My goal for this blog is not to write or be paid for product endorsements. Instead, I want to showcase my experience and growth in illustration and design. Part of that growth is channeled through product usage and inspiration from other artists, which I will happily share my personal, never staged, experiences with you all. So here goes my first product review. Exhibit A: creating and printing a professional business card with VistaPrint.
Now, truth be told, I have created a number of business cards in the past. For other business ideas that always seemed to be badly timed around high school graduation or a very busy semester of college. So the designing of the card came naturally to me, as really it should with all creative types. I made a drawing and bibbidi bobbid boo, made it come to life on Photoshop with a few trials and errors on the side.
However, the issue at hand was procrastination. I wanted to professionally introduce myself to artists and buyers at the NSS in NYC last month (link). But knowing the date of the show months in advance did not stop procrastination from taking center stage in my best moments of time management. Somehow the end of April turned into May 11th. I had a beautifully designed Photoshop image of my card, but nothing in my hand. And then I remembered all of those discount emails, and rather pesky internet and television advertisements. VistaPrint, VistaPrint, VistaPrint. Their marketing team had certainly done their job.
I had no other option but to pursue the $10 for 250 business card deal. $10 would not break the bank to try this online option. Even so, I was nervous. In the past, I had always relied on the local printer, and in most cases I still do. But I didn’t have a choice.
And all in all I was very impressed. Entering the world of the NSS meant that I needed to have not only a nice looking card, but a nicely printed one. I started off with the $10 deal, but decided that having a printed back, spot gloss, and a sturdier premium matte stock would make the difference between inspired student and serious first-timer. All of these little extras hardly made a dent in price: my total came to $39. I could live with it. After several calls to a kind customer service lady working a horrible night shift in India, I was on the right track. She answered my paranoid questions and troubleshooting errors again and again. I would give customer service alone a 10. The only pricy bit was my own fault. A print to door 5-day delivery service cost me $18, but my package did indeed arrive in only 4 days, with the weekend to spare before the show started.
Overall, I was at first very unsure of what to expect with VistaPrint, but was pleasantly surprised. After uploading my image and double checking for errors, spacing and correct spot glossing, my order arrived in a simple gray box. But upon inspection, the cards were indeed sturdy and the spot gloss slightly raised the images enough so that the card stood out just as I had wanted. Best of all was the response I got from fellow artists at the show. Most were surprised that I even had a business card, others more surprised that I had one so nicely put together. One kind lady even told me that my logo fox could be the illustrated fox of the year! I had a great experience with VistaPrint and at least for uploaded business cards, I would happily make a repeat order. What experiences have you had with online printing services for professional products?