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Top Tips for the Procurement of Print

Printed materials are an important component for the majority of company’s marketing strategies. There are many different uses for printed materials ranging from leaflets through to billboards. High quality print has a very beneficial impact on the consumer, for example, the average person will be exposed to 2,904 media messages per day, however they will only positively remember four. Therefore it is imperative that your printed materials are eye-catching, striking and informative and that the procurement of your printed materials is an efficient process.

1) There are various methods of printing ranging from short-run digital work through to printing on alternative substrates. The type of print method required will depend on a number of items including, but not limited to: -

 a) The required end-result, e.g. is the printed product required to offer a coupon or voucher, if so then a digital or lithographic machine would be used and printed on paper. If the required result is to catch people’s eye and stand out from the rest then a billboard or use of other substrates may be considered. You need to ensure that you understand the options available to you and that you are getting your required result.

b) The quality that you require and whether there is a personalisation element to the item will also determine which print method is used. When ordering your printed materials ensure you understand why your printer has opted to use digital over litho, for example, and that the best print method is being used. This will also ensure cost efficiencies.

c) The flat size of the printed piece will determine what size press it is produced on. If a marketing piece can be reduced slightly without losing its impact, this means it can be produced using a smaller press and you might benefit from cost savings. One thing to remember is that printers generally have a limitation as to what size they can print up to so ensure you check this with them.

 2) Always consider your budget and be realistic. If you have a wide range of finishing requirements such as foiling, embossing and perfect binding, but you only have a small budget, these options are not necessarily viable. Make sure you always discuss your ideas with your printer and designer prior to any campaigns being finalised.

 3) Ensure that the graphics used are of a high quality. There is a level of tweaking that can be done at the printing stage to enhance the printed product, but if the files which are supplied and the images which are used are dull in nature, they will not look vibrant and have the positive impact you require once printed. The work the designer contributes is just as important as the job the printer carries out.

 4) Alongside the variety of printing methods available, there is also a wide range of papers which can be used. You must remember that although a particular paper stock may look pretty there may well be a premium cost applied to it also! These are all things that need to be considered and discussed with your printer and designer at the concept stage of a project.

5) Packaging and delivery is equally as important as the job itself. Always ensure that you provide your supplier with all the delivery information and also if there is any particular packaging that you require. If you don’t provide accurate details about direct mailings at the quoting stage of your project, this could result with a surprise at the invoicing stage when you are charged for the mailings because the printer was not originally aware of it. It is essential that you are clear about what you require from your suppliers.

 6) Deadlines are of paramount importance so make sure your supplier is aware of your deadlines and that you work with your supplier to ensure that artworks are provided on time. If artwork is provided late, this could mean your deadline also runs over.

 7) Communication is the key component when choosing your printed items. Use your suppliers to offer advice and use their expertise and knowledge to ensure you receive the best possible printed items which achieve the required results at the most competitive prices.