Choosing a good printing company can be akin to finding a needle in a haystack as virtually anyone with a computer and a printer can set up shop and call him or herself a printing house. In many instances, professionals are taken for a ride as they submit beautifully designed materials to be printed and come out looking less than perfect. So, how do you go about choosing a quality printing company? Here are a few tips:
- Look at examples of good work: When looking for a good printer, don’t simply flip through the local phone book to find a printer. Find examples of printing jobs you like and inquire about who did them. Examples are all around you --- from the magazines lying around your doctor’s office to billboards located around town to brochures or advertisements delivered right to your front door.
- Rely on word of mouth: Ask colleagues or acquaintances about printers they have used and how they felt about the quality of the work. Be sure to ask about deadlines, customer service, print quality and method of shipping/pickup.
- Check samples: Once you’ve narrowed the field down to a few companies, request printing samples. A reputable printing company, can provide a host of printing samples, from glossy to matte, to give you an idea of their capabilities. Look at color, picture quality and paper finish to get an idea of how you like the print quality of each element as well as the total package. If the printing company you are dealing with does not offer this service, head in the other direction as a good printer always has samples on hand for prospective clients to look over while making a decision.
- Understand the relationship between quality and cost: Remember, you get what you pay for. If you are more interested in pricing, you may be sacrificing quality. While there are a number of companies that offer top-quality printing at bargain prices, they are rare. You may have to pay a little more to get top-notch print quality, but the end product is usually worth it.
- Be specific: When contracting a printer for a job, be as specific with what you are looking for as possible. Discuss colors, types of printing and paper choices. If you are dealing with a reputable printer, they will ask these questions before you have an opportunity to volunteer the information. If they can’t answer your questions or have vague responses in terms of your job specifics, pass them by. Also, once you and the printer have reached an agreement on specifics, get everything in writing so you have something to refer to in the event that the job is not done to your satisfaction.
No matter what the experience, anyone can have a bad printing experience. However, following the aforementioned tips can assist you in finding a reliable, top quality company to handle all of your printing needs.