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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.

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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 Moo.com 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:

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius and sister news outlet, The Real Daily, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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51 Comments

51 Comments

  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.

  7. hermanchan.com

    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 Moo.com 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=”https://www.min-press.com”>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=”https://www.min-press.com”>postcard printers</a> ?

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Business Marketing

Ten podcasts that every business owner should hear

(MARKETING) If you’re a business and want to learn something, give one of (or all of) these ten podcasts a listen.

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headphones listen podcasts

So many choices, so little time

As podcasts grow more and more popular, it has become increasingly difficult to sort through the sea of excellent options out there.

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From interviews with business leaders to industry specific advice from experts, podcasts are an incredible free and convenient way to get a small dose of inspiration and knowledge.

Business podcasts for your listening enojoyment

This short list offers just a taste of the myriad of business podcasts available. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some tips on breaking into a new industry or a seasoned vet hoping to get some new inspiration, we hope you’ll find something here worth listening to.

How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz.

Podcast fans will recognize Guy Raz’s name (and voice) from TED Radio Hour. While that show can be a great source of inspiration for businesses, one of the most consistently inspiring shows is his new project that shares stories and insight from some of the biggest business leaders in the world. In just four months, Guy has talked to everyone from Richard Branson and Mark Cuban to L.A. Reid and Suroosh Alvi. While there are plenty of excellent interview-driven shows with entrepreneurs, if you want to hear about the world’s best known companies, this is your best bet.

The Art of Charm, hosted by Jordan and AJ Harbinger.

The Art of Charm is a business podcast by definition, but the advice it provides will definitely help you in other parts of your day-to-day life as well. With over three million listens a month, the incredibly populat show provides advice, strategies and insight into how to network effectively and advance your career and personal life.

StartUp, hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there is no excuse not to be listening to StartUp, the award-winning business podcast from Gimlet Media. The show’s talented hosts come from incredible radio shows like Planet Money and This American Life and bring a top-notch level of storytelling to the show, which provides behind the scenes looks at what it is actually like to start a company. Now on the fourth season, StartUp is one of those business podcasts that even people not interested in business will get a kick out of.

The Whole Whale Podcast, hosted by George Weiner.

One of the best things about podcasts is the wide variety of niche shows available that go in-depth into fascinating topics. One of those shows is the Whole Whale Podcast, which shares stories about data and technology in the non-profit sector. You’ll get detailed analysis, expert knowledge and can hear from a long list of social impact leaders from Greenpeace, Change.org, Kiva, Teach For America and more.

Social Pros Podcast, hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown.

Navigating the surplus of social media guides online can be a nightmare, so look no further thna Social Pros. Recent episodes talk about reaching college students on social media, the rise of messaging apps, and making better video content for Facebook. Plus, there are great case-studies with companies doing social right, like Kellogg’s, Coca Cola and Lenscrafters.

Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas.

One of the original entrepreneurship shows, Entrepreneur on Fire has logged over 1,500 episodes with successful business leaders sharing tips, lessons and advice learned from their worst entrepreneurial moments. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always inspiring, this show is sure to have at least one interview with someone you can learn from.

The $100 MBA, hosted by Omar Zenhom.

Think of The $100 MBA as a full-fledged business program in snack-sized portions. The daily ten minute business lessons are based on real world applications and cover everything from marketing to techology and more. Cue this show up on your commute to or from work and watch your knowledge grow.

This Week in Startups, hosted by Jason Calacanis.

This is your audio version of TechCrunch, Gizmodo or dare we say The American Genius. Each week, a guest entrepreneur joins the show to talk about what is happening in tech right now. You’ll get news about companies with buzz, updates on big tech news and even some insider gossip.

The Side Hustle Show, hosted by Nick Loper.

This is the show if you want answers for the big question so many entrepreneurs face. How do I turn my part-time hustle into a real job? Featuring topics such as passive income ideas, niche sites, and self-publishing, host Nick Loper is upfront and honest about the tough world of side hustles. The show features actionable tips and an engaging energy, and may just be that final push you need to grow your gig.

Back To Work, hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.
Focused on the basics that you don’t think about, Back To Work looks deep into our working lives by analyzing things like workflow, email habits and personal motivation. Somewhere between self-help and business advice, Back To Work takes on a new topic relating to productivity each week.

#LearnSomething

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Business Marketing

Use your love of the past as a niche marketing tool for your business today

(MARKETING) A market that is making waves is found in the form of entertainment nostalgia.

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nostalgia

Likeminded interests

Is it just me or does it seem like there is something for everything nowadays? Let me clarify, as that is a rather broad question…

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With the way communicating through technology has advanced, it’s become much easier to connect with those who have shared interests. This has become especially evident with interests in the entertainment community.

Entertainment nostalgia

It now seems like there is an event for every bit of nostalgia you can imagine. Autograph shows, meet and greets, and memorabilia collections of all kinds are held in convention halls all around the world. (To give you an idea of how deep this thing goes, there was a “Grease 2” reunion convention sometime within the last five years. Being that I’m the only person I’ve ever met who likes that movie, it’s amazing that it found an audience.)

This idea of marketing by use of nostalgia is something that is becoming smartly tapped and there are a variety of directions it can go in.

For example, the new Domino’s ads feature dead-on tributes to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

What’s your niche?

If you’re a fan of anything, it’s likely that you can find an event to suit your needs.

And, if you want to take it a step further, you can think outside the box and use nostalgia as a marketing tool.

I recently began dabbling in social media gigs that have brought me to a few different fan conventions. One was a throwback 80s and 90s convention that featured everyone from Alan Thicke to the members of N*SYNC. Another is a recurring convention that brings together fans of sci-fi, horror, and everything under that umbrella.

I was amazed by the number of people that came out to these events and the amount of money that was spent on the day’s activities (autographs, photo ops, etc.). I was energized by the fact that you can take something you have a great appreciation for and bring together others who share that feeling. Watching people meet some of their favorite celebrities is something that is priceless.

Hop onboard the nostalgia train

If you’re a fan of something, you don’t have to look too far to find what you’d enjoy — going back to the aforementioned “Ferris Bueller” example, there is a first-ever John Hughes fan event taking place in Chicago next month that will bring fans to their favorite Brat Pack members.

In the same thought, if you have an idea, now is the time to find others who share that interest and execute your vision.

#Nostalgia

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Business Marketing

Get a personalized daily checklist for your digital marketing strategy

(MARKETING NEWS) For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an digital marketing strategy, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit. This app can help.

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clearpath digital marketing

Check!

There is no doubt that starting your own business can be overwhelming. Along with promoting your business at events, meetings and in person, digital marketing strategies play a key role in the success of a company. For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an online presence, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit.

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Simply creating a website and Facebook page for your business is not enough. However, software tools can help simplify digital marketing. ClearPath is a tool that organizes and creates tasks to optimize your online marketing. By creating to-do lists for you based on your online marketing strategy, you can focus on the areas of marketing that improve your business, all the while receiving useful tips and advice.

How does ClearPath work?

Using ClearPath is pretty straightforward and only requires one prerequisite. Before beginning, you must have a website. If you are already lost, don’t panic. ClearPath can help you develop an online presence. Once your website is linked up, you get to choose the marketing channels that you would like to focus on. These include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email, social, content, analytics, local, pay-per-click (PPC) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Again, if you are lost, ClearPath is there to help you strategize.

After ClearPath analyzes your site, they start sending you customized tasks based they believe can improve your online marketing.

As you finish each task, you can simply check it off and it will disappear. New tasks will appear each day, and some may even repeat as they need to be updated.

A great start

Whether you are well-versed in digital marketing or not, staying updated with the newest ways to optimize your business online is a constant struggle. Tools like ClearPath give people a place to start. Although I don’t think it can supplement an active and experienced digital marketer, it is a tool that can help small businesses that cannot afford to add to their team yet. At the end of the day, it aims to save you time. And since time is money, your business will hopefully be more profitable.

ClearPath is currently in beta. Check out their website to learn more.

#ClearPath

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