Moo cards versus local printers for biz cards

Continuing the discussion from What do you do with business cards?:

I want cards, and I’ve run out.

Do I need them? Maybe. We’ll get to that.

I thought: I’m going to order my next cards from a local printer, even though I don’t want 500 or 1000. Maybe local tech has improved! Shop local.

My experience was strange though. I only went to two places to get prices, places I’d priced cards years ago.

The second one, they “don’t do that kind of thing”. The person has such a look of contempt on their face, I grinned and nearly laughed out loud! It had obviously been a point of contention for this person.

The first one had prices and a few sizes, but when I asked for paper or size samples, they rolled their eyes at me. They handed me one of their business’ cards, and said that was the paper, and size didn’t matter because they just print them on a sheet, so whatever I wanted my design to fit on, they’d cut.

I considered these reactions, and what biz cards as a product and business must be like. Are these folks making any money, while also driving down prices to not double what Moo or other online services offer?

Okay, let’s switch focus for a sec: do I need these? Probably. Probably now, and never before.

I want to stop relying on big clients doing things I don’t like, and forgetting to pay me on time. I want to engage with people where they meet technology. And these switch to more hands-on handyperson means I need to get my contact info into hands of people.

Yes, I need to fix my website for this. Or at least the one page that says how to hire me. I also plan to promote my services by being present at Impact Hub Oakland, talking to folks, hopefully figuring out a way to run cool workshops that show folks alternatives to the crap they’re doing.

And I’d like to experiment. I was thinking of writing a small pitch, and leaving it on the table in front of me, enticing walker-bys to engage with me. If I did such an experiment, I don’t want 500 of these. I want 50.

Okay, stick all this stuff in yer brain. What do I do? Order cards from Moo, because calling cards are a zero margin game and technology no longer warrants thinking about the local economical impact of tiny textile artifacts? Seek out the best card printers in the Bay Area, probably a union or coop shop, and suck it up?

Thoughts, please.

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when i went to three conferences on socialism in 2017 i bought blank business-sized cards from muji and wrote my name and info on them and handed them out. people liked that.

then a bunch of us in dsa sf got business cards that said dsa sf on them for the national convention, because that group is for rich people, and i thought i was rich. i still have a lot. someone else organized printing them and we all paid for our own. i think i paid $60 or $80 for 100 cards. it might be 200. i don’t know what numbers are. i don’t remember who organized it or else i’d ask them where they printed it because we had to all make sure to only use union copy shops.

recs from friends of friends on mission st in sf.

someone else used for things other than business cards: and

from a third person: " are the folks that made the ISO’s “Oakland Radicals” t-shirts." it appears their company name is Alliance Graphics and they’re in north berkeley.

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BTW - My campus has a print shop and it’s totally cool for us to use them for personal projects. Ive mostly used them to print dead tree copies of software manuals and bind them, but like if you want me to get a quote from them on some business cards. I’d happy act as a go between. Though we’d have to figure out postage.

Not exactly shopping local. Though. But it’s an option.


Thanks for the offer. I’ll definitely keep it in mind!

I haven’t moved on this as I haven’t exactly needed to put my info out there yet. But I will soon, so who knows. :slight_smile:

Okay, just needed one. So gonna order some small ones from Moo, small batch, see how it goes. Maybe I’ll learn something from the experience this run.

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Gotta share some pics when they come in!

Took me a while, but I finally ordered just now. Simple design, part of a performance called “working with others”.


A card for each category of service, with contact info inverse.