Creating Tasty Business Cards: to Printfinity and Beyond!
Last week I shared some of the resources I found useful during my crash course on getting up to speed on using WordPress to create a hobby site devoted to French food. I have since stumbled across the StudioPress Genesis Framework which, coupled with the GenesisConnect plugin for BuddyPress, will serve as the foundation on which to construct the site. While that's good news, it also represents another mammoth learning curve, the outcome of which will inevitably serve as fodder for a future post.
The final site will take good advantage of all the usual social doodads to foster exposure online, but I decided to also go old school and create some cards that I could pass out when the occasion presented itself — that's often easier than going into a long-winded explanation of what a site's all about and then expecting someone to remember the url. What I needed was something that expressed the French foodiness of the site, so I began trolling the collections of the microstock agencies, in the end narrowing down my favorites to a few dozen. But then things got tougher. How to pick a single image to best personify the nature of the site? I began another online search, this time for a printer that would provide some flexibility by allowing me to use more than one image.
After landing on the sites of some rather dubious printers I eventually checked out Moo, a British online printer that seems to be well regarded in the design community. In fact, Moo has the appearance of being geared primarily to creatives and while remaining affordable, provides more than a few nods in their direction. For example, imagine my surprise and delight when I realized that I could use a different photo on the back of every single card (a process Moo calls printfinity). Talk about being a kid in a candy store. I trimmed down my image selection to ten of the best and decided to go for a print run of 200, so I'd wind up with 20 of each card.
The design side of ordering on the Moo site couldn't be handled much better. Layout templates in several formats are provided, so I snagged the Photoshop template to create the text side of the card and saved the final design to the recommended size in JPEG format. The photo side was even easier, with the requirement being to simply provide properly sized 300 dpi images. I then uploaded all the images and walked through the online proofing process to ensure everything looked okay. At the end you can choose either the Classic or Green paper. I went for the latter, which is almost painfully ecologically correct, but even the Classic is made from sustainable forests and is elemental chlorine free (not the same as paper that doesn't use any chlorine compounds for wood pulp bleaching, but still pretty good). Moo quite consistently does the right thing in this regard, an increasingly important point for designers.
And the quality of the cards? I'm certainly pleased with them. They arrived nicely packaged, along with a handy desktop card holder. The stock has a satisfying thickness to it and holds the ink well. Print quality is good, with the text side crisp and consistently positioned, while the image colors and contrast are well saturated (they would have "popped" a bit more on the Classic stock but that wasn't a look I wanted). In fact, Moo does some image optimization to achieve this liveliness, something you can disable during the online ordering process.
The down side? I honestly can't think of any. Moo provides a well-priced, quality service and would seem to be very customer-oriented. Other printed products are available, such as mini-cards, stickers, postcards and greeting cards. You can even upload your own images and receive free printed samples.
In my case, I can't get their postage stamp-sized stickers out of my mind. Imagine hundreds of tiny stickers, each with different images for food, how cool would that be? I know I want them. I just don't know what I'd do with them. But I'm working on it.
Founding Editor, Graphics.com
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