It’s tough work putting together print ready files for a publication. Besides the hours spent working on design elements, copy and images must be mastered and proper manager approvals must be obtained. But you’re a pro. You manage to get everything done with enough time left over to pat yourself on the back. Well done. You’re at the finish line but you’re missing one critical piece of information – the print specifications! Production details such as paper type, binding preference, and coating. No problem, the printer will make it easy for you right? Well…
Unfortunately, not all printers speak in layman’s terms. Does this sound familiar? Will this be 4/4? Saddle stitch or coil binding? C1S or C2S? Aqueous or UV? While all of these are relevant questions, many sales and marketing professionals do not necessarily know what these terms mean. After all that hard work preparing the artwork, the last thing you need is to play a guessing game as to the final look and feel of your piece. The solution, choose a printer committed to setting clear expectations BEFORE going to press.
Take an hour to perform a quick search and find 2-3 printers in your area. When speaking to these printers, position yourself as a shopper. Let them explain why you should conduct business at their facility. Let them know the item you wish to have printed and what they might suggest for such a project. A casual conversation will tell you everything you need to know about the type of printer you are dealing with. Are they speaking in a manner that makes sense? Are they making sensible recommendations? Do they convey knowledge and experience? Are they asking you follow up questions, such as how are you distributing these and when do you need these? Are they willing to meet with you and possibly bring samples? If the answer is yes, they are probably worth a try. If the answer is no, it may be best to move on to option 2 or 3. Remember, you want to be confident that your job will be handled by professionals with your best interests in mind.
The bottom line is that there are many printers to choose from. Make sure you partner with a printer that sets clear expectations as well as makes you feel comfortable and confident that your job is a priority and your expectations will be met.