How to Create Your Own Collection of Trading Cards

Collector cards have been a part of the memorabilia hobby since the early days of Boxing and Baseball cards. Whether you were an enthusiast who collected trading cards for the love of the game, or an investor who saw the rarest cards for the treasure or investment they truly were, the collectible card landscape has been one of excitement and opportunity for decades.  

What if you could create your own custom trading cards though? Collector cards are commonly used to showcase rare items or people. This means you can take your favorite athletes, characters, events, and more and turn them into limited-edition works of art for yourself and others to enjoy. Selling, buying, trading, or giving them away, there are so many ways to use trading cards in your hobbies or business. 

From athletes and celebrities to superheroes and trading card games, there’s a collector card for every fan and a fan out there for every trading card. At GotPrint, we have a team ready to print custom collector cards for whatever you need.

Countless Different Kinds of Collector Cards 

Before we dive into designing your new custom trading card collection though, we need to take a look at what makes a collector card such a fantastic opportunity for you and your potential customers. There are a wide variety of different kinds of trading cards, from classic sports cards like football, baseball, and soccer to cards for trading card games like Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, and Disney’s Lorcana. “Specialty” cards cover toys like Garbage Pail Kids, franchises like Star Wars, and even trading cards for cultural figures like Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian’s Wedding Menu.  

When thinking about the kind of cards you want to design and have custom printed then, it is important to know what different uses or niches these sorts of collectibles can fill. These are just a few of the different trading card options out there: 

  • Sports Trading Cards: While not the first collector cards in history, the sports trading card industry is unquestionably the most popular and profitable in the modern day. With a Babe Ruth card selling for $7.2 million in 2023 and Honus Wagner baseball cards going for more than $400,000 when cut in half, it is clear where the market value in the trading card hobby lives. While selling your cards for hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars may not be realistic at first, there are countless card design ideas and inspirations that you can take from officially licensed companies like Topps and Upper Deck
  • Trading Card Games: TCGs are a unique subset of the collectible card market that provide a different degree of functionality and a wider fan base than conventional collectible cards. These kinds of cards are typically packaged in random sets called, “booster packs,” for players to collect, trade, put into their personalized collection of playing cards or “decks,” and ultimately play with against their friends or in large tournaments. Well-known games like Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh have had strong player bases since the early to late 90s, respectively. Designing your own new game can be quite a process, but taking the time to create something special for you to do with your custom prints is a great way to add to their card value. 
Heroes, Villains, and other original characters make great inspiration for TCGs (Trading Card Games).
  • Specialty Cards: These sorts of trading cards cover a wide variety of content and uses. Much like sports cards, there are collector cards for commemorating movies, books, shows, events, and artists. These collections found their start in packs of bubble gum and other items, offering a spread of wildlife photography, beloved celebrities, famous locations, and other interesting images. While the novelty of these types of trading cards can be a little harder to narrow down, finding an audience that is passionate about your niche can still bring a lot of interest to your custom card collections. 

While there is a wide selection of topics that can be converted into trading cards, it is important to always keep in mind why this hobby holds value for collectors. The most important aspect of a trading card, its worth, is still ultimately decided by its quality, rarity, and popularity. That’s why when deciding what you want to do with your collector cards, it is important to keep your audience in mind each step along the way. 

Printing Options for Custom Collector Card Designs 

So now that you have figured out what you want to do with your collector cards and are ready to begin designing your custom prints, the next step is to select your preferred printing options. There are many different materials available for making cards, and knowing which works for your purpose is a question of both preference and quality. Below is a short guide to the different types of prints you can choose from when creating your trading cards with Gotprint

  • Gloss Cover: This cover features a classic shiny stock with a high gloss UV coating for shine and damage protection at a slim 14 pt. thickness.  
  • Uncoated Cover: With a natural finish stock, this cover features a writeable surface and that same slim 14 pt. thickness. 
  • Premium Linen: A subtle woven texture and writable surface complement our slimmest cover option at 13 pt. thickness. 
  • Premium Matte Cover: Our matte option features a smooth finish stock, a writable finish and a more robust 16 pt. thickness. 
  • Ultra-Premium Pearl: With a smooth, shimmery, and radiant look that plays nicely off its naturally off-white pearl color, our ultra-premium option sits at a high-quality 18 pt. thickness.  
  • Premium Kraft: This coating features 100% recycled brown paper with natural fibers as well as that same writeable surface and 18 pt. thickness found in our other options. 
  • Ultra-Premium Smooth White: A sleek, matte finish and writable surface complement one of the higher-quality options at 18 pt. thickness. 
  • Trifecta Green, Blue, Black, and Red: The trifecta series features triple-layered velvety white paper stock with a different color core of your choice. Trifecta cards also sit at 38 pt, which is in line with most typical trading cards.  

Create Your Own Trading Cards

Whether you choose a high-quality Trifecta feel or a smooth velvet look for your trading cards, all our card stocks are perfect for long-lasting custom collector cards. We also offer different personalization options after you decide what quality of stock you are going to use. Adding a unique feature, such as rounded corners, can give your trading cards a distinct look. There are several other elements you can add to your design to make it stand out and give your cards more value, such as raised UV or foil finish. Still unsure of what printing option is right for you? We thankfully also offer free sample kits so you can get your hands on our different stocks of paper yourself. 

Using high-quality materials and printing methods can help your custom collectible trading cards stand out in a competitive and fast-moving marketplace. With a selected niche, chosen paper stock options, and even a little bit of logo or design help if you need it from us, your trading card business will be good to go. Whether you are printing for a sports club, a business, or yourself, collector cards make a fantastic promotional tool that will leave a lasting impression on anyone.