BY KAYLA HARRISON
Why Use an Online Business Card Printing Service?
While everything is going digital these days, a good business card is still a viable way to get your business noticed. The more flashy, innovative and creative your card, the less likely it is to be tossed into a pile and forgotten.
While both offset printing and digital printing create quality products, a good rule of thumb to remember is that offset printing is preferable for specialty colors and for applying certain finishes, such as gloss and ultraviolet (UV) varnishes. Digital printing is a good option for small projects.
Using an online design tool, you can either create your own business card designs, use a predesigned business card template or choose from a variety of themed business cards to use as your own. After you have created a card that represents your business, you can view a proof of what the finalized cards will look like and order them from the printer. Each service offers a variety of paper types, finishes and printing options.
Features to Look For
When choosing an online business card printing service, consider the service’s printing process, design tools and selection. These features greatly influence the quality of both the service and the cards you will receive.
You will want to ensure the quality of the ink, paper strength, finish and selection available from each company. What types of paper stock do they offer and what are the weights? What about colors? Generally speaking, deep and vivid colors make a good impression. Companies that offer finishes such as gloss, UV spot finishing and foil stamping can also help you present a professional image.
Quality of Service
Most of the card printing websites are easy to navigate and offer several designs you can browse through. However, some services do not display designs on their website. Instead, you have to open the design tool and browse through stock images or designs to see what types of business cards you can create. These services also typically charge an additional fee to use those designs and stock images.
Each printer has an online design tool you can use to either design your own business card or personalize a pre-existing one. However, top-rated business card services, such as GotPrint, offer superior design tools with advanced features that help you make high-quality business cards.
If you prefer using your own design program, confirm the company’s file formats that it accepts. These requirements can be found by contacting its support personnel, or they may be listed on the website.
Most companies offer a 24-hour turnaround time for rush orders. However, orders generally take a few days to ensure every detail of your card is perfect before it goes to press.
What Else Is Important in Selecting a Business Card Printing Service?
In addition to the quality of the service, the final product and the turnaround time, you should consider the selection of cards each service offers. While some companies offer cards with vivid colors, it’s not enough to compensate if they do not offer a variety of paper types, shapes, finishes or card features.
Consider the paper type, finishes, shapes, paper weight and whether the service offers specialty cards. With most services, you can choose from a variety of materials – linen, card stock, magnet and plastic. Some online business card companies, specifically MOO, have custom services to print on specialty materials, such as metal and even food items.
While the type of material you print your business card onto makes a big difference in distinguishing your card from the mundane, each service also offers finishes you can apply to your card to help it stand out. Spot UV coating helps emphasize logos and make business cards pop.
Business cards need to hold up to everyday wear and tear. Lighter-weight card stocks can be flimsy and fall apart easily. Using a heavier stock not only makes your business cards more durable, it sets them apart from the standard card. The best business card services give you several weights you can choose from. In addition, they offer specialty shapes so you can create round, square and oval business cards.
Jukebox Print and 4Over4 offer a large selection of high-quality business cards. You can select from a variety of paper types, finishes and even specialty shapes to help you create a unique business card. Both services’ design tools are easy to use and allow for advanced customization.
Paper type, finish, card shape and the number of business cards needed all factor into the final price you’ll pay. Some services charge more for rounded or square cards and silk matte or velvet finishes.
Additional charges to be aware of are for delivery. Charges can range from $6 or less to $40-plus depending on how quickly you need your business cards. The further out you schedule delivery, say nine business days instead of two, the cheaper the delivery charge will be.
If you’ve never ordered business cards online before, most services will ship you free samples with the styles and features they offer. This is a great way to try out the service and get an idea of their capability before committing.