This is an explanation for how and why our "Submariner Christmas Cards" are priced. Actually, it will served to explain why any greeting card made specifically for submariners will be priced/
PRODUCING GREETING CARDS
by Designed For Submariners
There are three methods used for print production. They are Commercial Offset Printing (2) and Digital Printing. Commercial Offset Printing is divided into two categories both are, for the most part, dedicated to long run high quality color print production. The difference in the two categories lies in the type of presses being utilized; sheetfed presses and roll-fed presses. Presses that feed one sheet at a time through the press are referred to as "Sheetfed Presses". Sheetfed presses accept up to a sheet size of 52" x 72". Presses that feed paper through the press on a roll, and then cut the roll into sheets after the printing is done, are referred to as "Web Press". Both press types use metal plates that contain the image to be printed. The plate is then manually placed onto a cylinder on the press. In multi color presses, there is a plate made for each of the four basic colors, (i.e. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK)). The "Web Press" is used for longer runs, catalogs, magazines and books, producing 50 thousand into the millions of copies.
The third and relatively new method is "Digital Printing." The quality of this production method has become equal in the last 5 years. These presses are much smaller in size. Most of these presses accept a maximum sheet size of 14" x 20". The presses are much slower than the commercial offset presses. Presently, these presses have been used for either printing very small quantities of high quality color reproduction, or for producing variable data images, Variable data is different data (text and images) produced on each sheet. The digital information for printing on each sheet is provided directly from the computer for each color. Therefore, there is no need for making a metal plate for each color, nor a need for manually setting up color for each cylinder as with commercial printing presses. The computer is controlling those tasks on the digital press. Because these tasks are perform by computer, the digital printing method is much more efficient for producing small quantities. However, because of the slower speed and smaller sheet size used by these presses, as the quantity increases, the cost efficiencies of the system are gradually dissipated.
Traditional Greeting Cards, such as those produced by Hallmark, are produced using the two commercial offset printing methods. This is because each card design they develop is reproduced in quantities ranging in the millions. They are selling to a market consisting of billions of people who believe in Christmas and other traditional holidays. After printing they are cut to size and packed in boxes with blank envelopes, then shipped to retail locations throughout the world. Because these cards are produced in such high quantities, the cost to produce each copy is very low (literally pennies).
"Designed for Submariners" is selling to a market numbering in the thousands. Therefore, our products are sold in very small lots and each sale is customized for the individual. That means we do not print any given product in a large quantity, package it and inventory it. Each order we receive is produced on it's own. For example, our "Submariner Christmas Cards" and "Thanksgiving Cards" offer options, which allow the customer to customize the card for their personal use. We produce each order using the Digital Presses because of their inherent efficiency in low quantity production. So, if you order 25 cards, we create the Hi-Resolution digital files for your individual order, send it to the pre-press department, where they in turn feed the digital information to the computer controlling the digital press. Using that computer, the press operator inputs information instructing the press on how many to produce, how many colors to use and how to finish each sheet after printing. Because we are producing in such small quantities, the production cost for each copy is much higher than the same product would be if produced on a commercial printing press in very large quantities.
From a pricing point perspective, the economies of scale are reflected in the prices you see in the quantity options for our "Greeting Cards". The price ranges from $2.71 down to .49 cents each, including envelopes and shipping. However, our lowest quantity is Hundreds of thousands of times lower than the quantity produced by Hallmark as a commodity on a high-speed commercial printing press. That means you cannot expect our Greeting Cards to be priced as low as those you find on the rack in a retail store environment. Our Cards each cost tens of times more to be produced. However, you can't find a high quality Greeting card, "Designed for Submariners", anywhere else. And, you don't have to drive to the store to buy them!