Connect with us

Special Reports + Analysis

Simple Rules, Simple Business

UV printing helps Turnup Games succeed in the business of boardgames. 




STARTING A BUSINESS can be difficult, but husband-and-wife duo Leanne Gray and Iles Guran had a plan: to approach the process like playing one of the strategy games they aimed to manufacture. Careful planning and the right moves would enable them to overcome any obstacle, they reasoned.

So far, so good. Turnup Games in Waterloo, Ontario, is a design, prototyping, and production business that produces strategy games that are “timeless, thoughtful, and fun for all,” Gray says. The couple had been designing products together for more than 10 years before starting the company and launching their first game, SUM8, on Kickstarter in 2021. The game became an instant success, surpassing their funding goal by more than 700 percent and helping the new company relocate to a 1000-square-foot workshop. 

However, producing games is not as easy as playing them. After weeks of posting on their “idea board,” Guran and Gray work to create visuals and graphic assets to develop themes, characters, and the overall “feel.”

“This can be anything from simple hand-drawn paper mockups to fully 3D-printed and machined components to get a feel for the game,” Guran says. “It typically takes about three months from the initial idea to a fully playable game, although additional time is sometimes required to finalize production processes and methods.”  

Production and assembly equipment includes 2D and 3D printers, a milling machine, a laser cutter/engraver, and more.

Each of these resources has a role to play in facilitating the rapid prototyping and short-run production required to control the cost of iterating ideas and bringing new games to market. For example, UV printing on a Roland DG LEF2-300 enables imaging directly onto not only game pieces, but also packaging and marketing materials. This helps produce components that would otherwise be too expensive to manufacture in smaller numbers. “We also appreciated having matte and gloss ink options, which we use quite regularly in our design/prototyping processes,” Guran adds.


“We’re constantly looking for ways to share our products, and having in-house prototyping and production capability is a big part of our success,” Gray concludes.




Printvinyl Scored Print Media

New Printvinyl Scored wide-format print media features an easy-to-remove scored liner for creating decals, product stickers, packaging labels, and more. The precision-scored liner, with a 1.25” spacing on a 60” roll, guarantees a seamless and hassle-free removal process.

Promoted Headlines





Most Popular