Where to Start When Researching Professional Printers

One of my biggest challenges in my business was finding a good, reliable printer. I struggled to find someone that could complete print projects of the highest quality, at the lowest price, and with the quickest turnaround.

It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize how unrealistic of a consumer I was being. What’s that old business adage?

Our work can be good, fast, and cheap...but you can only pick two.

It’s so true. You can get something cheap and quick, but it’s not going to be the highest quality. If you want good quality work fast, it’s going to be expensive. If your timeline permits, you can get a great outcome at a reasonable price, but you have to be patient.

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The great part about this reality, is that if you choose your two upfront you can get a great outcome no matter what you choose!

For example, if you choose cheap and quick, maybe order a few extras in case you get some imperfect prints. Local printers are a great option for the cheap and quick route, because if something does go wrong or needs to be reprinted for some reason, they can work with you. Also, because they are local, there is no need to factor in shipping time!

I’d recommend collecting quotes from 2-3 local printers to compare. Consider both small, independent shops and nearby locations of large chains. Alphagraphics and Minuteman Press are both franchised based businesses with several locations. You may also ask if they’d be willing to give you a proof before printing your whole order! Ask them to quote you for the quantity you need on either 100lb (standard for invitations) or 120lb cardstock (on the thicker end), you can also specify matte or glossy.   

If you want high quality invitations on a budget, be sure to start early and play by the rules of the printer. Cards & Pockets is a great resource for invitation printing, but their turnaround time is on the longer side. They also require that you order a proof to guarantee the quality will meet your expectations. If you’ve got over a month until you need to send out your invites, they may be a great option for you!

Finally, online options like Vistaprint or UPrinting have online proofing and options to expedite the printing, but it’ll cost you. I’ve had generally positive experiences with both, but I tend to use them for specialty items like magnets, stickers, and self-inking stamps. While I can’t speak to their invitation paper or printing quality, their customer service has been great to work with on each project so they are worth a look.

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The opinions expressed here are my own, I only link to products I use and love!