It happened again...the deadline that once seemed light-years in the future is now breathing down your neck. How can you keep an already stressful project free from surprises and delays at your printer? We asked our top print account managers to provide insider tips that will guarantee smooth sailing on press.
1) Write out complete specs when requesting a quote.
Writing them down forces you to go through the steps required to produce and distribute your project, so there’s less chance of leaving out a significant item. Include packaging, labeling, finishing and delivery instructions, which can make or break your job being finished on time. Add-ons such as shrinkwrapping small bundles or numerous mail drops can greatly affect your price and production schedule if they are not communicated up front when estimating, planning and scheduling are taking place.
2) Consult with your printer early in paper selection.
Your print sales representative can determine if that eye-catching stock lacks printability, or may smear ink with postal handling. Specialty papers may require additional time to procure depending on their availability from the paper mill. The rule here is check early to avoid any delays.
3) Allow sufficient time.
Communicate rush projects as soon as possible, a quality printer will find ways to expedite the process. Tell your printer well in advance of anything out of the ordinary that requires more time, such as specialty finishing, diecutting or hand assembly.
4) Flag concerns before the project is underway.
If color needs to be matched, discuss this beforehand rather than waiting until press time. Use a preflight checklist and discuss file set-up with your printer on first-time projects or if you have a change in personnel. If you’re going to be out of town during approvals, let your printer know so they can arrange to ship the proof to your hotel or to another designated reviewer.
5) Clearly indicate corrections on proofs.
Consolidate all corrections on one proof. For multiple changes, create a list and reference them to marks on the proof.
The Key Takeaway
To sum it all up, consider all the details – from bid to delivery – and communicate along the way to ensure your project will be on time and within budget. The success of a printing project depends as much on you as it does your printer!
Have any other printing tips that will save your fellow colleagues from pulling their hair out? Please feel free to share them here!