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I have been outsourcing business card printing. If I wanted to do this in house, what kind of printer and software should I look into getting. I have been online all day and really haven't been able to find any answers.

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A cheap colour laser such as the Epson AcuLaser C1100 will do a reasonable job for such cards up to around 210gsm. These can be a reasonably cheap machine to run. Up to A4 size printing 25ppm simplex

If you want much better than 1200dpi business colour then you need to be looking at ink jet machines. The Epson R1800 is another good machine capable of perfect photo prints on matt glossy and others. However, ink jets can be expensive to run and also take longer to print every page. Up to A3 but at a sedate pace.

You could look at higher volume/pages per minute printers like the Ricoh CL7000 (2nd hand option) or the CL7200 (new model) ( which is a decent speed (up to 32ppm B&W) with 1200dpi and loads of options such as duplex, finishers, and handles paper to 163gsm via the bypass tray (offers straighter path than incorporated trays). You can even add a scanner unit to make the machine into a full scale A3 copier too. Be prepared for a high price tag though, but I have seen machines like this with over 1m copies still going strong.

As regards to software - it depends on how easy or flexible you want to be. I like Corel Draw as you can do lots of importing of pictures etc, create text and use boxes etc of dimensions you specify. Printing a single design multiple times on the same sheet of paper is easy as there are lots of layout options. You can get a trial version from here:

Hope this is helpful

Posted on Jul 01, 2008

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