The secret behind stress free printing is making sure that you plan the whole process properly. The process is key. This will enable your print supplier to achieve the best possible results for you, and the whole experience will be a lot more enjoyable; that’s a promise.
No matter what marketing materials you need, whether it’s time to freshen up current business cards, or you need eye-catching banners for your next event, if you take the time to understand the process involved then you’ll avoid any unnecessary last minute stresses.
Okay, we think it’s time to reveal our secrets and wave goodbye to stressful print campaigns once and for all.
Are you ready?
Step #1 – Set a date
This may seem obvious, but if your print supplier knows from day one exactly when you need your marketing materials they can plan accordingly; especially if you require help with the design, and the final draft needs to be agreed with more than one person in your business.
Step #2 – Have a brief in mind
If you really have no idea of how you would like the end design to look the design team will be able to start from scratch. However, if possible it would be great to start with a brief. We understand that not everyone likes to write down ideas so a consultation over the phone, or in person, will also work. If you have a consultation in person your print supplier will be able to show you some ideas and work they have done previously for other clients.
Perhaps you know exactly what you want to include and have the images and text already planned out. This is great; the sooner you can get these sent over, the sooner we can get to work for you! On the other end of the scale, if you already have the artwork agreed and are ready to go, then great – we are ready for you too!
Step #3 – Make time to approve proofs
In an ideal world, when print suppliers send over the first proof to be approved you will love the design and layout, and you will approve there and then. However, we know that this isn’t always the case. Experienced print suppliers will make sure that they understand exactly what you want and make sure they ask the right questions.
However, no print supplier can be perfect, and when you see the final design some tweaks may need to be carried out here and there. This is perfectly common. You want to be 100% happy with the end product.
Often in larger campaigns clients will have an agency working on this for them, and it’s important to keep communication open and include all relevant parties to ensure that no time is lost waiting for various approvals.
Just make sure that the proof of concept is worked into the schedule and give yourself a few days for designs to be sent back and forth. For ease of access PDFs are usually the best format to send designs in, however, make sure your print supplier knows if you prefer a different format.
Step #4 – Prepare for glitches
No matter how organised you are there’s a 50 50 chance that something unexpected will crop up to catch you out. The person who needs to approve the final design gets sick. Your client changes their plans, meaning they need to come and see the designs a week earlier. The conference is brought a couple of days forward. Yes, these factors are out of your control, and whilst print suppliers will always try and help in an emergency it’s best to factor in some extra time for glitches. It won’t hurt!
Step #5 – Check out reviews
Before deciding to use a particular print supplier take a little time to check out their reviews. Even if they come recommended by a friend or colleague it’s best to make sure. Reading what current and previous clients have to say about their service can not only give you peace of mind, but also ensures that they can deliver on their promises. If their reviews aren’t easy to find don’t be afraid to ask.
Step #6 – Take advice from print suppliers
Use the print suppliers’ knowledge and experience to your advantage. Yes, you may have a clear idea of how you want a particular project to look, however, do you know for certain that it will work when put into practice? Don’t be afraid to get the print suppliers’ opinion and talk through your ideas. They will be happy to give you any advice or guidance.
Step #7 – Check the file types
Before sending over design ideas and artwork to your print suppliers ask them what file types they accept. This will avoid any frustration or wasted time and effort because the file format is wrong. Typically, print suppliers will accept the following types:
– InDesign files
– Illustrator files
– Photoshop files
For more helpful information on this check out our artwork guidelines via this link.
At the end of the day the key to stress free printing is time and making sure you understand the process involved. If this is the first time you are managing a project give yourself more time than you originally think you’ll need.
Imagine how great you will look to your company and team if you end up delivering ahead of schedule!
Getting new marketing materials should be a fun experience and the end product should make you proud of your brand and company.
So, now you know how to achieve stress free printing, what messaging, layout and design can you use that will really set you apart from the competition?
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