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Old 01-11-2006, 07:55 AM   #1
susansem
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Default Printing post cards, greeting cards

I own a small art gallery and have had requests from customers for post cards of my immediate area. The local printing shop is reluctant to do it for me and I'd actually like to do this myself in my shop. I have a MAC G2 dual and just a regular desktop printer. I don't want to spend a fortune on ink cartridges and would like to start out with a quantity of 35 cards of each of about 15 images.
What do you suggest I do to have the cheapest and best possible reproduction of these cards?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:47 AM   #2
ktinkel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susansem
I don't want to spend a fortune on ink cartridges and would like to start out with a quantity of 35 cards of each of about 15 images.

What do you suggest I do to have the cheapest and best possible reproduction of these cards?
Difficult to reply without knowing how cheap (how much per card, say).

And can you explain what you expect in terms of quality? The issues are accuracy and vibrancy of the color, and the lightfastness and water-repellency of the inks. (That assumes you are looking at inkjet printers, as most art printers these days do).

Assuming you can fit the cards on letter-size paper, Epson makes some inexpensive inkjet printers that use very good inks (vibrant color, long-lasting, and at least somewhat waterproof). The ink cartridges are not cheap, exactly, but good value relative to quality.

Paper selection is a factor as well, and good papers are also not exactly cheap, but they not only give a good impression but affect how well the ink prints.

We have several members who do what you plan to do, and I am sure they will give you more specific advice. In the meantime, do help us understand your cost and quality standards, as they are likely to be opposed to each other.

   
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Old 01-12-2006, 01:02 PM   #3
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For a small run like that, I might try going with premade cards and photographic prints. Photographer's Edge in Colorado http://www.photographersedge.com/ sells everything you need.

I think that you will find if you send out your images to get photo prints (dotphoto.com, mpix.com, Walgreens, Costco, etc.) it will be more cost-effective than doing desktop inkjet prints.

John
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Old 01-12-2006, 03:52 PM   #4
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What printer do you have?

For the small number you are doing, you might check out the Avery Postcards...I've never printed on them but they are inexpensive enough that it might be worth a test run...

The difficulty might be with getting the color to print correctly...

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Old 01-18-2006, 06:06 PM   #5
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Epson's Photo Quality Ink Jet Cards are a bit different size from the standard postcard, but they're heavy enough to go through the mail and have a surface on one side similar to that of Epson Photo Quality Inkjet Paper.

I've used those as postcards -- printing the color side with an Epson inkjet printer and the back with a LaserJet.

   
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Old 01-19-2006, 10:20 AM   #6
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john: Epson's Photo Quality Ink Jet Cards are a bit different size from the standard postcard, but they're heavy enough to go through the mail and have a surface on one side similar to that of Epson Photo Quality Inkjet Paper.
I didn't realize that Epson made a card like that...thanks for mentioning them...will have to check them out...

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Old 01-13-2006, 01:04 PM   #7
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About 35 years ago I looked into printing postcards for our area (never did though). There are some specialty printers who specialize in that kind of work, ganging a bunch of cards on a single press run to cut costs. I know the prices at that time were a quarter of what the local printer could provide, and with much better quality.

A google search might turn them up ... I recall them being in the US midwest, but can't remember any names.
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Old 01-20-2006, 02:27 PM   #8
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Talk to you printer - if they print colour they most likely print a sheet size of say 18 x 24 or 25 x 28 - so print lots of postcards on the sheet OR print postcards and perhaps a calendar for next year - lots of possibilities - they print the sheet and cut it down - u sort the rest out
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Old 01-20-2006, 08:06 PM   #9
michelen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susansem
I own a small art gallery and have had requests from customers for post cards of my immediate area. The local printing shop is reluctant to do it for me and I'd actually like to do this myself in my shop. I have a MAC G2 dual and just a regular desktop printer. I don't want to spend a fortune on ink cartridges and would like to start out with a quantity of 35 cards of each of about 15 images.
What do you suggest I do to have the cheapest and best possible reproduction of these cards?

Thanks for any help.
I printed 1,000 greeting cards on my Epson Stylus Photo 1280.
I buy third-party inks from MIS Associates for $5 each. I bought Epson double-sided heavy weight matte paper, and a good paper cutter, at Office Max when they were having a sale.

I printed A-8 cards on 8-1/2 x 11 sheets, and cut them manually with my paper cutter. Then scored them by hand. It was a labor of love.

It was a fair amount of work, but we sold boxes of 20 cards and envelopes for $25, and made a little bit of profit (if you don't count the time cutting and scoring the cards.)
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Old 01-21-2006, 02:38 PM   #10
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michelen: I buy third-party inks from MIS Associates for $5 each.
Which of their inks are you using? I'm going to give my old Epson 1160 to a friend of mine and I was thinking that I'd get her info on MIS Epson replacement inks and it would be useful to know which ones you're using.

Also...how close were they in color to the Epson OEM inks--were you able to use the Epson profile on the HWM paper with the MIS inks??


>>I printed A-8 cards on 8-1/2 x 11 sheets, and cut them manually with my paper cutter. Then scored them by hand. It was a labor of love.

Damned straight it was! I hate cutting paper and scoring must have been even worse...'-}}

Obviously the HWM paper is smooth but if you think you might so this again and might like a bit of texture, I can recommend the Strathmore Creative Cards cardstock which is what I use. It's lovely stuff...has a nice weight to it and a lovely feel...both the card edge and the envelope edge (comes with envelopes) are deckled.

I get the 50 card box (with envelopes) and buying them locally is pricey--the 50 card box lists for $26-ish--but discovered ASW has them at a good price ($11.99) and often has them on sale for $9.99. In fact they are having a sale right now until the end of February.

Their shipping price is good too...$9-$10 for any order under $100 for everything in the order. They are quick too...at least here on the east coast--they are in NC and I'm in VA--as I get my order about 3 days after I place it...

If you scroll down to the bottom of my equine card page you can see a scan of the cardstock--the webpage image is a bit whiter than the cardstock is in person (which is closer to a light cream)--but it will give you an idea of the texture and what the deckling looks like...

I use the Fluorescent (misspelled on ASW page...'-}}) white/white but it also comes with other edge colors.

Strathmore also makes digital cardstock (inkjet coated) but it's not very nice--too lightweight in my opinion and not nearly as nice as the Creative Card cardstock.

Oh...I did have a custom paper profile made for the Creative Cards cardstock for my Epson 4000 by Cathy's Profiles which was at bit tricky because of the 7x10" (unfolded) size and the score but she did a really nice job and it was well worth the $40 cost. On my Epson 1160, I used either the Epson heavyweight matte or the Archival Matte profile I think...

I'm most curious about the MIS inks...

Terrie

PS...nice to see you back...hope you had a good Christmas and New Year...
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