PROS / This online print shop offers both in-browser and downloadable templates to help you design your products.
CONS / It can be very difficult for novice users to upload custom graphics.
VERDICT / 48HourPrint falls dead center in our review of the 10 best online print shops. It has a decent selection of categories, design tools and templates to help you craft a unique product.
48HourPrint is an online printing service with a great lineup of design tools and a reasonable selection of products to choose from. The service has 38 product categories that allow you to design and print customized business cards, posters, flyers, brochures and much more. It offers templates you can download and customize to suit your branding and audience. In addition, the design tools are fairly straightforward and easy to use.
This online print shop isn't as easy to use as the services that claimed top place on our side-by-side comparison chart. Expect to spend some time getting accustomed to the design workflow. During our tests of this service, we encountered problems making our designs compatible with the service's parameters. If you don't understand terms like DPI, or you don't have any graphic design experience, uploading custom designs can be difficult and frustrating.
That frustration can be offset by using one of the templates 48hourPrint provides. You can choose a template from their website and design it in your web browser or download one that's devised for a specific graphic design program. You can choose from templates set up specifically for Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Publisher, Tagged Image, QuarkXPress, Stuffit, CorelDraw and FreeHand. These are handy if you have graphic design skills and you have the programs. However, they're not beneficial if you're a novice – which is why the in-browser templates are so important.
The 48HourPrint autoflight process is a streamlined way to upload, preview, proof and send your files. The online process automatically converts your files and includes digital preflighting to check for any problems. If an issue is discovered, the company will contact you through email or by phone.
This service provides several finishing features, including matte, gloss, aqueous and UV finishes. It can cut rounded corners on business cards and create folded business cards. You can order perforated cards or tickets for pull-off elements.
Brochures can be folded a number of ways, and 48HourPrint also does in-house binding, cutting, folding and gluing. It has a number of grades and product-specific paper options. It also offers a complete lineup of recycled and eco-friendly products.
48HourPrint is a good choice for professional online printing. It may not be as easy to use as some of the other online print shops we reviewed, but it's definitely worth checking out to see if it's the right solution for you.