Print jobs are complex. We know that and you know that but it’s all part of the fun. We specialise in producing first class ‘off the shelf’ and ‘customised pieces’ for our clients. Each bespoke project comes with its own unique challenges, challenges that are customer driven. That is why these assignments require individual attention from our dedicated and friendly account managers. Below are a number ways that you can make their job and the print buyers own job easier. Below are some print buyer tips that we hope will help…

Plan Ahead  

It seems obvious but when jobs are rushed through at the last minute the chances of problems, delays and reprints increase. Allow a sensible time allowance for design, production, finishing and logistics. You will thank yourself later. 

Measure Twice, Cut Once

It is extremely difficult to proof read your own work, we are all guilty of the ‘expectation theory’, seeing what you would like to see instead of what actually appears. Grab a proof reading buddy and ask them to proof your design. A handy tip that we use in TPI is reading the copy backwards, it sharpens your observations.

Producing a unit to hold product? Send us in some sample stock so we can weight-test our structural pieces for you. It helps avoid any unnecessary issues once the displays are in-trade.

The brief – YOUR Printer NEEDS YOU

In order to give you the best price and best delivery there is key information you need to supply us:
* Quantity
* Size / No of Pages
* Finish required
* Are you supplying finished artwork? When?
* What is your delivery deadline?

Handy tips to speed the brief up

– Be as clear as possible where material is concerned – Coated one side, uncoated, silk, matt, gloss & weight are all very important.

– In some instances you can do variations of a job without it affecting the cost. If each variation in design or text has the same quantity and all can print up on same sheet there will be no extra printing price.

– In the case of FSDU’s, where has print to appear on unit? Shelves, Header, Main Body. Printed full colour one side or both sides? This all has a big impact on price & lead-times.

– Unfortunately we just can’t quote without quantities or sorts.

– Size does matter! Changing the size on a job, particularly larger run, can save you a lot of money.  Don’t just stick to the traditional sizes. Get advice from your account manager or estimator on more competitive sizes.

– Keylines should be provided in a separate pantone and not embedded in files.

– Artwork supplied on PDF to be at least 300dpi & needs 4mm bleed all round.

– Preferred artwork file is PDF.

Prepress

Printing isn’t a single process so you need to give time. Before anything can print it needs to go through prepress to check and prepare the files.  After the sheets print they need to go to a finishing process. It then needs to be QC’d and packed.  Quality takes time. Unfortunately we don’t have a giant photocopier where you press a button and an FSDU Point of Sale unit pops out. Someday though…..

Quality

Quality printing is very much a traditional craft process.  Printers serve apprenticeships much like any other trade. While there have been huge advancements in digital printing and technologies, Litho offset printing ink on paper using plates is still a high in demand process.

Choose wisely

Choose wisely and get to know your printer and service provider, anything less can be disappointing and time consuming. Why not pop out and visit their premises. Take a tour, see the systems, meet the people. Learn that print doesn’t happen from the click of a button or a quick phone call. It tells a lot and it provides you with greater knowledge than you had before.

At the end of the day, we all want the same thing, a satisfied client/print buyer. Working together and appreciating each other’s positions through empathy goes a long way to achieving this goal. Thanks for taking the time to read the above and we hope you learned something new.

Need some more guidance? Our friendly account managers are just a phone call, email, live chat, spontaneous drop-in visit away. Coffee is on us.