We sometimes hear or read that in this day and age, business cards are a thing of the past. Well, to be honest, I was one of those people who thought so. I mean, there are so many ways to get in touch and my preferred choice is obviously via email; and the business card just seemed, in a word — obsolete. I had no idea how wrong I was.
My life was turned upside down when the people from MOO, a printing company from the UK, contacted me and basically said, “Hey, try MOO.” So I did. Today, we’ll be taking a quick look at what MOO is all about and we placed several test orders with them to find out how great their print quality is. We’ll also be giving away 5 packs of 100 MiniCards after the review so stay tuned!
MOO prints a wide variety of items from business cards to MiniCards, postcards, greeting cards, stickers and labels. We don’t really have the resources to look into every product that they offer so we’ll just look at one — a very exciting product called MiniCards.
MiniCards aren’t your conventional business card and that’s what sets it apart. They’re half the size yet packs a punch, if designed properly. They’re made out of 2.75″ x 1.10″ thick 350gsm stock paper with a matte finish. You can print on both sides of the card and even have an individual design on every card with Printfinity (more on that later!). A pack of 100 MiniCards only goes for $19.99 plus shipping and the more you buy, the more you save.
Let’s actually see what the design process is like.
To start, create a MOO account or sign in with Facebook in order to save your designs and pick up where you left of.
MOO pampers you with a variety of options to start with. Say it’s your first time designing a business card — no problem, MOO has a huge library of ready-made designs to be deployed. Just browse through the library, pick the designs you like and work off them.
If you’re feeling courageous, start from scratch and upload your own designs. The process starts off by getting you to design the back of the cards. As previously mentioned, you can have up to 100 designs in the same pack with Printfinity — this is the option that sets MOO apart. By allowing you to customise your MiniCards, you can make each card unique and exciting. There’s a lot of options to be explored here but sadly, we have to push on with our review.
In addition to uploading photos and designs from your computer, MOO can also import previously-uploaded photos from Etsy, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa or SmugMug but you have to bear the following recommendations in mind:
- Maximum file size is 50MB each
- JPEG is recommended for photography but they also accept GIF and PNG
- Vector-based PDF is recommended for graphic design and line art
- Recommended size is 874×378 pixels at 300dpi
After your photos or designs are uploaded, they’ll be presented to you in a neat interface. Here’s where you’ll have the chance to adjust their orientation, zoom in or out if necessary and pan images about. If you’re working with several designs, MOO will automatically calculate the number of cards you’ll receive per design. They’ll be evenly distributed so you can’t have 90 cards in one design and 10 cards in another.
MOO offers a “photo enhancement” option that is recommended for photographs. Basically, it tweaks the image and primes it for printing. The difference isn’t that obvious to me so if it helps out with printing, I’m on board.
Next up, designing the front of the card. I’m sure this is a familiar interface: font selection, justification, background colour, etc. Sure, MOO provides several fonts to choose from and even allows you to add an image to the front of the MiniCard but if you look closely, you also have the option to upload a complete design. This is where things get interesting — you have the opportunity to think outside of the box and bypass the web interface, use Photoshop (or any preferred image editor) to design the front of your card and upload it to MOO.
So I downloaded the design template, launched Photoshop and started brainstorming.
About two weeks later, I received a delivery from the UK — my MOO MiniCards have arrived; much earlier than I’d anticipated.
The pack of 100 MiniCards came in a very simplistic box, complete with separator cards.
Immediately, I was impressed by the print quality. The cards didn’t look very far off from the original photos.
Most of my photos have gone through post-processing but still managed to print fine.
I’m generally quite pleased with the images I picked, particularly this one with the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
It’s probably not the best out-of-the-box thinking but this is what I came up with for the front of my MiniCard.
The pack of MiniCards I received were quite nicely cut despite the size.
Overall impression? I’m quite chuffed. The design process is easy to use. Their servers are fast so uploading designs is a breeze. You don’t have to limit yourself to the plain, old text business card. Instead of images, you can also use text for the back of your cards. And with Printfinity, you don’t have to commit to just one design.
Here’s what James Bruce did with his pack of MiniCards. James is from the UK so he was the first to receive them.
According to James, the design process was very intuitive and he was impressed with the amount of pre-made designs, as well as Printfinity.
He also found the print quality to be pretty good. This card in particular, was a difficult one to print but it turned out okay (with a few dodgy bits).
And now, it’s Yaara Lancet’s turn! Yaara designed the front side of her MiniCards as well and it looks great.
Yaara obviously found the whole design process to be really awesome because she printed 50 designs! Take a look.
Yaara also noted that she was happy with the cutting — it was pretty accurate. Also, Yaara’s cards reached her in 8 business days — a week earlier than stated.
Three different tests from three different countries — Yaara in Israel, James in the UK and yours truly in Australia — all with the same conclusion: we’re extremely happy with our MiniCards!
We’re giving away 5 boxes of 100 MiniCards to MakeUseOf readers this week. Here’s how you can win one.
How do I win one?
It’s simple, just follow the instructions.
Step 1: Join us on Facebook or Twitter
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Step 2: Fill in the giveaway form
Please fill in the form with your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner. Click here if you can’t view the form.
Step 3: Share!
You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post. There are 2 options to choose from or you can do both!
Like it on Facebook
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This giveaway begins now and ends Wednesday, February 15th. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.
Spread the word to your friends and have fun!
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