It’s often an exciting time when it comes to buying business print, we are about to see the fruits of our hard work in its full glory. Unfortunately, print like many other businesses suffer if mistakes are made when purchasing. This will cost everyone involved time and money – nobody wants this.
We believe it is our job to help you and your team avoid this at all costs. We also believe that the best way to do this is by talking to each other, effortless communication will prevent problems arising and help to resolve them swiftly if they do. We have written a simple guide which includes some of our most useful tips in order to help keep you on target when purchasing any kind of print for your business.
A condensed guide is available as a FREE PDF, fantastic to share with your team, or to put up on your office wall, simply download it here.
- Deadlines. Without question, one of the most important details to get right. After all, no one wants to be opening their Christmas cards in January. Knowing exactly when you need to have your print job in your hand, for it to meet all expectations, is so valuable to you and the person overseeing the print, no one will know better what they can produce, and by when, than your printer. A deadline can seriously impact the cost and urgency of the job and therefore needs to be accurate. We will always ask you, ‘What is your absolute deadline?’, ideally you could have your promotional banner with you days or weeks prior to when it is needed, but we all know this isn’t entirely realistic, especially if you work in the crazy world of marketing and eleventh-hour amends. Saying next day or ASAP, when it’s not strictly true is problematic and we do not recommend it. A last-minute deadline can suffer express delivery costs and can also lead to everyone rushing when they don’t need to, and however hard everyone tries, if people are rushing mistakes are more likely to happen!
- Budget. People are often funny about letting printers know their budget, perhaps this is because they worry about being ripped off, but the reason we ask, ‘What is your budget?’, is so that we can give the best price and specification within your money restraints. It also means we can manage your expectations, provide a choice of finishes or specify an alternative and better solution.
- Purpose. This is by far the most important and perhaps the hardest piece of information for us to get clear guidance from our customers on, people funnily enough don’t always know what they want. The best way we can explain this is to ask, ‘What are you looking to achieve with your print and where will it be displayed?’. Telling your printer about your target audience and their needs is ‘gold dust’ information for them, they will use this information to help advise how your finished product should look. The paper quality you choose will always be a balance of budget and quality. If your business cards and brochures are thick (700gsm), uncoated and include embossing they will exude quality and the recipient will most probably assume the products you sell are high value and great quality too, on the other hand if you are selling low end, high turnover products, perhaps the paper thickness isn’t as high on your list of priorities and instead a high quantity is. A chat with your printer will remove any overwhelm involved with dictating gsm, choosing quantities, deciding between silk and matt laminated finishes or requesting a bespoke finish.
- Check, check and then check again! There are very few sinking feelings like the one you get when you spot a typo on a piece of printed material you’ve paid for. This instantly means you are likely to incur the cost of re-prints, extra design costs and everyone’s time! In addition, mistakes have connotations with laziness and carelessness, mistakes with contact details or price can cost you leads, profit and even clients. Always, always proofread, run a spell checker, check websites, social medial links, addresses, phone numbers and pricing are correct! If a third party can check your spelling and grammar too, make sure they do! And if you are using legal jargon or high-risk information, don’t be afraid to source approval from people on a higher pay grade. If you’ve got a legal expert and you’re marketing a high-risk product, why not get them to cast their eyes over it. Before you send anything to a printer you MUST check you are happy with the work. Before we send to print, we will always send you a PDF proof, please check this properly. Once this is approved, there is high chance there can be no more changes. The minute we send your PDF proof to your inbox, we are basically screaming from the rooftops, ‘HAVE YOU CHECKED THIS PROPERLY AND ARE YOU HAPPY FOR IT TO GO TO PRINT?’
- Delivery Information. This may seem obvious, but trust me, when your job is marketing for numerous business owners and you are in a hurry, it is not unheard of for items to be sent to the wrong address. ‘Please can you confirm where this needs to be delivered to and who it should be for the attention of?’ It is important to give as much information as possible, for instance, if it’s to an exhibition, details such as stand number, exhibition hall, recipient are all helpful! Another key piece of delivery information is time specifications, does it need to be a pre-12 delivery, are there any days that aren’t suitable for delivery? For example, sometimes a weekend delivery is unhelpful as no one will be at the premises.
- Is your file Print Ready? If this question is gobbledygook for you, fear not! Your designer should be able to sort this. But… if everyone who orders print did know a little about what makes a file print ready that would be great. We are basically talking about colour profiles (CMYK and RGB to be specific). In a nutshell, we use RGB colour profiles when designing something for screen i.e., websites; email campaigns; social media adverts and we use CMYK profiles when designing something for print i.e., leaflets; roller banners; brochures and business cards. By stating your design is for print and needs to be supplied in CMYK right from the very beginning you should ensure you avoid catastrophe. If you simply can’t source the correct print file, a printer can always convert a RGB into a CMYK file for you, but they should always check if you have specific CMYK colours for your branding to ensure colours don’t appear duller or faded. This isn’t ideal though! It would be best if the correct file was created in the first place! Also, always ensure your images are at least 300dpi and a minimum of 3mm bleed is added to allow for trimming. A high resolution PDF is by far the most suitable file to send to your printer.
Don’t forget to download your FREE PDF guide here. Share it with your team and put it up on your office walls.
Do you have any more questions or concerns about ordering print? Our team of designers and print technicians have a fountain of knowledge when it comes to print management and would love to help with any queries you may have.
Contact us today at email@example.com, telephone 01509 210160, or get in touch via social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) for more information.