PROMO: The art of making a postcard, part 2.

January 25, 2007

Hello all! Here’s hoping you’re having a lovely Thursday, I’m feeling pretty good I must admit. Definitely raring to go on wrapping up my treatise on postcarding it, so let’s get into the nitty-gritty and share sources.

I haven’t used a lot of places yet, but I have ordered sample packs from some, so I’ll list some of those as well with my thoughts, along with pricing for 500 cards (that’s the run I use; I usually don’t use them all up with mailing so I’ll put them in packages and hand them out at cons, that sort of thing).

Without further ado, in no particular order:

1)4by6.com: This is the first place I printed my postcard with. I think their prices have standardized since I first used them, because I went 4/1 (color front, black ink back in case you forgot from last entry) to save money, but now 500 cards go for $110 regardless of the color on the back. They did a pretty good job; I received the cards pretty quick, and the colors were close (though a bit more purply toned than what the original watercolored image was). The default coating was glossy on the front and uncoated on the back; good for hand-writing addresses (which, I did once but will never do again! My hands killed me.). Their sample kit is quite nice and free.

2) Modern Postcard: I haven’t used them, but I’ve seen samples of cards printed by them. They do a good job and I probably would like them. The cards are wider than some (4.25×6″), which could be nice. 500 cards cost $129 or $155 based on whether you ask for color on the back. (I prefer a color back, so I would be going for the latter.) They coat with an aqueous coating, which I think was semi-gloss when I saw those samples. Why haven’t I used them? Quite frankly, the price. Might make me a cheap-wad, but I’ve found good places for a good price.

3)Overnight Prints: This is the company I currently use. Don’t be put off by their ‘design for dummies’ sort of interface; it ain’t pretty, but they do good work. I hear that their customer service is atrocious, so if you are needing to talk to someone try a different company, but there are a number of reasons why I like them. Their prices are really reasonable (around $90 for 500 4/4 cards!), and if you have a coupon like I do, it’s even cheaper. They offer rounded edges, which while I’m not positive if that’s USPS friendly, it looks beautiful. They offset print the cards, which just looks nicer in my opinion. And last but not least, the finish. Their standard is this satin finish on both sides that just looks perfect with my illustrations; they also offer gloss, but I would rather go with satin any day. The colors look pretty spot on from what I see on screen, so I’m happy to recommend them.

4)PsPrint : Another company I have not used yet, but actually will use in a couple weeks for a different print job (notepads for sale/self-promo); their samples arrived quickly and the quality was pretty nice. I like them in theory at least because they offer a variety of printing, so if I get any crazy schemes in mind they might help. They also offer different paper options, including recycled for you eco-conscious out there… based on what you choose, prices go from $60-100 based on color or black and white back, paper choice, etc. The front side is coated, back is not.

5)GreenerPrinter : Don’t get me wrong, I want to like GreenerPrinter. There’s a part of me that cringes when I think about what wastes and pollution my print job may be producing, and I would like to make things more eco-friendly. However, the prices are out of my budget right now ($109 for black back, $140 for color), and to be honest the samples I got (mostly ads and trade announcements for vegan-friendly things) looked okay, but I wasn’t super impressed. I guess it was just a bit too glossy/cheap looking to me. But to be fair, they give you lots of paper options, and that’s nice.

6) Others: Really, there’s a slew out there. I found this resource of other printers, many of whom I never heard of, but haven’t sought them out yet. If any of the ones I’ve listed don’t appeal, I’d check the resource out. I’m pleased with Overnight Prints though; my last three cards were printed with them and they’ve all looked beautiful.

Next week we’ll continue the promo talk- in case you want to do something more than just postcards. Again, Tuesday will be a broader talk, and Thursday will be more resources/companies.

Have a great weekend and happy illustrating!

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14 Responses to “PROMO: The art of making a postcard, part 2.”

  1. Sketchee said

    I use overnight prints all the time, had my business cards done there. Yeah they are pretty good though I like the gloss!

  2. I’ve used JakPrints (www.jakprints.com) exclusively for the past 2 years. It is $90 for 4×6 cards, full color both sides and they offer a lot of other great printing options.

    If you’re living in Canada like me, it’s hard to find a good place with a good deal. Most of what I’ve found up here is no less than $240 for the same thing JakPrints offers.

    Despite the shipping and ridiculous broker fees at the border (about 30-40 bucks) it is still cheaper than anything I’ve found North of the Border. The colors have always been bang on and their upload is easy.

  3. sweetbo said

    Overnight Prints sounds like something in my price range. I’ve looked around myself and have not been comfortable with with I’ve found. Thanks for pointing that one out.

  4. john said

    A friend of mine gets postcards from http://www.gotprint.net. Their quality is great, although not as many options, they pretty much just offer gloss-you can order a free sample package to see for yourself-and it’s only $65 for a THOUSAND cards, full color both sides. No idea why it’s so cheap but from what I’ve seen their work is good.

  5. graphismo said

    I just wanted to give you some feedback on Modern Postcard and PsPrint… They both are good companies, even if they are more expensive.

    Modern PostCard has the best website..and by far the best customer service… they follow up every step with an email… they are really helpfull and cordial if you call them and on my opinion their postcards are a higher quality product. But just like you , I have looked for alternatives… One more thing about Modern… your projects normally usually go to the same team of people, which if you build a reltionship or due enough businesss can be helpfull..

    PsPrint also has good customer service… once they sent me the wrong job… they automatically reprinted the job and got it to me in a few days…when they found the original job, they just sent it to me for no additional fee… I have used them for doorhangers, stickers, greeting cards, brochures, business cards and they have delivered every single time… They also seem to be having promotions/sales… and to top it of hey dropped their prices on postcards for good… the biggest issue about PSPrint is that it’s more automated than Modern.

    By the way…I enjoy your blog… but realy like your work!

  6. Sketchee said

    One more that no one mentioned. USPS.com I found about this service from Artists & Graphic Designer’s Market 2006. Just upload your artwork and mailing list, they’ll print and mail your postcards (also letters or brochures). You get the bulk mail postcard rate so its really cheap.

    I use google docs now to do my mailing list, but you can use Excel or Outlook. No minimum quantities, but $2 minimum order (if you order less than $2 worth then the system charges you the $2).

    They have two types of postcards, the regular ones are nicer than the “premium” IMO. Full color both sides and full bleed. I’ve used them for event invitations and announcements. Gotten a lot of compliments

    You can do targeted mailings without having to invest in the minimums. No waiting a week for the postcards to come in. Don’t have to spend the time labeling them. Just upload, hit send and they’re off.

  7. RADROBOT said

    I’ve been using Overnight Prints for my last few printed items and have been impressed with their quality. Their glossy coating is actually quite nice looking, if appropriate for the project.

  8. Just wanted to chime in about psprint.com. I got my holiday cards done with them and I am very happy with it. They have a low print run option (125 cards) and got it when they had their sale…a great deal!

  9. I wanted to put in a plug for OvernightPrints.com. They are great in every way except that they are definitely not ‘overnight’. Customer service, quality, and prices are great.

    Meg – thank you for creating this blog – it’s a great idea. I love your illustrations, by the way!!

    Kathy

    (I lost my original post, so forgive me if this is a duplicate)

  10. Dave said

    I’ve used Overnight Prints twice and I will NEVER give them my business again. The first time I ordered postcards which arrived 2 days later than promised (and obviously not overnight) despite my paying extra for all the rush services. As a result, I had no business cards while at the event I ordered them for. The second time I ordered postcards, they only printed 75% of my order (for reasons I was never clear on), and the image quality was unusable. Everything was washed out and magenta. I’ve also since learned that the Better Business Bureau gave them an “F” rating, so it’s not just me.

    I’ve heard great things about Modern Postcard though. Also, if you should ever want to get envelopes printed, I’ve had fantastic results from Action Envelope, though the minimum is 1000 (it’s off-set printed) and fairly pricey.

  11. This is a very interesting website gives different
    types of printers for colorful postcards printing.
    Here is a website with detailed and useful information about color postcards..try it..

    COLOR POSTCARDS

  12. cj0327 said

    Buyer beware! I will never order from Action Envelope again! I had placed an order. Upon receipt I found the description online did not match the item. I called to make arrangements to return the envelopes. The “customer service” (that’s a stretch) person I spoke with indicated it was a good thing I called so quickly because there are NO refunds after 14 days; however, continued to advise me of various other caveats. In addition, the cs person indicated with total lack of concern that the description matched industry standard and did not have to be an exact description. Long story short, I did not receive a full refund for the items. I was left holding the bag so to speak….or envelope.

  13. Simon Lalor said

    If you are looking for excellent customer service and a printer who actually cares about your results you should take a look at http://www.momentumprint.com.au

  14. Enjoy your blog…found it via yahoo. Subscribed!

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