What Printers Can Learn from French Butchers
List in hand, Jim entered the small French butchery just outside St-Malo. A group of us were staying at a friend’s house nearby (nice, I know) and Jim, a passionate hobby cook, had volunteered to make dinner. He knew exactly what he needed to create the promised Boeuf Bourguignon...or so he thought.
The butcher clearly had a different idea.
Yes, he sold Jim the meat that he needed, but along the way, as French butchers love to do, he gave ample advice. He asked Jim if he was using the vegetables from the local farmers’ market. And he suggested several wines to be paired with our dinner. He turned buying beef into an experience, and our dinner into a feast.
And how does this relate to you and your printing services, you ask?
Designers are always hungry for new ideas. They are eager for you to tell them about unique possibilities—new inks, binding trends, unusual combinations of paper and binding options.
No, don’t tell them about the latest printing equipment you bought—sorry but quite frankly designers (I am one, I should know) aren’t interested—just like we do not care to know how the butcher creates specific cuts of meat.
What we do care about is how to turn our brochures into the most amazing printed pieces—our beef into the juiciest boeuf, to stay with our analogy.
We know the ingredients—design, text, images, paper. But like the butcher, we need you to open our eyes to new and unique ways of elevating our printed piece into a feast for the eyes.
Granted, we might not always be able to utilize all the options you suggest—Jim politely declined the $100 bottle of wine his new best friend suggested—but we sure appreciate your interest and input, and will come back for a second helping when the time comes.
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.