Your beautiful print project is ready.
You can’t wait to see it in print.
But who do you trust with your masterpiece? Which print shop is the “right one” for your project? Is it:
- The local guys?
- VistaPrint? (or something similar)
- A national or international printer?
- A print shop specializing in your specific project?
- The cheapest price you can find?
- A print shop you can build a long-term relationship with?
Use these tips to select a print shop that aligns perfectly with your project needs:
Evaluate your project
Make a list of the goals and requirements for this project and make sure you have the answers to them before moving forward.
- What is the goal of your project?
- Is this a one-time job?
- How many finished pieces do you need?
- What is your deadline?
- What is your budget?
- Do you need specialized finishing like collation, folding, etc.?
- Do you need a printer able to produce a large amount of product every month?
Understanding your print needs will allow you to pick a print shop able to handle all of your project’s requirements.
Bonus! Not sure how to make your project print-ready? Read more here:
- 8 Extremely simple ways to save money & time in print design (Pro tips from printers)
- From pixels to ink: How to design prints that look as great on paper as they do on your monitor
- How to pick the perfect font for print projects
- 10 Tips to make your design files print-ready
Research print shops
Take time to browse potential printers’ websites. Look at their design galleries and sample work.
This will give you a feel for their capabilities and work quality so you have a better idea of what to expect for your project.
- What do you notice about the color schemes used, additional features for enhancement and paper options?
- When reviewing their website, did you notice any reviews of their services or awards they have received?
- What are others saying about this print company?
Don’t forget to look for customer interaction and feedback on their social media channels (watch out for these big red flags). This will provide more information about the company and their employees (and you might just find a coupon or discount!).
It’s also important to evaluate locations. Is this printer close to you? Does that matter?
While proximity can be important for some projects, it’s possible to get a quality product from anywhere. Just because a printer is states away does not mean they will be unable to fulfill your printing needs.
Have a conversation with your printer
Do you have any concerns or are you looking for a specific feature?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your selection process. Make sure to ask them prior to starting your project in order to assure that everyone is on the same page in regards to project expectations.
Many printers (whether local or national) offer an ability to call or email representatives and discuss the project and answer any questions you may have in detail.
Speaking to a customer service representative will also provide insight into the company’s culture, customer service, and employees.
The bottom line
When placing your trust in a professional printer, it’s important to feel comfortable with the company and their capabilities.
- Take time to research their services and products to determine if they will be able to meet your needs.
- Browse pictures on their website or social media channels to view their design capabilities.
- Ask to see samples of their work or for references.