It’s all about relationships. What does that have to do with printing you say? I say, "everything." There are two different facets. The first is the relationship between you and the print rep. The second is between your print representative and other vendors. Let me explain. Love your print rep, and he’ll love you. There is certainly something to be said for loyalty, and that goes both ways. Most seasoned designers work with the same two or three printers all the time. Once you find dependable printers stick with them. Here are six reasons to pick a commercial printing company and stick with them:
- If you are a regular customer, they are more likely to help you in a pinch. You know, the rush job for that client that needs the first 1,000 brochures yesterday.
- You will be familiar with their file requirements and procedures. Everything will move along more smoothly.
- It is very likely that they will refer freelance design work back to you or at least pass your name along to potential new clients on your behalf.
- Many times they can tell you which agencies are hiring or who needs to job out work, because they know who just acquired a big new client or lost an employee.
- Your printer may not have the capability, for example, to foil stamp or emboss in-house. This is where their knowledge of and relationships with other vendors comes into play. If they can’t do something in-house, they most likely know someone that they trust and have used before to do it. You won’t have to work with a total unknown. Many times they will manage the project with the outside vendor.
- Nothing replaces knowledge of the industry. Talk to your favorite printer when you are in the planning stages of your next project. Their knowledge of paper alone, can save you money. They might say, if you make it .5-inch smaller you can print them two up and save half the paper cost. Most times, paper is more than 50 percent of the cost of printing. I’ve even had printers take direct-mail pieces to the post office to make sure they meet the mailing standards and suggest ways to save on postage costs.
So just remember, it’s all about relationships.