Obvious biases aside (of course we know we’re the best), the team here at MPG have decades of experience in the print industry, and have a keen eye for what makes for great service and results in print.
Here are 6 things to look for in a commercial print company:
1. Listening & Flexibility
This might seem obvious, but a good relationship with your printer is essential. If your printer is really listening to and engaged with what you’re asking for, your end result will be so much better.
There are a lot of preset formats, sizes and styles in print. However, we all know that one size does not always fit all. It’s important that your printer can listen, ask questions and be actively and positively involved in your project from the start, so that everyone is on the same page.
2. Offering Alternatives
Sometimes your first option isn’t always the most practical. Often it comes down to budget. A good printer will be able to suggest alternative ways to fulfill your printing needs. And present clear options and strategies that could save you money, time and stress. We’re experts, so ask us for options!
3. Light On Jargon
Printing can be exceedingly technical. The industry is full of very specific terms and jargon. A good printer will be able to break down those terms, and provide easy-to-follow advice on setting up your artwork for print. And if you’re really not a computer or design person that’s OK. Most printers (ourselves included) will have a graphic designer on standby, ready to help.
4. Involved & Accommodating
Your printer should be involved as early as possible in your project. Speaking to your printer about the goals of your print job early can avoid future headaches and save money too. A good printer will happily advise you on the print specifics you’ll need to consider, so that you can set a cost-effective budget and plan for success from the start.
If you find your current printer doesn’t want to hear about your project until it’s time to press print, or if you haven’t considered the print side of things yet, tell us what you have in mind. We’d love to be involved.
5. Keeping You In The Loop
The print process can be very involved and sometimes a little messy. A fact of life is that sometimes things are delayed, or have to be fixed on the fly. A good printer will foresee potential issues and let you know if they’ll impact your deadline, change the printed result, or effect your budget.
Sometimes it’s as simply as providing a proof of your project before pressing the big “go” button. Or pointing out an easily-fixed typographical error before it gets copied a thousand times. At MPG we’ve made it a golden rule that our clients are always informed.
6. Knowing (and Showing) Their Stuff
We know it seems strange to put this so low in the list, but really, we consider this a basic prerequisite. Any commercial printer worth their ink should know what they’re doing, and you can ask for proof. If a printer can’t show you a good cross-section of their work for other clients, you might want to look around.
Don’t be shy to ask us to show you our stuff. We’re proud of our work and love to show off. Most of the time we’ll have a previous job that will give you a good idea of what your own finished print job will look and feel like. If you have something very specific in-mind and have your artwork ready to go, don’t be afraid to ask to see a proof copy!
We hope that this print expert’s view on print expertise has been enlightening.
You’ll notice that we haven’t mentioned print quality at all. We firmly believe that excellent print quality is the absolute minimum standard, and we assume you do too. If you have any questions about this article, or would like to feel the MPG difference in service, please get in touch.