If you’ve ever needed something professionally printed, whether for personal or business use, you’ll understand that choosing the right printer isn’t always a snap.
Not all printers offer the same services. Some specialise in short print runs and some large. Some offer digital printing services, some offset and some both. Many printers handle business cards, flyers, brochures, stationery, banners and reports, some don’t have the equipment to print specialised items, including in large format.
In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a professional printing services, and share where to find the best in Canberra.
What makes a great printer?
Choosing the right printer can give you confidence you’ll get your printed product by deadline and at the right price.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a professional printing service.
- Reputation. Research the printer’s reputation, including through online reviews. Ask the printer if you can talk to clients who have had the same printing needs. Check other facts online like the time they’ve been in business and if they’ve won awards.
- Pricing. It’s wise to get more than one quote so you pay the right price. When asking a printer to quote, do so by providing the same specifications to each one so you can confidently compare apples-to-apples.
- Service. Not all print jobs are urgent, but if yours is you’ll need to flag this with the printer upfront. Also ask about their service levels are and about their guarantees.
- Quality. You’ll want a printer who provides quality printing services, including colour matching, trimming and delivery. Check the printer’s website for the calibre of their clients and look at their gallery of work. You can also visit the printer to see printed samples.
- Advice. Printing can be confusing for the layperson with so many factors to consider, like paper stock and printing techniques. Choose a printer who gives easy-to-understand advice about how best to meet your printing needs within your budget.
The best printers in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) Canberra provides companies and individuals with quality printing, mailing, courier and graphic design solutions, at affordable prices, saving clients time and money. Friendly and professional, owners Arthur and Marilyn Gray have been in the industry for over 70 years, handling any printing requirement.
A full-service, local print shop with the latest printing equipment, MBE offers urgent services and next-day dispatch. This includes with sustainable printing.
MBE printing services include business cards, brochures, catalogues, manuals, flyers, banners, posters, books, signage and labels. Large format printing, and binding and lamination services are available.
Express courier services cover the ACT, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
MBE also offers virtual office support, rents private mailboxes (physical and digital) and sells office supplies and packaging materials.
Oliver Raymond wrote, “I've been very happy to have my printing done by MBE Manuka for umpteen years which is a testament to MBE's service. Fine quality printing at a good price. Very responsive and co-operative.”
Elect Printing has been providing expert digital and offset printing for more than 30 years. Services include finishing, embellishment, binding and pre-press. Canberra’s largest locally owned printing house, Elect Printing follows environmentally friendly practices, maximising quality of printing and minimising impact on the environment.
Michael Ison wrote on Google, “Our business has been using Elect Printing for years. Regardless of the size of the job—from annual reports to business cards—the quality and service has been top notch.”
Printing by Tank – Design Print Canberra has over 10 years’ experience in supplying quality, affordable graphic design, printing, sign production and promotional products solutions for private and corporate entities. Expert printers handle existing artwork or talented graphic designers can create wide format and sign products. All jobs are assessed for suitability and quality standards.
On Facebook, Kristen Hogarth wrote, “I’ve had Printing By Tank do several recent projects ... I’ve found Jason to be affordable, quick and thorough.”
Established in 1982, Instant Colour Press is locally owned and provides quality, efficient services for government departments, small businesses, large corporations, not-for-profits, schools and other organisations. Expert staff advise on all types of printing needs. Graphic design services are available. Instant Colour Press prints ‘green’.
Edmund Walker wrote on Google, “The service was excellent, and the production was of the highest standard. Staff were competent and friendly. Highly recommended!”
Impress Printers is family owned and operated and has been providing printing services since 1980. Specialising in short-run digital through to large-run offset printing, Impress Printing’s production staff are fully qualified professionals on hand to help clients get the best product for their needs.
On Google, Frances Dinn wrote, “Great service, very efficient. Good value. Unbelievably quick delivery. Very happy with the finished product. Will definitely use again for future jobs.”
A “go-to” destination for a wide range of print and design needs, Snap provides cost-effective solutions for all business marketing needs, including corporate printing, promotional materials and business stationery. Clients receive high-quality service and professional, expert advice. Graphic designer services are tailored for small to medium businesses.
On Google, Melissa Janssen wrote, “Snap provide incredible and fast service. They are always willing to provide the best of service and certainly deliver on quality and time.”
If you’re looking for more information on professional printing services in Canberra, you might like our article on the best offset printers Canberra has to offer. You might also be interested in reading our articles on the best billboards and digital signage, the best signwriters and the best web designers in Canberra.
Your experience with printers in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the printers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know what printer to use?
This is a good question and the answer depends on your printing needs. You’ll want a printer that has the right services and price for your job. Some printers specialise in short print runs and speedy turnaround; others in large print runs that might take more time. Head to websites and do some research or call the printer direct.
Do printers have to be qualified?
It’s best to choose a printer who has proven experience in print production. Ask about their education, training, technical expertise and how long they’ve been in the industry.
Isn’t it cheaper to have my printing done overseas?
Printing overseas isn’t always cheaper. Before you go overseas, assess all risks. Check that the company is ‘real’, that they can communicate clearly to you in English, how they intend to deliver and what happens if you don’t get what you expect. Remember that using local not only supports local, it guarantees you can meet someone in person if a problem arises.
How much does it cost to have something printed?
This varies on factors like what you need printed, quantities and your deadline. You might want to get more than one quote to get a feel for the market and ensure a competitive, fair price. When asking a printer to quote, provide the same specs to each so you can compare apples-to-apples.
Do printers follow environmentally friendly practices?
Today, more and more printers operate to protect the environment, including through choice of paper stock, ink and printing techniques. Some printers are more ‘green’ than others, so if environmentally responsible printing practices are important, ask the printer how they print to protect the environment.