Designing Logos and Printing Business Cards The Easy Way
I was asked, “What's the easiest and most economical way to create a high-quality custom logo and get it printed on business cards?”
Here's how I did it without hiring a designer or visiting a print shop.
First, I created my logo using the...
Tailor Brands Logo Designer
I'm not a designer, but I like to think that I have decent taste in aesthetics. Over the years since first discovering it, I've used the Tailor Brands Logo Maker for quickly and easily creating unique logo designs. I've also recommended it to clients.
My comments are based on last using the service in December 2018, so note that it may have changed since then by the time you read this review.
- You can get a unique and original design concept for free.
- It's much faster than working with a human designer.
- You have full creative control.
- It's easy to use.
- If you like the design, you can pay a reasonable fee to download various versions of it in different formats for use in online media or printing.
- Depending on the package you purchase, you can also get multiple templates, and even a brand book generated automatically.
If you go onto review sites such as Trust Pilot, you'll see that overall, Tailor Brands has excellent reviews. However, they do have a significant number of one-star reviews, and they are almost all regarding their pricing system.
Back in the day, Tailor Brands offered the service for a one-off fee. You'd make your logo and, if you liked it, could pay for a package depending on what collateral you needed.
The cheapest package let you just have print-ready files for the logo, the next package included a vector version and a brand book. The larger package included lots of templates using the logo and color scheme. I used their larger package several times, and it was a sweet deal.
However, some years ago, they changed their fees to subscription plans. This never made sense to me because, for each project, I just wanted to create a logo, download the files I needed, and get on with things.
In their FAQ, Tailor Brands explains their logic as follows:
“Our Logo Only plan grants you unlimited storage of all your logo files, and the higher plan you purchase, the more you get for your brand and small business. Looking for different sizes, professional presentations, social media posts, or business card designs? Create your own logo, refine to your liking, choose the right plan for you, and you'll have access to your own Brand Profile for as long as you have a subscription with Tailor!”
Does that make sense to you? It doesn't to me.
- In an age when we can easily get free cloud storage from the likes of Dropbox, why would “unlimited storage of all your logo files” be a selling point?
- What is the point of having “access to your own Brand Profile” when you can just download all the files?
So, when I used the Tailor Brands Logo Maker, I just purchase one month for whichever plan I need, download all files, and then cancel the subscription. The cost is still reasonable.
However, many people don't pay attention when inputting their credit card details. They assume they're just going to pay a one-off fee. Later on, they notice that they've been paying monthly and are furious because technically, they agreed to sign up for the subscription and so Tailor Brands won't give them a refund.
Furthermore, it is complicated and counter-intuitive to figure out how to cancel your subscription because they've buried the setting in a very obscure part of the dashboard.
I can understand why a subscription system is more attractive to the owners of the Tailor Brands business. Still, it doesn't make sense to customers.
There are two other issues I had with the service;
- You have to request a vector version of your logo design. This used to take one business day for them to create manually, but I think it's automated now. This is a relatively minor inconvenience.
- The brand book they produce is ok, but it's not editable, and you can't download it. They're trying to justify charging you a subscription for the privilege of being able to access it. This is ridiculous. I ended up recreating it in a doc file so that I can edit and maintain it as I like.
In any case, I got what I wanted from them, and immediately canceled my subscription. I'd advise anyone else who uses their service to do the same.
Next, I needed to get some business cards printed and delivered. I started by trying...
Tailor Brands' Integration with Zazzle
This is where I had trouble. If you want to know what worked, skip below to the section on MOO.
Tailor Brands lets you design a business card and then gives you the option of having them printed via their integration with Zazzle, one of the top print-on-demand (POD) platforms.
I didn't like the business card design Tailor Brands gave me, and there didn't seem to be any way to change it. Still, the design was passable, and I wasn't in the mood to figure out how to improve it via other options, so I just selected to get them printed. This then bounced me over to Zazzle to order the cards.
Problem 1: Shipping
I chose the cheapest shipping option without tracking. My delivery got lost and ended up taking around six weeks to arrive. I'm in Japan, and their printing was, I believe, done in the US. I made the order in December, so perhaps that had something to do with it, as the postal service was trying to cope with the tsunami of Christmas and New Year cards (the latter are a big deal in Japan).
At around the three-week point, I contacted Zazzle, and they told me to wait until the one-month mark. If, after then, the cards still hadn't arrived, they would send another batch via express courier. We did this, and they were delivered on time. Shortly after, the original batch finally turned up at my door after all.
To be clear, this wasn't Zazzle's fault – it was the postal service. Lesson learned: If you're in a hurry, pay for a proper courier service with tracking.
Problem 2: Poor Print-Setting
The design was not centered correctly, and it looked like I had printed the cards at home and done a poor job of cutting them by hand. I sent Zazzle Support a photo with an explanation. They sent another batch – with the same problem.
I contacted Zazzle Support again, and they said that the problem was with how I had set up the design and not centered it to fit the printing area. This was not the case, as the design was made on Tailor Brands, and there was no such option. They also said that since their replacement batch had arrived, we were done.
I attempted to explain the situation, but Zazzle Support went silent. I think they'd had enough of me by this point and were befuddled with how to rectify the situation with Tailor Brands.
While the alignment issues were caused at Tailor Brands' end, I was surprised that Zazzle wasn't able to take the time to rectify them by manually re-setting the design to fit the paper correctly.
Frustrated with the Tailor Brands/Zazzle integration, I gave up and tried...
Making Business Cards on MOO
MOO is another popular POD service. Although they print a variety of items, their business cards are particularly popular. I had known of them for years and seen examples of the beautiful cards people had made using them.
To cut a long story short, I had zero problems with MOO. Their site was straightforward to use, they offered plenty of options without being overwhelming, and I was pleased with the cards once they arrived.
Even if the Tailor Brands/Zazzle cards had been appropriately cropped, they would still have been significantly inferior to what I got from MOO. I'll be returning to MOO when I need a new set of cards.
MOO doesn't yet offer an automated design tool like Tailor Brands. Still, they do have customizable templates which might be sufficient for some needs.
Switching to a Local Printer
MOO was great, but the shipping cost was a bit high. So, for replacement sets, I ended up downloading the design and getting it done by a local printer. I'm in Japan, so I used one that offers services in English, Mojoprint.
- Tailor Brands' Logo Maker does a good job, but don't use them for printing, and be sure to cancel your subscription immediately after you download all the files.
- MOO is superb for business cards, but depending on where you are located, the shipping might be a bit pricey, and so taking the design and getting it printed locally might make more sense.