Assumption is the mother of all… problems, and this is so true when buying business print
We ALL make assumptions when it comes to industries we are not familiar with. We’ve all seen those property renovation shows on TV, they are the perfect example of inexperienced, novice, property developers making the wrong decisions and sometimes paying the price, with rising cost and extended deadlines, the same is true when buying business print.
There are so many different ways to produce print these days that making assumptions based on limited knowledge could mean you go over-budget and end up with a product you didn’t expect and ultimately are unhappy with.
Follow these top tips if you’re buying business print for your company
Muse over the handy pointers below to help you on your way to a successful print project:
1. DO plan your deadline.
Turnaround times vary depending on whether you’re ordering scratch cards or business cards and what finishes you’re after. The longer you have to plan, the more likely it is you can receive samples, have time to create and play with your design and achieve the best possible results, with no panics. Short deadlines can also mean increased print costs as you jump to the front of the queue.
2. DON’T use Microsoft Publisher.
If you want to create a design that is going to represent your business you need to create artwork that is not low resolution and is in a print ready format with crop marks and bleed areas. MS Publisher just isn’t geared up to commercial printing, so get some advice you’ll be amazed what a designer can achieve in half the time you spent trying to make your artwork in this program.
3. DO ask for samples.
Why risk signing up for something, investing time and money into a project that you haven’t seen previous examples of? All print companies will say ‘we only print quality products’ well, we’ve all seen examples of poorly produced print from printing companies who claim they are top notch! It is always best to see for yourself, everyone’s idea of ‘quality’ is different. Samples are also a great way to see firsthand the different options available to you and how they physically compare, rather than just looking at two different paper quotes.
4. DON’T wait till the last minute to ask questions.
Read your quote, some things may look familiar, some alien? If that is the case, then ask – it is always best to see what you’ve been quoted for, is what you’re expecting.
5. DO plan your budget.
Depending on what print or design you need, you can plan what route to go down which will ultimately determine your budget. You may want diamonds for Christmas but how many people have Swarovski instead? Still beautiful, still considered elegant luxury, still does exactly what you need. There are so many options in print, knowing the kind of budget you have can really help determine where your printer can suggest alternative, better options for you.
6. DON’T supply files the printer may reject.
Internet images aren’t suitable for print – they are low res, are in the wrong colour format, and unless they are from your website, you won’t own the rights to them. Talk to us about what images are suitable for print, large stock libraries are a great way to find the perfect, professional looking imagery for your design.
7. DO proof-read content before supplying it to us.
If you haven’t proof-read your content, you need to! Do it now, either a few times yourself, or get someone else to check it too. Design time is precious and going backwards and forwards with text amends can cause delays and will increase design costs. Proofing content before supplying it is a necessity.
8. DON’T rush through the proof checking stage.
Similarly to point above, although you don’t want to waste time, you don’t want there to be any mistakes! Proof checking is crucial and important to avoid disappointment, re-prints, and extra costs.
9. DO give feedback.
It is always helpful for any company to hear how they did. It is useful to communicate where you really liked aspects of a job and areas where you’d like to do things differently; improvement is only possible if you know what to improve.
10. DON’T be a stranger.
One-off jobs are common place in the print/design sector, but as a customer you should always check to see what else your printing company can offer you, they can be handy people to know, especially when you have unusual requirements. Although it may be obvious, relationships are important and building long-term friendships with your printer will almost certainly have a positive benefit for your future dealings.