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Re: Supposed Test Prints of colored borders

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:34 am
by cataclysm80
I spoke with Daniel about getting a good photo of the bottom edge of the sheet for Dave to authenticate the item.

Daniel still owns the uncut sheets, but refused to provide a photo to me.
He did say that he would be willing to TALK to Dave about it if Dave contacted him.
I let Dave know, but I doubt that Dave is interested enough in this project to go out of his way contacting Daniel.

Of coarse, Daniel also still refuses to say who he acquired the item from. (to protect that persons privacy)

Daniel is convinced that the items are real, and does not feel any need to authenticate them for the community.

With Daniel unwilling to say where he got them and also unwilling to allow them to be authenticated, the items have no provenance.
(Provenance is the chronology of ownership of a historical object back to its origin, preferably supported with paperwork such as a bill of sale or receipts.)

I feel that these are authentic, but unless something changes in the future, there is no way to prove it.


Re: Supposed Test Prints of colored borders

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:43 am
by cataclysm80
One more note. Someone had told me that they felt these colored border cards were fake because they have a white back and that no other white back test prints from that era were known to exist.

Actually, there are some white backed test prints dated October 1993. Here is a link to more info on those...


Re: Supposed Test Prints of colored borders

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:11 pm
by cataclysm80
snarke wrote: Unlimited is simply Beta with white borders. We just called Carta Mundi and said "can you change the border color on the films you have now?" We wanted Unlimited to be gray bordered, but Carta Mundi made it clear that would have required either a 'screen' of little black dots or paying to have a spot color on the press. They could only do solid color modifications with tape. That meant black, white, red, yellow, green, cyan, magenta, or dark blue. The color options would have looked hideous against some of the card colors, so white it was. Carta Mundi did the equivalent of laying strips of white tape between the images on the printing plate films. They created a new set of printing plates, but the plates were made from the same films that they'd used for beta.
The colored border test prints Dave made showed what the other solid color tapes that Carta Mundi had available during Unlimited would look like as card borders.

I notice that the colors of the borders on the cards Daniel has exactly match the list of tape colors that Dave said Carta Mundi had available.


Re: Supposed Test Prints of colored borders

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:18 pm
by cataclysm80
I've spoken with Dave & Daniel both about this item again.

Dave did contact Daniel about authenticating these. However, the sheets have been professionally framed and the bottom edge that Dave wanted to see is covered up by the framing mat. As long as these remain framed (likely a long time) we won't be able to see that bottom edge.


Re: Supposed Test Prints of colored borders

Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:22 pm
by dragsamou
cataclysm80 wrote:I've spoken with Dave & Daniel both about this item again.

Dave did contact Daniel about authenticating these. However, the sheets have been professionally framed and the bottom edge that Dave wanted to see is covered up by the framing mat. As long as these remain framed (likely a long time) we won't be able to see that bottom edge.

Hi Tav

Yep, not that much we can do without the owner trying to help...

Re: Supposed Test Prints of colored borders

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:34 am
by cataclysm80
On an old UseNet post from November 1994, Tom Wylie thinks that colored borders are being considered for the stand alone expansions like Ice Age.
This would make the stand alone sets easier to identify.
Tom Wylie wrote: Back in the 1st edition days, it was apparently decided to, in general,
have any limited edition cards be black bordered, and any open-ended
print runs to be white bordered. This was largely to make it easier
for collectors to distinguish which cards were of limited availability,
and which were reasonably plentiful. There had been talk of making the
Revised edition cards' grey-bordered, but this was scrapped.
I think the standalone sets are supposed to have colored borders.
Now we all know that Ice Age came out with regular black borders, but when I read this on UseNet this evening, I thought it should be included here in this thread. If that really was being considered around November of 1994, then it isn't hard to imagine tests like we see in this thread.

Additionally, I've found that all the black bordered sets from this time frame had their black borders added by Carta Mundi using black tape on the color separation films before making the printing plates. If colored borders were tested, it would make sense for the colors to match the colors of tape that Carta Mundi had available.


Re: Supposed Test Prints of colored borders

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:23 am
by dry cereal
most interesting thread I've seen on here in a long time :)

*gets his popcorn*


Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:48 am
by cataclysm80
I'm still looking for the yellow bordered Reconstruction, and I've found another old WotC employee who remembers these colored border test prints.
I asked his permission to post what he told me about them.

Victor Wertz, editing, typesetting, WotC's Carta Mundi Liaison, jobs to numerous to mention.
Victor was one of the people who helped select the cardstock used for Magic. As liaison, he was for WotC what Luc Mertens was for Carta Mundi. They would have worked together, communicating each companies needs and desires. As such, Victor was definitely involved with test prints made by Carta Mundi.
Vic Wertz wrote: I know the cards very well. These weren’t made locally by Dave though,—they were actually printed at Carta Mundi.

After printing black-bordered cards and white-bordered cards, we were looking at the possibility of printing cards with other border colors, and it turns out that due to technical constraints at the time—a bizarre limitation related to the maximum size of film recorder output in the early days of digital prepress—Carta Mundi could only offer us cyan, magenta, yellow, black, red, green, dark blue, or white borders.

Since you seem interested, I’ll go ahead and explain further. Carta Mundi’s standard press sheets contained 121 cards, in 11 rows of 11 cards each. Back in the day, we had to provide them film output of our digital files, and there weren’t any service bureaus in the area that could output film of that size. So we used to divide the sheets into four quadrants that were output separately (upper left 5x5, upper right 6x5, lower left 5x6, lower right 6x6), and Carta Mundi’s prepress department would put them together in Belgium.

As you mention, the whole image area is made up of halftone dots. So when Carta Mundi put the edges of two quadrants together, the dots probably wouldn’t line up perfectly; if they overlapped where they weren't supposed to, the overlapping area would be too dark, and if they left a gap where they weren’t supposed to, that would be an unwanted light area. This would translate to a black or white line where the quadrants joined up, and if they took that to print, and if the cards then weren’t cut perfectly on the line, that line could be visible on the edge of the card. But if the borders were monochrome black, overlap wasn’t a problem, and if the borders were monochrome white, gaps weren’t a problem. Monochrome white borders were easy because there were no dots to overlap and gaps didn't show. Monochrome black borders needed tape to cover the gaps.

Now, think about how 4-color printing works, where (for example) the yellow plate is really a monochrome image—where it’s fully opaque, it results in full yellow; where it’s fully transparent, it results in nothing printed in yellow (and if all the other plates are clear at the same spot, it’s the color of the paper, meaning white). So as long as the borders were either 100% or 0% on every plate, then Carta Mundi would have the matching tape to cover the gaps. Which meant CM could do borders for us in only the following colors:

Cyan (C: 100%, M: 0%, Y: 0%, K: 0%)
Magenta (C: 0%, M: 100%, Y: 0%, K: 0%)
Yellow (C: 0%, M: 0%, Y: 100%, K: 0%)
Black (C: 0%, M: 0%, Y: 0%, K: 100%)
Red (C: 0%, M: 100%, Y: 100%, K: 0%)
Green (C: 100%, M: 0%, Y: 100%, K: 0%)
Dark Blue (C: 100%, M: 100%, Y: 0%, K: 0%)
White (C: 0%, M: 0%, Y: 0%, K: 0%)

(Theoretically, there are other versions of black that could be done—for example, C: 100%, M: 100%, Y: 100%, K: 0% and C: 100%, M: 100%, Y: 100%, K: 100%—but printing presses have a maximum allowable ink density, and both of those are likely to be over inked.)

I know we got our own film recorder at some point; I can’t recall whether it output full sheets, which meant this problem ended then, or whether it continued to be an issue until Carta Mundi finally got the point where we began sending digital files instead of films and they did their own direct-to-plate printing. Tom W. would probably remember that better than I. I asked Carta Mundi to print samples of all of those so we could look at them. Turns out they were all hideous apart from black and white, so we never did anything with them.

We received one 36-card sheet (which they had cut into two halves, for reasons unclear), plus a single cut copy of each card on the sheet. The photo you sent shows the top half of the sheet with rows of yellow, red, and magenta; the other half had rows of cyan, green, and blue. So when it comes to individual cut cards, there are 6 cards with each border color, and each card is completely unique.

I’m pretty certain that the cards were kept in groups of 6 (CMYRGB). The Wizards’ production department kept some, and I believe that the R&D department took some, but I’m a little hazy on that last fact. Tom was almost certainly the person I’d have given the cards to for the production archive. (Whether he’d *remember* them or not, I can’t say. Since we had pretty much immediately decided never to do anything with them, they weren’t that big a deal.)

Re: Supposed Test Prints of colored borders

Posted: Sun May 31, 2020 10:30 pm
by cataclysm80
cataclysm80 wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:37 pm
For the sheet which was cut into individual cards, Daniel only has some of them. The other individual cards are waiting to be found if they still exist.
I would like to own the yellow bordered Reconstruction, but Daniel does not have that one. If anyone finds it, please let me know.
I've been asked a few times about which colored border cards are known to have survived, and which ones are missing in action.
Here is a list of the ones that we know still exist.

Yellow Border
Healing Salve
Island (blue sky)
Creature Bond

Red Border
Dwarven Warrior
COP: Red
Forest (with mushrooms)

Magenta Border (Pink)
Merfolk of the Pearl Trident
Swamp (grey tint)
Swamp (brown tint)

Purple Border
Plains (trees)
Raise Dead

Cyan Border (Blue)
Swamp (grey tint)
Mountain (brown sky)
Stone Rain

Green Border
Plains (no trees)
Island (red sky)
Psychic Venom

I know where the other 18 cards were in 1994 or 1995 when they were made, but haven't heard anything about them since then.
12 of those went to one WotC employee, and 6 (one of each border color) went to a different WotC employee.