The printing industry has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Printing equipment is more technologically advanced. Quantities are lower and customization is king. Companies and consumers constantly change in how they absorb and react to print and digital media. The answer is a mix of cohesive, branded communications: printed promos, online advertising, mailers, e-blasts and more. When you choose print, you put something tangible in the hands of your buyer. When you put something in their mailbox, they have to touch it, open it and react to it. Promo emails are too easily trashed. Your printer can help you pack more value into your printed pieces with just a few simple suggestions.

  1. Ask your printer for variable data capabilities or other ways to personalize your message to buyers. Personalization gets attention, yielding better results.
  2. Get your printer and your graphic designer talking early in the process. Your designer may not know current mailing rules, creating a design mistake that could cost you more in postage.
  3. Choose a printer with a true digital press, not a toner-based copier. Digital presses tend to be faster, more reliable and have more capabilities.
  4. Not in a hurry? Give your printer more time to produce the job. Your flexibility could earn you a discount or free over-runs.
  5. Print several projects at the same time. Your printer can get better pricing on larger paper quantities, and colors will match better across pieces.
  6. Be flexible on size specs. Interesting sizes stand out, but they can add significant cost. Your printer can suggest an eye-catching size that adds value without breaking the budget.
  7. Ask your printer about leftover papers. You could capture a discounted paper AND interesting finish. Coated paper isn’t king these days. Think tactile.
  8. Get a quote on multiple quantities. A lot of the cost is in the setup, even with digital jobs. Spreading out the fixed costs of a job over larger quantities can reduce the per-piece cost.
  9. Send your project to a one-stop-shop to speed the turn-around time, avoid delays and the dreaded ‘blame game’ when problems arise.
  10. Up the paper quality, especially on short runs. Thicker stock feels better and costs little more. Nobody likes a limp handshake or a wimpy business card.

+ Bonus Tip! Ask for hardcopy proofs that are trimmed, folded and as close to the final product as possible. And proofread carefully. Reprints due to errors do not add value.

Be sure to get your printer involved in the early stages of your print project. They will be able to guide you in making decisions to help your print piece look its best, have the impact you’re looking for and keep it within your budget. Quality printers are craftsmen. They take great pride in their products and service, and they want your finished product to be something you’re proud of too.

Cindy Burri

Cindy Burri is the CEO of Western Robidoux Inc., a high-quality, full service commercial printer in St. Joseph, Missouri. Western Robidoux has been in continuous operation since the late 1800’s. Services include graphic design, product photography, 1-6 color offset printing, Indigo digital printing, variable data printing, specialty coatings, large format printing, trade show graphics, pre-press, bindery/finishing, inserting and mailing services, product/literature fulfillment, data entry and rebate programs. WRI specializes in high-quality printed materials, adding value to all forms of client communications and dedicated personal service with extreme attention to detail.