With the advent of the Cure ID and international conventions, coscards are all the rage these days. Coscards are — simply put, social calling cards. Cosplayers give out these coscards to fellow cosplayers and to cosplay photographers, to share social media IDs and personal contact information.
Most coscards feature the cosplayer’s best outfits and favorite photos in the backdrop, and include Cure IDs, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and even mobile phone numbers in the foreground. They are designed mostly by the cosplayers themselves and are extremely personal — almost as important as the embellishments on their costumes.
As a Filipino cosplayer, how do you go about creating a coscard for yourself? And how are you able to make one, no matter what your budget? Here are three options.
On a Budget: The DIY
Using your favorite image editing program (I personally recommend Adobe Photoshop CS5 for paid programs, and Paint.Net for free options), create a blank image that is 9 cm x 5.5 cm in size, at 300 DPI resolution at the very least.
Paste your favorite cosplay photo on the base layer, and manipulate the image to your desired effect. Add a second layer and input your text — your cosplay stage name, your Cure ID, etc. It is important that you keep the two layers separate, so you can manipulate each of them without affecting the other.
Once you are happy with the outcome, save a copy of the PSD file for back-up — you will never know when you need to go back and tweak your work. Next, flatten the file and save a copy of your card as an image — it is up to you if you prefer JPG or PNG.
Lastly, duplicate the flattened image file several times, and lay them out in a grid — a standard A4 sheet should accommodate 10 cards in a 2 x 5 pattern. Just print the laid-out cards onto board paper, slice them up with a ruler and a box cutter, and you are ready to go!
Value for Money: The Professional Printer
If you have spare change from your cosplay budget, it is well worth the money to have your cards professionally made. You can follow the above steps to create your card, and simply save the design in a USB drive or SD card instead of printing it out.
Take your design to a professional print shop (there are plenty at local malls, and in neighborhoods surrounding large universities), and have them print out copies of your cards. I personally recommend Fax, Parcel, & Print — I’ve been using them for years and have never been disappointed.
Each box of 100 cards should set you back PhP 300 to Php 500 — depending on the paper quality you choose, and which print shop you use. Cutting the cards from larger print sheets to the correct size is part of the service, so if you have trouble cutting paper in a straight line they have you covered.
Best of all — if you think your Photoshop skills suck, they can even design your card for you, for an additional fee. Just remember to load all the base files such as images, fonts, and filters in your USB drive, before you commission the design.
High-Class and High-Impact: The International Print Source
If you have high standards and expensive tastes, then this last option could be for you. If your idea of the perfect coscard involves crisp photo-printing, heavy card stock, and (gasp!) matte lamination — then MOO.COM is for you.
An online print service based in the UK, MOO.COM can print high quality copies of your coscards — up to 100 individual designs per box of 100, if you were crazy enough to design them. I love MOO, and I have been using them for years, but I’ve only gotten up to 25 designs because I value what’s left of my mind.
The MOO option requires very little image manipulation — just use your favorite program to tweak your photos to perfection. Then, sign up at MOO.COM and upload your photos to their online tool. The tool will help you design your cards in a WYSIWYG interface — so you know exactly what your card looks like when it leaves the printer.
Once you’re done, just put in the quantity of cards you want, and pay them via Paypal or credit card (a minimum order of 100 pieces will set you back USD 50 — shipping included). Wait for the shipment to come in, and look forward to trading (or keeping) all 100 cards!