Common card printing mistakes you should avoid

Business Cards to Catch Your Attention - vegasinkandtonerGetting business cards, invitations, or greeting cards printed is tricky. With so many options for papers, sizes, colors, and finishes, it’s easy to make mistakes even when using online printing services.  The paper you choose impacts the look, feel, and durability of your cards. An inexpensive paper might save you money upfront but won’t make the best impression on recipients. 

On the flip side, upgraded papers get pricey. Strike a balance by understanding paper weights and finishes. For business cards, a heavier 100-120 lb card stock communicates professionalism better than lightweight papers. Uncoated cards have a matte finish that’s easy to write on but shows fingerprints. Coated cards have a smooth, shiny finish that looks more elegant but is slippery to write on. Consider the card’s purpose when picking paper. Greeting cards use lighter paper since they aren’t handled as much. Luxurious papers make wedding invitations more special. Test different paper samples from your printer before you decide.

Choosing low-resolution photos and graphics

  1. Pixelated images make cards appear unprofessional and cheap. When images are resized too much beyond the original resolution they get blurry, jagged, and degraded. Print graphics demand higher resolution than screen images to render cleanly on paper. 
  2. Save photos intended for print cards at 300 dpi natively when possible. If working with existing files at lower resolutions, upscale carefully in image editing software instead of dragging corner handles in layout programs that distort and pixilation. 
  3. Vector graphic elements like logos scale perfectly without loss of quality, so take advantage of those instead of rasterized images when feasible. 
  4. Allow extra time and budget for acquiring high-resolution print photos to use; doing so makes finished cards more impressive.

Ignoring turnaround time

  • Rushing the process almost always causes regretted mistakes—sticking with default options, not getting key stakeholder reviews, and neglecting quality checks. Make sure to account for proof approvals, design revisions, and production timelines printthatnow read full info here for this website. 
  • Online printers print a quantity like 500 cards in a day for rush fees, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get cards in hand overnight. Build in 4-5 days minimum from order submission to delivery, longer for specialty printing like letterpress cards or custom envelopes.
  • Order cards well in advance whenever possible, at least two weeks ahead for important events like conferences, weddings, or product launches. Holiday card delivery requires even more lead time before the December rush.  
  • Plan your card order during downtimes of the year instead of when you’re busy with other projects. Trying to cram card printing between major deadlines rarely ends well.

Overlooking consistency across quantity

When printing medium to large quantities, you want assurance that colors, ink coverage, and cutting tolerances are consistent across the stack. Minor shifts occur over a press run due to adjustments and machine wear—managing those variables falls to the printer. Consistency matters more on some card types than others. Business cards should match evenly since you’ll distribute from the supply randomly for years. Minor color deviations on event invitations you hand out in one evening matter less. Ask your printer about press checks and protocols they follow for long print runs. Reputable online printers confirm the color first few sheets and either fine-tune printing presses midstream or recreate the batch if creeping inconsistencies emerge like double imprinting. This avoids surprises when you go to use the stack of cards.