DIY business cards
Now you can easily meet business contacts online through LinkedIn or Twitter, or just email, and that’s great. But when you actually meet a potential client, client, or coworker in person, you’ll want to be able to hand them a business card. This card will be a tangible and lasting representation of you once the meeting is over, so you will need to carefully consider what it looks and feels like. Online business card printers allow you to create beautiful business cards yourself. They can even help you design your cards and choose the grade of card stock that matches your needs.
How to start
The services included here all offer design templates for a multitude of card types and uses. If you run an auto mechanic shop, you will probably want a different style of card than a conservator or lawyer. The best services here organize their models by industry and style. The latter choice often includes options such as classic, modern, and bold.
You usually start designing your card with a template and customizing what’s on it based on the information you need to convey. Maybe you don’t need to show a mailing address, or maybe you need to include social accounts. Most of the services allow you to add or remove text boxes according to your taste. I especially like it when the web interface includes guidelines to help align text boxes or images, like the designer of EliteFlyers does.
All designers allow you to upload your own images for printing, and some allow you to download the entire card design as an image file, usually in PDF format. Many businesses will want a logo on their cards, and the services may allow you to design one, choose one from the clipart available, or provide professional designers for this purpose. As we’ve seen from testing photo printing services, color reproduction varies between vendors, but Vistaprint and MOO are particularly good at this. We love when the service offers QR code generation to take your contacts straight to your email or webpage. MOO offers an expensive NFC option that basically does the same thing.
Best Online Business Card Printing Service Deals This Week *
* The offers are selected by our partner TechBargains
Vistaprint – 100 business cards starting at $ 17 with free shipping
with code FREE SHIPPING
FedEx Office – Save $ 20 on your $ 100 print order
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PsPrint – Business cards starting at $ 7.87
Options and prices
There are several factors that affect the price of your business card order. Of course, the amount you order plays a role, but even more important is the choice of paper or card stock. For example, if you buy the most basic level cards from GotPrint or PSPrint, you could pay less than $ 9. For that, you can get barebones cards with a poor print on thin, low-end card stock. While such cards can be passable under certain circumstances, if your image is important you might want to pay more for better paper.
As you move up to a heavier card stock, expect to pay a lot more. Two measurements determine the density and thickness of the paper. You can see indications in units of pound or pt. The former, of course, represents pounds, but the way it’s calculated is a bit tricky. This number is different for what is called text and what is called cover. The latter is what interests us for business cards, and it’s a measurement of how many pounds 500 20-inch-by-26-inch sheets weigh. Points, or Pts. is simpler, it’s just the thickness in 0.001 inch units.
The quality of the card, however, is not limited to weight and thickness. You also pay for the textures. Linen, gloss, matte and soft feel are common choices. Some services also offer natural and recycled paper, which has a character of its own.
Another option is color and double-sided printing. Of course, you’ll pay more if you add either one. MOO offers an interesting choice when it comes to card back printing. The company can alternate between five different designs or images on the back for a single order. MOO is also more expensive than other services.
We tested each service with an entry-level and premium card order. In general, the old idea that you get what you pay for is true. All of our premium test orders were of good quality, although there were some definite differences between the services in terms of paper, printing, color reproduction, etc.
Shipping and packing
The speed at which you want your cards also affects the price. In some cases, you pay more than $ 40 for next day shipping. If speed is important to you, then Staples may be your best option: if you submit your order before 2 p.m., you can pick it up at your local branch and save shipping costs.
If you choose to have the cards shipped, the service packaging options vary in quality. MOO wins the best packaging award. A premium order arrived as what looked like a special gift, with a box with a magnetic closure. Even the lower order comes in a nice reusable box. The other card printers all sent orders in reasonably protected packaging, with each high-end card order shipped with better packaging.
All of the services we tested provided acceptable print quality. If you just need something to convey your details, the entry-level cards of most of these services will do the trick. The exception was GotPrint’s cheaper cards, which looked fragile with not high enough print quality. But even GotPrint has more expensive options that looked good. Switching to higher quality paper, double-sided printing, special textures and shapes can really make you (and your card) stand out.
All services in this roundup can get at least one decent card; if you are willing to pay more, anything can offer something awesome. However, each has its strengths and weaknesses, so be sure to click through the full reviews for the details to get the business cards that fit your image and budget.
Also note that there are many other business card printing services online, and we will add to the roundup over time. Please feel free to weigh in in the comments section below to tout your favorite business card website or detail a bad experience you had with one of the companies.