If you manage your own business, chances are that you may need some help in printing large numbers of brochures, marketing materials, stationery or even promotional items such as T-shirts postcards or fridge magnets. Offset printing as well as digital printing can now offer printing solutions that are fast and efficient. With the advent of e-commerce, printing options can be explored and orders placed within minutes from the comfort of your own office/home. This review compares a digital printer, DocuCopies with the services of two offset printers namely Print Place and Overnight Print and helps you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each as well as compare prices of all three.
Overnight Prints is an online offset printing company with more than 40 years of experience in printing and uses a green, ‘water-less’ printing technology. Overnight Prints also offers all types of printing products and services including business cards, postcards, marketing materials, magnets, posters and calendars, stationery, invitations and greeting cards. Direct mailing service too is offered. Their website provides customers a ‘custom’ experience by allowing you to upload your own designs for free or to choose from exclusive design templates and simply add your own images or logos to it.
While Overnight Prints provides the best quality paper and inks and uses top of the line offset printers and technology, they do not offer spiral/coil binding, book binding or bookletizing services.
The price of 250 copies of an 11x8.5, 4-color brochure, is $115.45 at Overnight Print and allows customers to choose their turnaround time from next day to next week. Overnight Print offers 10% discount to customers who sign up for their email offers and has a VIP loyalty program for existing customers.
DocuCopies is a custom digital printing service that offers color and black & white prints or copies of documents or images on various surfaces including paper, cloth and plastic. Digital printing processes allow DocuCopies to print thousands of copies on-demand at very economical rates. DocuCopies offers other print-related services such as book binding, bookletizing, and printing of business cards, labels or stickers, postcards, envelopes, T-shirts, and fridge magnets. Shipping of large orders and bulk mailing is also undertaken.
While DocuCopies is one of the most economical printing options available, they have limited ability to customize orders and therefore if you have unusual printing needs such as calendars and posters, DocuCopies may not be the best place to go.
DocuCopies has very competitive rates for color copying, starting at 5¢ for side one and 4¢ for the side two for 25,000 copies. Spiral/coil binding is at 65¢ for a 25-page book and perfect book binding is at just $1.49 per book for more than 100 copies. They even offer free UPS shipping to all contiguous US states on orders worth more than $150.
Print Place is the fastest growing 100% offset online printer in the US. Print Place has simplified printing through a six step online ordering process that allows customers to create an account, select the product or service they require, select shipping or direct mail, provide a billing/shipping address, upload their artwork and once their PDF proof is approved, send it to the press so that the printed copies will be prepared and shipped within the time frame requested by the customer. Print Place offers all kinds of printing options from brochures, booklets, bookmarks, catalogs, file folders to calendars, newsletters, posters, presentation folders, sales sheets and table tents.
While Print Place offers many types of guarantees, one among them being a Quality Guarantee and a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, they do charge an extra $25 for correcting errors in your artwork or uploads such as missing bleed, resizing files, rotating artwork or formatting text etc, which is an additional cost since most artwork for offset printing is likely run into errors.
The price of 250 copies of an 11x8.5, 4-color brochure, without folding, perforating or drilling, is $162.5 at Print Place and requires 5 business days for turn around. Direct mailing service is available for $35/1000 for booklets/catalogs/calendars and at $24/1000 for all other products with a $150 setup cost and postage extra.
There is no doubt that digital printing is fast and thousands of copies can be generated within a span of hours. However, in order to create the ‘right’ impression about your business you need to prepare marketing and promotional materials that are well-crafted and customized to any size or shape. Offset printing then becomes the better choice because it offers brighter colors and allows a variety of coatings that add to the quality of the output. Thus among the three printers compared above, the choice would be between the two offset printers, and Overnight Print would be preferable, considering their long experience in offset printing, shorter turnaround times and of course lower pricing.