High Quality Super Short Run Printing in New York
February 15, 2011 10:36 AM   Subscribe

Seeking NYC print shop recommendations for nearly one-off prints. I have about 20 pieces of different, mostly standard sizes -- nothing larger than 11 x 17 and B4 -- that I'd like to make a very limited number color prints of (1 - 3 each). I have an approximate budget of 10 dollars per print I'd like to hew closely to and a number of quality and care requirements.

I want to avoid any place that suffers from the following: poor quality inks and reproduction tools, inattention to detail in handling and care of the prints as these will be gifts.

I'd like them to have quality ink, archival stock, and tools. Files are straight up CMYK -- no spot colors or other fancy effects needed. I will need the prints cropped as many are full bleed.

Decent customer service would also be great but is not required as long as the work speaks for itself.

Preferences for printers in Manhattan, Brooklyn or LIC, Queens in that order. Last thing I had printed was done in Canada. I'd like it to be more local than that.

I'd like to have this completed in the next 3 weeks or so.

If you have a place that does super great work and you love it so much you want to keep it a secret, I understand, but consider sending me some MeFi Mail. Many many thanks in advance.
posted by safetyfork to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've had extremely good luck with Adorama. Great quality prints, and you don't have to pay for shipping if you pick your prints up directly from their store in Manhattan.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 10:46 AM on February 15, 2011

Cheap, short run, good quality. Pick two. What I would be looking for is a photo lab that does archival "carbon pigment" (aka very high end inkjet) prints. It's not going to be super expensive, but it will be more than $10.
posted by bradbane at 11:05 AM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions so far. They're much appreciated.

I may not have been clear but these are not photos. If the suggestions are to use photo labs to do these small art posters: 11 x 17, that's an idea that I hadn't considered as possible but I'd be happy to look into.

Budget listed is where I'd like to be close to but I have room to move there as well. Don't let that stop you from recommending a place.
posted by safetyfork at 11:22 AM on February 15, 2011

I love Adorama for photo prints but you'll have to confirm that all is archival quality and possible for what you are printing.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:22 PM on February 15, 2011

Best answer: I've done some research for this lately, but I'm based on the UK, so I haven't had a chance to check them out in person. This is all what I found on the internet. Bear in mind that these places might vary budgetwise. Also, you're definitely looking at digital prints for that price. These guys all checked out well on Yelp btw.

Paper Slam seem really nice and friendly and fairly cheap.
Print Mor are also apparently very friendly and good. They present a very professional face.
The Source Unltd Copy Shop are much more of a kind of local Easy Village place. Not sure if they'll do exactly what you need, but it might be worth asking.
Publicide do some really nice letterpress stuff. I don't know what their digital stuff's like, but I imagine it's pretty good.
Print Icon are apparently very good, but a the customer service apparently varies wildly between being fantastic and being rather... superior.

In the end, I went with the very cheap Onyx Printing in Hoboken, because the client had used them before and they were very close to him. Their reviews are good, and it's a simple job, so I thought why not. They might be worth trying too.

Good luck, and let us know what you end up doing. I'd like to have a better idea about NYC-based printers, as I may well have more work to produce over there.
posted by Magnakai at 12:55 PM on February 15, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the leads Magnakai! I will definitely report back after the job is over.
posted by safetyfork at 7:40 AM on February 16, 2011

Response by poster: Here's my report back on folks I contacted from Magnakai's suggestions, at the time I contacted them the following things were true:

Paper Slam: doesn't do small print runs (minimum is 50). They were willing to print my stuff on card stock but I would've had to have all my items fit within 8.5x11". Unfortunately this was not possible for me. But they were very prompt and kind about it.

The Source Unltd Copy Shop: They don't have any minimums. Yes! Unfortunately they only seem to go up to 11x17". Still to small for me. They were also prompt in their reply.

Publicide: It took a little longer for them to get back to me but still within 24 hours of my e-mail. They do small jobs, but also told me without a direct price quote that they'd probably need to charge me as much for my small quantity as they would for a 100 piece run. I appreciated the honesty, and they also gave me a tip in that they recommended Baboo Imaging - www.baboodigital.com. Now Baboo is not the most attractive site but they do have a service 'fine art printing' that would probably have fit my need.

I also contacted Print Mor early on who responded very quickly and confidently at first. I decided to go with them based on that initial contact. I will not be a return customer though and would advise others seeking to do similar low run, custom work to check out Baboo or another vendor. Print Mor may be right for you if you are doing something very standard so I also encourage you all to do an assessment based on your own needs. If you want more details on why I won't be using them again feel free to hit me up with a MeFi Mail.
posted by safetyfork at 2:15 PM on March 17, 2011

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