You’ve purchased your printable invitations, they are edited the way you want and now it’s time to get them printed. There are a number of ways you can choose from from a local print shop, a copy shop like Kinkos or Staples to a number of online printers or you could choose to print your invitations at home.
Each of these options are different and it’s impossible to know every printer but today I’m sharing some simple tips on what to look for and the basics you need to know when having your templates and printables printed.
Local Print Shop
Of all the DIY options out there, your local print shop will most likely give you the best quality, the most professional and in turn will likely be the most expensive option. These places are specialized in printing. They know the best ways to print different designs and they will be able to help you pick the best papers and printing options to get the best results. In many cases, in addition to the cost of printing, there may be set up fees as well. When Raspberry Creative was just getting started, this is how I had all my invitations printed. There was a set up fee for every new print job and I rarely had control over the schedule but the print quality was almost always perfect.
Print shops also often have more than one printing option. Even in the area I live, I have local print shops that offer everything from digital / flat printing to letterpress, thermography and foil stamping!
A copy shop like Staples is quick and easy but you typically have fewer options when it comes to paper. I’ve also priced online printing through Staples for clients and they are often more expensive than my local print shop. I’ve also felt like the skill level of the people aren’t typically as good as those that work in a print shop. The turn-around times can be pretty fast but you don’t always have control over when things get done.
When using an online printer for the first time, I highly suggest ordering their sample pack first. Most online printers will send this to you for free but it’s a great way to see and sample their printing quality and paper options before ordering. When ordering instant downloads that have form fields, I have also noticed that customers have problems sending their edited file. Printers with FTP uploads will work best. You also need to know what the printer requires in terms of file sizes before ordering. Many online printers don’t want a 2 or 4 up file, they prefer the file sent individually with the bleed dimension included in the file size. I’ve also found that some online printers uses non-standard bleed dimensions which can make standard sizes not compatible. Know your printer and what they require before ordering your printables and templates.
Home printers come in many shapes and sizes and you can really get some nicely printed invitations at home but know your printer. Many home printers have limitations on paper weights and sizes. Don’t buy pre-cut RSVP cards if your printer can’t go below a 4 x 6 paper size. Don’t buy that awesome 120lb cover stock online if your printer can print up to 80lb. You can not only damage your printer but end up not being able to print.
Depending on your home printer (inkjet or laser) you need to know what the recommended printing is for the paper you buy. Not all paper is inkjet compatible while other paper is recommended for printing with an inkjet.
No matter how you plan to print your templates and printables, the most important thing is to do your homework before deciding on the template or printable and the print method you plan to use. Ensuring before hand that your template and printer are compatible will go a long way toward saving you time, money and stress and that’s why you’ve decided to DIY your invitations anyway, right?
In case you missed it, last week I shared some pros and cons of going with a printable or template. Coming up next week, I’ll be sharing some simple ways to dress up your printables and templates to make them look more expensive and custom.