Printing quality can have a huge effect your marketing message – The quality of your marketing material and business stationary reflect on the standards and culture of your business. This can effect buying decisions just as much or more than other factors such as staff uniform/dress standards, customer service, product quality, price etc.
Once the customer leaves your shop or hangs up the phone, memory fades quickly and your brand may be one of 3-5 competitors (or more) who are all competing for the same work. They may however still have your brochures and business card – the quality of these products you have chosen to reflect your brand will colour the customers memory and effect their buying decision
If the company sign on your building is looking tired or worn and you are asking yourself whether you can afford to fix it, I would ask whether you can afford not to?
How many potential customers have driven past your location, but were more attracted by your competitors marketing message and bought elsewhere? How much is that old or dirty signage costing you in lost revenue?
The same is true for your business cards, brochures, letterheads, invoice books etc. Customers will either consciously or subconsciously judge your product or service based upon the quality of your brand and the factors that the can see, hear, touch etc.
A business card with text cut off, or artwork not centered, colour rubbed off form the card below may not project the image that you desire for your brand.
Here are 5 common mistakes that I see made by business here in Brisbane as well as regional QLD and interstate.
1 – Home job Artwork
Artwork is very important in a number of ways. Your artwork file decides the look, style and content of your printing, and we cannot begin production without an artwork file we can use to create plates. Remember that no printer can manufacture a finished product that is ‘nicer’ or ‘better’ than the artwork file they are printing from.
I see many examples of people who are not designers, using non-industry standard software and methods to create artwork, which they then supply as ‘print ready’. This can be disastrous if you supply ‘print ready’ artwork that is not print ready and the printer doesn’t know they need to check the file and make any necessary changes.
Many things can go wrong when printing from poorly constructed files, such as fonts changing, boxes appearing around images or effects, colour variation due to RGB colours instead of CMYK etc. My strongest recommendation is to allow room in your budget for professional design and file preparation.
2 – Home job printing
I have seen many cases of ‘business cards’ that have been created using clip art images on Microsoft word and printed on a home bubble-jet printer, then laminated and cut out with scissors. I think we can all agree that is not ‘putting your best foot forward’
3 – Always choosing the cheapest
Price is only one part of the equation you should consider when making a buying decisions. Other factors may be more important than choosing the absolute cheapest price, if that business is not also offering great quality, customer service, production time, warranty etc.
4 – Using all different printers for different products
I see many customers who use one printer for their business cards and another for their letterheads and another for their brochures, and the colours, message, look and feel of their marketing is often inconsistent as a result.
Different designers will produce a different design when given the same brief, and every press and operator will print differently as well.
Rather than run the gauntlet always hunting the cheapest price, I would recommend building a relationship with your local printer who offers competitive pricing across the range of products you require. I would be very surprised if you cannot negotiate the same great prices in this way.
5 – Rushing production or artwork timeframes
Manufacturing is not an exact science and press operators or designers are all human – urgent or rushed jobs are much more likely be struck down by human error. One of the best ways to ensure a quality product and a stress free printing experience is to plan ahead and leave plenty of time for desing and production. Ask your suppliers in advance how many working days they will require.