Can print shops be better used?
Online print shop vs. individual stationery designer - which is better when and why?
My April series on the topic of stationery continues: Basically there are three variants. First: do it yourself, go to the nearest paper shop, have scissors and glue ready, and start the printer. Second: Browse the Internet for finished designs, enter your own names, wedding date and individual text and have them printed. Third: Hire a graphic designer, describe your own ideas, choose your own paper, get a draft, have the final changes made, and put it into print. Which variant is the right one for you is not that easy to find out. In order to support you a little, this blog post is about the question: online printing company or individual graphic designer? So that you can find your way in the forest of stationery possibilities, I have put together the most important questions and answers in a small guide.
1. What TYPE of stationery do you need?
If you just want an invitation card, a few name cards and a thank you card, you will find many design templates in the online print shops. But if you also want a church notebook, bottle labels or handkerchief banderoles, the online selection is already leaner. Of course, almost everything is now available online somewhere, the only question is whether exactly the types of stationery you need will be available from your chosen design. A designer, on the other hand, can individually cater to your every need.
2. How important is the PAPER that is printed on to you?
There are also significant differences: Online printers certainly offer a selection, and most of them also have coarser, thicker paper in the watercolor paper style. Independent designers or smaller printing companies, on the other hand, usually give you more papers to choose from, which are also usually of higher quality and rarer. An example would be Japanese Kozo paper, which Maria von Wortpracht from Munich relies on, handmade paper such as that used by Gmund Papier at Tegernsee, or coarsely structured Conqueror paper that Herzdruck from Austria likes to use.
3. How much TIME do you have to work on the stationery?
When it has to be particularly fast, online print shops are usually ahead - provided you simply enter your data, don't have a test print sent to you beforehand and print everything straight away.
4. How important is an individual DESIGN to you?
Individual is a flexible term. Especially when it comes to your stationery, you should put on your speech glasses and read carefully:
Online printing companies offer "customizable" designs. Means: The essential appearance of the stationery is fixed. You can choose from a number of customization options such as the format, color variations and of course your personal text.
Graphic designers and small print shops often offer the same thing, also at an affordable price. However, the designs and papers are usually less geared towards a mass clientele and thus naturally appeal to a smaller, more individual group. In addition, you can also choose a completely “individual” design, which is then designed and manufactured just for you starting from the blank sheet.
5. How does a graphic designer work differently from an online print shop?
In short: in everything. I asked Stefanie von Herzdruck how exactly a designer works with you:
“We can cater to bridal couples individually - be it colors, formats, papers, print finishing or the quantity. At Herzdruck, for example, we do not have a minimum order quantity.
Some online print shops print your Internet address on the invitation. I think that takes away the charm of the invitation. You also have to be aware that dozens of other bridal couples send the same card.
As a small business, we can advise you individually and let our couples feel what we are doing there. We want to give the feeling that our couples are not just any other customer on the agenda. An individual design simply reflects the couple's history. It's as unique as the couple's big day should be. From my point of view, an in-house print shop like ours defines these four key terms in contrast to an online print shop: individuality, advisory skills, flexibility and technical creativity.
6. What can the stationery COST?
Many of you may assume that the cost of printing online is automatically cheaper than that of a graphic designer. In my experience, this is only partially true.
Online print shops and resident graphic designers hardly use any given, customizable designs.
If, on the other hand, you decide on a completely new design according to your ideas, you have to submit a little more budget. Depending on the paper, format and quantity, the prices can come close to the unchangeable but customizable designs of other providers.
Stefanie von Herzdruck knows these fears of her customers: “Unfortunately, the price is always a deterrent. Many people do not realize how such a completely individual stationery comes about: On the one hand, of course, a lot of work goes into such a pretty, tailor-made design. On the other hand, of course, several corrections and changes by the customers are already included. "
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