Cardboard Costs – How much does it cost to make a board game

Cardboard Costs – How much does it cost to make a board game

5/5 - (1 vote)
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Cardboard Costs - How much does it cost to make a board game.

Cardboard is vital for board games; it is used in components such as the board game box, playing board, score trackers, tokens, characters, and many others.


However, most creators don’t really understand the additional costs these cardboard components add to their game. Even more so, they don’t really understand why the cardboard prices vary so much between factories.


1. Card Board Costs for Board Game Details:

In this article, I will try to set the record straight and clearly explain the price of cardboard with their different quality, thickness, and size.


*This article is a continuation of the previous two articles: Printing Cost, and Overall Cost Structure. And although I add a short recap, I strongly recommend rereading the previous two articles if you find this article overwhelming. You can learn more about Hero Time Board game manufacturer here.

2. The Different Grades of Card Board:

If you are making a box, a player board, or tokens, in addition to the printing costs in the previous article, there are also the pieces’ cardboard costs. Generally, 

There are three levels of cardboard that can be used for a board game:
1. Standard (B) quality.
2. (A) quality dense/high dense.
3. (Double-A) Extra high density.
(as far as I know, only Hero Time uses extra high density).

* Unless you manufacture at Panda Games or Print Ninja, don’t take for granted the grade factories tell you as many factories and their salespeople can’t really tell the difference themselves; they buy off the shelf whatever wholesalers give them.


To learn more about the capabilities of these different grade cardboards, you can view the following two videos

3. Cost for Different Grades of Card Board:

  1. Standard B Quality = 700USD per ton
  2. A quality Dense/High Dense = 1070USD per ton
  3. Hero Time’s Extra Dense cardboard = 1230USD per ton.


These costs however are not static and they change every quarter. It follows the Producer Price Index of Wood Pulp.


To assess what these costs mean for your games in specific, we first need to decide the thickness of the cardboard you want to use and the sheet’s size suitable for your game.

4. The Sheet Size Suitable for your Components:


In the last article, we covered the price of printing on different sheets of paper and showed the standard paper sizes used in your game. To review, we buy from the paper mill a standard size sheet of 88.2*118.2cm.

we have six ways of cutting it most cost-effectively:
  1. 29.4*29.5cm (total print area 26*26) – (10*10inch)
  2. 29.4*39.4cm (Total Print area 26* – (10*14inch)
  3. 39.4*44cm (Total Print area 36*41) – (14*16inch)
  4. 44*59cm paper (Total print area 41*56) – (16*22inch)
  5. 54*78cm (Total print area 51*75cm) – (20*29inch).
  6. The large size paper is 59*88.2cm (Total print area 56*85cm) – (22*33inch)

The thickness of the cardboard

5. The Thickness of the Card Board:


Overall, there are three thicknesses that board game creators like to use for their game:

  1. 700-1000gsm (1.25-1.5mm thick),
  2. 1200gsm (2mm thick),
  3. 2000gsm (3mm thick).

As mentioned in our first article, cardboards are priced per ton, and we calculate each sheet’s weight by gsm (Gram Square Meter). Each master sheet size 88.2*118.2 is a square meter, and one ton equals 1,000,000 grams. So:

  1. If you choose the thin 1.25-1.5mm(700-1000gsm), we can fit around 1000 master sheets in one ton.
  2. 2mm thick (1200gsm) means we can fit about 800 master sheets in one ton.
  3. 3mm thick cardboard (2000gsm) we can fit 500 sheets in one ton.

See what thickness of cardboard you need for your game in the following video:

The size and cost of the sheets used in your game

6. The Size & Cost of Sheets used in your Game:


Card board costs for board game also consider the thickness of card board. After deciding the thickness of your cardboard, the quality grade, and the sheet size needed for your game, you can calculate how many master sheets fit into one ton and check how many smaller cardboard pieces you can make out of those sheets.


A) Standard Chart Sheet:

To make it easier for you, I have compiled everything into on price table for reference. In this table, you can see the cost per piece according to its quality and GSM. You should add this cost to the printing cost mentioned in “How Much Does it Cost to Make a Board Game – Printing Costs”

*as mentioned in our first How much does it cost to make a board gamearticle, you should also consider the waste and defect product, which vary between 10 and 20% depending on your pieces’ complexity. If you want the 2mm cardboard and cut it into six pieces, the price per ton should be calculated for 4000 pieces instead of 4800. We have already included it in the table.


*You probably came across the newest Blue Core cardboard in our videos; this is the latest cardboard type on the market and is perfect for tokens and player boards. The blue core cardboard is a thin cardboard 1.5mm (1000gsm), but it has a 2000gsm A quality cardboard durability. Its price is 1400USD per ton, but it is only relevant for large orders of 10 tons and up.

Log in to leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Explore The Most Popular Categories



Explore The Most Popular Categories

5/5 - (1 vote)
Category: Author: Hersh Glueck
As you embark on your board game manufacturing journey, there are a few things you should know about working procedures what different manufacturers offer, and which pitfalls to avoid. Though working with a board game manufacturer can vary between board game manufacturers and general manufacturers or agents there are still some essential key points you must make sure you cover. Topics in this series will cover lists of board game manufacturers, what is the difference between some of them, which manufacturer is suitable for you, how to build an organized component list to avoid mistakes, and much more.
Rate this university-category
Category: Author: Hersh Glueck
Generally speaking, there are 4 different types of board game pieces and components you can use in your card and board game. 1. Printed Pieces 2. Wood pieces 3. Plastic pieces and miniatures 4. Other Accessories Printed pieces for board games include all components that use paper and cardboard. They have but are not limited to Board game boxes, playing cards, foldable playing boards, individual player boards, board game token sheets, map tiles, rulebooks, and inserts.
Rate this university-category
Category: Author: Hersh Glueck
This topic is probably one of the more abstract hidden and unknown topics in our industry; the vague government regulations and guidelines and the secrecy and inaccessibility of the testing labs are making it hard for everyone to understand what actually should be labeled and how.
Rate this university-category
Category: Author: Hersh Glueck
This topic is for geeks who love to see and understand behind the scenes board games and card game production. Here we will go through the different cost structures of production down to the delicate details of gluing and labor costs. Once you read and understood these articles you will understand the cost and size limitations for your game and you will be able to reconfigure and redesign your game accordingly, all by yourself. Please note that in this topic we cover machines that are used by Hero Time, though most board and card game manufactures will use similar machines there are minor details that change. We will cover in this course topics such as General Costs, Printing Costs, Paper and cardboard cost, miniatures, and more.
Rate this university-category
Category: Author: Hersh Glueck
Shipping and Fulfillment is another topic that small to large game publishers cannot wrap their heads around, nor can they fully master it. For a first-time creator and an individual to be able to execute this part all by themselves without issues is nearly an impossible task. Still, with the correct information, the creator can stand a chance. This course will discuss different shipping terms, shipping methods, how Fulfillment works, average prices, and the logic behind these prices. This topic is still under construction, but if you are interested in already starting to learn a bit, you can refer to our YouTube discussion here (a video on YouTube that will launch soon)
Rate this university-category
Category: Author: Hersh Glueck
Hey guys, thank you for visiting this page. This is a personal message from Hersh: As a person who loves board games and the board game industry, it is my dream that board game creators will have everything they need all in one place, hence the University page you have come across. While I can handle and write all the information surrounding Manufacturing and Logistics, when it comes to Board Game Design, I need your help to write great and helpful content. If you have any board game design experience and think it is a valuable experience other creators should know about and learn from, please get in touch with us and let us know. If your article is informative and has concise and clear points, I would be more than happy to add it here in the university and put you as the author with a backlink to your own game/project, and your profile.


Board Game Creators are the pillars of the board game industry. As a board game manufacturer, it is our duty to make sure you have everything you need throughout your journey.

Our Testimonials

Contact Us

Hero Time is here to help in any way it can. Please let us know what can we do for you.

    I need KickStarter Fulfillment