Step One: Set your budget
Business cards can be purchased in a wide range of prices, but budget can still affect your actual options if you want a very specific or customized business card. Budget will definitely play a factor in the next steps.
Step Two A: Decide if you need a Digital Printer or Offset
Deciding which kind of printer you want is based off what type of printing you want done. It is can also be based on budget.
Digital printing is done using toner, like the printers all of us have at home. Larger printers can use ink, but the process is the same as the home printers. Digital printing usually prints cards one at a time, therefore small orders can be placed. While it has improved over time, the quality of color accuracy can vary. This is type of printing is more affordable.
Offset printing is that a plate is created to roll the ink and design onto the cards themselves. All offset printers offer large quantities, because the machines only work with large quantities. That is why you will see a minimum quantity of 100 or 200 depending on the paper. The quality of color accuracy is high. It is slightly more expensive than digital printing, but if you want a certain quality and accuracy in your print job, you might want to consider leaving room in the budget for offset printing.
Step Two B: Decide whether you want a CMYK or Pantone printer
CMYK means that colors are created using the CMYK values of the design C stands for Cyan- blue, M stands for Magenta- red, Y stands for yellow, and K stands for key- black. Therefore the individual quantities you give each of these settings will create the color.
Think of CMYK as when you are coloring as a little kid. If you use an equal amount of blue and red, you will get purple. It is the same thing with CMYK. If you wish to have let’s say a dark blue, make sure the value for K-red is quite low so you will avoid getting the color purple. In general, it is a good idea to remember that with CMYK, you need a wide range between the values to ensure you get the color you want.
Pantone reproduces the most accurate colors in design. With Pantone, you can specify the numbers of the shades you wish to use. Usually you will be priced for the amount of colors you wish to use. However, such accuracy makes Pantone the most costly.
–MorningPrint is an offset CMYK printer, which means we use plates and CMYK colors to print your designs
Step Three: Check your timeline
Choice of printers can be affected by a number of reasons, budget, CMYK or Pantone, delivery, and also processing times. For the most part, it is a good idea to leave printers 2 weeks to process and deliver your order. We can bet some people may be surprised at this length of time, but business cards are a serious purchase. They represent you and your business, and if you rush through the process or do not do your research, there is a good chance that you will feel the cards do not properly represent your standards.
That being said, it can be possible that you need a fast print job. Maybe there is a conference or meet up you were not originally attending, and now you are. We understand that. In such a case, look into custom printers who can print quickly. Not every printer offers that service. If you need same day delivery, we would suggest looking into local digital printers, because you can physically go and pick up the cards yourself. In such cases as these, it is also best to keep your design wishes realistic. Maybe instead of having finishing options, such as Foiling, it might be better to only have ink printing.
-If you need faster printing and delivery, MorningPrint offers fast processing times, including a Same Day Printing service. Just keep in mind, Same Day Printing does not mean same day delivery.
-If you do not need same day delivery, but do need business cards in a week, some of our products which have 1-2 business day processing time might be a good fit for you.
Step Four A: Order samples
Step Four A and Four B are the most important steps in the process.
At MorningPrint, we strongly recommend that everyone order samples from the printer they wish to work with. We do not mean to print a sample card of their specific design. We refer to the actual material itself.
Step Four B: Choose the business card material
Most people finalize their design and then pick a material. It is actually better to choose the material first, because each product has their own specific characteristic, which makes them suited for different design styles. In addition, you will know details such as the brightness of the white, the thickness, the texture, etc. It is easier to design around the material rather than to create a design and find a material that will enhance or complement it.
Once you see the samples, you will also know whether you want a paper or plastic business card. Keep in mind that not all paper or plastics are the same.
-MorningPrint currently offers over 60 different types of paper and over 20 different kinds of plastic business cards. Within paper we have different kinds of shine, matte, thicknesses and whites, colors. In plastic, we have less variety of thickness but a wide variety in appearance. Therefore, it is best you see and feel these cards before you start designing because they may not be what you are imagining.
Step Five: Design by yourself or hire a graphic designer
Based on budget, decide whether or not you will get a designer or if you will do the design yourself. Regardless of your choice, you should know that custom printers require a high resolution, at least of 300 dpi to be able to have a high quality print job.
If you choose to design by yourself, keep in mind that most online/mobile graphic design and business card apps produce low resolution designs.
-If you choose to work with MorningPrint, you can use our online template called ‘Customize Designs’ located on almost every product page.
-If you are a graphic designer using MorningPrint, please set the design colors to CMYK setting instead of RGB. RGB is for computer design, not for commercial printing.
Step Six: Follow upload guidelines
Each printer has their own specific instructions to do a proper upload for a custom print order. The reason for this is because each printer has their own specific sizing for business cards, and their own process for business cards.
– MorningPrint has several different business card sizes, such as Standard, European, Slim and Australian (we can also do custom sizing). For standard sizing, we offer downloadable templates for both paper and plastic choices. Keep in mind that if you wish to utilize a Finishing Option, such as Foiling or Raised Ink, you will need to visit those specific pages to incorporate their guideline instructions into your design.
Step Seven: Double check your design/order with the printer before submitting it
Some custom printers automatically offer proofs of your design. Others do not. If your printer does not offer a proof, then try contacting them over the phone or through their customer service center and request one separately.
Also keep in mind that some printers may be able to do a physical proof, others may not be able to. A digital printer will be able to send you physical samples of your card, because they can print small quantities of cards. An offset printer will not be able to do this because they can only handle large quantities of cards. However, an offset printer may be able to do a digital proof.
-MorningPrint uses the design submitted with the order as the final proof. However if you would like a proof, please leave your design in your Shopping Cart and submit a request to our online Customer Center. We will gladly give a digital proof prior to payment.
Step Eight: Submit your order
Each printer has their own website, and their own way of moving through the website to place an order. If you wish to use MorningPrint, read on.
1. Create an account (please use an email you will always have access to as we will be using this email to contact you about your order)
2. Choose which paper or plastic you want
3. On the product details page of the product you choose, select an upload process. Choose ‘Customize Designs’ if you wish to create the design yourself, and choose ‘Upload a Complete Design’ if you have the full completed design already done
4. Depending on the process you selected in Step 3, answer the step by step questions you will be asked, such as quantity, finishing options, etc
Please note if you choose ‘Customize Designs’, your design will not automatically save until you reach the Shopping Cart page. If you wish to continue designing at a later time, please hit the ‘Next’ button until you reach the Shopping Cart page.
5. Once you hit the Shopping Cart page, you need to hit ‘Check Out’.
6. Fill in delivery and billing information
7. Finalize the payment after you fill in the billing information