By nature, I’m in the business of relationship building. It’s hardwired into my DNA and this particular trait has been invaluable as I’ve worked with printers on my many print jobs over the years. I’ve always considered printers to be a valued partner that can make the difference between a project being good or great. Over the course of many print projects, I have developed the following three rules for working with printers.
Rule #1 Great Printing is Expected. Service is the Differentiator.
To me, it’s a given that a printer should provide excellent printing. Machines, inks and papers are regularly evolving so there’s no question in my mind that the result should be fantastic. Now, with that being said printing can be a fickle process. During my interviews with print vendors, I’ve always asked them how do you handle printing issues? I’ve printed enough projects that I know unexpected issues can arise and I expect my printer to come to the table with solutions. It’s how your printer solves problems that make them invaluable as a partner.
Rule #2: Trust Your Printer
I’ve been known to push the technological boundaries on print jobs. I’ve printed 3-D jobs that required glasses, researched lenticular options and scratch off techniques. It’s always a good idea to talk through your project first before designing to ensure that you are selecting the right paper and techniques so that your print project will look the way you envision it. Taking the time to have relationship building conversations with your printer will ensure that your best interests are fulfilled.
I’ve also reached out to my printer multiple times when I needed to save money and go with a different paper grade or technique. My print partners were crucial in helping identify cost-saving options by making changes to either paper or printing technique.
Rule #3: Respect the Deadline
My printers have saved me on more occasions than I like to count. However, I try to avoid making every job a rush job. I want to cash in my favors when it’s truly unavoidable and every job can’t be last minute, lowest price and fantastic. You need to set your project and your printer up for success. When it comes to rules for working with printers, providing a realistic timeline can make all the difference in your relationship. Build your timelines, plan appropriately and use those favors when you really need them.
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