Choosing Business Cards – Uniqueness versus Economy.

June 28, 2010

There are a number of variables that need to be thought through before deciding what style of business card you should use for your business or organisation. You may wish to have all the bells and whistles such as Gold Foil, Embossing, Debossing, Die-Cut Shapes, UV Spot Varnish, Spot Fluorescent Colours and Specialty Paper stocks. Or you may opt for a more economical CMYK business card, printed on regular weekly runs.

There are endless possibilities in printing and on the whole unique finishing techniques provide a point of differentiation for your business. They can help make your organisation’s business cards more easily identifiable amongst competitors’. Taking for example the following business card : Die Cut Round Corners, Black Speciality Paper Stock, Embossing with registered Coloured Foil.

When this card is being printed for the first initial print run for 10 staff members, the overall cost of the job is more than a straight forward printing run. However on a cost per unit basis, they are still reasonably economic. The issue is when a staff member leaves and a new one arrives. Printing one card using the same format of print and finishing techniques is expensive on a cost per unit basis. The biggest expense in printing are the set-up costs. When the cards were printed for 10 people, the setup cost was divided by 10, now it is being applied to 1 card only.

The best outcome is a balance between unique differentiation and the cost to achieve this result. We would recommend to at least make sure a few people’s cards are printed at the same time. If you have new 2 staff members, but notice that 3 staff are getting low on cards, it would be better economy to print 5 cards instead of just two. Business cards are most economical to print as 4up, 5up, 10up, 20up or 21up.

Paradigm Print Media utilises “gang printing” and high quality Indigo Digital printing as well as setting up custom runs for specialty business cards. The benefit of gang printing full colour cards is that they are always going through the press each week, and because of the economy of scale of printing 21 cards at once, there are good cost savings. On the down side, colour consistency between any 2 print runs will always vary subtly because of the nature of CMYK printing (where 4 inks are mixed on paper to provide a full spectrum of colour).

When thinking about balancing cost and specialty printing clients need to assess how important it is to have colour consistency across print runs. If it is highly important then it would be an idea to consider printing in PMS Colour instead of CMYK. This colour system is more consistent across different print runs. However if absolute colour consistency isn’t that important, printing on ganged up print runs can be more flexible and offer you more economy for staff members coming and going. This is because you would not have to print a number of staff members cards at once to achieve a saving on a cost per unit basis.

Whatever option you wish to pursue for printing your business cards give Paradigm a call beforehand to discuss the options carefully.

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