Customising your scratch card
What can the shape of the scratch off area be?
The scratch off area can be any shape you like. In the past we've done scratch areas in the shape of a heart and the shape of an eye. A lot of our customers are after a simple rectangle and that's fine too! A more unusual shape won't cost you any more than a generic one. Cost is only likely to go up if you require a much bigger latex area on a big run.
Can the scratch panel be over printed with an image?
Yes, a scratch panel can be over printed so that the panel itself has something written on top of it. A good example of this is an advent calendar that we printed where the number of each day of advent was overprinted in black on to the latex. Generally, overprint works best in black, but it can be done in other colours (as illustrated in the example); however, to colour overprint is a time consuming process, so it's something that we recommend for small runs only.
How many different designs can I have under each scratch off area?
This question is sometimes worded to us along the lines of "how many prizes can I have?". There's no limit to the amount of different designs that can be put under a scratch off area, so if you wanted every single scratch card to have a unique design or individual prize you could. This decision is not limited by printing capabilities – so it's ultimately up to you.
What colour can the scratch off latex be?
The overwhelming majority of customers will opt for latex in its "natural" state i.e. in grey/silvery colour that most of us are familiar with. It's the colour that is found on the majority of scratch cards. Gold is another alternative which is popular and won't cost too much more to do. In theory, you can have the latex in a more inventive colour but this isn't necessarily a cost-effective option.
What stock can they be printed on?
Scratch cards can be printed on a variety of coated stocks but it's important to note that uncoated stocks won't work very well.
What size of scratch card can you print?
We can print any size of scratch card up to A3, though obviously most scratch cards are a lot smaller than this.
What shape scratch card can you print?
By using a process known as die cutting, we can produce almost any shape you can think of. For more intricate shapes, the better option may be laser cutting. Both techniques will add a little to the cost, but our experienced staff will help you decide which option is best for you so that you can have the shape you want for the lowest price.
How long do scratch cards take to print?
Like any print job, it depends on the volume that you want printed but as a loose guide your scratch cards are likely to take a minimum of two days to be produced. The average amount of time taken is normally about five to ten working days working on a job of 5,000 scratch cards.
How many do you normally print on a run?
The average amount is about 5,000, but we can accommodate anything from a run of 200-300 scratch cards, right up to 250,000; so really, it’s up to you.
Tracking your scratch cards
Can all the cards have a unique code on them?
Yes, we have the technology to assign a unique code to each scratch card or a particular code to a batch of scratch cards using a hexadecimal system that can be random or sequential. This means that different prizes can be assigned different prefixes, or different geographical areas can be assigned different codes. It also enables you to verify the legitimacy of any scratch card and helps you trace your cards. We can also add foil with security holograms on to your scratch cards to help verify their authenticity.
Scratch card facts
What is rub remove latex?
Rub remove latex is the latex we use on our scratch cards. It is an aluminium paste mixed into a medium to make it printable. The medium binds it together but keeps its varying colours. We use a clear varnish directly under the latex (in the exact same shape) so that it can rub off easily.
Rough, uncoated papers are not suitable for applying latex to, as the rough surface traps the latex and stops it rubbing off. A varnish won’t prevent this, as the surface is too porous, and the varnish will absorb straight into the paper, instead of sitting on the surface. Sometimes we’ll use two layers of varnish to accommodate for this – the first is absorbed so that the second can sit on top.
Are scratch cards recyclable?
Yes, scratch cards are recyclable. Like other printed items they’ll need to go through the standard deinking process.
What is the process for printing latex?
Unlike other methods, our process does not involve raising the image underneath the latex. The process of putting the latex down is similar to t-shirt printing in that it is a silk screen process. The process involves pushing ink through a stencil using a rubber squeegee. The latex stencil is a static image (meaning it’ll be the same every time) but you can have as many different variations of image underneath as you like. We like to let the latex dry completely by leaving it over night for the best results.