Business Card Suppliers

I’m looking to get some business cards printed.

Coming out of school a few years ago I’d used www.overnightprints.com and was fairly satisfied with the results: full color/bleed, double-sided, matte & gloss, rounded “designerly” corners… However, the colors printed were slightly off and if you look close enough you can easily see pixelation. They were cheap (like 15cents/card), but got the job done, you get what you pay for…

I’m looking for a more professional quality. I received a quote from a printing house,double-sided, heavy stock, matte,
500 cards-$160(plus shipping)
1000 cards- $200(plus shipping)
I assume getting proofs may add to the cost, which is pushing the 35cents/card for the 500 pack even higher. I may be willing to pay this, but would like to look into alternatives.

Went in to Office Depot and looked through what they had to offer, including proofing and am intrigued… I its looking like I can get 500 at about 20cents/card at a similar quality.

Any recommendations? Any sites or suppliers you’ve used? Best way to handle this?

Thanks!

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I got mine through http://www.carderizer.com/ I got silk cards with spot UV for $85/500 (there’s a 15% coupon if you google it). Some (not many) cuts weren’t crisp but am overall happy with them (just gave those dozen or so cards to family).

I’m guessing dealing with a local printer maybe your best option if you’re nick-picky about super high end quality with color, unless you have the time to ship sample proofs by mail.

ahh thanks. ive ordered samples from both places. we’ll see how it pans out!

For $160/500 cards you could afford letterpress.

Letterpress is so damn nice. Ordering my new style/design later this week.

what? where? no way. Letterpress is crazy expensive. For $160/500 you are getting digital printing, the cheapest and they likely gang up the job with others. just as an example, heres a 4x4" 2 color spot job on FPO that cost $1000 for 500. given cards are have the size, that’d still be $500 for 500 with only 2 colors…

here’s another one at $175 for 200 cards an 2 spots.

I loove letterpress, but everytime i’ve wanted to use it for a client, they always balk at the cost which is normally double digital print (even Indigo digital). If you can do, go for it.

Another alternative I’ve been discussing with my printer lately is a digital print then hitting it with a special kind of die so it has a letterpress-like look, but better registration and color consistency (always impossible with letterpress, though some like the inconsistency).

If you do go digital, see if you can find one that does it on an Indigo machine. Best bet is to contact HP to see who has one in the area. The results are much nicer, and you also have more finishing and stock options. Normal digital is done on a docucolor at most places which is glorified photocopier.

For digital, normally getting proofs is part of the process and shouldn’t cost more. Unless it’s one of those super cheap places like $100/1000 cards in which case proof or not you’re gambling on quality.

That said, I did my first cards a few years ago at a local cheap place for $200/1000 with UV gloss 4/0 and have been pretty happy with them and get compliments. Lots of the final look though comes with design. I only actually used two colors and it looks better than if I had 4 as 4 with a gloss coating can look off the shelf very quick.

For most projects, I find it is worth finding a good, small local print shop that deals with designers (not one that does 1000s of cheap club flyers) and speak to them to see what you can creatively for cheap. Often you’d be surprised where you can spend a little but have a big effect. For example, I recently did some cards on padding board (the cardboard you get on the back of a pad) with round cornering and a small drilled hole, 4/4 digital and they were super cheap (and did only low qty), but looked super custom because of the paper, design, corners and hole. Plus, knowing what the printer can do in house, and what they send out for (ie. full UV is normally in-house but sport UV, foil, or stamping is out), can allow you to better negotiate and get the most effective design vs. price. The printer is your friend.

R

You mentioned letterpress, what is the website url for them?

I am looking to create a short run of 50-100 cards with rounded corners and a satin smooth finish.

Who do you recommend?

What are people’s experiences with Moo.com, Carderizer? Quality, finish, durability?

Ideally I would like True offset but I realize to keep the price down a lot of these places use digital which in my experience never produces the crisp edge type and rich color that offset produces.

Totally open to suggestions.

TIA.

Robert
NY

I definitely recommend investing in ‘top quality’ business cards, because they reflect you as a designer directly, a well designed and printed business card makes you memorable. Too many times i’ve received bad business cards at a networking event etc which eventually end up being thrown away because of its quality.