Inexpensive printing services

Mrs. L.A. is embarking on her new business. She’s made text flyers that she’s printing on bright pink paper. I’ve made a photographic ‘flyer’, just for kicks. I’d like to have it printed on glossy 5x8 card stock. Ideally, I’d like to send/upload the .psd file and do it online.

Do any of you have recommendations as to where I can have this done well, and cheaply?

I used to use for stuff like that. Although you won’t want to send a PSD, PDF is standard for file transfer, especially docs with type that needs to remain vector (Photoshop is not a good tool for page layout requiring typesetting). Sharpdots, or any similar site, will have instructions for exporting the PDF.

Staples did a nice job on my biz cards. $10 for more than I can possibly use in my lifetime.

Here is my attempt. I think the ‘Our care is…’ paragraph is redundant, but Mrs. L.A. says it ‘has to be there’.

I’ve had really good service with Vistaprint. They can also mail your postcard for you if you upload an address file.

I just got a quote from a local printing spot on almost exactly that. 4x6 cardstock, two sided, full color, UV (high gloss) coating on both sides, 500 for $161.

A little nitpick critique. Is there a reason Services and Infection are capitalized? Does RSI mean something? If not, IMO, makes the reading of the sentence difficult and grammatically incorrect.

I started in Word. When I pasted the text into Photoshop it needed to be broken up. Apparently Word doesn’t like new lines to start with a lower-case character and changed it. (Microsoft products have an annoying habit of thinking the user doesn’t know what he’s doing.)

I must be blind, as I can’t find that.

R eceive
S ervices
I nfection

Jumps out at you once you see it! :slight_smile:

Also, quantity is key. If you print several thousand pieces, you should in the pennies per piece range. Also, unless things have changed drastically in the last decade, China is king for low cost printing. I used to work at the copy center in OfficeMax and several customers told me that even the low quantity/high quality menus used in Chinese restaurants were well less than a dollar through their connections in China.

Pick up a few cards around town, especially for those for one off events and call them for their printer references. It’s usually not a secret and they will likely pickup a discount for referring you.

It’s been almost a decade since I had to do any design work, but IIRC, the text in a .psd is fine as long as it remains in a separate layer, It’s when you flatten the image, it blurs because it’s converted to a bitmap. I agree though that most print shops prefer a .pdf with layers.

Ah, OK.

Mrs. L.A. will be a one-person operation, so there are a limited number of clients she can accept. Just off the top of my head, I reckon she’ll need 100 to start with. I can’t see her accepting more than 200. She’s going to meet with her previous employer, as they have a need to provide patients with foot care. There’s another home-health service in town, and she may go there. And she knows a couple of doctors who may refer patients to her. She thinks her bright pink text-on-paper flyers will be adequate. I think the one I made looks more professional and will get more business. Anyway, I was thinking of 100 or 200 to start with just to see how they’re accepted. I can’t see going more than 500.

BTW, thanks for proofreading.

I don’t know how to use Photoshop, so I don’t know how to ‘merge’ the elements. I just left them in ‘layers’. (I only know the text segments are ‘layers’ because it mentioned it when I was doing something.)

You did a good job! Congratulations!

If you’re just running a few hundred pieces, I’d recommend getting a cheap color laser printer for <$250 and some glossy laser card stock, $13 / 50 sheets on Amazon, and a good quality paper trimmer, <$50. The startup toner carts with the printer should be more than enough for 50 sheets, so startup cost for 100, 5"x8" cards (not counting your labor) would be ~$313. But everything but the cardstock is reusable for her flyers and more cards, lowering the per print cost dramatically.

Another note. If you haven’t already done so, make sure the top and bottom of the images (flowers and feet) bleed over the edge about 1/4" to make it easier to trim to size without creating white borders.

A little marketing pointer.

I realize your wife is just starting this as a “see if it works out” little business, but it’s never to early to start branding with a company logo. It can be something simple like her initials stylized (which is why I asked about RSI), but it likely to stick in people’s mind longer than her name. We’ve all gone though the, “Yeah, I know a great plumber! Now what was his name again?”

Edit: Another plus to getting your own laser printer, you can make your own matching business cards also. Just be sure to always get laser card stock. Running inkjet stock through a laser printer or copier can mess it up royally if sticks and melts in the machine.

We have an HP Deskjet F4400. I don’t know if that’s a ‘laserjet’ or not. I rarely print anything. I’m guessing it’s not. She’s ordered some business cards already.

I’ve been very satisfied with Printplace dot com. We print all sorts of “collateral materials”, from post cards in several sizes to folded brochures, up to multi page newsletters with return envelopes inserted then folded and tabbed for mailing. Quantities range from several dozen to thousands of certain items. We used to do a lot of this in-house but the outright expense is not supportable even when the machines (printers, folders) have other additional uses. Especially with “full bleed” works that must be printed on oversized paper then trimmed, the work involved is much better and more economically performed by a print house than as a distraction from the things we’re really competent in. Printplace does excellent work cheaper than I can do it. Their customer service is fast and effective. They’ll help you understand the options available for your job and ensure the best outcome.

If you’re using Photoshop already (producing PSD files) you would need to provide all the fonts you used plus all the art (pictures) you placed into your layout in order for a remote print house to print your PSD file. Note that you can “save as” into PDF format for handoff to the printer (whoever you choose) as an independent file that they can print directly.

Deskjet and Officejet are inkjet printers. Laserjet are HP laser printers. Seems she’s covered for what she needs for now. If things pick up, you have some options.

I tried making the card at Vistaprint. I uploaded the image and it cropped all of the edges. I tried resizing/moving, and it let me resize and move – the cropped image. I could not get the full image. I tried this with both .pdf and .jpg files.

Regarding the text, you can import from Word and then change the capital letters in Photoshop where you can also change the line spacing and kerning.

It sounds like it’s the software is automatically accounting for bleed (the extra image that will be cut off as I talked about above). To make a 5" x 8" finished card, the actual printed area may be 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" with 1/4" cut off all around. This is because no automatic cutter is accurate enough to cut exactly a exact line.
Here’s a 5" x 8" layout template with 1/8" bleed area which will be cut off.