Working with a Print Company

24th October 2014

Working with a Print Company

Purchasing promotional products can seem a bit daunting, especially if you’re working to a deadline. The relationship you build with the print company is an important one and communication is key. To steer you through the process we have put together some useful advice to help you build a good working relationship.

1. Choose Carefully

As with any new service we would recommend that you do your research. Look around, search online and ask for recommendations. Friends and colleagues will share their own experiences and good word of mouth is likely to be more reliable than any advert or fancy website. Online reviews and social media are also good sources of information.

Put together a shortlist of companies you are interested in working with.

2. The Brief

Before approaching a print company it is important to have some clear information on exactly what it is you’re looking for. Without an outline or brief, it will be difficult to communicate this to the company and important details may be missed.

Depending on the complexity of the project, you may not need a detailed brief. However, we would recommend that as a minimum you consider the following:

Company Profile – It can be useful to put together a short company or organisation profile outlining what you do etc. This can help the print company understand your goals / ethos and build a clear picture of what you’re trying to achieve.

Your target audience – Who are the promotional products aimed at?

Purpose – What is the reason for commissioning the products? What are you trying to achieve? For example, this could be to raise funds, increase brand awareness, say thank you etc.

Deadline – If you’re working to a deadline it is important to ascertain whether the company is able to meet this.

Specific features – Are there any specifics to the project?

Colours – Are there any colours that need to be matched to branding?

Artwork – Do you have a logo or artwork that will need to be incorporated?

Message – Is there a message that you need to put across?

Volume – How many items are you looking to purchase?

3. From the Shortlist

Working from your shortlist, contact each company individually. Make careful notes and jot down any important information. You may find it easier to put together a number of questions in advance or put together a short tick list.

Ask questions and where possible, request samples of previous work to assess quality. Request a quotation from each company and ascertain exactly what is included within each proposal. Read any terms and conditions carefully.

4. Start a Conversation

Once you have selected the print company and the quotation has been agreed, work out the steps you need to follow in order to complete the process.

The print company will already have a good idea what you’re looking to achieve from putting together the proposal. Therefore, at this stage it will just be a matter of going over these points and ironing out any queries.

5. Accept Advice

Though it is important to be clear about what you’re looking for, remember that the printing staff are experts and deal with a large volume of orders each day. Therefore listen carefully to advice. If they don’t think that something will work then it’s likely that it won’t. You have chosen them because of their skills and expertise. Make sure you let them do their job.

That said, if you strongly disagree then make your point clearly, explaining your reasons. This will help you to achieve a middle ground.

6. Request Proofs

Always request proofs before signing off an order. Check them carefully and pay close attention to colour, artwork and spellings. Ask a colleague to check as well. For more complex projects, and if time permits, it’s a good idea to go through the proofs carefully and then come back to them again the following day. It’s surprising what you pick up with fresh eyes.

7. Following Up

Once the project is completed and you have received your promotional products always follow up. If any issues were encountered then this provides an opportunity to discuss them so that they don’t occur again. Hopefully, if you were happy with the outcome then consider providing a testimonial or review and thank the company. This will be appreciated and will help to build a good working relationship for future projects.

[Image Source: www.dreamstime.com]

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