Business owners today have the luxury of outsourcing printing jobs with relative ease. Gone are the days of trying to print in an office setting or paying astronomical amounts of money for a job from a local print shop.

Technological advances have made online custom printing quick and affordable, so even the smallest of businesses can produce high-quality marketing materials with the click of a button. Before you start crafting your order, here are some things to keep in mind.

Brand identity

Branding Colors and Considerations

It’s easy to navigate through different designs online and choose the path of least resistance. However, to stay true to your brand and have the greatest overall impact on your business, you should approach the process with your brand strategy in mind.

Before clicking through, get the hex code or RGB code for your logo and branding colors. By doing so, you can ensure that everything you print matches your brand strategy perfectly. Don’t just choose a color that looks close on the screen, as screen resolution variances can impact printed results.

If you have fonts and a style associated with your brand, you’ll want to incorporate those as well. Don’t choose an overly elegant script and formal design template for your fun, zany brand; stick with your usual look and stay consistent to your messaging. If you don’t have a solid brand strategy going in, address that issue immediately.

Paper Quality and Finish

Choosing the weight of your paper– or the thickness– depends on its intended use and how impressive you want it to feel when held. For a business card, you might choose to go heavier and ensure it lasts longer in someone’s wallet or makes an impression when someone feels it in their hands. Flyers, on the other hand, are meant to be posted and don’t typically have the same long-lasting implications.

The finish on your paper indicated whether it will have a glossy look and feel or a flat matte finish. Again, this comes down to personal preference and intended use. A glossy finish can be more visually stimulating and brave the elements better on a poster or flyer. Alternatively, a matte finish tends to look better on formal documents and business cards.

Quantity

Whether you’re a product-based company that requires packaging printing, a magazine running the latest edition or a small business printing business cards and flyers, one thing remains the same across the board: quantity discounts. The main expense associated with printing is running the machines to get the job done. By ordering a higher quantity, you often get a per piece discount while the printing company makes more for your order.

You’ll need to decide what is most economical and least wasteful. If you know that the information you have on your business card will remain the same for a long time or that you have a lot of networking events coming up, consider ordering more to get a quantity discount.

If you’re printing holiday cards, it can be beneficial to round up a bit in case you forget someone in your initial blitz. However, ordering the highest amount possible for the discount will result in a lot of leftover cards and wasted resources.

Stainless steel business cards
photo credit: Pure Metal Cards / Flickr

Unique Traits

Think about how your printed goods can stand out. Rather than going for the traditional rectangle business card, you may opt for a vertical rectangle or square. Rather than a standard 8.5×11 paper flyer, you may opt for a circle-shaped leaflet.

Some online custom printing software opens these doors and helps businesses think outside the box when designing print materials. Think about how you can be memorable and stand out from the hundreds of advertisements consumers see every day and place your order accordingly.

Online custom printing remains one of the best resources available for modern businesses, from Fortune 500 companies to the mom-and-pop shop down the road. Get started on your next custom order and share your message with the world!