Dear Printer ... It's Not You, It's Me
Here's a hypothetical interaction between a designer and a printer:
Dear Printer, it’s not you, it’s me.
I am not bugging you for a fast turnaround on that estimate because I waited until the last minute to email you. My client waited until last night to tell me they need their brochure redone for a trade show NEXT WEEK.
I am not asking for five different quantities on the pocket folder estimate because I am curious where the price breaks are, my client really has NO IDEA how many they want.
I didn’t send you the file with RGB and CMYK and Pantone spot colors on purpose. They gave me the file to clean up and frankly I need some help resolving the inks with imported images.
Ditto for those low-res images.
How can I know in advance what type of paper would be better for the project and budget? I know we first quoted that pocket folder on Classic Crest and then switched to Cougar ... I’d rather have the right paper on the first estimate, can you help me with that?
Dear Designer, it’s not you, it’s me.
I should have coached you, seeing as how you are new to this and all. I will try better to help you be more successful with your clients.
It’s good to ask your clients for their marketing calendar. If they say “what’s that?”, it’s ad deadlines, trade shows, click campaigns, new product launches, etc. When you have their calendar, enter all their stuff into your calendar with ticklers in advance. That way, you can call them and say “hey, that Vegas trade show is coming up ... do you need help getting anything ready? Chances are you will get more work than before because you will help them overcome their inertia on internal projects that no one seems to be able to launch anyhow. I like to create a calendar for each client (I use ical) and that way I can see where client projects might overlap, meaning, I will need to bring in help or adjust the schedule accordingly.
It’s hard when you are adding a new item to your marketing collateral to know how many you will need. Keep in mind, you can always test a new item with a small- or medium-sized digital run for way less $ than a press minimum of 2,500 or 5,000.
Identifying and naming inks in InDesign can get confusing, We will schedule a “lunch and learn” for you and some other clients that want this information. Our prepress operator Nancy is a genius at this stuff. You will get it in 15 minutes I am sure.
Ditto for those low-res images. 🙂
Call me, text me, email me, before you write up the specs for your estimate! I know about ALL papers. I am a paper EXPERT! I am here to help!
Marina Poropat Joyce has been marketing, graphic designing, publishing and printing her whole life. She fell in love with design and printing early on, and she founded one of the first design-to-print companies in Los Angeles. Her company, INTAGLIO, was ranked as one of the 50 fastest growing print companies in the country, a winner of Inc. Magazine's Inner City 100 and one of Los Angeles’ top 100 women-owned companies. Joyce has also served on the board of the Printing Industries Association of Southern California (PIASC) as a board member and chairman.
Joyce also wrote the book, titled, "Designing for Print" to explain printing in graphic designer-speak and launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the printing of her book. Click here to visit Joyce's book page.