Designing For Dice
Dice are the ultimate randomizer, and they can make your game stand out. Come to us with your polyhedral vision. Size, shape, color, and iconography can all be customized to match your game.
This webpage is divided into three main sections. The first section discusses details of various options and choices that must be made when filling out your game's specifications on the quote form. The second section discusses preparing a Component Specification Sheet and/or Dice Templates when ordering your component and any considerations that must be taken into account during the creation of that file. The final area has miscellaneous tips and tricks. The second and third sections will be of most use to graphic designers, illustrators, and others who are creating the actual pdf or vector files.
Quote Form Specifications
When filling out the quote form, for the dice in your game, there will be certain specifications that have to be defined as shown below:
If you have multiple types of dice in your game, this is a handy place to provide a unique identifier. Create a new entry for each unique shape or design.
2. Number of Sides
Our standard shapes for dice are 6-sided (D6), 4-sided (D4), 8-sided (D8), 10-sided (D10), 12-sided (D12), and 20-sided (D20).
The most cost effective option for dice is to use an existing mold. The various sizes, shapes, and standard numbering styles we offer are shown in the menus below. Custom Engraved Dice typically cost the same per dice as standard dice, but with an additional tooling charge to create the mold. They can feature a high amount of detail, but fine lines and images close to the edges may be lost. Since the mold is custom the size can be custom as well. Custom Silkscreened Dice feature a single colored silk screen image applied to the blank die faces. Panda has blank die molds that can be used in the size column but a custom size will have a mold cost associated with it.
- Standard Numbered Faces: This could be either numbers or pips
- Custom Engraved: An engraved or molded design for each side
- Custom Silkscreened: Silkscreen with 1-3 colors or full color heat transfer
Standard D6s are available in 12mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, and 20mm sizes, 14mm being the best balance between size and cost. Other dice sizes relative to a 14mm D6 as shown below. Custom sizes are possible, but they will increase the tooling fees.
How many of this shape/design are in your game?
6. Base Color
Provide either a general color or specific pantone color at https://www.pantone.com/color-finder. You may provide multiple colors if there are multiple colored dice or your dice base uses more than one color.
7. Ink/Printing Color
Ink / Printing Color is quoted as a single color option. It is possible to use several colors on a single die face but it significantly increases the complexity and cost of the dice.
Provide either a general color or specific pantone color https://www.pantone.com/color-finder. Use only one ink color per die face. Using multiple colors for engraved dice on the same face is more difficult to manufacture, and will significantly raise costs.
8. Custom effects (Optional)
Marbled, 2-Toned or Speckled
9. Any special requirements?
Do you have a preference for sharp corners or rounded? Do they need to be precisely color matched to another component? Are there any specific requirements that have not yet been noted?
10. Reference Files
If you are not using standard numbers or pips, please submit a completed Dice Template (available at http://pandagm.com/resources/). You can drag the files directly into the refernce files box on the quote form
This section will show you how to submit your design to Panda using Dice Templates and a Component Spec Sheet. Both the Dice templates and Component Spec Sheet can be found on our tools page: pandagm.com/tools (or request the forms from your Project Manager) The Component Spec Sheet pdf can be directly opened and editied in Illustrator. After filling it out, just save it as a pdf. You may also choose to create your own templates or spec sheet. Just ensure that any templates or spec sheets includes the following information.
When filling out the Dice Templates, use these guidelines:
- Design should be drawn in vector.
- Dice with square corners require a minimum of 2mm of margin; rounded corners brings that margin up to 3mm. For example, a typical 16mm wide D6 with squared corners has a printable area is 12mm square. A 16mm wide D6 with rounded corners has a printable area of 10mm square.
- Any engraved stroke must be at least 0.5mm wide.
Component Spec Sheet
When filling out the Component Spec Sheet please follow the guidelines below
1. Shape & Size
Please note the following:
- number of faces
- if the faces have numbers, pips, or a custom design (If the die has a custom design, also include an additional file of the die template)
2. Pantone color for the base and the ink
Black and white do not require a pantone code. Provide a specific Pantone color found here: https://www.pantone.com/color-finder. Also, let us know if your dice are translucent.
3. Quantity of each design
In the Component Spec Sheet, also make sure to provide the quantity of each design.
tips and tricks
Dice can be a particularly expensive component. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can design your dice to maximize the bang for your buck.
- Use only one ink per die face. Using multiple colors for engraved dice on the same face is more difficult to manufacture, and will significantly raise costs.
- Consider the size of the dice. Lowering the size from 16mm to 14mm will reduce the manufacturing costs.
- Determine how many dice you really need. If players can share dice, you can reduce your game’s cost per unit.
- The tooling cost for custom dice differs based upon the complexity of the design. Custom silk screening or heat transfer is also an option. These processes allow for more complex colors and icons than engraving, but at a higher cost.
- Due to tooling costs, resin dice are used in lower production runs and acrylic dice are used in high production runs.