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About LBL

Artist Trading Cards

The very basics

As their name indicates, ATC are collectable, a brilliant idea is born of the older sports-themed trading cards. The one rule that makes an ATC derives from their origins: the dimensions of the ATC must be 2.5" x 3.5", or 64mm x 89mm.

To this rule are appended a couple of conventions.

  • First, an ATC mustn't be sold, only exchanged, as the whole essence of these tiny works of art is about artists meeting (by correspondence or online if need be) and exchanging their works, thus meeting many artists and getting exposed to many personal styles.
  • Second, on the back of each ATC the artist writes a part or all of the following information: a name, contact information, a title of the ATC and number (1/8, 2/8...) if it's a part of an edition. By definition ATCs are made in limited numbers, often no more than one of a kind. Unique ATCs are called originals. Sets of identical ATCs are called editions and are numbered. Sets of ATCs that are based on one theme but that are different are called series. What most collectors really want are cards that were made with care. Based on that, numbers are meaningless.

That's all! The above is all you need to know to start making your own ATCs. Common sense dictates that they should be sturdy enough to survive mailing, and of reasonable thickness (unless you specifically want them otherwise). Transparent card sleeves are useful to protect the cards if need be. This is particularly true if they can easily get smudged or if the medium might stick during transport.

What we can also do is just email each other the cards and print them out on sturdy paper of 160g - 200g. The title and the signature of the artist must also be sent with the cards.

How many Artist Trading Cards (ATC) will be traded per person in each exchange?

The number is up to you. We can do a trade for one card. A more standard number is three, which can be successfully mailed with a regular first-class postage stamp as long as the ATCs are traditional and flat, without embellishments. Another popular number to exchange is five.

ATC Themes

We can have also have a theme. The theme could be as general as "five originals" or "three digital art ATCs". Most successful exchanges are Pirates, Mail Art, Self-Portraits, Color-based themes, and Experimental.

Please inform me if you are interested in being part of this exchange. We will then let you know the number of cards that will be exchanged amoung the artists and if their will be a theme. Exchange will be by email.

Sincerely yours

Anita Mager
Director of the LBL Europe

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