My Experience Printing Business Cards at OfficeMax

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Designing and Ordering Custom Business Cards

I finally decided it was time to order professional business cards for my freelance writing business. As a solopreneur, having a polished personal brand is so important for establishing credibility with potential clients. And business cards can go a long way toward making a great first impression at networking events, client meetings and conferences.

After doing some research, I chose OfficeMax as my business card printing company. OfficeMax is a widely known brand with retail stores across the country, so I figured their printing services would be reliable and affordable. Here’s a breakdown of my full experience designing, ordering and receiving custom business cards through OfficeMax.

Selecting the Right Business Card Design

OfficeMax offers tons of design templates and layout options for business cards. I spent quite a bit of time browsing through their online template gallery to find a look that matched my personal style. Some of the categories for business card designs included:

  • Classic
  • Modern
  • Bold
  • Minimalist
  • Elegant
  • Creative

I wanted my freelance writing business cards to have a clean, modern and professional look. The template I ended up selecting had a simple white background with my name and title in a nice sans serif font at the top. Underneath was my website and phone number in a smaller font. And at the bottom was just my name again in the same font as the top.

The template came together really nicely and looked polished without seeming overly cluttered. OfficeMax also lets you fully customize the template by changing colors, fonts, text and more – so I was able to select a pleasing color palette that aligned with my brand.

Uploading My Own Business Card Design

In addition to using one of OfficeMax’s design templates, I also had the option to upload my own fully designed business card. I worked with a graphic designer friend to create a custom business card layout in Photoshop.

Uploading my file to OfficeMax was simple. I just had to save my design as a high quality PDF, JPG or PNG file. OfficeMax’s online file uploader accepted my Photoshop PDF seamlessly. It was nice having the flexibility to either use a template or provide my own design.

Selecting Business Card Paper Options

One great perk of using OfficeMax is that they offer premium paper upgrades for business cards. For my cards, I wanted a thick, luxurious paper stock that would make them stand out.

OfficeMax provided several paper choices including 14pt glossy or matte finish. Upgrading to a 14pt thickness makes the cards feel substantial, compared to the standard 16pt paper weight. I went with the matte finish which has a classy, understated elegance.

Beyond the thickness upgrade, OfficeMax also had lots of texture and color options for the actual paper stock. Some of the selections included:

  • Linen paper with a rough, fabric-like texture
  • Cotton paper for a more organic, craft paper aesthetic
  • Metallic, pearlescent and speckled papers to add interest
  • Bright, neon and pastel paper colors for a bold look

I stuck with a simple white linen paper, but it was fun browsing all of the possibilities. The paper upgrade does add cost, but it’s worth it for a luxury, high-end look and feel.

Ordering Double-Sided Printing

One decision I had when finalizing my order was whether to print on just the front or both sides of my business cards. OfficeMax gives you the choice to print a design on the front only, or open up the back side for additional text and branding.

I opted to go with double-sided printing to maximize the space. On the back, I added a short description of my freelance writing services along with a few review blurbs from past clients.

Double-sided cards allow you to pack in more info without crowding the front. The only downside is the extra cost. You essentially pay twice as much for the increased printing space. But for me, it was worthwhile to tell my full brand story.

Requesting a Digital Proof

Before officially confirming my order, OfficeMax allowed me to request a digital proof to ensure everything looked correct. The online proof came through quickly as a PDF attachment, so I could download the file and view my business cards on screen.

Examining the proof was incredibly valuable. It allowed me to spot little errors in the text that I missed during the design process. I was also able to get a sense of how the colors and images would translate to a physical print.

I ended up tweaking a few minor design elements and requesting one more round of revisions. OfficeMax’s team got back to me fast with an updated proof, and I was able to give final approval confidently.

Turnaround Time for Printing

One big factor in deciding where to order business cards is how quickly you can receive the final printed product. I needed my cards in hand for an upcoming networking conference, so speedy turnaround was essential.

Here are the estimated timelines OfficeMax provided:

  • 5 business day turnaround for standard shipping
  • 3 business days for priority/expedited shipping
  • Next day pickup available for an extra fee

I opted for the 5 business day standard timeline which fit my needs. OfficeMax came through right on schedule, and I had my box of cards delivered exactly 5 business days after approving the final proof.

The production team was also very communicative, sending email updates when my order was received, entered into production, shipped out and delivered. The transparency was much appreciated.

Unboxing My Printed Business Cards

Receiving my box of printed business cards from OfficeMax was an exciting moment! I eagerly tore open the packaging and grabbed the first few cards off the stack.

My immediate impression was that the print quality was exceptional. The color reproduction was spot-on from my digital proof, and the card stock had a perfect weight and texture.

I spent awhile admiring the details of the design and running my fingers over the handsome linen paper. It’s hard to explain, but holding your very own business cards stirs up a magical mix of pride, professionalism and possibility.

Customizing My Business Card Order

In addition to great paper and printing quality, another perk of OfficeMax is the ability to fully customize your business card order. There were so many options to tailor the exact quantity, extras and packaging.

For my order, I chose:

  • 500 cards total – I went with a larger quantity for distribution at conferences and client meetings
  • Matte finish for an understated look
  • 14pt thick linen paper stock
  • Standard 5 business day turnaround
  • Double-sided full color printing
  • Clear plastic case of 50 cards for easy handing out

But OfficeMax provides tons of choices for each aspect of the order, so you can tweak it based on your specific needs. For example, I could have selected faster shipping, metallic paper, or different case sizes. The ability to customize makes the cards feel special.

Pricing for Business Cards

Of course, a major factor in choosing a printing provider is the overall cost. OfficeMax offers competitive base pricing for business cards, and they routinely run sales and specials.

For my order of 500 double-sided cards on upgraded linen paper stock, my total cost was:

  • $85 for the cards themselves
  • $15 for priority 3-day shipping
  • $10 for a 50-count clear case
  • $110 total order cost

I considered this very reasonable for completely custom, high-quality business cards printed by a major company. OfficeMax also has volume discounts, so you save more per card when ordering in larger quantities.

While not the absolute cheapest option, OfficeMax delivers premium business cards that make an excellent impression for your brand. Their combination of quality, customization and cost put them at the top of my list.

Extra Business Card Printing Services

Along with the basics of paper, design and printing, OfficeMax offers a few premium extras for business cards. I didn’t end up using these for my order, but they are nice additions for anyone wanting deluxe cards.

Some of the extra printing services and options include:

  • Foil stamping – Adds metallic foil accents for an elegant touch
  • Raised ink – Uses thick ink to slightly raise the print off the card for a 3D effect
  • Rounded corners – Cuts the card corners into unique shapes like circles or squares
  • Letterpress – Presses the ink into the card stock for bold, imprinted text
  • Additional finishing – Options like lamination, soft touch aqueous coating, spot UV

Again, these upgraded print techniques do drive up the price. But for certain brands, the investment could be worth it for top-shelf business cards.

Consulting for Design Help

Because I have a design background, I felt comfortable creating my business cards myself. But for anyone less experienced, OfficeMax does offer professional design services.

You can book a 1-on-1 consultation with an OfficeMax design expert either virtually or in person. They’ll walk through your brand style, discuss objectives and create a tailored business card design.

This full service option eliminates the need to DIY your own layouts and graphics. It does add to the total project cost, but could be perfect for small business owners who want guidance. Expert design input could pay off with business cards that captivate your audience.

Ordering Business Card Promotional Items

In addition to fantastic business cards, OfficeMax can also supply custom promotional products to reinforce your brand. Popular items you can order include:

  • Pens – Hand out branded pens along with your cards for an extra impression
  • Notepads – Useful for jotting notes during meetings and conferences
  • Stickers – Print stickers with your logo to seal envelopes, mark shipments, etc.
  • Banner stands – Displays your company name prominently at trade show booths
  • Table covers – Branded tablecloths for decorating vendor tables and exhibits

I picked up some pens and notepads to complement my business cards. It’s a smart idea to give potential leads something practical and useful, beyond just your standard cards.

Promotional items also represent clever reminders of your brand that recipients will engage with repeatedly. And OfficeMax makes the process of ordering them just as simple as business cards.

Satisfaction Guarantee

As a final assurance about print quality, OfficeMax promises a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all business card orders. If you’re at all unhappy with the finished product, you can request a full reprint at no extra cost.

It’s a zero-risk policy that inspired confidence as I was selecting OfficeMax over other printing companies. Knowing that I had the option for a redo if anything went wrong was a major factor in my choice.

After receiving my finished cards, the printing was flawless and I had no need to redeem the satisfaction guarantee. But it’s fantastic knowing that safety net exists if the print job doesn’t align with your expectations.

My Experience: 5 Key Takeaways

Reflecting on the full experience of designing, ordering and receiving business cards from OfficeMax, here are my main impressions:

  1. Online proofing – The ability to review digital proofs makes finalizing your design simple and error-free. I appreciated being able to refine my card before officially confirming the order.
  2. Custom options – With tons of templates, paper types, sizes, and add-ons, you can completely customize cards to match your brand identity. The flexibility was empowering.
  3. Premium quality – From the card stock to the printing itself, OfficeMax delivers exceptional quality for the cost. My finished cards exceeded expectations.
  4. Fast turnaround – I had my order delivered within OfficeMax’s advertised 5 business day timeline, keeping the process moving swiftly.
  5. Seamless service – Ordering online was intuitive with smooth approvals and helpful email updates. OfficeMax made the process nearly effortless.

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with my business card experience at OfficeMax. For affordable prices, they provide professional design options and top-notch printing quality. If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur looking to level-up your brand, I highly recommend leveraging OfficeMax for your custom card needs.

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