Business cards? Where do you print?

xKncptRagex

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Hey everyone, just wanted to see which companies everyone uses to get their business cards printed. I know some of the more popular online companies are Vista Print, Moo, and Jukebox but I'd like to hear first hand from photographers themselves.

I've already gone through the process of designing a unique logo and have created the design for my business card as well. I'm looking for a solid business card, nothing too over the top but also nothing that looks, feels, and is cheap. Personally, I really like the whole style of those clear "frosted" plastic business cards but they are a bit more pricey than I'm willing to spend. I found morningprint.com selling them for a pretty cheap price but I couldn't find any feedback on their service/product outside of their actual site (which of course has nothing but positive reviews). I'd like to use a reputable company that can produce a good product at a reasonable price.

Any input is greatly appreciated, thanks!
 

tirediron

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I go down the street to the local printers and get them actually printed; costs a little more, but they're very high-quality. Extra-heavy card stock, heavy, embossed ink...
 

Big Mike

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I had mine done at Vista Print. The quality of the cards is good, no complaints. I've only ever ordered the simple, glossy on one side, (cheap) cards...so I can't comment on the quality of the other styles. But I think I got 250 or 500 cards for some ridiculously cheap price...so that was good. I also got a whole bunch of free or very cheap samples; pens, pads, stickers etc.

I did order one of my card designs as a fridge magnet, and the image quality on those was poor.

A photographer friend of mine has business cards made of stainless steel. They are something like $5 each...but when he hands out just a couple, (at a wedding, for example), they get passed around and shown to everyone.
 

Rob99

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I use a local print shop, customer service beats anything online. Quality is excellent, price is in the ballpark of ordering online and I'm supporting another local small business. Win-Win.
 

tirediron

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I find it amazing that so many photographers espouse the value of having work printed at high-end labs for the quality of the work, and not Wal-mart, Sam's Club, etc... yet those same photographers will turn around and buy 500 for $10 business cards from Acmegiganticards.com... Hyprocrite much?
 

DBA

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I've used both Vistaprint and PS Print.
 

KmH

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For many years now I have used OvernightPrints.com.

They use a heavy 15pt card stock. The heavy card stock helps convey a sense of strength, reliability, and professionalism.
1000 cards cost me $60.
 
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xKncptRagex

xKncptRagex

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I used Taste of ink. fantastic quality.
Yeah I found their site and looking at the samples, they look fantastic. It just seems rather pricey. I set my options for colors and such and it came out to around $300 for 100 cards.

I go down the street to the local printers and get them actually printed; costs a little more, but they're very high-quality. Extra-heavy card stock, heavy, embossed ink...
This seems to be the idea I'm leaning towards. I tend to get hung up on imperfections of things, a little OCD. I'm afraid of ordering online and not being happy with the product and having to go through the process of complaining. If I have a local printer, it'll be much easier to explain exactly what I want. But it would also mean spending much more.

I had mine done at Vista Print. The quality of the cards is good, no complaints. I've only ever ordered the simple, glossy on one side, (cheap) cards...so I can't comment on the quality of the other styles. But I think I got 250 or 500 cards for some ridiculously cheap price...so that was good. I also got a whole bunch of free or very cheap samples; pens, pads, stickers etc.

I did order one of my card designs as a fridge magnet, and the image quality on those was poor.

A photographer friend of mine has business cards made of stainless steel. They are something like $5 each...but when he hands out just a couple, (at a wedding, for example), they get passed around and shown to everyone.

The stainless steel card sounds like it would be awesome. After seeing samples online, they really stand out. But $5/card seems a little out of my league right now. I'd prefer to remain under $1/card.
 

painterskip

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I've been using GotPrint for years. Mostly business cards but I've also had fliers and booklets printed with them. Quality is always top notch and the price can't be beat. The difference is that with a local printer, you'll have a much wider choice of papers, depending on the printer, of course. The other big difference is price.
A friend had their cards printed local by a mutual friend that owns a print shop. Their price.....$125.00 for 1000 cards, matt finish...kinda thin. I used GotPrint. My price.......$19.00 (plus shipping) for 1000 cards, full color on BOTH sides, high gloss finish and very heavy stock.
As a graphic designer, I really don't need customer service from a printer other than to know what I'm ordering, what file specs they expect and how long it'll take. Most of that is on their FAQ page.
I'm not against using local....sometimes it's just not in my budget:)
 

tirediron

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Just a thought... for those of you who are thinking you're getting a good quality product from whateverplace.com, go to an actual printer (you know, somewhere you can actually SMELL the printing ink, yes, they still exist) and ask to see their heavyweight card stock and embossed ink samples. Compare it to what you've got now. Let me know what you think!
 

painterskip

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Just a thought... for those of you who are thinking you're getting a good quality product from whateverplace.com, go to an actual printer (you know, somewhere you can actually SMELL the printing ink, yes, they still exist) and ask to see their heavyweight card stock and embossed ink samples. Compare it to what you've got now. Let me know what you think!

Been there, done that. (see my previous post). However, just because a printer is local doesn't mean they are good, same as just because you order online does not mean that you can't get the same quality and service. If that WAS true, then photographers should either make their own prints or have it done locally and that's simply no longer the case.

But I can give you a perfect example of why a local printer isn't always the way to go....
Last year I re-designed a 72 page member directory for a local organization. I asked for a copy of their previous directory and what they paid to have it printed. I was not asked to be responsible for printing the new version, but I knew I could do better in quality AND price. Their previous directory was essentially a stack of photocopied B&W pages between two heavyweight, somewhat glossy color pages, all held together with one of those plastic binder things. Basically it's what you might get if you had it printed and bound at your local Staples, yet they used a well known local printer. Cost....$5k for 450 copies.

I provided a 72 page, perfect bound directory in full color, printed on heavy, glossy paper inside and heavier paper outside. Just like a very high quality magazine. Cost to print.....$3k And I did it all online, fully automated. Perfect results.

Local doesn't always mean better. In fact, having better equipment doesn't always mean better.
 

tirediron

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Local doesn't always mean better. In fact, having better equipment doesn't always mean better.
Agree 110%! There are lots of crap local businesses, otherwise the BBB would be out of business. My comment relates to the quality of the materials more than anything. Most of the time these uber-cheap on-line companies use high-speed "laser" printing, or, if you're really lucky, offset presses. Neither of these can deal with the weight of stock, or produce the type of embossed ink you will get from a card made on a platen press.
 

painterskip

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Local doesn't always mean better. In fact, having better equipment doesn't always mean better.
Agree 110%! There are lots of crap local businesses, otherwise the BBB would be out of business. My comment relates to the quality of the materials more than anything. Most of the time these uber-cheap on-line companies use high-speed "laser" printing, or, if you're really lucky, offset presses. Neither of these can deal with the weight of stock, or produce the type of embossed ink you will get from a card made on a platen press.

I wish I could show you, in person, the difference in quality in the two directories. The one I had printed was, in fact, printed on a high-speed digital press. Very much like the machines that now print our photos. High-speed does not necessarily equate to poor quality. And almost everything is digital these days. (for better or worse, I guess)

I just happen to have some experience with a several different online printers and have discovered the difference in quality, and ultimately found the companies that provide excellent quality. Did the same with my photo printing. A few things, as you mentioned, that you will have trouble finding online are having embossed printing, or raised letters and other things like that. Probably best to go local then.
For example, GotPrint offers about 5 or 6 different paper options for business cards, but nothing with regards color. So if you wanted something printed on some kind of linen type paper, you're out of luck. They have glossy and matte finish.

I'm wondering if anyone ever uses one of those old presses anymore? I worked at a print shop about oh....40 years ago, and they had an actual typesetter guy and I would take his lead type and put it on my press and print business cards. The dark ages:)
 

Devinhullphoto

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Yeah I found their site and looking at the samples, they look fantastic. It just seems rather pricey. I set my options for colors and such and it came out to around $300 for 100 cards.

This seems to be the idea I'm leaning towards. I tend to get hung up on imperfections of things, a little OCD. I'm afraid of ordering online and not being happy with the product and having to go through the process of complaining. If I have a local printer, it'll be much easier to explain exactly what I want. But it would also mean spending much more.

The stainless steel card sounds like it would be awesome. After seeing samples online, they really stand out. But $5/card seems a little out of my league right now. I'd prefer to remain under $1/card.

Yeah. I had pretty standard double sided cards with spot glass and with my membership discount it was like $178 for 500 cards.
 

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