to Europe. But once paper became available during the 15th century, European manufacturers were able to print decks domestically using the wood blocking technique.

The Technique

Relief printing is the process of cutting or etching with a stencil onto the wooden surface so all that remains is the printed design.

Woodblock Playing Cards: Photo from a WOPC article

Copperplate Printing

This innovative printing method began around the 15th century. It is a form of intaglio printing, where impressions and designs are pressed into copperplates either through engraving (direct intaglio) or acid etching (indirect intaglio).

Master E.S., also known as Master of the Playing Cards, developed this process of playing card printing.

The Queen of Flowers by Master of the Playing Cards

Attributed to The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Lithography

Toward the end of the 18th century, Lithography (Latin – litho: stone; graph: write) was invented in Germany by Alois Senefelder. Many artists, as well as playing card creators, adopted this water-and-oil-based technique. Not only did it revolutionize colored impressions through chromolithographs but also introduced a cheaper printing method through limestone rather than copper.

Before

So, what did lithography printing look like? The card’s design was etched onto limestone using oil. The ink was then applied, sinking into the design area and then transferred onto paper for production. Litho printing never truly went out of style. It adapted as technology advanced.

“El Barco” Playing Cards Created Through Chromolithograph

Offset Lithography

Also known as offset printing, this modern litho process uses rubber rollers to transfer images from plate to paper. As opposed to hand-drawn designs, offset uses a machine to create the image.

Digital Printing

We use a Xerox digital printer to produce your custom projects like playing cards and games, tarot and oracle as well as flashcards. The first digital printers arrived in the early 1990s and today they reign quite popular in the printing industry.

Right now, it may seem like we have reached or surpassed the height of playing card printing, but this is only the beginning. Whether the future will enhance our modern printing machine or invent something entirely new, Shuffled Ink looks forward to many more years manufacturing your awesome personalized card products!

Xerox Printing Machine at Shuffled Ink

How We Manufacture Playing Cards

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.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by SHUFFLED INK | Playing Cards (@shuffledink)

PLAYING CARDS & THE BOWLES FAMILY

bubble playing cards
Thomas Bowles established his printing shop in the late 17th century. He not only dominated the London market well into the next century but also bred four generations of printmakers. The Bowles family specialized in maps, guidebooks and topographical prints as well as produced some playing cards and games. In 1714, shortly before Thomas’ demise, he passed the business to his oldest son, Thomas II. He followed in his father’s footsteps as a successful printseller and publisher, opening a shop in St. Paul’s Churchyard. His younger brother, John, managed his own shop as well, creating original map designs for clients. John’s son, Carington, worked alongside him for ten years as John Bowles & Son. Thomas II’s son, Thomas III, was destined to follow in the same path but, unfortunately, died the same year he joined the partnership. In 1767, Carington’s son, Henry Carington Bowles, took over the family business. In this article, we will look at playing card decks and illustrations as well as games printed, published and sold by the Bowles family.

South Sea Bubble & Mississippi Scheme Decks (1721)

In our previous article, Card Games Created During Pandemics, we mentioned the South Sea Bubble playing cards, which were printed by Thomas II. Illustrated on the cards are individuals and companies partaking in phony joint-stock investment trades. This get-rich-quick eagerness backfired, leaving many in economic despair. During the Mississippi Scheme, the stock market boomed across Europe when John Law, an economic theorist, sold his company shares to the public to try to retire their debt. The French government succumbed to the momentary frenzy and began printing an excessive supply of paper money. Once inflation increased, the money was invaluable. The cards depict the various schemes that led to these stock market crashes. A set of playing cards satirizing speculation schemes © CHRISTIE’S 2020.

The Beggar’s Opera Playing Cards (1728)

Printing satirical pieces were the Bowles’ niche. The Beggar’s Opera, written by poet John Gay, parodies various Italian work. It also implements comedy and political satire in songs set to contemporary and traditional English, Irish, Scottish, and French tunes. These cards, published by John Bowles, mirror the music and lyrics from Gay’s opera. The sheet music shares the same space as the court figures. The faces are in the upper left-hand corner of the playing cards.

The Spendthrift (1760-1767)

This is not playing card art, but it does portray a young man’s experience with gambling and gaming. The illustration shows a deck of sprawled out playing cards and an empty glass sitting on the table. It is assumed that he lost a great sum of money during a poker-related game. Carington Bowles published this print.

Bowles’ Geographical Game of the World

Henry Carington Bowles created a game for players to gain knowledge about various parts of the world. Published in the late 1700s, the board game embodies Western Christian views on the world. The period speaks volumes. One of the game’s punishments is to move backward if you land on Mecca. Players spin a teetotum (spinning dice) to move their markers around the map game.

Bowles’ Geographical Game of the World Game Board

Bowles’s Geographical Game of the World, case front

Bowles’ Geographical Game of the World, case back

[Bowles’s Geographical Game of the World], map, [1803..1821]; London, England. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1705382/: accessed April 8, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.

Custom Cards with Shuffled Ink

Shuffled Ink resembles the Bowles’ business in some ways. We are also a family-owned printing company. Founder Charles Levin started the custom playing card business in 1999, and today, three of his children work alongside him. Matthew is the Vice President, Lisa is a Project Manager and Jonathan is an Operations Manager. Shuffled Ink specializes in producing decks of custom playing cards, card games and tarot & flash cards for individuals and companies around the world. To receive complimentary samples of our card products, include your delivery address and phone number on your custom request a quote form.

CARD GAMES CREATED DURING PANDEMICS

CARD GAMES CREATED DURING PANDEMICS
Pandemic outbreaks are constant threads in human history.  These worldwide infectious diseases date back to as early as 165 CE when the Antonine Plague struck the Roman Empire.  A curious observation that has recently circulated the internet is the roughly 100-year disease pattern: 1720 Plague; 1817 Cholera; 1918 Spanish Influenza; 2019 Coronavirus. It’s difficult to call these repetitions a simple coincidence, but we won’t go into deep conspiracy theories today.  Instead, here’s a list of the various card games, playing card designs and board games created during such unprecedented times.

1720: Bubble Playing Cards

The Great Plague of Marseille hit Western Europe in 1720, taking the lives of nearly 100,000 people in France.  While England feared the disease would spread to their own country due to the constant use of Marseille’s ports, they were also dealing with the repercussions of the South Sea Bubble.  The South Sea stock market collapsed less than a year after it started to boom. The playing cards featured below satirize the devastating financial crash, detailing both counterfeit and authentic investment trades that ultimately led to the demise of many fortunes.  Created and designed by Thomas Carington Bowles, the cards placed both a comical tone on a devastating financial time and helped to subside worries about the disease’s spread.

1817: Durak Card Game

Reports of Cholera can date back to 5th century B.C., but it wasn’t until 1817 that the first Cholera pandemic occurred.  Over the course of six years, this disease hit India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Japan and parts of European territories like Russia. The card game Durak became popular in Russia during the 19th century.  Its exact origin is unclear, but it can be assumed that this game allowed for a decent distraction while Cholera spread throughout Russia.  There are numerous sources that label it as the most popular and well-known card game in Russia.  Durak’s objective is to avoid being the last player holding cards and requires a 36-card deck. Durak consists of two types of players: attackers and defenders.  A player who leads with the lowest trump card is the first attacker.  The player who sits to the left of the attacker is referred to as the first defender.  Once a player places a playing card into the middle, an attack is put into place.  Defenders will counter this attack by placing a higher-ranking card of the same suit into the middle.  Now, if the attacker placed a non-trump suited card into the middle, then a defender simply must play any trump card to beat the card played. If the defender succeeds, then the attacker can try again by playing a card that shares the rank of the previous card played.  Once the first attack/defend ends, the player to the left of the attacker makes their move.
https://youtu.be/3JagmUmUJOc

1918: Uncle Wiggily Board Game

Spanish Influenza caused a global pandemic that killed nearly 50 million people.  Some of the authoritative measures taken during this 20th-century pandemic mirror our own methods against the Coronavirus.  This included quarantining those who were ill, closing schools and enforcing the value of handwashing and wearing masks. Playing card games and board games with one’s family increased in popularity during the 20th century.  Two years prior to the outbreak, Milton Bradley Co., an American board game manufacturer, transformed the famous novel, “Uncle Wiggily’s Adventures” by Howard Garis, into a board game.  The game’s popularity matched that of the novels’, allowing for the series to come to life in a visually appealing manner.  While the game has undergone many changes since its publication, it has reigned in popularity for over a century while also having survived the deadliest pandemic in history.

2019: Our Clients’ Card Designs

For the past seven weeks or so, we have been living in an unfamiliar world.  Reality hit home when the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named COVID-19 a pandemic. We encourage both our clients and prospective clients to continue working on their customized game designs.  This is the perfect opportunity to take your mind off of the current situation. Consider creating a playing card project that brings enjoyment and entertainment.  Here are some incredible products that we have printed for our clients during COVID-19:
We at Shuffled Ink hope that you are staying safe during this pandemic.  Our manufacturing facility is fully operational and ready to assist you!  Stay safe, and we will get through this together! ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk

SUPPORTING THE JOE NAMATH FOUNDATION

SUPPORTING THE JOE NAMATH FOUNDATION

Shuffled Ink is honored and proud to support the Joe Namath Foundation, which benefits numerous children’s charities and neurological research. 

Joe Namath Foundation Customized Playing Cards
In 1969, Joe Namath, the quarterback for the New York Jets, personally guaranteed that the Jets would defeat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.  Not only did the Jets win, but the game was regarded as the greatest upset in American football history. Shuffled Ink owner, Charles Levin, attended Super Bowl III with his dad on January 12, 1969.  Since the age of 6, he has been an avid and rather fanatical Jet’s fan.  In fact, Charles attended Super Bowl 3 and witnessed Namath’s greatest NFL moment. And, ever since he was a young boy, and even now in adulthood, he has idolized and always dreamed of meeting the MVP football star, Joe Namath. Naturally, as the 50th anniversary of the epic Super Bowl game approached, Levin couldn’t help but find himself reminiscing about Namath and the Jets. The stars seemed to have aligned on January 24, 2019, when Charles, working late at the office, received a phone call from Joe Namath’s manager who was seeking to create printed custom playing cards for the upcoming Joe Namath Foundation charity golf tournaments.   They wanted to use the personalized cards as party favors to place into attendee’s goodie bags.  Needless to say, Charles assured him that he had come to the right place! As the nearly two-hour phone call concluded, the Foundation’s order was underway free of charge BUT with one contingency — Charles would be able to attend the VIP cocktail party the night before the tournament, as well as meet his idol, Broadway Joe.  It was truly an incredible dream coming full circle!
Shuffled Ink owner, Charles Levin, with Joe Namath at the Joe Namath Foundation charity golf tournament in Jupiter, FL
The Joe Namath Foundation playing card decks, designed by Charles and Shuffled Ink’s graphics staff, are completely customized back and faces.  The cards capture a series of iconic moments in both Namath’s life and football career.  But most importantly, the personalized card decks illustrate the purpose and beauty of the Joe Namath Foundation.
Joe Namath Foundation Customized Playing Cards
On March 31, 2019, Charles had the opportunity to meet and spend time with Joe Namath and so many other incredible athletes and supporters of the Foundation: John Schmitt, Namath’s center for Super Bowl III; Kevin O’Leary Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank; Hall of Famer Johnny Bench; Pittsburgh Steeler Franco Harris; Super Bowl XXII MVP Doug Williams; Vinny Testaverde; and Ed Too Tall Jones just to name a few. Shuffled Ink is honored and proud to support the Joe Namath Foundation, which benefits numerous children’s charities and neurological research.  At your pleasure, feel free to visit the website link provided to learn more about the Foundation. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk