How To Print Business Cards
Business cards are widely used across all industries as an inexpensive, convenient marketing tool. Frequently exchanged at both formal and informal meetings, it provides you with a professional presentation as a representative of your company, as well as serves as a reminder for the recipient of your company and contact information.
Advantages of Online Printing
Like many other aspects of commerce, an increasing number of businesses are moving their printing needs online. Getting your business cards printed from an online printer is not significantly different from getting them at a traditional printer: you select a paper stock, color theme, and insert your company information and logo. However, because of competition and to attract customers, online printers often offer competitive pricing and several other convenient features:
Instant Pricing and Adjustment
Most online printers have an instant pricing tool that lets you see the total price of your order as you adjust the quantity, quality, and other options on your business cards. This tool also takes into consideration factors such as shipping and handling costs. This feature is convenient if you have a set budget for your business cards, so that you can adjust your options freely before you order.
Free Templates and Design Software
One of the best features of online printing is that most online printers make available a wide selection of free templates, color themes, as well as online design software and customer support. While traditional printers offer templates as well, they are usually more limited in number and format. Online templates are mostly in downloadable PDF or Microsoft Word format, and can range from a few dozen to hundreds of designs, formats, and themes. Many online printers also separate templates into categories such as Real Estate, Medical, Legal, or Technology.
In addition to templates, almost all online printers also offer some form of design customer support. This usually comes in the form of a basic design software that helps you design your business cards step by step, by choosing colors, themes, formatting, and then either designing or uploading company logos. Some online printers also offer a team of design specialists that can help you design your business cards, usually for a fee.
Finally, perhaps the biggest advantage of using online templates and design software is that you can input all of your company information into the design and see a copy of the final product before you order. There are times when a template can seem suitable for your company, but later the final version does not seem quite right after all your information have been inserted. This can be avoided with the instant viewing technology that online printers offer.
Instead of waiting for a printed proof, most online printers will send you a final proof over the Internet, usually in PDF format, within 1 business day. Some online printers send the proof immediately after receiving your order. Once you approve the proof, your order will then get printed.
Finally, using an online printer is often more convenient than traveling to a local printer. Other than saving travel time, online printers allow you to upload your company information and logos directly from your computer, eliminating the need to transfer files onto flash drives or other portable devices.
Choosing a Business Card Printer
When choosing an online printer, there are several factors to consider. You want to make sure to choose an online printer that has reputable service and quality, good customer feedback, and is able to provide the format and delivery times you require. Of course, you also want to consider pricing and shipping costs.
In addition, you will also want to look into how your business cards will be printed. Most reputable online printers use offset printing, which is a high-quality, 4-color printing process and creates more premium products over cheaper digital printing. The companies listed below all offer a free sample pack so that you can see their color quality and paper stock samples before deciding on options for your own business cards.
PrintPlace is a reputable, large online printer offering a wide range of printing services. As with most online printers, it offers a wide variety of business cards along with many other printing services, such as brochures, catalogs, and postcards. PrintPlace offers many of the features described above, including instant pricing, free templates, free PDF proofs, and real-time order tracking. The company also offers same day and 1-day turnaround time for rush jobs, for an additional charge.
Like other online printers, PrintPlace allows you to upload your company information and logo onto their site and to use with their templates. However, do note that their template files are in ZIP format, requiring a ZIP file program such as WinZip to open.
PrintPlace also offers a Price Match Guarantee, offering to match any price quote from a competitor online printer for the same order, quantity, and quality of business cards within 7 days of your order. The quote must be for the total price including shipping charges.
For more info - click here.
PsPrint is also a large, reputable online printer offering a wide variety of printing services. It offers all of the standard online features, such as instant pricing, real-time order tracking, and online templates and design software. Like PrintPlace above, PsPrint also offers same-day turnaround for rush orders, and a 7-day Low Price Guarantee.
There are several special features that set PsPrint from other online printers. Notably, it is the only online printer from our research that offers 4 different sizes for business cards, whereas the other online printers usually only offer the standard size (3.5” x 2”). PsPrint offers in addition Slim (3.5” x 1”), Mini Square (2” x 2”), and Jumbo Square (3.5” x 3.5”). Companies in creative or design-focused industries may find these options especially useful.
PsPrint is also the only online company that we have found to offer digital printing for small quantities (50-count). Other online printers usually offer only offset printing, which due to its quality and cost requires a 250-count minimum order.
Finally, PsPrint’s design software, Design It!, offers a usually wide selection of free customizable templates, including 304 designs for business cards in 16 categories.
For more info - click here.
In terms of services and features, PrintingForLess is similar to the online printers above, and offers instant pricing, PDF proofs, and free templates and design support. PrintingForLess uses a trademarked InstaCard application to help each client customize their own business card design, using various colors, themes, and categories such as Legal, Medical, Technology, Scenic, and Flowers. In addition, PrintingForLess offers a free pre-printing review process where your submitted final design is carefully reviewed to make sure it conforms with the bleed and trim requirements for final printing.
For customers with more specific requirements, PrintingForLess also offers a custom design team that will work with you to design your own special business cards. PrintingForLess does not offer price matching.
For more info - click here.
VistaPrint also offers all standard online printing features listed above. In addition to providing a range of free business card templates, it uses a Design Wizard software that has a free logo designer application, which is helpful for small companies that have not yet designed a company logo.
VistaPrint has a slightly different pricing structure from other online printers. Instead of built-in prices for some features, it offers a pricing list where many features are listed as additional options available for extra charge, such as uploaded logos/photos/designs, matte or recycled paper, and PDF proofs. Companies that do not want to use these optional features can choose a base price and avoid the additional costs.
Notably, VistaPrint also offers 250 free business cards if you choose from one of several dozen basic designs. The caveat is that these free business cards contain a 1-line VistaPrint advertisement on the back of each card. The customer is also responsible for shipping costs. The sample pack, however, is still completely free, with no shipping costs.
For more info - click here.
About The Author
Robert Kowalski is a seasoned incorporator and business filing specialist with over 10 years experience consulting emerging companies with their business filing needs. Robert served as the chief editor and one of the top contributors to Answers @ MyUSACorporation.com.