Best practice guide to print

It’s said that Einstein hailed the printing press as an important tool in ‘the transformation of learning and the rise of modern scientific thought’. Contrary to modern belief, print isn’t dead — yet. So, with this in mind there are several things to consider when sourcing a new commercial print partner to help you create intelligent print for your PR and marketing strategy.

By Carla Stanton, graphic designer at Stone Junction.

What are your print requirements? Do you need full direct mail services included with printing and in-house mailing or do you need ad-hoc business stationery, event banners or even a book binding service? What about in-house design, or do you use Stone Junction for that?


design for print, engineering PR, graphic design
When sourcing a commercial printer, it is wise to get someone that is capable of printing everything you need, who you can build a good business relationship with and trust to get the job done. 

If you get a chance to book an appointment to visit the premises and look at the machinery and meet the team, take it. It is a good opportunity to see the quality of print first hand, the level of experience and services on offer and most importantly to ask a lot of questions. Also, think about how quickly your initial enquiry was handled and how helpful the staff are. If you can’t visit, ask the printer to send you some samples of their work for you to look at the quality and the type of clients they work with.

Turnaround times for printing and delivery should be discussed before confirming a job too. Knowing these timescales can help you plan deadlines for getting final artwork completed and approved. You may want to rethink your supplier if a printer has a long turnaround time. Delivery options also need to be on the list – do you need to collect or are you dependent on Royal Mail or a courier service? Is there even an express 24-hour service for those last-minute rush jobs?

Location is something that is up for debate. Keeping it local allows for a face to face relationship to be built, however it is down to personal preference. A printer over a hundred miles away could offer you all the services you need. Consider the skill and reputation of the printer rather than where they are based.

Once you have sourced a list of printers you would like to try out, it is highly recommended to get at least three quotes for a project to compare quality, stock suggestions and cost. Not only do you want your print media to look and feel superb, but you don’t want to go above budget.

There is no harm in sending a variety of jobs through to each of the printers on your short list over the space of a few months as it enables you to look at difference in quality and service provided. After a few interactions, you will soon learn which suppliers you want to stick with and use as your core print provider.

If you would like any advice about commercial printers or design for print you can call me on 01785 225 416 or e-mail carlas@stonejunction.co.uk.

Carla Stanton

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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