Review: Moo Business Cards (Gloss and Matte)
9 September 2014
Printfinity (A Card For Every Occasion) | Order The Number Of Cards You Need
A Quick How To Create | The Expanding Moo (No Methane Added)
When It Arrives: Packaging & After Sales Support
Glossies: To Shine Or Not To Shine? | The Matte Cards: Professional & Refined
Other Options | The Wrap
Here we go, yet another lengthy review by Peter. It has taken me a while to write this because I like to get a good feel for a product before I write about it. I have spent the last couple of months, handing these around to people, getting opinions and gauging responses. I have been doing this so long, that Moo have actually released a number of new products and even opened up a new printer in the meantime.Kevin recently shared some history and his thoughts on business cards and their usefulness in the modern, mobile world. He concluded that business cards are essential, even today, for a working creative.
Really, it is simple. As a photographer, you are in a creative field. Simply reciting your number to a potential client as they throw numbers in their phone is not a good way to make an impression. And that is what it is all about: impressions. If you are not leaving an impression upon a potential client, when you walk away they are already thinking of another photographer they know.
I have used Moo Business Cards for a while now. I am particularly fond of them for a number of reasons. They are good quality cards, are easy to create and reorder and offer plenty of flexibility.
Are they flawless? Perhaps not. But what they lack in some areas they make up in others, producing something that I find great for networking and interacting with clients.
Why do I love Moo Business Cards so much?
For all the pros (and cons) these cards have, there is one main reason I keep returning to Moo. The quality card, the ease of ordering, and the great customer support all helps, but Printfinity is where it is at.
Printfinity is Moo’s unique function that allows you to print business cards that will start conversation every time you pull out a collection of cards. Moo cards are double-sided. What Printfinity allows you to do is have your details on the back side, the same on every card, but have a different image on the front on each and every card. If you order one thousand cards, you can have one thousand different designs on the front of your card if you so wish.
What does this mean? The possibilities are endless. You could have a code unique to each and every card, or even a batch of cards, allowing you to monitor if potential customers you have handed your card have visited your site and/or used the unique code in your store. This is great market research so you can determine where your business is coming from. As an example, you could create a batch of cards with a unique code purely to hand out at the big Wedding Expo you have a stall at this year, while having another batch of cards with a different unique code to hand out at from your studio.
How do I use Printfinity? When I have cards made, I use a collection of varied photographs on the front. I may not use fifty images on a batch of fifty cards, but I definitely use twenty or so different photographs across the order to create some variety.
The first reason I do this is to create targeted marketing for particular clients. As an example, for newlyweds I have photographed, placing one of their wedding photographs on my business card and giving a few cards to each of the bride and groom is guaranteed to have your cards in their wallet. Those cards almost always get given away (and I have had requests for replacements).
The second, and most important reason, is conversation starters. Imagine this: You are speaking to a potential client and they ask for a card. Now, you could reach for a boring, white card with details on cheap cardboard. Or even for a card with just your business logo. Instead, you pull out your business card wallet with ten to fifteen cards in it, pull them out and hand them over. They flick through the cards and ask how that photo was taken, or where this one was taken, or who that person was. The stories that flow as a result are great for putting both you and the client at ease. You find common ground when they see a local artist they saw perform at a friend’s wedding; you share a laugh about the about the embarrassing selfie of you dressed as a kid in the middle of a swamp; or you talk about local history when a photo taken in an iconic place is identified and you inform them that it was the last photo taken there before that place was changed forever.
Business cards are about leaving an impression. But they can be about so much more. They can be conversation starters. They can be collectables. And if you make them worthy, they can live in wallets of clients before being handed out and desired enough to have them asking for replacements.
Another big selling point for me is the ability to order cards in batches that are manageable for me. As a freelance photographer/writer/website guy, do I need 1000 cards? Nope. You can order cards in increments of fifty.
When I order cards, I order fifty. By doing this, and making use of Printfinity as mentioned above, it means each batch potentially has different cards. It allows me to reorder cards that work well, and use new images in place of those that have not started conversation or been popular picks.
You could also, feasibly, order a Sample Pack of ten cards, paying the extra money to remove the Moo logo/branding, allowing you to create a small pack of ten cards to deliver to a specific client with their images on the front and your details on the back.
Moo comes with the advantage of either using your own design or using their easy design-tools to create your business card. Detailed layout templates are available on the website to help guide you, and the support team can help answer any questions you have. Alternatively, you can use any of a large number of designs they offer on the website, simply filling in your details for the detail side and/or uploading your logo and positioning it via the design tools. So whether you are a designer who wants full control, or someone who needs some guidance when it comes to the layout of your card, Moo provides options for you.
My latest batch of cards I have had for a couple of months now. As usual, I like to give things a good work out before writing about them. When I made my order, there was a UK and US printer to choose from; since taking delivery, Moo has expanded and opened an Australian division. For us Australian grazers of Moo cards, this is nothing but great news with cheaper and faster delivery and local support for ensuring your order is just how you want it.
That said, when I ordered my cards, even coming from the UK, they only took between three or four weeks before they arrived with standard delivery. I found this really reasonable. Now, with a local printer (for me), delivery will be even faster since it is coming from Sydney rather than the opposite side of the world.
Upon opening the cards of my last order, they looked great . . . Except a small handful of cards. Two of the designs had not reproduced properly from screen to card, with some pixilation, and the gloss cards had some issues (outlined below). I contacted support and they helped me solve the issue, informed me how to redesign those particular cards, and reprinted the cards free of charge. They believe in 100% satisfaction. With customer support as good as they provide, and a product which is quality, I am a very satisfied customer.
When I ordered my last cards, I decided I wanted to try out the Gloss Business card that Moo offers. I was not sold on the idea but ordered a Sample Pack in Gloss. This is the great thing about the Sample Pack that Moo provides; it allows you to see what works and what does not at a minimal fee.
Do I like the Gloss cards? Straight up, no.The gloss was a disappointment for me. For starters, I found that a few of my cards had imperfections on them. Some (not all) of the cards had little white dots which looked like the ink had not stuck to the gloss paper. On top of this, I found that the cards pulled apart easier (and, do keep in mind, this is with me flicking and bending the card at the corner for purpose of review). The Gloss card delaminate layers a lot more easily than the Matte card, which seemed to bend more before it eventually pulled apart.
But the biggest thing with the Gloss card, for me, was the feel of the card. While my photographs on the front looked more like photographs on the gloss, my business cards did not feel like business cards. That sounds like a funny thing to say, but it is the only way I can put it. With a Gloss card in your hands, your fingers stick as they rub against the card. It simply does not feel right. On top of this, due to it being gloss, it smears finger prints across the card relatively easy.
The other drawback with using Gloss cards is that you cannot write on them easily. Even a ballpoint pen will smear, smudge, and rub off when written on a Gloss card. If you are someone who likes to write on a card, these are not the card for you.
I have no doubt that some people would enjoy the feel and look of the Gloss card. But, having shown both Gloss and Matte cards, with the same images on the front, everyone has picked Matte over Gloss. One person did not even look at the design, and simply handed back the Gloss card purely because of the feel. If that does not say it all, I am not sure what will.
They also feel as they should. They feel like a business card, but not just any business card. They are thick, nicely textured, crisp cards that don’t stick under your fingers nor mark with a fingerprint.
The print quality is high, so you can be assured that your card design looks great. Admittedly, when you put intense/complex images (e.g. photographs) on your card design, some image will not be perfect when printed. Testing with a sample pack would be a great idea at this stage. You need to remember that the reproduction of photographs by a digital printer is not always pixel perfect — sometimes, areas can be washed out due to there not being enough range by the printer. That said, over the years, I have printed some 40 different photographs on my cards and only had two or three that I have not been happy with.
But the ink sticks to the Matte cards like it is meant to, with no blemishes or misgivings caused by ink peeling off the card as I found was the case with the Gloss. The Matte, too, makes my images shine in a way that the reflective, finger-printed surface of Gloss fails to achieve. And, unlike the Gloss, you can write on the Matte card with ease.
So what if you want more options than just a standard business card in either Gloss or Matte? Well, Moo provides! Moo offer a whole range of options. In standard business card size, they also offer Luxe paper, which is a lovely 600GSM with a lovely strip of colour between the top and bottom layer. They also offer square or round cut corners.
Beyond this, though, they offer square business cards, mini-business cards, printing of letterheads, postcards, flyers, stickers, greeting cards and notecards. I have used mini-cards before — they are as they sound, at half the size of a business card. They can also be great tools for marketing and well worth investigating. I also noticed a very funky looking “Facebook Business Card” today that I will investigate sometime, too.
As I said, I have used these cards now for years. I have tried other business card printers, but I always return to Moo. Now that they have an Australian printer, I feel that I will be using Moo cards for a long time to come. I recommend them strongly to all my clients, and now I am recommending them to you.
For me, I cannot go past the Matte Business Cards (that is, at least, until I decide to splurge on the Luxe). These cards feel great. They look great. You can write on them with a ballpoint pen without fear of it smearing or rubbing off. And you can be assured that you will impress when you hand one to your next potential client.
If you are keen to get some Moo Business Cards of your own, or any of their products, please consider clicking through the banner and signing up. We earn a small amount for the referral, you receive a discount, and all is good in the world. Thank you.
* All MOO customers get 15% off their business cards (excl. shipping) – simply use the code 6YSMX9 at checkout. This offer is valid until 20th January 2015 at 23.59 (GMT), excl. shipping and only available once per customer.