Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yay for STDs -- Part II

When I last left off we had thought a bit about what we wanted our STDs to look like, but we hadn't gotten any farther in the design process yet. It wasn't until October that we finally got back to work on these puppies. At that time I placed a self-imposed deadline of getting the STDs done and in the mail before the end of October -- Thanksgiving at the ABSOLUTE latest. (I'm sure you can see where this is going from a mile away. We definitely did not get them out on time. Oops!)

I mentioned before that we wanted to do STD postcards, so one of the first things that we did in tandem with designing the STDs was to research our printing options for postcards. Here are the 3 options that we researched, along with a list of their pros and cons for your reading pleasure:

(1) MOO Cards

From the MOO website we could easily order free samples of MOO's postcards and other products. The samples came in the mail within several days, and we found that their products were very high quality. The paper was thick, and the front of their postcards were nice and glossy. We could easily submit any image that we wanted for the front of the postcards, and we could design the back of the postcard from a number of different templates. As far as cost goes, the postcards would come in at under $1 a piece, which fit nicely within our budget. Also, we found a 15% off coupon for first-time MOO customers, which would reduce the cost even further.
MOO's postcards are only available in multiples of 20, which was somewhat constraining for our order. (We were hoping to send out 68, so we would have to order 80.) Also, MOO did not allow for a ton of flexibility for designing the text on the back of the postcard. We could only use a single font (from a choice of 3), there was no option for boldface or italicized text, and we had no control over font size. Deal breaker? Maybe.

(2) iPhoto / Apple Store

Ordering postcards through iPhoto offered us the most flexibility in terms of design. It would be easy to choose fonts and font sizes for the back of the card, and we could design the front of the card using whatever image we wanted. The cost came in right at $1 per card with no coupon codes available (why, oh why, Apple store do you never have sales??), making this option slightly more expensive than MOO, but still within our budget.
We really wanted to see some sample postcards from Apple, so we could check out the paper quality. We contacted Apple through their online help, and we were told that samples were not generally available. We were told that we could instead go to our local Apple store, where they might have some samples. We went ahead and took them up on their offer, and headed over to the Apple store one Sunday. They did indeed have some sample postcards in the store. (Yay!) Unfortunately, the paper quality and thickness definitely left something to be desired when compared to the MOO postcards. (Boo!)

(3) VistaPrint

VistaPrint was definitely the cheapest postcard option. Their website quoted a price of $25 for 100 cards, although I have heard of people getting their postcards practically for free by taking advantage of one of the many promotions that VistaPrint runs.
We never ordered samples of VistaPrint's postcards, after I read a number of reviews that implied that the quality of their product was definitely lower than that of Apple or MOO. We really wanted our postcards to hold up in the mail, so any postcards that weren't printed on some nice thick card stock were definitely no-gos.


So what did we choose in the end? It ultimately came down to whether we preferred thicker, higher quality postcards, or more design flexibility for the text on the cards. We finally decided that we could work within the framework offered by MOO, as long as we were clever and used all capital letters where we would have preferred a larger or thicker font. So MOO it was... and really, how could you say no to a company called "MOO" anyways.

And just in case you thought I wasn't going to leave you with any pictures in this posting... here is a quick teaser:

Did you research multiple different printing options for your invitations or STDs? Did you find any great deals out there? Do tell...

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