Once you have your business cards designed the next step is to have them printed. Your cards can be printed one of three ways; you can have them printed locally at a printing press, have them printed online or print them yourself at home.
Printing business cards at home is a popular method amongst do-it-yourselfers. This article will explain the pros and cons of choosing this method.
The Pros to Printing Your Business Card at Home
I can think of a couple reasons why people like to print their own business cards.
- Cost. Most people already have their own printer. And if it’s already got ink in it, then it will only cost $15 to $30 for business card paper. $15 to $30 for business cards is inexpensive when compared to other printing options out there.
- Time. If you have a local or online printing press print your business cards, you’re looking at a week or two before you get your cards back. With your own printer, you can have your business cards ready within minutes.
- Quantity. Instead of dealing with 50 or 100 card minimums, you can print off as many or as few cards as you need. This also allows you to change your design periodically without having to waste any cards.
Overall, printing your own cards at home is convenient. You don’t have to deal with things like waiting in line, getting ahold of customer service or having to figure out what files to give your printer. Printing your own business cards is simple, and people like simplicity.
The Cons to Printing Your Business Card at Home
Ok, so before you rush out to grab supplies so that you can print your own cards, I suggest you consider the following downsides:
- Quality. This is the main downside in my opinion and it’s a big one. It’s not a stretch by any means to say that business cards printed at home are of the lowest quality when compared to other options. The card stock is thinner and lighter, resulting in a more flimsy and cheaper feeling business card. It’s also difficult to control the outcome of the final product. Common errors when printing your cards at home include improper text alignment, color consistency, smudges and bleeding from one card to the next.
- Customization. When you print your own cards, you cannot have cool custom stuff like high gloss finishes, text or images cut out, or even out of the box ideas like plastic or metal material.
The problem with printing at home is that it produces a cheap or amateurish looking card. While people want simplicity, they also want a final product that looks good and represents then and their business properly. That’s hard to achieve when printing your own cards at home.
Summary: Should You Print Your Own Business Cards?
It’s as simple as that. As Mike puts it, printing at home is only worth considering if you’re totally broke. And even then you’re better off having your cards printed at VistaPrint; the site we gave a C- to in our review. Just the fact that you can get thicker card stock and (slightly) better colors compared to printing your cards at home makes VistaPrint a better option.
Ask anyone; cards printed at home look as if they were printed at home. This gives off the vibe that you’re cheap or maybe don’t care about your business (or clients) as much as you should. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the message I want to be sending my clients. And the reality is that you don’t have to with the other printing options out there.