You need printing. Like it or not, you need those business cards or letterheads or brochures or posters. Whatever they are, they’re required for business, just like computers, pens and Monday morning coffee. And sometimes they can be annoyingly expensive. It doesn’t have to be that way – some of the things you’re doing maybe increasing your print bill unnecessarily. Here are the stupid mistakes you’re probably making:
1) You don’t ask for advice
Your printer has a wealth of knowledge at their disposal, but you’re stuck in the same old printing rut. You order the same thing every time, without asking if there’s a different way this could be printed. Ask about the differences between lithography and digital printing, ask about different paper types, ask if there’s any way you could get a cheaper price for a bulk order.
2) You don’t bulk order
You order small quantities of the same thing every couple of months. Order a huge quantity once a year if nothing ever changes, or see if you can preprint the difficult part all in one go and overprint the small details as you need them.
For example, if the expensive part of your order is foiling the logo on your business cards, why not foil 10,000 in bulk? Then overprint the telephone numbers and address details in smaller batches of 500 as you need them. It’ll work out cheaper in the end.
3) You buy your own paper
You think you’re doing the right thing and saving yourself money by buying your own paper. You’re probably not. It’s probably the wrong size. You’ve probably bought the wrong quantity. It might not even print properly. Always talk to your printer before buying paper. They can tell you how much you need, and check to see if it’s printable with their machinery. They can also check to see if they can get the same thing or something similar for a lower price. They have connections in the print industry, you know.
4) You’re printing at weirdo size
There are standard sizes for a reason. It makes everything fit together nicely, like a jigsaw wearing surgical gloves. If your printing is a bizarre size you’re probably wasting a lot of paper. It also means everything (from envelopes to folders) has to be specially made for you. This can get expensive quickly.
5) You’re cutting corners with graphic design and artwork
Instead of paying a professional to create beautiful artwork, you’ve got your cousin’s neighbour’s 16 year old son doing it because you once saw a t-shirt he designed and it hasn’t burst into flames yet. Oh yeah, and he’s cheap. And he’ll do whatever you tell him, because he’s a kid, so you’re bound to get what you want.
Except that his artwork is terrible. Technically and aesthetically. And now you’re paying the printer’s artworkers more money than you paid the kid in the first place to fix the job and make the files actually print ready.
Sigh… Either that or you really are paying a professional designer. A lot. But instead of letting them liaise with the printers, you want to micro-manage. So you don’t bother to tell them that you’ve just changed your mind and you’re now going with the extra textured board. The one that won’t look so great once it’s hidden under layers of ink. But no one can warn you because the designer doesn’t know anything about the paper, and the printer doesn’t know anything about the artwork. Until the day of printing. That’s when you end up paying the printer’s artworkers another fee to fix the artwork at the last minute because you need the job by deadline. Either work with the printer’s designers and artworkers directly from the beginning, or make sure your company’s designer is.
After reliving all of that I think I’ll go and put my straight jacket back on.