Piecemeal Printing in Chicago?
June 9, 2009 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Is there a good place to go for printing/laminating (very) small batches in Chicago?

I have a couple things I'd like to print in color on cardstock and then have laminated, no bigger than 8.5x11, and I would like the printing to be high-quality (no blurring), but I don't exactly want to break the bank, and I've heard bad things about Kinko's, specifically about their laminating prices. Is there anywhere in Chicago or Evanston that's more reasonable? Self-service is fine, as long as a laminating machine doesn't require any special skills.
posted by adamdschneider to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
Not self service, but I've used Mi-Te and enjoyed their service.
posted by nitsuj at 12:54 PM on June 9, 2009

Best answer: Every year I do this exact thing. For laminating, I use Kinkos and have been happy 100% of the time.

It IS a bit pricey, but depending on the size of the item you can often do it yourself on their self-serv machines. Strangely their 8.5x11 and 8.5x14 laminate sheets are the same price, and the items I do, I can fit 2 in 8.5x11 with a lot of spare room or 3 in 8.5x14 and save myself money.

The biggest benefit is the quality of the laminate. What comes out is a nice solid item. I've bought some home-laminators and returned them unhappy with the paper-like quality of their laminate product. They don't get hot enough to melt hot laminate.

At times I have paid them to laminate the items for me. It's lazy but saves me time and then cutting time as well. THAT is pricey as can be, but efficient.

As for printing, I don't know anything about your setup, I end up printing at home on my own inkjet. I get cardstock at the office store, and then I'm the master of my print quality.

I hope this helps.
posted by arniec at 1:24 PM on June 9, 2009

Give this place a call, my favorite small print shop. They've done color pieces as few as 50 for me, not sure about laminating, but it seems likely they'd have it. At any rate they might be able to send you somewhere. Tell 'em Xan sent you.
posted by nax at 4:15 PM on June 9, 2009

Kinkos is expensive, but they tend to have the good equipment and do a good job. It's annoying to pay a $10 for 10 pieces when you could have a thousand for $20, but it gets the job done.

(The costs for different sized media is an exercise in futility. I remember a story where at a bank, a manager declared that they were to use small envelopes whenever possible, to save money. Except that because of volume, #10 envelopes actually cost about half the price. But if you go to Office Max, they are priced higher because it wouldn't look right to have smaller cost more than bigger.)

(Or why wide-format laser printers aren't just normal printers +3 inches. That's how the old dot matrix ones were.)
posted by gjc at 5:33 AM on June 10, 2009

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