Monday, February 2, 2009

Buying print – it's scary!

Unfortunately printers seldom buy print themselves, because if they did, they’d have a better understanding of the customer’s perspective – and it’s that perspective that helps determine who gets the print order and who gets the “thanks for your interest” email.
Buying print is scary.
An idea in the creative’s mind. Weeks, maybe months of creative concepts and compromises. Juggling the conflicts of design, text, photography, and illustrations. Their customer approval, finally, based on a concept expressed in awkward inkjet printouts and presentations to the stakeholders. An RFQ based on print specs that may not make any real production sense. Then comes the quotes from maybe three, four, or more printers. If the quotes are within 5% or 10% of each other – how do they choose? If one or more quotes is wildly out, did the printer misunderstand the project? Or are they the only one that really understood the specs? Maybe they're buying the job just to keep the presses running? Are they cutting corners somewhere? One printer changed the specs because they said quality would suffer if it was printed as specified!
How to choose a printer? It’s scary.

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