It’s the start of a New Year. A natural time of change. One of those changes may include selecting a new print shop for your projects. As a marketer and creative, there are several factors that I look for in a print shop. What should you look for when selecting a new print shop?
Tip #1: Equipment
The most obvious place to start is equipment. Just a tip, printers love talking about their equipment above all things so be prepared. Does your printer offer different types of presses? Digital? Offset? Think about your projects and the type of printing you require. Personally, I like a printer that can offer variety. Some of my jobs are better suited to digital printing and other projects may require offset.
Digital printing continues to advance with techniques that were not possible a few years ago. Things like white ink, gold and silver metallic inks, clear coatings that mimic spot UV – these all can be done on a digital press. I think having a print shop that can meet both digital and offset needs is critical.
Tip #2: Collaboration
Your printer should help take your project from good to great by offering ideas and printed samples. They need to be a strategic resource for you versus being just another vendor. Your printer needs to be part of your creative process and an extension of your team. Will they offer different types of proofs and technique tests? Check out Print Solutions: Become More than a Vendor on how printers need to set themselves apart from the competition.
Tip #3: Additional Services
Most printers today need to be able to do more than standard printing and are moving towards more of a broader marketing service provider model. Additional services such as data management, fulfillment, mailing, wide format, marketing services and wide format are now commonly found on the services list. It’s efficient and makes one stop shopping that much more attractive. When a print shop provides a variety of services, it simply makes my job easier.
Tip #4: Service
I think one of the most important things to look for in a print shop is service. At the end of the day, printing and other services mean nothing without great service. I view my print shop as a valued partner that is integral to my success as a professional. As I stated in 3 Relationship Building Rules for Working with Printers, great printing is expected. Service is the differentiator.
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