What do weddings, new jobs, storefronts, product packaging, and that strange pair of socks with your dog’s face on them all have in common?
They all require custom printing.
Whether it’s invitations, business cards, or party banners, you’re bound to have printing needs that your home office can’t handle. When you do, there are dozens of web printing services waiting to help.
Here is a list of some of the things you should consider when choosing the printer for your special event and unique needs.
Price comparisons should be one of the first things you do. Some printers charge by count and others charge by order. Many printers have ongoing specials or deals while others may negotiate.
It is important that you have a good idea of exactly what you’ll be ordering before you run a price check. You’ll want to know the size, colors, paper quality, quantity, at least. This level of detail will ensure you get an accurate price.
Many reputable printers will be able to give you a custom quote for the details of your unique job.
Be sure to compare printing fees, as well. These extra fees can including packing, shipping, and delivery. Don’t assume these prices are consistent across printers. Do the leg work or risk getting hit with hidden fees at checkout.
Sometimes, things come up. Maybe you have design changes, you’re not happy with a draft, or you need another order change late in the game. A good web printer understands this and will be ready to work with you to get it right.
A big part of that is open communication. Look to see what lines of communication might be open to you during your order. Is there an email address, a phone number, a chatbot on the site itself? The more options available, the better.
Whatever you do make sure you use a company you can contact if the need arises. Customer reviews are another great place to assess this. Read plenty and look for this hot button item when you do.
3. Design Tools
In many cases, you’ll need more help than just the actual printing. There are design tools available online like Adobe’s InDesign if you feel capable, but if not, many printers will either have designers or web design tools available.
Ask what option each printer has to help you get the right design for your printing project before signing on any dotted line.
4. Quality of Work
There are several ways to check on the quality of a printer’s work before making a purchase. First, check to see if they have any special certifications.
There are industry standards like the G7 Master Certification or the CSP (Customer Service Professional) Certification available for printers. Look for these and more on each printer’s website.
Certifications can show a printer’s authority, but nothing beats going straight to your best source. Look for references and reviews from past customers to get an idea, to only of the quality of the work, but the buying experience as well.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask to see a portfolio of work before purchasing. Many sites have portfolio pages available online. The more proof you can see of a printer’s quality, the better you should feel about the consistency of that quality.
If you’re looking for a standard printing project like business cards or brochures, most printers can help. If your job is a little more unique like business banners, bound books, or foil-stamped wedding invitations, specialization may be in order.
Some printers run thousands of banners and signs per year. Others have specialized binding machines. Still, others may have machines designed to print on non-standard material like wood or clothing.
When you know what you want, you will be better prepared to find a printer that can deliver on your vision. Whether asking for samples, portfolio examples, or customer testimonials, it may be appropriate to specify your unique needs.
Printers often advertise their specialties, as well. Look for these to make sure your printer knows how to deliver just what you want. Especially when it is outside of the normal printing parameters.
6. Variety and quality of materials
Just as different printing machinery allows printers to specialize in various products, it also varies in the quality of materials.
If you know you want your wedding invitations on heavyweight recycled paper, be sure to ask each printer if they have the capability to deliver that vision. If you don’t know what you want, ask about your options.
Whether it is paperweight, banner material, or cotton-blend that you’re looking for, make sure your printing choice has options and understands your expectation for the quality of materials.
It can be a bad sign when a printed suggests a material other than you’ve requested. Do the research to make sure you’re not being talked into something cheaper and easier to run by a printer that just can’t do what you want.
7. Samples and guarantees
Reputable printers will never hesitate to provide you with samples for your larger printing jobs. This is an opportunity to see what your products will look like in the end, but it will also give you an idea of how easy it is to work with a printer.
It can also be a bonus if your printing service offers a guarantee that your final product will meet your expectations. Ask for this from any service you are considering as it’s not always readily advertised as an option.
Not All Web Printing Services Are the Same
Web printing services may seem straightforward, but at scale, are anything but. Take the time to select a printer that meets your needs, is easy to work with, and can produce the quality you want at a price you can handle.
If you don’t take the time to find the right printer, you may be in for a big headache. If you’re ready to start your search, contact us to see if we are the right fit for you.