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Forum topic by jasoncarpentry posted 524 days ago 984 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jasoncarpentry

111 posts in 1153 days


524 days ago

Well, I’ve finally arranged with our local craft store to carry some of my stuff on consignment. Now, after 35+ years of tinkering w/ wood, I’m ready to try my hand at business. I need to come up w/ flyers, brochures, and business cards. How do the rest of you deal with this? There are literally millions of web sites that advertise “free brochure designs,” and it’s hard to know which one to use.

Advice, please! And what do you think of using a chain store like Staples to reproduce these?

-- Jim in Tennessee


15 replies so far

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Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4735 posts in 1807 days


#1 posted 524 days ago

I use vistaprint.com and have found them to be very good and reasonably priced. You can use your own designs or choose their templates. You can get cards, flyers, brochures, banners and all sorts of other stuff from them

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work. http://www.FineArtBoxes.com

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Rick M.

3363 posts in 879 days


#2 posted 524 days ago

Full disclosure: printing pays my bills. If you want a cheap product at a cheap price then any of the popular online sites are just fine. Note it’s not my intention to portray these sites in a negative way, they keep prices low by using very inexpensive, thin, Chinese papers. Most business printing is now done on large digital machines and though all printers are not created equally these places have to use decent equipment to output the volume they do. A place like Vista is going to have higher quality equipment and be less expensive than Staples or Kinkos.

If you want a quality paper, raised printing or a custom design then you need to find a print broker or print shop, preferably someone local but in this day and age that doesn’t matter as much. I would recommend either hiring a professional or experienced amateur photographer for pictures of your work… this is really important.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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Luke

521 posts in 1793 days


#3 posted 524 days ago

Vista Print sucks.
Sorry, I hate to be so bold in saying so but it’s true. There is quality and then there’s vista print. You can get FREE business cards from them but they are going to have vista prints logo and website printed on the back and the stock will be thin and not coated so it will fall apart in a hurry and look bad. Their car mags are as thin as paper practically and the ink scratches right off, but they are really cheap. Their banners are not finished edges standard and are made of really thin material not meant for outdoor use. In some cases this is fine but you can get better at other online providers. Again, they are cheap. The same goes for everything they sell. This is not even mentioning the turn around time for most items and the shipping costs and rush charges if you are in a hurry. You can get faster production and cheaper shipping at a ton of other suppliers on the web. Also, when you check out on their website you will be offered all kinds of products that you didn’t ask for and will have to scroll through them to get to the shipping and payment parts. After you are done even if you opted out of email notifications you will get a barrage of comeback emails that will annoy most people, so don’t use a beloved email address. I only know all of this because I own an online site that manufactures signs as well and we can blow them out of the water in almost all cases.

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

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jasoncarpentry

111 posts in 1153 days


#4 posted 523 days ago

OK, Luke, I hear ya loud & clear! So, among the “ton of suppliers,” which one(s) do you recommend?

To all: Thanks for the feedback so far.

-- Jim in Tennessee

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huff

2721 posts in 1784 days


#5 posted 523 days ago

I’ll have to say I’m on the opposite side of the fence with Vista Print. You usually get what you “pay” for. I’ve never ordered any of their “free” stuff, but I have ordered their premium business cards and was very pleased with the quality. I also liked how I could use either their templates or design my own cards working on their site.

I’ve also had some brochures and other things printed; again ordering their better quality paper. Service was very fast and I felt quite reasonable in price.

Over the years in my business, I’ve used local shops, Office Max, Kinko’s and even printed some of my own ( printing your own should be your last choice if you want to look professional). Vista Print has done very well for me. I’m sure there are other on-line printing companies that do a good job also.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1468 days


#6 posted 523 days ago

This is shameless self promotion, but if you have any photo’s that need retouching, I know a guy (me) who’d do it.
That goes for anyone BTW.

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huff

2721 posts in 1784 days


#7 posted 523 days ago

Jim,

Forgot to mention; If you would like to see the quality of Vista Print cards, I would be glad to send one of my cards to you so you can see one before you spend any money. Just drop me a line with an address and I can drop one in the mail. At least you would have something to compare with others.

I’m not trying to promote just Vista Print, it’s just I’ve had good luck with them and it doesn’t take long to get an order printed.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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jerrells

832 posts in 1383 days


#8 posted 523 days ago

I see several votes both way but I would check out Vistaprint. I used them and my only problem was THAT I pick ut the wrong background. But otherwise well satisified.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

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Puzzleman

307 posts in 1443 days


#9 posted 523 days ago

I use GotPrint.com. Pricing is better than Vista. However, you must be able to create your own brochure, and what not before uploading.

As far as making a flyer, brochure, catalog or business card, I would get with someone who knows how to use photoshop and start creating. You can do a lot in that program and by doing it yourself, you can try several different ideas. I would also suggest looking at brochures and catalogs that you get in the mail. They are made by professionals. Use them to get ideas and suggestions about how to layout your pics and what info you want to put in it. Once you have it drawn out, print a few copies and give it to friends and family and ask for their opinion. Use their opinions to focus your efforts.

I know that this sounds like a lot of work and it is. However, this flyer is the face of your business and you always want to put your best face forward. Once you get the general layout figured out, the next editions get easier as most of the groundwork is done.

This is a postcard that I designed.

Below is a 1 page flyer that I created. This shows both the front and back pages.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler, http://www.hollowwoodworks.com

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BoardSMITH

53 posts in 762 days


#10 posted 523 days ago

I had a company in Roanoke, VA make my 4” x 9” front and back printed counter cards, 2500 for $209.00. They were superb with the design and it came out better than I expected. The reproduced my logo and all the photos I supplied with ease. If you are interested I will forward on their email address.

BTW Counter card holders for the 4” x 9” counter cards are available at Office Depot for cheap.

I tried Office Depot for business cards but they were crap. Look in the yellow pages for a local printer who can make full color business cards. Their quality will be better and they are more likely to make what you like and are able to work face-to-face with you in the design process.

-- David www.TheBoardSMITH.com

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Lee Barker

2159 posts in 1349 days


#11 posted 523 days ago

As with any important business decision, you’re going to end up doing a cost benefit ratio. And you may well toss up a few airballs before you hit the hoop. That’s part of being in business for yourself.

From folks like Vista you can get a few—say 250—cards cheaply and quickly on a special. My experience is that you can’t really judge the impact, layout etc. until you get them in your hands. I’ve done airballs and three pointers and I never knew until I got them.

(Sidebar: Lately I got a business card that was half size, cut horizontally. It irritated me. I know of another company that cuts theirs annoyingly larger than the standard. Likewise irksome. There. I feel better.)

Re: brochures. I’m beginning to think that they are on their way out as a means of nurturing a prospect. (I welcome other views on this.) That said, it isn’t necessarily bad to be in the last car on the last train.

I have used post cards. They’re similar in size to a brochure and less confusing. One killer photo on the front (not a montage of thumbs) and the impact can be audible. Contact info on the back. And, though it likely will never be sent, I think it generates a subtle sense of receiving something of value.

Finally, a +1 for Rick’s comment about photographer. It all starts and ends with a great image.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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Rick M.

3363 posts in 879 days


#12 posted 523 days ago

I agree with the rack card/postcard/counter card instead of a brochure. Postcards are much cheaper to make but are tidy and easier to display. I like heavier material (100-120# or 14-16 pt) for business cards and lighter material (80-90# or 10 pt) for rack/counter cards.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1468 days


#13 posted 523 days ago

What are the items you make, who buys the items, where do they buy them, who do they buy them for?

A few things any designer or marketeer worth their salt would ask before coming up with the right solution for you.

A brochure might be total overkill if all you sell is cutting boards, but it would be appropriate if you had an entire range of bedroom furniture and a showroom in which to display it.

Can you provide more information on what you do?

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Ed

19 posts in 1611 days


#14 posted 523 days ago

Jim,

I would find a local, full-service print shop to make your marketing materials. Online and big-box suppliers have not worked well for me for during the design and development phase.

The biggest difficulties with any graphics work are the artwork and layouts that you provide them. Just like custom woodworking, this requires a lot of give-and-take between the customer and the manufacturer. A local source is much more convenient to work with.

Once you have nailed your requirements with a local company, the process becomes routine and you can start using the high volume folks online to save some money. But once a local relationship is established, I find it better to continue with the local folks because I feel more comfortable with the finished product.

Plus, they may give you referrals for some local business.

Ed

-- Ed

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PyNCy

98 posts in 831 days


#15 posted 519 days ago

I have Microsoft Publisher to make all my advertising things. It has many templates to make all these things. You can even put in your logo, name, address, etc., and it will automatically insert it when you are making business cards, brochures, flyers, even catalogs and labels. I have never used a print shop. I always design and print my own. The biggest expense with this is probably the ink. I do a lot of printing for this stuff, and use the higher quality ink, but you can get (for example) Office Depot brand ink that is a lot cheaper. You won’t get as many copies out of it, though. So, I have no idea how much a print shop would charge for business cards. I print mine on card stock, that you can get almost anywhere. It turns out a good quality card, if you ask me. My catalogs are printed on 24 lb. paper, bright white. It makes the pictures pop really nice.

If anyone would like me to make some bus. cards, brochures, etc. for you, let me know! We’ll chat! :)

-- The Sawdust Fairy ~ Making Magic with Wood

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