As I have mentioned in past blogs, the relationship that a printer has with their customer is very important. No matter how much print experience your customer may have, they will look to you, as their printer, for your expertise and advice on a print job and welcome your suggestions. While they may not always go along with what you suggest, it is important to use your print expertise to produce the best possible piece for your customer.
Here are some tips to consider when engaging with your customers in order to establish yourself as the print expert:
Know When to Offer Digital
Digital printing is done using options such as toner or liquid ink and prints directly from electronic files. It can be used as an alternative to offset printing under the right circumstances. Don’t let price alone be the determining factor as to whether your customer prints digital or offset. Small quantity, fast turnaround, personalization? These are all good reasons to recommend digital printing for a certain project.
Make It Fit for Digital
The best way to set yourself up as a print expert is to discuss the project upfront with your customer. It may take a small adjustment to a customer’s files to make it fit the maximum paper size that your digital press allows but the savings would be beneficial. Be sure to make your customer aware of folds in the piece as well as the preference would be for them to go with the grain; which may affect how the design is laid out on the sheet.
Review the Design
As a printer, you know there are things that work better or worse for digital printing compared to offset. Be sure to allow time to review the artwork so you can advise your customer on areas of concern. Perhaps the design has a large area of solid color that may cause banding when printed that you would suggest changing. Or maybe the designer used a photo that is overly dense in ink that may need to be adjusted by your in-house team. These concerns should all be discussed up front.
The truth is that nowadays, most designers design based on their monitors. You will find that many times, you will have to correct files that you receive from a customer so they print correctly. It is critical to share this info as early in the process as possible. Let them know to use .eps or .tif images instead of compressed .jpeg images. Make sure that all images are at least 300 dpi. Let them know to convert all images to CMYK before sending the final files to you and that they should always include all fonts and native files to their upload. The work done beforehand will save time and money a project.
Digital printing is a specialized process. Whether you are printing toner or inkjet, you should always recommend a paper that will be optimized for your method of digital printing. If printing on an Indigo printer, you should recommend using a certified sheet. Going inkjet, use a treated sheet so that your colors pop and are not absorbed into the paper. With options that include Cougar® Digital Color Copy, Cougar® Digital, Lynx® Digital, LynxJET®, HuskyJET® and Husky® Digital, it’s safe to say Domtar has an option for every budget.
Be the Print Expert
There’s a good reason you are the print expert. You have put in the time and you know what works best for the equipment in your print shop. Don’t be shy about giving your opinions and suggestions to your customer. A well-printed piece reflects just as much on your reputation and brand as it does your customer.