Ah, printers. There are so many out there — where should you even start? We do a surprisingly large amount of print design in the studio, from magazines to packaging to more traditional items like business cards. Depending on the job, we rotate between a handful different printers.
Here’s a short and sweet list that should cover most of your needs:
1. MOO: Economical, fantastic quality and great customer service — need we say more? This is our preferred spot for printing client business cards, postcards, round stickers and shipping labels. On the rare occasion there’s been a misprint, they replaced the order free of charge with no hassle. And, did you know that they now offer gold foil and spot gloss finishes?
2. LUMI: Business card printers are fairly easy to source but it gets a bit trickier when searching for packaging options. The minimums tend to be too high, especially for small businesses and a lot of the larger, more traditional packaging printers are more inward-facing. Knowing what they have to offer, let alone getting a quote can take some effort. That’s where Lumi comes in — they make the process seamless and their clear, consistent photography leaves little room for unwanted surprises. And, their blog is packed full of fresh printing ideas.
3. PAPER CHASE PRESS: Sometimes, we have a client that needs a specialty piece printed with custom detailing that a mass-market digital printer just doesn’t offer and in these cases, Paper Chase is fantastic. They work with a lot of fashion brands, photographers and designers and are able to print lookbooks, postcard packs, business cards with specialty foils, different sizes of posters and so much more. They are also quick to answer questions.
4. MAGCLOUD: This printing service is owned by HP and it goes without saying that their print quality is top notch. We’ve used them dozens of times for client workbooks, lookbooks and posters and the best part is, they have bulk discounts and can ship anywhere in the world. MagCloud also offers perfect binding for that extra premium touch.
5. BLURB: If you’re printing a coffee table-worthy book or hardcover portfolio, Blurb is a great place to go. The examples of each item are really good and they also offer pre-made, well-deigned templates if you need some help getting started with layouts. Blurb is also able to be linked in with Amazon so it’s easier to distribute your book to a wider audience.
6. NEWSPAPER CLUB: Newsprint is a really cool, lo-fi way to promote your work and it’s not as expensive as you might think. Whereas traditional printers sometimes require an order in the high hundreds or thousands, Newspaper Club can do much smaller, more economical runs. Before you order, request print samples because we’ve noticed a big difference between the traditional offset and digital printing options.
Need even more printer options? Check out Inker Linker!