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When I first joined the print industry in the 1970’s there were probably 10 or more printers scattered around my home town. Some had been there for decades and there was even one chap who used to work alongside his wife running a couple of letterpress machines which they kept going until they retired in the late 1990’s.

Most of these printers had a loyal customer base, businesses who would come back year in year out. It was easier for people as the printer would hold onto the artwork and the customer just had to phone up or call in and reorder another few thousand of the same job they had last time and probably the time before that. Life was simpler then, a business would only change their letterhead if they moved address, had to change a phone number or a name had changed. The artwork would be made at the printers and would be kept in a file ready to use next time.

Times have changed drastically though and with the invention and universal use of the internet it is as easy to use a printer 300 miles away as it is to pop round the corner to the local print shop.

There are many good reasons for buying your print online and I will try and list some of the more important ones here.

Convenience. There is no doubt that buying online is more convenient than any other way. We think nothing these days of buying books or CD’s online, even clothes, car parts, cameras. You name it and it can be bought online. So why not print? There is no artwork held in a filing cabinet anymore. Neither is your artwork hard copy which would need to be posted. It is in a file on your hard drive and can be sent off with a few mouse clicks to anywhere in the world. Once your printing is done the printer dispatches it off to you and you can receive it back within a day or two. The internet has meant that postal and courier services now offer fast and efficient services to cater for this need and turnaround can be very rapid indeed.

Quality. An online printing company such as our favourites, Circle Services, is likely to be run by people with bang up to date ideas about modern technology and techniques. Although printing methods have changed little in the last 50 years they way they are implemented has and it is in your interests to work with someone who has kept up to date. However experience still counts for a lot and when choosing a printing company look for someone who has been around for a long time but has embraced the modern ways of doing things.

Cost. Whilst I do agree that price is important when choosing a printer it isn’t always the first thing you should be thinking about. Earlier I mentioned about experience and that is worth its weight in gold. An experienced company can offer advice which may save money in the long run or help you get a better job done and ultimately offer better value for money and make the buying experience a hassle free one. Trust comes into it too, an experienced company know what they’re doing and won’t be learning at your expense.

Speed. Running a business nowadays is a time consuming thing and you have to make full use of your time. If you have to visit your printer it is time out of your day and your time is valuable. You need to spend your time generating income so a visit to the printers can cost more than just losing time. Sending your file to an online printer takes a few moments and you could have your printing delivered the next day in some cases. However I do always suggest phoning your printing company both before and after you have sent your files. It isn’t usually necessary but it is good to have some human contact and relationships can be better when you know each other a little bit.

So next time you need some printing doing don’t think you have to stay local. These are just some advantages of buying online that I have mentioned. I’m sure there are more but only by giving it try will you understand that it really can work for you.