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chassis
15-Jun-2017, 08:36
Looking for an online source of business cards that caters to imaging/graphic arts. Any recommendations will be appreciated. Private message is ok, or replies to this thread work also.

xkaes
15-Jun-2017, 08:59
I'm sure a GOOGLE search for "online source of business cards" will give you TONS to choose from. I've never used them or needed them. There is plenty of free flexible business card software packages out there. You probably have some and don't even know it -- such as PRINT WORKSHOP and ARC SOFT. A lot comes as add-ons to graphics programs, photography and printer software, etc. Pre-cut business cards in 8.5x11" sheets is readily available and cheap at Walmart and Office Depot, etc. Sure, you have to find the time, but the software is easy to use and you can design it EXACTLY the way you want -- with YOUR picture(s) on the front or on both sides!

faberryman
15-Jun-2017, 09:24
vistaprint.com

chassis
15-Jun-2017, 11:33
Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, google I've heard of it. ;)

Hoping to hear first hand experience from any forum members who are pleased with their business cards, and the cards have an imaging/graphic theme. Similar to getting a recommendation for one of the many options for website hosting that caters to photographers.

Corran
15-Jun-2017, 13:04
Are you looking for something unique/trendy? I've seen some transparent business cards designed to look like a camera viewfinder, and other somewhat creative cards that have are specifically "photography" themed.

Personally I am a fan of sleek minimalist cards. My cards are plain white with black lettering that is raised/shiny to catch the eye and have a tactile feel. Can't remember the exact term for that. Got them from vistaprint and they are fine. Before that I ordered from a local shop and the price was excellent and they worked with me on a design, so support your local business if you can.

Tear sheets of business card size templates from the office store look like trash. Order real cards.

Mark Sawyer
15-Jun-2017, 14:25
You might try moo.com. They're very popular with the fine arts community.

Greg Davis
15-Jun-2017, 15:33
4by6 makes nice cards, too. My business cards are a mounted 35mm slide, actually a 35mm b+w negative, but close enough to be recognized for what it represents.

chassis
17-Jun-2017, 09:28
Thanks. I'll check out moo and 4by6. Greg I like the still life work on your site. How did you gather those things from my basement when I wasn't looking? ;)

Greg Davis
17-Jun-2017, 11:03
I'm sneaky

Arne Croell
17-Jun-2017, 11:27
I've used Moo - I like the feature that you can have up to 25 different images on the back side of the card at no extra cost. I use a selection of my images for those backsides and the front side shows part of a single image with the contact information. You have a choice of cardboard qualities. Print quality (b/w) is quite good, I've also used them for greeting cards of my images.
Arne

chassis
19-Jun-2017, 04:48
Arne, thanks. On Moo did you need to lighten black and white images for the reverse side? I created a proof with Moo and it looks in the preview like the image will be quite dark. I searched online about this and it seems others have similar experiences.

Arne Croell
19-Jun-2017, 11:27
Arne, thanks. On Moo did you need to lighten black and white images for the reverse side? I created a proof with Moo and it looks in the preview like the image will be quite dark. I searched online about this and it seems others have similar experiences.

I seem to remember the darkening on the screen before the "photo enhancement" button, but I don't think I changed the image itself.

chassis
19-Jun-2017, 12:37
Thanks again Arne.

Jim Andrada
24-Jun-2017, 18:49
I've bought several thousand cards from 4 x 6. They look pretty good. I made up sets of cards with different images on them. 4 x 6 printed up a bunch of postcards as well for my last show - the postcards sold pretty well and I know some folks had them framed so I'd have to say it was all quite satisfactory.

jp
24-Jun-2017, 19:04
I've ordered business cards from gotprint.com and used their Gloss Coated Cover (C2S) with High Gloss UV.
I uploaded images (text & color logo) in jpg/png and it looks awesome. 1000 cards for about $30 after shipping.

chassis
26-Jun-2017, 07:25
Thanks again. I want/need a pre-existing template, and want the ability to put my own images on the back. A few of the sources suggested offer this, so now I need to put some time into this and see what is possible.

jim10219
26-Jun-2017, 12:45
If you're serious about photography as a business, then hire a professional graphic designer to make you one. It's well worth the cost in the long run. Plus, a well designed business card should last you 10+ years, and if you need the information updated in the mean time, it's easy to do assuming you have the designer give you editable files. A print shop should be able to make that change for you if you don't want to go back to the designer. And speaking of print shops, find a local print shop. Those online sources don't do a good job. They deal in high volume and typically use cheaper digital presses for faster turnaround and lower setup costs, which are basically just high speed inkjet printers. If you want a business card that looks good and feels good, or is unique somehow (like die-cut, folds outs, aqueous coatings, raised ink, foil, layered paper, or whatever), then you need to talk to a local print shop. You really want to talk to someone one on one and figure out exactly what process and materials you need to get a high quality product at an affordable price. You won't really find that online, and the cost shouldn't be that much higher.

Honestly, if you want a business card to look like you made it yourself, it's probably cheaper to just make them yourself. I mean, you can probably buy some thick cardstock and I'm sure you own an inkjet printer already. But think of it this way, would you hire someone who works at the DMV and takes passport photos for a living to shoot your wedding? Or do you want it to look like a professional did it? A graphic designer doesn't spend years and tens of thousands of dollars learning how to use Photoshop. They spent all of that time and money learning how to make good looking designs. So if that's important to you, then make that investment. And if you can't afford a seasoned pro, then go to your local college and find some graphic design students. Talk to the faculty. They love to hook their students up with projects like this! It's good for everyone! The students will usually do it for peanuts, and you still get a better design that you would likely ever be able to make yourself.

Then again, if you're just looking for some cheap cards to throw at people you meet, and aren't really trying to market yourself as a serious business, yet need enough of them that making them yourself doesn't seem feasible, then those cheap online printers and DIY designs are good enough. No point in wasting money you'll never see a return on, just for a vanity project. It all depends on your end goal. Though I don't see much of a need for those online printers. It's rare to be in a situation where you need the volume of a real print shop, but not the quality of a real print shop.

EDIT: Full disclosure: I work at a print shop and have a bachelor's in graphic design. My opinion is biased.

jp
26-Jun-2017, 17:29
EDIT: Full disclosure: I work at a print shop and have a bachelor's in graphic design. My opinion is biased.

When someone gives me a business card, and it's an important person I want to do business with.. I photograph the business card with my smart phone and then the card then goes in the trash or gets left in pocket to go through the laundry or something. I'm glad to you take pride in your craft.

Design is important. A creative person can make good use of online templates if they are creative themselves and avoid common pitfalls such as being too generic or traditional. An online design tool is just a tool, that Adobe perhaps didn't make. As photographers, we design. One photograph at a time rather than one page at a time.

rjphil
6-Jul-2017, 08:39
+1 for MOO. I've been very pleased with them.

seezee
6-Jul-2017, 11:11
You might try moo.com. They're very popular with the fine arts community.

I second that motion as long as your wallet has enough green in it. They are pricey. I order 200 at at time (with 50 different design, so 4 of each in the pack) and they average a little under 50 apeice after shipping costs. They do run sales, so if you can time it right you'll save a bit. HINT: get on their mailing list.

seezee
6-Jul-2017, 11:13
I seem to remember the darkening on the screen before the "photo enhancement" button, but I don't think I changed the image itself.

I do suggest using the 'photo enhancement' button it does a pretty good job of pre-flighting your image for print via magical sharpening, gamut adjustment, & toning via computer algorithm.

chassis
9-Jul-2017, 17:50
Thanks again for all the comments. I ended up going with Vistaprint and chose a theme/template and did some small customizations. Much better than what I had, but will make some tweaks next time around. In general the quality is reasonable for the price.