Monday, February 14, 2011

The Lettered Set's Preferred Printers

As a freelance designer who specializes in invitations, stationery, and publications, finding the right printing vendor can be like finding the perfect size designer jeans on an overstuffed rack in a basement department store. There are so many choices, good and bad, and when you find the perfect fit you snatch them up and hope you're not hallucinating. I can use this example because it has happened to me (Marshall's in Union Square NYC, Rock n' Republic Jeans, 2006).

After a few years, I think I have finally found my favorite printing companies. Although these are personal choices, I thought it would be helpful to share them with you too.

Letterpress: Cranky Pressman
Why I chose them: Friendly and prompt customer service (not cranky at all!), affordable 1-2 color printing options for business cards and invitation suites. They understand that letterpress is expensive and do a great job offering lower price options and ideas.

Digital Printing and Offset Printing: Fireball Printing
Why I chose them: They are located in Philadelphia and I love supporting local businesses. That was my first reason but ever since I started working with them in 2008, I have been increasingly impressed by their customer service and quality of printing. The prices are great too. I use them for The Lettered Set as well as for my day job in West Philly.

Indigo Printing (Inkjet with an "offset" look): Prints Well
Why I chose them: I met the folks from Prints Well at the National Stationery Show in 2010. I was impressed by the vibrant quality of their photo cards. The inkjet process allows for brighter colors with the high end "flat" printing look from an offset printer. The pricing is similar to digital and therefore the perfect alternative to offset for lower print runs.

Thermography: Maximum Graphics
Why I chose them: This printer is also local to the Philadelphia area. I found them through one of my connections at UPenn. They are one of the few printers I have found who offer thermographic "raised" printing. This is an affordable, elegant alternative to letterpress printing.

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