Caveat Emptor

by | Sep 11, 2017

We’re so used to being able to source small volumes of printed items we’ve forgotten that it’s only been a few years that we’ve had the opportunity to do this. Prior to the development of digital print, if you wanted promotional material you had to have it printed in huge quantities, there was a set-up fee and the time between idea and print could be weeks.

Digital technology has revolutionised so many things, including printing. Now it’s possible to advertise your local event or business for just a few pounds. But much like the array of printers you can get for your home and business – anywhere from £30 for a small home inkjet – all the elements of the digital print industry can vary hugely.

These are the 3 key things you should think about:

1. Design: If your business is design, then by all means crack on. But if, like us, your sense of the aesthetic is limited to admiring Tom Hardy, then it’s probably time for you to hunt out a local design guru. We have one and we would be lost without her. She takes our ideas and makes them look professional and pleasing. And don’t be fooled into thinking that a designer is expensive – charges will start from £10 or £15 for something like providing a logo the right size and/or pixel count. The more you work with a designer the better they get to know you – this is something you cannot buy.

Many of the cheap print options out there (you know who I’m talking about) offer a range of off-the-shelf templates and even in-house design facilities. But bear in mind that you’re not the only cleaning company using that cleaning lady image; how are you standing out from the 50 other local cleaners all using the same image. You’re not!

2. Materials: Are you an expert in GSM’s and matt laminating? We’re not, but we know it’s important. When pricing up your print, make sure you get samples of exactly the materials that will be used and what additional treatments are/are not included. If you’re determined to sort this out by yourself, then research stock weights and surface treatments, decide what you want and get the prices to include these. Don’t wait until you are going through an order, adding on the extras that are offered. You don’t know if these are good value (or necessary) and it’s easy to lose track of what the end price is likely to be. And if you’ve sat for three hours on a Sunday morning going through the order, the likelihood is you’ll commit to it, regardless of whether you believe it represents value or not.

3. Printer: Now you’re probably thinking we’re bonkers for even mentioning this, but in much the same way as we employ a designer, we also use the same printers. We challenge them on price (they’ve yet to be beaten on a like-for-like product), they know our materials requirement and they consistently deliver an incredibly high quality service. Rarely are there issues and when there are, they are dealt with quickly. And the best bit of this… they are local. A real-life person delivers our orders. Now we love a faceless national organisation as much as the next people, but there’s something about building that relationship with another local business that feels right. And, just from experience, it’s not always true that the bigger companies will always do better on price. Small businesses have less overhead, have more scope for sourcing better value materials and definitely deal with issues quicker and more satisfactorily than bigger organisations. It might take a couple of attempts, but ask around and see who other businesses re using.

But after all this, if you want to save yourself the hassle of researching the designer and the printer, you could let PtG Business help you. We’ve got some great print offers and will always do the best deal we can. As an example, we can supply 250 A5 double sided 350gsm matt laminated cards for around £158 (exc. VAT) and 1,000 for £248 (exc. VAT). And if you need to get them out in the world, we can despatch them for you as well (postage and envelopes at extra cost).

Whatever your design and print needs we can help, so give Julie or Charlie on 01462 713444.

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