Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Where to Have Postcards Printed


I've started sending cards through Postcrossings but can't find any for my own little town so decided to create my own. This led me to the dilemma of how to have them printed.

My first try was to go to my local drugstore & print 4 x 6 photos & then glue a back to them.

This was very cheap and relatively painless for the 6 I wanted to send out right away. But the gluing is sort of a hassle so I thought I'd try out online printing services. That's when the confusion began. There are lots of options. It's hard to compare prices as each has slightly different options, and none show the shipping charges until the end (which I find extremely annoying.)


I ended up doing a test with OverNightPrints.com. Total charge was $44.50. I got 100 cards, 4 x 6" and chose the Premium option (done on an offset press, as opposed to the Value cards done on a digital press). I found a coupon code (PCDISC) and got a $6 discount. They're printed on 15 pt stock, color front, black & white back with a glossy front that's uv coated. I also ordered a pack of sample cards which came very quickly and give a really good idea of what the options are. I heartily recommend requesting them. The printed card arrived as promised, though it did take quite a bit longer than Zazzle. I'm happy with the weight of the stock & I like the glossy finish on the front. The cutting is clean and consistent, though some of the cards have a worn appearance on some of the edges. The color is not as vivid and the contrast not as strong as on the photos I printed using the same files. All in all I'm happy with the product and would order postcards, and other printed items from them in the future.

I wanted to get just a few cards for the Liberate Your Art 2013 swap. Since I just needed a few I decided to try Zazzle. The cards arrived today & I'm very pleased. The process was easy. They shipped very quickly. The quality is great. I ended up paying $7.04 for 8 cards (with a 15% discount for President's Day sale and free freight for trying the Zazzle Black program free for 30 days.) I used a close-up of a painting for the card. Excellent result. I definitely recommend them for small runs.
Postcard: Mixed Media Painting, 2012


Postcard: Lijiang, China, 2010







This all started with an assignment in my Photoshop class to create a postcard. I chose to use photos I'd taken on a trip to Lijiang, China which seemed to best fulfill the many requirements of the assignment.












Back to the topic at hand. Here are other sites I researched:

Moo. More expensive, but looks like the quality might be a bit better as they use 16 pt stock. They do runs as small as 20 cards ($19.95), but 120 cards w/shipping is $109.73.

VistaPrint. They're priced similarly to OverNightPrints, but I didn't like their size (5.47 x  4.21) and I'd already done 4 x 6 artwork.

GotPrint. Smallest quantity is 100. 14 pt gloss stock with uv coating printed color on the front & black & white on the back is   $27 plus freight of $9.76. The price was so close I thought I'd go with better paper & offset printing)

Cardstore.com lets you print just one card at a time. ($1.39 per card, with discounts starting at 9 cards. Plus shipping is fairly priced at $1 for up to 3 cards, and $2.50 for 4-10 cards.) It's by far the easiest to use design-wise. They've got lots of templates and you can use up to 4 photos on a single card.

If you want to create your own postcards individually these are a good option from Amazon.
Cover It Blank Postcards - 4 x 6 inches - Pack of 50

You get 50 blank postcards for a little over $12. They're blank on the front and have all the pertinent info on the back, which makes them a good option if you want to do original artwork. Which you could then scan or photograph and then have multiples printed at one of the sites above.

I've created a couple of generic templates for postcard backs that you can upload & paste onto the back of photos for a quick solution.

Please feel free to add info to the comments section if you have experiences or other sites to recommend.


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