High quality business cards at a good price, convenient to order.
A Good Solution
When I needed business cards I did a Google search and found a gazillion choices. I zeroed in on Overnightprints.com and placed an order for myself and several colleagues in my company.
I was first impressed with the user interface of their online ordering tools. Available options are clearly presented such as rounded corners (which sounded like a good idea to me) or printing on both sides. There was also an intriguing choice to get a "spot gloss" which adds a bit of shiny bling to your logo (or whatever you want to pop in your design). I had created my own business card design in Photoshop, so I selected the option to upload my own design. Clear instructions are provided to document image size constraints. And when the image is uploaded, it is presented in a template that shows the "safe zone" marked with a dotted red line, letting you know clearly if you met the size requirement.
Tip: When creating the spot gloss image, simply start with your business card design and remove everything except what you want to have a slightly gloss overlay. I used Photoshop's blending option to apply a solid black overlay and saved it as a TIF file (I had to call Overnightprints to discover that they prefer this to be in TIF format).
There is a special option to upload the spot overlay image. It is cool the way the present the business card with spot overlay as a layered image. Hover the mouse over the image and see the business card. Move away from the image and see the spot overlay. Or maybe I got this backward, but the result allows you do to a flash between the two images so that you can verify that the gloss truly aligns correctly with the business card image. Very nice.
From there it's a pretty typical shopping cart checkout experience with surprisingly competitive pricing. You are given clear delivery options with the date that you will receive the completed product.
Surprise #1 (bad): I've now placed three orders and none arrived on time. Not even close. In one case it was a serious problem because our new sales executive had very important meetings lined up and had to have them on time. It didn't happen, so we had to print homemade cards at the last minute. It turns out that the cards were not only late, they hadn't even gone into production yet. Worse, we were not given even a courtesy call to let us know the order would be late which made the emergency print job even more stressful.
Surprise #2 (bad): I complained about surprise #1 and was given a coupon for a 30% discount on my next order. Well, the small orders I had already placed put us into "Gold customer" status which entitled us to significant discounts (nice surprise). When I tried to use the "compensation" discount code on a subsequent order, it was refused on the grounds that they only allow one discount per order and my "gold" discount was a better deal. Well, that is good, but the coupon I received was for remuneration of a tiny part of the grief we experienced. It wasn't a marketing deal. So my expectation was that it should be awarded anyway. After a short email thread to make this point (on principle... certainly not for the small dollar savings involved), I got a call explaining in person why they "couldn't" honor their agreement but that they would upgrade the shipping of my next order. I declined. Then I got a call from a floor manager who agreed to honor the coupon. I told him that most people would have just walked away. I stuck with it hoping they would show integrity in this because I like everything else about ordering from them. And he did get it approved, but I hope the next person will (a) have their order delivered on time, and (b) if they do get a promise, they don't have to argue to get it honored.
Surprise #3 (GOOD): When I received the first order I was very pleasantly surprised. The quality of the cards exceeded my expectations. In fact, they are a source of conversation when I give one out. And a little professional envy.
I've not ordered any other product from them yet, so I can't speak on anything but their business cards, but those are really nice.
If you can plan in advance and not get stressed over a late order, I very much recommend ordering business cards from Overnightprints.com. You'll be pleased with the quality of the cards.
August 2011: I just received another order and it arrived on time.
2013: We have placed several additional orders and the process has been very smooth each time. The online tools provided to prepare orders are very easy to use and are well designed.