Printing. It doesn’t take a designer to tell you that printing is never easy—it sucks. As a designer, I have tons of things to get printed all the time and it’s always a struggle to find a good, high quality, reliable, and cheap printer. Not only have I found this, but also they even run a local office in my hometown, as well as Vancouver!
The company in question is JukeBox Printing. They are a wonderful print company, run out of Vancouver, Canada. They sport the industries’ highest resolution printing, offering both full colour digital and high quality offset printing. They are one of the only companies that offer 24pt card for printing (which is one heck of a thick piece of card stock! Nearly twice as thick as an average business card!) and to top it all off, they have some wonderful staff to go along with their 5 star service list. The company is very personable and for lack of a better term, real. They support local charities and believe strongly in community involvement. They are really quite easy to love—even before putting a job through to them!
Let’s move on to the good stuff. I was looking for a good printer this time around to print something that is near and dear to every creative professional—personal business cards. A business card is not something that can be done “just alright”, or “good enough”. It’s most often your first impression of a person and the way you’ll remember and get in touch with them as well. So, needless to say, us design types are always nervous about getting our cards printed. With JukeBox, I’ve been nothing but thrilled. The setup process was very easy, quick and simple.
My cards came quite fast, and because I had ordered them only a few days before I moved back to Toronto from my contract job, I actually missed my pickup, however, they graciously shipped them to me in Toronto for no extra charge. My cards, a standard business card size, full colour on front and back on 16pt stock with a satiny matte finish, turned out great. The print was easily far above the quality I’ve seen at any other printer (and I’ve seen quite a few!), the colours were sharp and crisp and the cards felt really nice in your hand (thanks to the stock weight and matte finish). A common problem with printers is that when they cut heavy stocks, the edges can get a bit fuzzy or messy, however, JukeBox rises up here once again. No jagged edges, no white fringe or anything of the sort. A really nice finished product indeed.
As I was looking at these cards, my intensely detailed orientated, picky side was running ramped. With this being said, I literally had to look for something that I was not happy with. There were two small things that were not perfect (which is still far better than any other print job I’ve seen). Both issues funnily enough, were not on my personal business cards, but on some cards I had printed for a little project I am doing (which I’m keeping sort of under wraps, so you’ll have to wait!). The first issue was with the cutting. On a select few cards, the die’s blade must have not been moving at a constant speed or something, because a few cards’ edges are noticeably curled down a little, giving the appearance that they are a bit worn right out of the box. Now, this was only about 10 cards out of the one box of 1000 I looked at so far, so it’s hardly an issue.
My next gripe is with the colour reproduction. Any print designer can tell you how much of a nightmare colour reproduction can be, especially when printing purples. The cards in question just so happen to be about 99% flat purple. I’ve found about 100 cards that are ever so slightly more blue tones purple, opposed to the majorities’ red-ish tone. While if you were to look at the cards separately, you’ve never see anything (the colour shift isn’t a bad thing here!), but when you put the two colours side by side, you notice it. It’s not a big problem with this job, and really I can’t blame them. We’re talking large flat purple areas of colour, which is pretty much a printer’s worst nightmare. With all that being said, my personal cards’ colour production was impeccable, and I am still extremely happy with these sets.
I’ve been looking at JukeBox for almost a year now, waiting for the right time to take a leap of faith and try them and the thing that swayed me this time was the pricing. Not only do they not charge and rip fees (fees for using files that you provide; totally ridiculous in my opinion), but also their print prices are very, very good. For example, I got my 16pt, double sided, full colour with bleed business cards (x3000) for about $70. For the quality, speed and helpful customer service, this is incredibly good.
All in all, I really loved working with JukeBox, and am totally pleased with my final product. I would easily recommend them to anyone looking to print pretty much anything (they even sent me a sample pack that really does show their skill and professional print services quite well!). I look forward to working with them again in the near future!