I have nothing against VistaPrint in theory. I’m sure they are a fine company, and they seem to be very successful. And really, I’m not picking on VistaPrint in particular, there are a number of online sources that this could apply to.
My issue with using any online service like VistaPrint is simply this: People end up buying cookie-cutter cards, banners and signs from templates that do not create a unique brand. To me, it’s one step above printing your own cards on an inkjet printer, with those little tell-tale perforated edges.
A case in point: Not too long ago, a person came to me distraught because they had purchased business cards, a banner, magnetic signs, and a couple of other products from a VistaPrint type service. They were new in business, and trying to save a few dollars (who isn’t)?
They went to a trade show and spent a few hours decorating their 10′ x 10′ space with all their new marketing products, only to find that the people who had the booth right next to them had the identical business cards and banner, with different lettering. To the casual attendee, it looked like they were in business together and that they had one 20′ space … but their two businesses couldn’t have been more dissimilar!
They learned their lesson the hard way – all that money they thought they had saved was now wasted. Fortunately, we were able to create for them a custom logo, business cards, door-hangers, banner (pop-up and regular) and vehicle signs that truly were unique and gave them a brand presence in the community – not in time for that show, but certainly for the next one. Never again will they have an identity crisis.
So, although online printing places may have their place, I maintain this (which I’ve used as a tag-line at networking events for the past few years): “Friends don’t let friends use VistaPrint”.