VistaPrint, One Month Later

VistaPrint offers graphic design services and printed products via its web site. I ordered business cards from VistaPrint 32 days ago. Just after the cards arrived, I posted about them.

In the month or so I’ve had a relationship with VistaPrint, I’ve received 17 emails. Almost all of them have been yells about what a cheap deal I can get: FREE! Everything must B-I-N-G-O! Lawn Signs! Giving away the farm! (as well as the lawn).

None of the 17 emails have asked me about the quality of the business cards. That gives the impression that the tagline “Best printing. Best price” is truer about the price than about the printing. The impression is reinforced by the thin white stripe down the side of the cards. Although there is a “satisfaction guarantee,” there was no prominent reminder of it in any of the emails, and as far as I can tell from the web site, there is no online means of reporting problems.

So, for a web-based business, VistaPrint don’t make as much use of the web as they might. Good use of the web would, I think, include:

  • Allowing problems with printing to be reported online.
  • Providing a forum for customers to share their designs, comment on each others designs, etc. This is particularly relevant for customers like me, who uploaded their own graphics and did their own layout.
  • Sending fewer emails about SALE!s. If I get one such email every other week, I get the idea: there’s pretty much always a sale. And I’d rather get one every two weeks than three every week.
  • Monitoring the web, and, in particular, the blogosphere, for posts such as this, and commenting on them.

Having said that, I’m not unhappy that I went with VistaPrint for my buisiness cards. See the previous post to see the design. Feel free to comment, at that post, at this post, or anywhere or anyhow else, on the design and how it might be improved for any future printings – at VistaPrint or elsewhere.

Business Cards

Business CardsDo you want business cards for your blog? The answer may well be yes, especially given how cheap it is to get personalized business cards these days. Go to one of the many web-based card printing services, choose a standard format or design your own, and there you go.

I went with VistaPrint, as you can see. My overall impression is positive. My wave photo works well, was printed well. The text shows up well: the black serif text in the sky, and the white sans-serif text in the sea.

On the other hand, there is a little white stripe down the side of the cards, despite my having uploaded exactly the recommended size. And perhaps I should have sprung the extra for text on the back, which would probably have been the tagline/haiku “Andrew weighs in on the ways in which the web and the world are changing.” The card looks rather vague and new-agey. Then again, it’s unlikely that I’ll give a card to a person unless I have a chance to explain the blog to them.

VistaPrint is pretty relentless when it comes to offering deals. Its actions stress the “best price” part of its tagline more than the “best printing.” Given my price sensitivity when looking for cards, I can’t argue with that too much.