As a custom publisher, you have a significant role in a company’s marketing and final product. However, to complete the project, you must collaborate with other services. One of the most notable collaborations is that of the commercial printer.
Finding a commercial printer is not easy, but you can simplify the process and ensure you find a high-quality printer that fulfills your project’s needs by knowing what to look for.
Not all commercial printers specialize in the same areas. Some may have to outsource to another party for certain services. To ensure you select a company that delivers a quality product, narrow down the choices by looking at these essential factors.
A Quick Look at the Process of a Custom Publishing Company Hiring a Printer
The process of moving from concept to final product with a publisher and commercial printer is quite simple and follows a strategic timeline:
- Identifying the needs of the project.
- Locating a commercial printer that fits those needs.
- Requesting a quote for services and ensuring the quoted amount matches the project’s budget.
- Requesting a turn-around time estimate.
Once you have found a commercial printer that suits your needs, you may find that establishing a relationship with them for future projects makes the process of concept-to-print much easier. Not only will you know the quality of that printer, but they know your expectations, printing and finishing needs, and most importantly, your required turnaround.
5 Elements of a Quality Printer for a Custom Publishing Company
- A Printer with Experience in Publications is Key
Not all commercial printers have experience in commercial publications, and this is a critical consideration. You need a printer that has experience with your type of publication. This ensures that your printer has experience with different file types, mediums, and bindings required to create your publication.
- Printing Capabilities Must be In-House
A printing company may offer you a plethora of services, but how many of those services are in-house?
It’s imperative that you ask if services are done in-house or if that printer sends your project to a third party. For example, you may need a specific binding, and binding equipment is costly. To save on costs, a printer may send the request to a third party that has the equipment to bind your publication.
When a company must outsource part of their capabilities, the project’s quality control is lost and the turnaround time extended.
Collaborating with a company that can perform all printing capabilities from start to finish is critical. Doing so ensures that you and the printer are in control of the final product’s quality and that the project is completed on time.
- Realistic Turn-Around Time is Necessary
Commercial printers work for multiple publishers; therefore, turn-around times will vary depending on their current workload.
When you request an estimate from a printer, inquire about their current turn-around times. Also, inquire about their ability to meet time estimates. You want a printer that is dedicated to timeliness, especially if you have a publication that must be sent out on a particular date.
- Availability of In-House Designers
Custom publishers do plenty, but when your in-house staff is stretched thin, you will benefit from working with a printer that has in-house design personnel. These designers allow you to get the extra design assistance you need, but without the requirement of calling in a third company.
Be cautious when selecting your printing company. Even if they offer design services, ask if those services are in-house and the extensiveness of the service. Some companies outsource to designers or only offer barebones designs, which may not suit your project needs.
Also, when a designer is in-house, they help with all specifications of your publication, which then ensures printers are calibrated to deliver what was designed.
- The Option of In-House Mailing
When a publication goes off the printer and straight to the mail, it is a win-win for the publisher. Not all printers offer in-house mailing, where they physically pack and ship your publications for you. Therefore, ask if your printer can do the mailing for you, and specifically find out if they outsource to a third-party mailing contractor.
Bottom Line: Full-Service Commercial Printers are Best
Commercial printers that must outsource put your project’s quality in unknown territory. Turnaround times are often extended, quality can vary, and if an outsourcing contractor fails to fulfill, the project could be in jeopardy.
When you work with a commercial printer that offers all services in-house, you enjoy the convenience of contacting one company for all your services—ensuring quality, consistency, and beautiful publications every time.
Need help with your custom publishing project? Contact Shweiki Media today.