February 12th, 2007


When to spend the extra $18

I don't recall what the experience was, but I had some frustration at Kinko's a while back, and I decided my next print job would be somewhere else, like Staples.

So, today, I walked in to Staples, with a CD of business card art and a sample page to demonstrate the layout. It's been a while since I made business cards for myself, but I was pretty sure I recalled that at least Kinko's wanted the business cards to be laid out two cards across, five high. And I had recently discovered my old Word document from the last time (5 years ago?) I made cards.

Me: I'd like some business cards made!

Her: Great!

Me: Here's a page of how they're laid out. Is that the right format?

Her: Er, well, we charge $2 per cut, and we can cut 20 sheets at a time. Or we can just do the printing and let you cut.

Me: Er, OK. I guess that would save me $18.

Her: Oh, and we don't have white card stock. How about ivory?

Me: Er.

LongStoryShort-TooLate: They found some white card stock, but not enough for my order. So I got half white, half ivory. And I took it home, and proceeded to cut the cards on my paper cutter. I think my paper cutter doesn't make square cuts. That's a nice realization. I also think that the thing isn't correctly calibrated - it's got rulings every half inch, and an authoritative looking ruler, telling me that this line here is two inches from the blade.

I proceeded to cut my cards, and around 15% of them were so badly cut (that's what you get when you employ amateur labor) that I had to discard them. Or, maybe, I'll use them as bookmarks. Or fold them into modular origami creations.

Guh. The remaining cards don't look terrible - they're all a little lighter than I'd expect, and the ivory cards are translucent, which is even more parchment-y. They look better than if I had run them off on my own printer, and they don't have perforated edges - there are all sorts of ways they could be worse.

Even still. I've got a conference I'm going to not far off, and I think that I'll go into Kinko's and see if they can do a better job between now and then. I'll call today's run the "limited edition".