Thursday, August 21, 2014

Understanding the Different Types of Business Card Printing

Even in the age of online global business, people still use business cards as a leave behind when meeting with new customers and clients. Business cards offer a convenient size for filing away in a wallet or rolodex (for those that are still using these dinosaurs), to keep needed information on hand about people that they meet.

Traditionally business calling cards included phone numbers, addresses and the name of the company the person you met worked for. Now, with the internet being used so much in business, these handy calling cards also tend to include things such as email addresses, websites, and even Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account addresses.

Some people don't have a need for a lot of business cards, so they will design and print their own business cards using perforated business card paper, with their computer and inkjet or laser printer.  While some of these papers are plain, and come in different colors, others have preprinted designs and allow you to drop in your personalized information, for a beautiful card without the cost of professional printing.

Other people have a need for business cards in bulk and rely on traditional printing to get them produced. With business card printing there are several different types of printing available.

Online Business Card Printing

Standard Offset (Flat Print) Printed Business Cards

Order Flat Printed Business CardsWith standard offset printing, the most common form of printing, your cards are printed in what is called "spot colors" and come out with a flat ink. This is the type of printing that is used on most traditional printed materials we see every day. This offers fast and easy production, as no special equipment, beyond a standard printing press, is required to print them.

With an online print shop, you can either design your business card online, or upload custom artwork, to be printed in one or two spot colors. You will receive a flat printed business card on a quality business card stock.

Thermographed (Raised Print) Business Cards

Order Raised Printed Business CardsThermography is a method of printing that works in conjunction with offset printing. After your business cards are printed, and while the ink is still wet, the cards are dusted with a powder and then run through a heating unit, which causes the powder to melt and raise. This gives you the nice glossy raised printing that you may have seen on some people's business cards.

Generally these are also done in spot colors and offer a more "elegant" looking finished card. However, be aware that it is best not to use really fine or detailed artwork or logos with this method of printing, as the process of "raising" the ink on the business card will "blow out" any detail work you may have, and you may not be happy with the final product.

Full Color (4 Color Process) Business Cards

Order Full Color Business Cards
For cards that are going to feature color photographs, and more than one or two colors, you would want to upgrade to a full color printed business card. While slightly more expensive than the other two business card printing methods, full color cards allow you to really shine and can make you stand out from the crowd.

There was a time, before the advent of digital printing, that producing a full color business card was prohibitively expensive for the average person. Full color printing required multiple negatives and metal plates, and time consuming stripping and prep work, along with several passes through a printing press, to bring to fruition.  But, along came digital printing, making it so much more cost effective for the average person to be able to get a nice full color printed business card printed.

Design and Order Your Own Business Cards Online

The internet has made the ordering of business cards so much more streamlined. You can now utilize online printing services to design your own business card, or upload a design you have done in a computer graphics or page layout program, and order business cards online. This makes trips to the smelly traditional corner print shop a thing of the past!

No matter which method you choose for your business cards, it's always good to have a few on hand at all times. You never know when you will need to pass on your information, and it looks great to be prepared.

Custom Online Printing
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