Are you using a quality printing provider? You have a business and your printing and advertising material speaks volumes about who you are as a company. Using a high quality printing company can make the difference whether you are perceived as professional or amateur. Sure, you can look into fast and cheap online printers to create your materials, but it’s worth a mention that you get what you pay for. All too often, we see clients who are unhappy with the products they receive from DIY upload online print vendors. These clients end up paying extra for wasted time and materials.
Because we care about our clients on a personal level, we’ve put together this guide on how to source a printer for your company advertising materials.
Choosing a Quality Printing Company – What to Look For
Professional Results – Any top quality printing company will be able to provide professional results, so that you receive the high quality of printed items you expect. It’s important to look at proofs for quality issues such as blurry or pixelated image(s) or an uneven cut along the edge, because these can take your item from polished and professional to careless and substandard in the eyes of a potential customer – and quality standards are important to clients, especially those who are brand agents.
ProTip: If you’re creating a 4 color process project for a printing provider, and are using bitmap images (like photography), you must insure that the digital files you supply to your printer are a high enough resolution of at least 300dpi to match the printed dimension you want to see on paper.
Great References – From account management to prepress to mailing, your printing organization should be happy to offer references who you can contact. Online reviews can be helpful for this as well, but keep in mind that sometimes businesses go about getting good reviews in a not-so-honest way. Fortunately, these are pretty easy to spot, but not always. If you ask for references and the printer is unwilling to provide any, or they only have one or two previous customers who might be willing to talk about their experience with the printer, this may just be a sign that you need to keep looking for professional printing companies with more integrity.
Value and Affordability
Value Combined with Affordability – Your best printing companies will be affordable but not just ‘cheap’. They will have a competitive pricing schedule that is on the same playing field with what other printers would charge for the same order type and quantity. If the price of a print job seems excessively low or high, this can indicate problems that may arise. You will likely be better off choosing a different print vendor. Never sacrifice excellence for cost. Discount printers all too often produce sub-par results like image pixelation or poor coverage, flimsy paper, or colors that are poorly balanced – all of which will reflect poorly on your company’s quality standards.
Well Established – Quality printing companies with a great reputation will prove to be well established. They have been in business for many years, and are still going strong. If a new printer just started their business last year then it is really not possible to evaluate them thoroughly unless they are willing to provide a good portfolio of physical samples printed on a variety of papers and finishes to really ‘wow’ you. It’s up to you to decide whether they are the best one to use for your printing needs, or if you should keep researching.
Professional Assistance – Your best possible printer will offer professional assistance and options with each step of the process, from account managers to prepress to the final printed material post office clearing and mailing. This one-to-one assistance can hold so much value for inexperienced business owners, or people who do not know a lot about the printing processes. This gives clients peace of mind because they know that assistance is available whenever needed.
Extensive Printing Knowledge – A top quality printing business will have extensive knowledge of every step in the process – from the prepress aspects to the colors and stock used and the best print method to use. Without extensive knowledge of printing, the business may not be able to provide the guidance and the finished results that you require for your business.
Options & Samples
Many Ink and Paper Stock Options – The right printing company will provide several options when it comes to paper stock and ink. Some printers even offer green options that help to minimize any environmental pollution from your order. A good printer will not rush you. You will be able to take time to compare the printing materials available for you to choose from, and ask questions on whether a certain ink, coating, varnish, or paper stock can be ordered if the printer does not have it available on hand.
Samples, Lots of Printed Samples – Great printers will be able to offer you relevant and recent, sometimes even on-demand samples that will be true to what your printed items will look like. If the printer is not willing or able to provide relevant samples, then you have no idea what you will get. You’ll have no idea what quality you will receive as your finished marketing items.
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Finishes for a Professional Look
Specialized Techniques and Finishes Offered – There are so many specialized techniques that you can choose, such as variable data, variable images, UV coating, soft touch coating, laminating, die cutting and others. Look for special folds, key attachments, card attachments, and other unique pieces if you really wish to be set apart from your competition.
To Shop Local or National? – Any good quality printing company that you choose should have local services, or at minimum, the willingness to send you a stack of samples right away, especially if it is a national print vendor. Locality can be very beneficial if you need to talk with someone immediately.
A direct mail printing provider will not only specialize in getting your materials printed professionally, but will also offer design services and mailing services along with printing out the materials that you want. This can speed up the process to ensure faster delivery of your marketing items. What’s important is to take the time to ask a lot of questions and make sure that any printer you consider can deliver the services that you want and need before you place your order.