Moo Cards: Great For Business... Mostly
Recently, I purchased some business cards from Moo.com. I chose Moo for my business cards for two reasons: I loved the idea of Printfinity, which allows you to print a different photograph on each card; I also loved the fantastic paper stock, which I was able to feel for myself with their sample pack.
Ordering from Moo was incredibly easy. I simply exported each photograph I wanted to be printed in the pack from Lightroom at the size recommended on their website, 1039x697 pixels. I then created a PDF of the back of my card using the PSD Template provided by Moo. I uploaded the images and PDF to their website, made sure to turn off auto-correction for my images (because I had already corrected them for color, exposure, contrast, etc.), and ordered. Within a couple weeks, I had a new pack of 50 business cards, with 10 of each image!
When they arrived, the first thing that struck me was the insanely good quality of the paper. A pack of fifty cards is a couple inches thick, and it comes in a nice looking box, with tabs for cards labeled "mine" and "theirs." The cards felt amazing, they didn't bend or crease easily (or even with quite a bit of force applied), and I felt confident that I could carry them around in my pocket without worrying whether they would come out in good shape.
A great thing about having a pack of business cards with different images on the cards is that it can function as a portable portfolio! A great conversation starter and ice breaker is to bring out a few of my cards to show somebody, tell them to look through my portfolio, and then tell them, “You can keep your favorite—it’s also my card!”
There were a few problems with the cards, which I will outline below, but Moo's customer service is fantastic. They walked me through what needed to be done, and sent me a new pack of cards. They really do live up to the Moo Promise.
Unfortunately, the images printed a bit dark. Even though I calibrate my monitors with the Spyder3Pro, it seems I cannot rely on color for Moo cards like I can with my print house. Of course, this can easily be remedied by increasing the brightness in Lightroom by about +20 before exporting for Moo. Another not-so-obvious problem, but one that seems like it would be important for a company who markets themselves to designers and photographers, was the fact that any sharp, diagonal, high-contrast line seemed to be pixelated, as if the resolution of the images had been up-scaled. Look at the photograph of the card below, and you can see this problem along the bottom of the mirror in the after image.
When I contacted customer service, they recommend I send a PSD with the full-resolution images as smart objects, and the text on the back converted to shapes. I did this, and they sent me reprints. Unfortunately, they also turned on their automatic image tuning software, because they thought this would solve the brightness issue. Below is a comparison of the data file I sent, and the second printing, which used their automatic image tuning software. All I can say is, “Do not use the automatic image tuning if you have already corrected your images!”
Of course, after receiving these I was quite dismayed, and told Moo's customer service. They explained they did not look at my images, so they did not realize I was a professional photographer and thought automatic image tuning would fix my brightness issues. They turned off image tuning and sent me another pack, which printed the same as the first pack: a bit dark, but still usable.
Moo is a fantastic company. Their cards are of amazing quality, and their printing methods are better than the majority of other companies I have seen. The slight darkness to the images can be remedied by bumping the brightness up +20 in Lightroom, and the slight artifacting is not noticable unless there are high-contrast diagonal lines. The paper quality is fantastic, their customer service is great, and as a result, I will definitely be ordering my next pack of cards from Moo.