A Guide to Printing: Local vs. Online
You’ve come up with the concept, the design has been created and now all you need to do is print. Whether you’re creating business cards, posters, or your own letterhead, you still have to choose between printing locally or through an online service. We’ve compiled a list of points to consider before picking which one is right for you.
Price is always a big determining factor when deciding which route to take. Often, online companies will have a lower price than your local printing company. Limited mediums and sizes and not always needing to have a physical building are just some of the reason why their rates are lower. While the price may be more expensive, your local printing company will have more options, allowing you to get the best quality products. The extra cost will help you stand out from the competition, which may be more difficult with an online company’s limited selection.
There is nothing more accurate than looking at a sample of your design printed out on the paper you requested. It allows you to see if all the colors are correct and to make sure every detail is what you expected. Proofs can be ordered on some online sites, but that requires them to be shipped to you. That can cost time and money. At a local shop, you can obtain a proof without any added shipping cost, but it does require you to take time to go to the shop. No matter which company you decide, getting a proof can save you time and money in the long run because you’ll have a better understanding of what to expect in the finished product.
Nothing beats the convenience of uploading your design online and having it shipped to your door. With an online company there is no need to discuss the project or design. Just upload your image, pick your medium and it’s ready to print. Their limited selection means that they can get your products printed quickly, but if you’re not willing to pay extra money for expedited shipping, then it could take at least a week to receive the finished product. A local printing company is more flexible if you’re in need of a rush order. There is also no need to wait for items to get shipped; as soon as your product is printed and ready you can pick it up at your earliest convenience.
With an online company, your printed material is sent straight to your door, whereas working with a local company you have the option to pick up your finished product in store. Depending on your schedule either one of these could be a positive. However, picking it up in person allows for you to address any issues immediately. You can check right there to see if it meets your expectations. If anything does appear to be wrong with an online company, you may have to ship the product back or reorder it all over again.
Both options have their time and place. If you’re just looking for convenience, then an online printing company may be a better option. Go with a local printing company if you’re looking for a bigger selection and want to have more discussion in the process. Money may be the biggest factor when deciding between local and online. In that case, an online company may be your best bet, but don’t be afraid to go to a local store to find a compromise between cost and quality.
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