Tag Archives: china

Printing in China is cheaper, but is it worth it?

Brighton Collectibles, a high-end accessories manufacturer and retailer with over 140 U.S. locations, has been a long-time customer. Their primary order was foil stamped and embossed notecards (with plain envelopes), which they used to thank customers for their purchases. Brighton recently came to us and told us they were going to try to decrease their costs – by printing in China. We were sad to see them leave, but with the continuing economic difficulties, we understood.

It wasn’t long before they came back to us, though.

Brighton contacted us shortly after they received their product from China, with the request for a rush on their usual order – and they sent us some of the product they received. We were struck by how different it was in color from Brighton’s typical 80# Finch Fine Ultra Smooth Cover in Soft White. The paper above is more similar to smooth, heavy copy paper, and is just as bright. The second thing we noticed was the quality of the foil and the emboss. Not only was it out of register on the hearts, leaving a white rim on the curved tops, but the texture of the hearts was slightly raised and just flat. The foil itself wasn’t bright, but that could have been due to it’s finish, which was very rough. We understand why Brighton was so shocked to receive this after purchasing with us for so many years, but we aren’t.

We can understand the need to decrease costs, but like Brighton discovered, you can’t cut on craftsmanship. In an increasingly digital world, printed marketing still effectively engages customers – to long as there is something to engage with. An incredibly effective method is touch, which can be achieved with quality paper, textured surfaces, or raised images. Quality printing and finishing makes an impression – and sub-par printing, at best, makes none. It is now more important than ever to make a good impression on potential customers, and make existing ones feel valued. Giving them an aesthetically pleasing design, on beautiful paper, in well crafted printing and finishing techniques, can do just that.