calendars & prints, online or office supply store

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by ralfmouth, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. ralfmouth

    ralfmouth Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Oct 16, 2012
    I'm trying to print a calendar for the holidays. Staples & Office Depot charge half as much for printing as online sites like Shutterfly & Snapfish.
    Has anybody had a chance to compare quality of local shops vs online printing? Many online offer pick-up at these stores anyway.
    I'd prefer local if it's all the same. thanks!
     
  2. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    I just used Snapfish for the first time for calendars. For the price that I paid for 2 calendars it was not that bad.. Not quite the quality that I normally get from Apple Printing… I paid $21 shipped & tax for both… They had this PEACE70 discount. I want to say they work with a few big store chains like Walgreens, Walmart..

    For the price the quality is fine… I made them for the grandparents…
     
  3. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I've never used Staples or other office supplies stores, because the examples I've seen are not so good. I have used Snapfish and Shutterfly. I find Shutterfly quality to be much better, though still a bit hit or miss. Another pretty big step up, without spending much more money, is AdoramaPix. I've had nothing but great results from them.
     
  4. ralfmouth

    ralfmouth Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Oct 16, 2012
    Staples offers glossy prints for a little extra. It's still cheaper than online. What wasn't so good?
     
  5. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I recall the color being terrible. Looking unnatural and weak. It was enough for me not to think twice about getting a calendar from Staples, But for all I know the files could've been garbage, and Staples just printed what they were given.
     
  6. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Having worked as a manager at Officemax, I would suggest bringing in a file and asking for a sample print, to check color and quality. The stuff they use for calendars is mid-grade, not horrible, but not the best I have seen. All depends on your expectations.
     
  7. ralfmouth

    ralfmouth Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Oct 16, 2012
    I don't know if color space conversions are a problem so sample prints sound like a good idea.
    Checking prices again and its actually closer than I thought.
    As long as it doesn't come out looking like last years Fox Photo prints.That didn't go so great.
     
  8. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    eventingwomencalendar.

    I've used Shutterfly for a couple different calendars now and they make a nice product. Great reproduction of your images. Nice quality materials. And, most important, a true 100% satisfaction policy. I've been unhappy with two different things and in both cases they made it right at no extra charge. When you consider the price per calendar, that's important. I used two other online sources and was not as happy with the results.
     
  9. ralfmouth

    ralfmouth Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Oct 16, 2012
    I'll try it. The sample from Staples was as described, faded, with print streaks and crushed blacks (using the recommended format). Maybe some of that is to be expected. Their other non-calendar prints looked better. They have cheap specials right now, 4$ per calendar though. I'll report back if Shutterfly is any better.
     
  10. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    I have recently tried Costco a few times and been very pleased, especially given the dirt-cheap pricing. I have a panorama shot at dusk where the first Costco print had the sky a little grayer than I liked. I took the trouble to download the ICC profile (these specific to the store and machine, not one-size-fits-all), soft-proofed it in LR, and the second print was perfect. A 30" wide pano for around ten bucks and excellent detail to the print. Pretty amazing.

    I see that they list calendars on their site at $10. (http://www.costcophotocenter.com/Shop/Calendars#/ClassicCalendar/seasonal/2013-12) I have never tried anything like this with them, though. Just straight prints.

    Pickup in my local store is usually within about two hours. If you order prints to be mailed they come from some kind of central printing location (not a local store) and take several days to arrive. (They do have some kind of auto-enhancement feature. I make sure it is turned off as I don't want that kind of help with my images.)
     
  11. ralfmouth

    ralfmouth Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Oct 16, 2012
    Well just got the calendars back from Shutterfly. The prints are pretty faithful with none of the problems mentioned before. If they had a glossy option i think it would look extra professional but don't think they do. Ended up four times the price but good. Adios!