You know, for a technology that's been around as long as printing has, you'd think it'd really be dialed in by now. Yet it seems like half the time you get something back from the printer, either the color has shifted, it was printed on the wrong material, or you're just the random victim of any other number of problems you didn't even realize were possible.
From simple business cards to custom sales packets, we've worked with nearly every major print vendor in the business and thought we'd share some of our favorites, as well as outline our process for handling print projects so that your chances of having a CMYK nightmare are drastically reduced.
Printing is one of those areas where you get what you pay for. Online vendors will provide the biggest bang for your buck, while a reputable local printer is going to give you a vastly better product. Both have their strengths, and can work in tandem depending on your project and budget.
Local printers are amazing, particularly for larger, more complex projects with higher budgets. We recently wrapped up a project where the client needed a custom envelope designed to use as a sample packet for their products. The envelope was a unique size and needed soft-touch coating as well as Spot UV on the front. Something like this is way too complex for an online vendor. Even if we could have found one with those capabilities, for a job this large we needed the confidence that these would come off the line looking exactly how the client envisioned.
We ended up hooking them up with Hopkins Printing, who not only was capable of handling the job, but also assigned them a dedicated sales person who would see the project through and make sure things went off without a hitch.
While local printers are great, they'll never be able to beat the pricing of an online vendor. For lower-budget, simple print jobs, going with an online printer is going to be your best bet. Things like business cards, postcards, brochures, and door hangers are perfect for online printers.
The downside of online printers is that the risk of a misprint goes up. Since there's no dedicated salesperson with their reputation on the line, jobs are simply pushed through from the website to the press with little to no oversight or quality control. So while this does result in lower pricing, you have to be prepared to deal with customer service incase you need to request a reprint. (Luckily, many online printers have great satisfaction guarantees!)
Having worked on basically every type of print project there is, we know the best practices and restrictions of each project type. We'd love to jam with you, figuring out the perfect solution to your problem and the best printer to get it produced.
Once we decide on a direction to go, we'll start working on the design! Typically this means an initial draft followed by three rounds of revisions, depending on the timeline. We'll also coordinate with your chosen printer to either set up our designs in their provided templates, or create a template from scratch for custom projects.
After your final sign-off on design, we'll provide your print-ready files and let you take it from there! All that's left for you to do is place the order and submit your files to the printer. If any questions pop up during the printing process, we're always available to chat.
As stressful as printing can be when it goes wrong, it's also one of the more rewarding project types. Nothing beats the feeling of having an idea, creating the design, and then ending up with a tactile final result that looks absolutely gorgeous in-hand. If you've got a need that you think a printed piece would solve, let us know!
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