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New year, new business cards? Business card printer comparison

When considering your next batch of business cards, this business card printer comparison might come in handy, but remember: each experience is unique, make your own judgment call.

When considering your next batch of business cards, this business card printer comparison might come in handy, but remember: each experience is unique, make your own judgment call.

If you can identify and agree with the movie quote, “Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark!” then the chances of you being a business card lover are extremely high. Although we bring you tips of how to use technology in lieu of a business card (if that is your preference), we are still very much in love with the tangibility of business cards.

If you and I have ever met in person and you’ve handed me your business card, I still have it. I have an entire drawer of business cards I’ve collected for my entire career, and it’s a place I go frequently to recall people because I associate their business card with them personally. Sometimes I remember the color, other times the thickness, the size, the finish, or the logo, but it’s a visual reminder for me. Do I judge people by their business card? Yes. Is it on purpose? No, I grew up with a graphic designer art snob of a father. Am I a snob about it? No, I just remember the sexy cards more than the unsexy cards, it’s not personal.

For our own business cards (which we happily pay full price for), we use a custom printer in Austin and and we change our cards every year. Most people these days use online printers and sometimes don’t know what they’re getting for the money, so we’ve located the best comparison chart in history (well maybe not, but it’s our favorite) so you know what you’re getting for what purpose.

Business card printer comparison

Tell us in comments what printer you use and which you may consider after looking at the chart below:

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Jared Tafua

    November 14, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing this awesome article, I’ve always used VistaPrints for my cards, but this gives a great break down of which companies would be best for each type of business card I’d like to produce in the future.

  2. Melissa Zavala

    November 14, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Lani: I laughed when I saw the chart about checkout. I have purchased a few things from Vista Print, and you are correct about the checkout being excruciating! You can also end up with other stuff in your shopping cart if you are not very careful!

  3. Nadina Cole-Potter

    November 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    My business card rules:
    1. Backside with no printing. No slick surfaces. When I meet you, I want to write notes and the date on the back so I have the additional information (classifications) for my database. If the slick surface makes ink smear or not even hold, I may just tear up your card.
    2. No reverse type (white or light colored type on dark background). As the population ages, this type of design gets more and more difficult to read. When the surface is slick and reflects light, it is even worse.
    3. No light colored type on white background — like yellow or light orange or light green. Also difficult to read. Again, difficulty compounded with a slick surface.
    4. Set phone numbers, email address, and mailing address in large enough font (at least 8 point). Pick a font and font size that does not run letters together.
    5. White, light beige, or cream colored card stock, please. Again, dark stock makes the text difficult to read and is usually on slick paper, so it is reflective. Call if my ADA business card rule.

  4. Ben Goheen

    November 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    FYI – Moo has 30% off all cards until midnight tonight.

  5. Mike O'Hara

    November 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Now that is a well done, helpful article. Do you ever take a day off Lani?

  6. Alex Cortez

    November 14, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I had tried Vista Print before and won’t be a return customer. I will now try out Moo. Thanks for the post.


    November 15, 2010 at 3:34 am

    aside from being *totally* helpful, can i just say that the presentation/graphic design of this post is brilliant too! the chart, the overlay over the 5 cards, yadda yadda. u go!

  8. Ann Cummings

    November 15, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Love this comparison you’ve done! I use Vista Print for my cards but I do upgrade them so I get a better card stock, and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on them. I use Moo for my mini-cards and love everything about them, except the price. I’ve never tried the others, however I just might after seeing this chart.

  9. Sherry Lowry

    November 15, 2010 at 6:34 am

    What a totally terrific and wonderfully researched and presenting post!

    Love-love Moo! And fully agree with the VistaPrint commentary. Probably won’t bother to use them again — partly because of lack of clarity around how to get a paper upgrade, for starters.

    And — i literally ended up throwing out the only 2 “upgrade” purchases i did once make from them due to shoddy workmanship, one never operational at all being a stamper for new address.

    I like Moo Cards so much I like to find special event reasons to print some of these at least every few years — though I still use my custom printer in Houston for my regular business card printing.

  10. Al Lorenz

    November 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Very useful post. I’ll be trying for my next set of cards. Now, how about a similar posting on custom real estate signs?

  11. Chris Sanderson

    November 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Best review post (of any kind) that I’ve ever seen! Loved the “excruciating.” That made me LOL!

  12. LesleyLambert

    November 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Put me in the moo camp. I love their quality and I especially like the mini moo cards!

  13. Ruthmarie Hicks

    November 19, 2010 at 3:11 am

    Love, love, love Moo! I use their mini cards to promote my blog and several web pages. Everyone asks me about those mini-cards – they really make an impact. I also use the Moo business cards to promote neighborhood listings. Merchants let me leave them in their shops and people scarf them up like crazy. I have a picture of the home with a domain name and a brief description on the back.

  14. Greg Lyles

    November 19, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Great article! Wouldn’t it be nice if this sort of info was available about agents so the public could move past the glossy listing presentations and fancy offices? By the way, have you thought about doing a test on postcard printers? Just a thought.

  15. Bob Fulton

    December 14, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Hate to be a stickler about such things, but your price comparison is nonsense- each order was for a different number of cards. Remember eigth grade algebra? Don’t mix denominators!

  16. Lani Rosales

    December 20, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I will reiterate here that I did not create the graph above (click the image for the original source).

  17. Dan O'Halloran

    September 23, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I just tried out Moo and unfortunately it's been a bad experience….for some reason our company logo didn't print on the cards even though it was in the proof. There is no phone support and all I've gotten are brief emails and told if I want my money credited back I have to mail the cards back to Moo. I only did a small 50 card order to test out as my office was thinking about switching providers….the card stock was nice and the website was easy to use…

  18. TaylorParker

    July 24, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I’ve been thinking about purchasing a postcard printer for both my business and my home office. They seem to be excellent printers and it would in the end save me money, by just making my own postcards, instead of constantly purchasing postcards at the store. I’ve been doing some research about <a href=””>postcard printers</a> , and I’ve been wondering what the best brand is? Does anyone have a postcard printer that they have really liked having? And how often do you have to replace the cartridges in the <a href=””>postcard printers</a> ?

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