When you are an expert in your field it is natural to notice both a) high quality and b) poor quality items whilst you are out and about in your daily grind. So to me print quality is extremely important and pretty much something I notice straight away in anything from stationery, menus and leaflets to brochures and magazines and it should be important to you as well.
Because that piece of print, in your potential clients hand, could be the first introduction to your company that they have!
Poor quality print will reflect negatively on your business so the importance of a good printer that produces high quality printing is extremely high.
Don’t get me wrong print is not the only thing that makes an impact on your item as the design, image quality and layout is important as well. However at this stage I am focusing on the print side of things only and if you are handing out something that looks like it is printed on toilet paper (fine if printed toilet paper is what your company specialises in and you want to reflect that!) when there are so many wonderful paper options out there your item will look cheap when it doesn’t need to.
There are some key points to keep in mind when looking for quality printing, firstly, (as mentioned above) paper.
What paper finish? If you receive a printed item that you like keep it as a reference to show your printer. Do you want a brochure that looks rustic and earthy with a recycled feel? Then an uncoated stock would be perfect, and with a majority of the uncoated stocks tending to have part recycled fibre content your brochure will not only look like it is using recycled stock but it is!
Or maybe a coated matt or silk stock will be more suitable for your brochure if a smooth specialised commerce look is required and you know an uncoated stock will not be quite right for your target audience. Magazines are often printed on a gloss stock so request this finish if this is the look you are after.
Think about whom you will be sending your print to and what image of your company you wish to portray once it lands on their desk and is in their hands.
Get some paper samples so you can get a feel for yourself; know the name of the stock you like and get a mock up of the final item to get a good idea of how the final product will look, you will be surprised at the impact the paper can make and it is definitely a factor that should be well considered.
Secondly if you have a bit of room in your budget extra finishes of gloss/matt lamination to the outer cover or maybe some foil blocking or Spot UV could be an option/s giving an added dimension and some ‘WOW’ factor to the finished item. Not sure what I mean take a look at a couple of the pictures here for a guide.
Next, colour consistency, if your company uses a pantone colour keep a reference of it! It amazes me how many people send a sample of their stationery and ask me to match it to a pantone. Of course we do our best to accurately match the colour and then keep a record on our system but if it is something you have a record of you are more likely to get consistency every time you go to press.
Also in regards to colour keep in mind that if orange is a prominent colour of your company and consistently through out your brochure it may well be worth printing the orange as a pantone (e.g. CMYK + orange) as orange is one of the hardest colours to get a good quality colour match when printed as CMYK percentages.
Contact and talk with a printer to get a feel of their quality print services; are they happy to show you samples of their work, do they recommend and have advice on different paper stocks, are they willing to make a mock up or dummy of your item, what kind of proofing service do they offer and are they colour calibrated to their presses? Are they London based or would you have to travel ridiculous miles if a pass on press was required? If these points are important to you, give PrintHouse Corporation a call as they are important to us as well.
Amber Bantatua is a Senior Sales Executive at London based printer PrintHouse Corporation. If there is a query in regards to a print estimate or receiving a quote contact us here.