Designing a custom scratch card: Easy steps to get your campaign into the hands of customers

  1. Choosing the scratch card size and shape
  2. What game should I have?
  3. Choosing the artwork
  4. What information should scratch cards include?
  5. What type of scratch-off area should I choose?
  6. Send over any artwork you have
  7. Do I need to include a code?
  8. What finishes are available for my scratch cards?
  9. How many scratch cards do I need?
  10. What we will we need from you?

So you’ve decided that a scratch card campaign will help boost business, now you need to put thought and words into action.

For those of you with a specific theme in mind, this will need to be communicated to your printer. If you simply like the idea of a scratch card campaign but are unsure of how to proceed, an experienced printer will be able to help you through the process.

The following steps are a guide to help you understand the process of commissioning a run of scratch cards.

Our Purely Digital staff are trained and experienced at producing scratch cards. We will give you the option of taking on as little or as much responsibility as you want. Once details have been communicated, we can have your scratch cards designed, printed and back to you within a matter of days. Contact us for more information.

1. Choosing the scratch card size and shape

The size you pick will depend on the audience you are targeting and the information you wish to circulate.

Size (mm) Use

Regular (100×50)

Slightly larger than a standard credit card, perfect as an easy giveaway that carries a prize every time.

A7 (105×74)

This wallet-sized scratch card allows for more information while retaining its easy-to-pick-up feel.

A6 (148×105)

The shape of a small letter, this scratch card offers a great space for advertising and is perfect for posting.

DL (210×99)

These scratch cards offer the benefits of a flyer but with the added element of a scratch game. Perfect for slipping between the pages of a magazine.

A5 (148×210)

If you’re focused on the ‘play’ aspect of scratch cards, this large size allows for multiple games on one sheet. Excellent for bingo, Battleships or large ‘reveal’ quizzes.

Larger items can be produced, up to A2 size. This size can be used for such things as larger scratch-off maps, maybe as a tourism industry give-away. We can also produce custom-sized cards at whatever size you need, along with die cut irregular or none rectangular shaped cards.

2.  What game should I have?

Maybe you want a simple reveal and win, or perhaps you’d like to offer a fruit machine-style experience. Bring any designs and ideas you have to your print firm and they will discuss what’s possible. Alternatively, leave it in the hands of your printer and they will set out what game works best for your campaign.

Purely Digital has years of experience designing and printing scratch cards. We have a range of effective and entertaining games that we can insert into you design. For more information, talk to our staff by ringing 01332 299553 or sending us a message here.

3. Choosing the artwork

You may wish the scratch card to simply carry your logo, or you might have a specific promotion in mind that has its own design specifications.

If you have designed the game yourself, you’ll need to send over the images you want to have under the scratch-off area.

Alternatively, you can talk through the overall effect you’re after with your printer and they should be able to help make it happen with little fuss.

If you are handing over artwork, remember to supply it in the following format:

  • PDF with a 3mm bleed
  • Produced to press-quality standard
  • High resolution: 300px/inch

4. What information should scratch cards include?

Consider how you want your promotion to perform and the message you wish to put across. If you’re advertising a new range or service, you will want to indicate this on the front.

Use the back for contact details, along with terms and conditions.

5. What type of scratch-off area should I choose?

The look and feel of the removable surface may seem like a small consideration, but it can have a big impact on how the scratch card is received.

Things you should consider when choosing the removable surface include:

  • What it is made of
  • The shape
  • The colour
  • Whether you require an image on top

What it is made of

This will have an impact not only on what your scratch card will look like but also on how secure the scratch-off finish is. Your choices are:

  • Silver and gold latex — A liquid latex. A clear release varnish must first be applied so the latex can be rubbed off without damaging the print.
  • Foil — The foil is applied by employing a similar process to that used for embossing business cards and other items. Foil produces an expensive-looking finish that is more secure. Spider foil can be used for extra security. This prevents any information from being revealed when a card is held up to bright light.


You can vary the shape of the scratch-off area according to your preferences. However, consider going for something unique that will make your campaign stand out.


For an Easter promotion, you may want to choose an egg-shaped scratch-off area; alternatively, vinyl disks can work well for a music store offer.


Colours can also be varied; however, the process of creating different coloured scratch-off material may increase the overall price. Some materials may also limit the range of colours available. Speak to our staff for more details.

Do you want the scratch off area to have an image on top of it?

Instead of changing the colour and shape of the scratch-off area itself, how about printing an image on top of a basic scratch off shape? This can produce a visually appealing effect using designs that you have created yourself. Alternatively, ask your printer to produce artwork linked to your brand or promotion.

The experienced staff at Purely Digital are happy to help you come up with concepts for your scratch cards. Whether you have an idea in mind or are simply looking for inspiration, get in touch and talk over what you want to achieve.

How many scratch off panels do I need?

This will depend on the sort of game you have chosen. A large part of the fun of scratch cards comes from the suspense when scratching off panels. But that does not necessarily mean there is a direct correlation between panels and fun — too many panels and the player is likely to get bored or confused.

Find the sweet spot and stick with it.

6. Send over any artwork you have

If you do have a particular design in mind then we can incorporate it into the scratch card in any way you choose. This could be:

  • The logo of your business
  • The theme of a current marketing campaign
  • A specific look you desire for the scratch card run
  • The pictures that are revealed underneath the scratch cards

Keep in mind that the more elaborate your game, the more designs you will require. This is because the different levels of prizes will require different designs under the scratch off area to signify to players what prizes they may have won.

Equally, you may come to your printer with no preconceived artwork. Most reputable print companies will be able to design the scratch card artwork to your specifications.

If you would like Purely Digital to include your design on the finished product, all you need to do is produce them to the following specifications:

  • On PDF with a 3mm bleed
  • To press-quality standard
  • At high resolution 300px/inch

7. Do I need to include a code?

Serial numbers are a very useful addition to a scratch card campaign. They allow you to collect data on various aspects of your campaign, including:

  • How quickly a prize has been claimed
  • Contact details of those collecting the prizes
  • How many of the top prizes are left
  • Which area of distribution found scratch cards most appealing

This is hugely important in creating leads and allowing you to plan future campaigns more effectively.

Serial numbers are also a reliable security feature that prevents a scratch card from being redeemed more than once.

If you don’t have your own serial numbers, Purely Digital will generate a series for you.

8. What finishes are available for my scratch cards?

Like most print products, you have the option of choosing the type of finish on your scratch card.

A silk finish is most popular as this works best with the scratch-off. Gloss and matt laminates can also be used. Uncoated paper does not work well, as this makes the scratch-off more easily adhere to the paper, meaning it more difficult to rub away.

9. How many scratch cards do I need?

Think about the audience you are trying to target, as well as your own capacity. There is no point producing thousands of cards that require players to collect their prizes from your store when you only have two members of staff manning the desk.

A campaign targeted at the right demographic can achieve far more than a large print run distributed in a scattergun approach.

The Purely Digital price table will give you an idea of the costs involved (costs may vary according to specific requirements):

10. What we will we need from you?

If you have particular specifications, you may want to bring along the following details:

  • Logo
  • Campaign brief
  • Colour scheme
  • Artwork

The information you bring could also include a description of what you’re trying to achieve, along with how many stores you wish to target — that way we can split the batches of scratch cards up for you.

Otherwise, feel free to simply come along and our experts will design a card for you.


If you already have a set of codes that you wish to incorporate into your print run, supply us with an electronic version and we can input them into the process. If you do not have the codes, we can generate them for you.

Logo & artwork

If you have your own designs, there are a number of things you can do to make things easier at our end and speed up production time.

Sticking to the following parameters will ensure your scratch cards are printed and delivered to you at the earliest opportunity:

  • Keep your key copy at least 5mm from the trim edge
  • For the best image reproduction, work at 300dpi
  • To ensure all script is legible, maintain a minimum size for your
  • Please design in CMYK unless you’re working exclusively with spot colours

To find out more about how to get your designs ready for print read our specific guide to print-proofing your documents.

Scratch card campaigns are an effective marketing tool that is both engaging and entertaining. By following these simple steps, you can go from initial conception to scratch cards in the hands of potential customers within a matter of days.

To find out more information about scratch cards, click on the following links:


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