Recently, JD Skinner asked me on twitter what vendors I recommend for my print projects. I figured this is probably a good thing to share. I’ve had both good and bad experiences with printers, and it is always more useful to work from referrals rather than to try and find a good printer on your own. So, here is my list of printing companies in Salt Lake City (or online) that I use and what particular jobs I use each of them for.
These guys are located in Salt Lake City, out west by I-215. If money isn’t an issue, and I want a high quality product, I go to these guys. Andy Wayman is my rep, and he does a great job at understanding the piece before putting it into production. I use this press for the highly custom, out-of-the-box printed pieces. They have a lot of capabilities with die cuts and finishing services that you can’t always find at a smaller press. Their quality is superb.
Note: Always ask for the four color press. If it is a smaller job, they might try to run it on their digital press. This will be cheaper, but the quality of your print will suffer greatly. Generally, you can expect about a two week turnaround time, depending on the complexity and size of your order.
If I need something to look good, but don’t have the budget or need the quantity to justify going through Paragon, I use Presto Print. These guys are located in downtown Salt Lake City. They are reasonably priced, extremely fast, and very friendly. The quality is definitely not on the same level as Paragon, and they are more limited in the options that they can offer. But because they are a smaller press, they are more willing to be flexible and offer alternate solutions. I usually use them for things like flyers and brochures, especially when I only have a few days to get them produced.
Note: Expect only two or three days for the turnaround on most jobs.
These guys aren’t great. In fact, there isn’t much good to say about them. They are simply my corporate chain printer that I go to if I need something fast on the weekend or it isn’t convenient to drive to one of my other vendors. I also use them for one-offs and very low quantity orders. They are great if you are printing a few different options of something and prototyping it for approval– after that, I take the production files to an actual press. They are basically my ‘rough draft’ printing option.
Note: Do NOT do any large format printing here or anything involving foam core. In fact, don’t do anything here that will cost you more than $10. The prices for the higher stuff are completely outrageous.
If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed a bit of a fiasco I had with these guys. It started here. You can read the whole correspondence if you’d like, they still haven’t deleted it from their twitter account. Got Print offers absolutely amazing prices on their printing services. They are an online press, and if I need something extremely conventional, (business cards, brochures, flyers, etc…) they can’t be beat. And their quality? It’s actually really good. I recommend these guys, especially for freelance work where you are required to do the print brokering. Out of the many times that I’ve printed with them, I have only had that one problem. And the reason there were so many problems was that there was a deadline and Got Print didn’t offer any easy solutions to still making that deadline.
Note: I recommend printing on their 16pt paper for almost everything. It is really thick, and a nice quality. On the downside, it will give you a turnaround time of about two weeks (including shipping time). I definitely recommend them for their prices and quality, just make sure that you aren’t under a heavy deadline. Always go somewhere in town for those jobs.
Places to Avoid
I’ve definitely had some bad experiences. Mistakes do happen unfortunately, and I am often willing to see past them. However, this is a list of places that have continued to cause more headaches and drama than they are worth.
- Skyline Event Group
- These guys ‘specialize’ in trade shows and exhibit booths. They are amateurs. Their production designers are clueless, they are over priced, they make TONS of mistakes, and they only work with CS3. CS3!
- If you’ve ever gone to a Kinkos, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Not to mention the $$$
What About You?
Are you a designer? Is there a printing vendor that you would recommend? Any to specifically avoid? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add them to the post.
I'm Scott, and I love writing things like this. But I spend most of my time working as a designer.
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