While looking for a good printing company recently, the thought crossed my mind that I had no idea what lay beyond the company’s web site. Was this some guy with a fancy printer in his bedroom, running off sub-standard work to chumps like me? Or a proper company, with a professional offset press? So I decided to start asking some hard questions.
When talking to a printer, I’d ask what type of printing equipment they used. I soon learned about the different types of printing equipment out there, and their relative pros and cons. It pays to find a printer who offers both digital and offset printing. That way, your job will be printed on the machine most suited to the situation. This wasn’t always the case when asking a printer with only one type of press.
I also discovered that many print print shops london shops are franchises, and send their jobs off to a central point for printing. In other words, the guy I spoke to in the shop had zero control once my job had left the building. He had no idea how it was handled by the delivery company, the skill of the people doing the printing, when it was was scheduled to run, or what happened to it afterward.
That’s 4 chances for something to go wrong that are outside the control of the person I’m dealing with. I decided I’d rather deal with a printer that maintained his or her own equipment in house. That way, every step of my job is under the control of the person I deal with. And I don’t have to rely on a delivery company, or a remote printer with no direct accountability.
If I need the printing done in a real hurry, I can find out immediately whether or not this is possible. And so far, it always has been.
To summarize, this is what I think constitutes a good printing company…
- Local (in the same city as me, no delivery company required)
- Has both digital and traditional printing presses
- Can accept art work online (e.g. upload direct to his/her web site)
- Understands that I’m an ordinary person, and won’t be able to conform to some pretentious specification dreamed up by a professional graphic designer (some of the franchises are kidding themselves)
- Can deliver overnight if required
- Helps me to understand the baffling world of paper, boards and color.