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This is #4 in my series on the Pros and Cons of Online Printing Sources. Read part one, two or three.

About two and a half weeks after my original online submission order, I received my reprinted cards. They had to reprint both my cards and DeAnne’s and I think we both received offset-printed cards the second time. They definitely shipped more than 100 cards for DeAnne and the quality looked just like mine.

My final printed card

My final printed card

I hate thin paper

My final reaction is that I can’t get beyond the thin, flimsy paper. Thin paper looks cheap (I guess because it is). And I don’t like the matte finish because it’s still coated rather than an uncoated stock. I prefer a high-quality uncoated sheet.

What applications are good for online printing

  • Proofing system: It’s a relatively inexpensive way to see how your cards will look. You can get a good sense of color and of type size and layout.
  • Temporary solution: It’s an ideal way to get some cards while you “tweak” your real cards. Maybe you need business cards for an upcoming meeting or tradeshow, but your logo and branding are not complete.
  • Low-cost, stop-gap: If you need cards for many employees, or if your address is going to change soon, this a low cost option. It’s hard to beat the price, especially for small quantities.


I just don’t feel it has the quality I want for my graphic design firm’s identity. I apologize in my head (and shudder a bit) as I hand these out.

My biggest question is: Why are there not more paper choices? The actual printing quality is fine, I can live with it. But I can’t live with the skimpy paper.

Have you used these sources for your business cards? Were you happy with the quality of the printing and/or the paper? Do you mind thin paper on your business card or on other people’s business cards?


  1. DeAnne | September 18, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I have tried a few online printers and have not been able to find a happy medium between quality printing and quality service. Two examples, and ends of the spectrum, of this are overnightprints.com and gotprint.com.

    In the past year I don’t think I have placed a single order and not had to send it back to Overnightprints because of a printing error. They are always really friendly and happy to reprint, however this makes it impossible to use them for a time sensitive project. Some one once told me they spoke to a rep who told them that for that low price they basically have no quality control.

    At GotPrint I have received pretty decent offset-printing for very little price-wise. They also offer eco-friendly paper choices and printing practices. However, when I have called to check in on an order or make a change the reps who answer are totally clueless. There is also no way of proofing a file on their site immediately, and it seems some of their site functionality I have never actually been able to get to work.

    In the end I feel like for a quick cheap project I am always trying to find the best of both worlds, and have yet to find it.


  1. My Experiment with Online Printing | Visible Logic: Design Advances Success

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