For a graphic designer faced with the decision of getting things printed, dealing with print houses can seem like a daunting task. There are so many to choose from and tons of things to take into account, when selecting a good one.
What should you look for in a printer?
1. Request Samples. If you've never used the company before or seen their work elsewhere, request samples of their printing. This is fairly common and shouldn't cost you anything. Nearly every day I get sample printing, papers or packaging in the mail from companies that are competing for my business, and you should too!
2. Check the weight. Make sure the printing will be done on a nice weight paper. Not to heavy and not too light for the job. If you are getting business cards printed, you don't want a lightweight card that will be easily crumpled. Instead, you want a sturdy card stock that will stick with your customer for at least a couple of years.
3. Color matching. Does your printer have a disclaimer on their color matching? If they do, be wary. Printing in color is a tricky process, so be sure your printer will back up their products. If their ink comes out the wrong color, you and your clients should NOT be left holding the bag!
4. Logos. Some printers, especially the cheap ones, give you a cheaper rate if you allow them to print their logo on the backside of your piece. Depending on your client, your job, or your budget, this may or may not be an option for you. But, it should be a question you ask as you are getting quotes and selecting printers!
5. Finishes. Ask whether or not your printed pieces will have an UV coating on them, a gloss or other finish. This addition will drastically change the way your final print turns out, so you need to be ready for anything!
My favorite printer?
I love OvernightPrints.com. They are fast and affordable for excellent quality.