Poker Chip Design Guide

You can find everything you need to get started on your chip design here.

poker chips design tools

Get the NEW! CMYK Color Wheels for the Old West Poker Supplies Print Shop
and choose your colors for your Custom Ceramic Poker Chips with confidence.

retro camera - Questions about Artwork and Design for your Custom Ceramic Poker Chips

We review every order that is placed so all you have to do is place your order online and then send us an email with your artwork attached or a link to your artwork online. We will match your email to your order. It always helps to have a reference to your order number if you have it. If you need assistance with uploading your artwork just send us an email.
Generally, it depends on the print shop you're dealing with. Since we do most of our communications via email with customers we consider "digital proofs" to be a simple low resolution representation of your order with the basic information included.
Like the digital proof below:

A prototype is an actual chip printed with the artwork that you approved for the prototype.
We offer free artwork creation or assistance to all our paying customers. Simply place an order and then send us an email referring to your order and let us know that you'll be needing our assistance with the artwork. Give us as much detail about the artwork as possible in your email. Links to examples on the internet always help.
Generally, we avoid copying the work of others. There are copyright laws and ethics practices we have to adhere to. However, if you own a poker chip set and simply want to add a dealer button or a poker plaque that isn't offered by the original manufacturer we can do our best to create one that would match. If you want a set made like a set that you saw but can't find anywhere we can always create a version of that design for you.
Yes, we can add pictures of anything to your poker chips - within reason, lol. As long as you have an image of high resolution (at least 300 dpi, preferably 600 dpi)that you can email us we can set it up for you. Some cameras take images at 72 dpi but make them extremely large in size which means we can use them by downsampling them. If you have questions about certain images just send us an email.
We prefer vector artwork first and foremost. Vector artwork files are
  • .ai (Adobe Illustrator)
  • .svg (scalable vector graphics)
  • .eps (encapsulated postscript)
  • unscanned .pdf (portable document format)
You should receive a tracking number within around three weeks from the time your artwork was approved for production. We don't give running updates on orders because it can be disruptive to the production process. If you do not receive a tracking number after three weeks you can ask us to look into the delay.
Yes, you can have different fronts and backs on your chips for no extra charge. The rolling edges are printed for free as well with whatever you choose.
Color modes can be difficult to understand for some. The two color modes you should be concerned with are RGB and CMYK.

RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue and is the way in which color is represented by your computer monitor and your television. If you can imagine your television screen being black and then populating it with tiny little red, green and blue lights to make color then you might understand the RGB color mode. When something is black there is no light. When something is white it is a mixture of Red, Green and Blue. We do not use this color mode to print with. It is a mode for lighted displays and it can represent nearly every color imaginable.

CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and is the way in which most materials are printed by consumers and commercial printers. If you can imagine that everything you print is already white and then using ink to make colors on the white canvas then you have a basic understanding of CMYK color mode. The absence of ink is white. Black is represented only by the black ink or a mixture of all four inks depending on your needs. Because there is no light projection involved in print CMYK there is much less variety of color.

If you can imagine the number of colors represented by RGB could fill a football field and the number of colors represented by CMYK could fill a kiddie pool then you can understand the limitations of the CMYK color palette. That is not to say that you can't print certain colors with CMYK. There are special inks for printing special colors like neons and bright pastels. We do not print with those inks though.

You can't choose the exact color you want for your design by using a computer monitor unless you understand the color modes above. The best way to choose your colors is by using printed examples of colors supplied by us. You can purchase our color wheels sets if you want to see how certain CMYK colors are printed in our shop. Otherwise, you'll have to use a printed color manual or index like Color Index 2 by Jim Krause. Our color will print a little darker than the colors in this book but it will get you closer than the color pickers in design software.

Color is the most difficult part of the print design process because it is hard to imagine what your customer sees and wants in their color design. Color is not only represented to everyone in a multitude of ways as explained above but it is also very subjective. Colors often represent emotions and can be associated with vivid memories of our personal pasts. That makes them very subjective. When someone wants their design to have red they may actually mean more of a lighter red or pink rather than a red with more yellow added. Minute variations of color can alter that entire theme of a design.
A raster file is usually associated with photographic images. Much like a television screen the file or image is made up of tiny little pixels and the quality of the image is dictated by the number of those pixels that occupy a square inch (ususally). This is called resolution or dpi - "dots per inch". If an image is shared at a low resolution it is nearly impossible to get a higher resolution or quality from that same image. In other words you can't scale the quality up. You can only scale it down in quality. This makes raster images difficult to work with if they need to be altered in the design process. Images that are generally found on the internet are usually 72 dpi resolution because in general a low resolution image is all that is required to display on a monitor. This also means web sites will require less bandwidth to display. Print resolution is usually 160 dpi and above. We require at least 300 dpi and suggest 600 dpi for your projects to print their best.

A vector file image is a scalable graphic. This is achieved entirely through mathematics - in other words vectors of lines and points. It is resolution independent which means you can use one small file size for many different sizes of images. You can scale an image from millimeters to giant street signs with ease. This allows changes in color and design elements very easy for a designer because you can isolate things like lines, shapes and backgrounds without having to change any other part of the image. This is something that is difficult to do with raster images (unless they are layered). We prefer to work with vector files when at all possible.