Print media is still considered one of the most utilized learning tools in the world.
In business, studies reveal that nine out of 10 consumers still prefer printed materials over all other types of media in transactions. Moreover, a survey conducted by FedEx resulted in nearly half of all respondents saying that not having paper in the world would make them feel annoyed or stressed.
This is also true for the academe. Despite the popularity of digital soft copies, both students and professors require printing services to accomplish their daily undertakings, such as printing booklets, learning materials, and research papers.
If you’re among those who require printing services in the academe, you must make sure that you get the most out of what you pay for. To help you out, here are five crucial considerations you must think about before hiring a printing company:
1. Your needs
Before you even look at the list of printing companies in your locality, you must first determine what your specific needs are. With several types of print output to choose from, you must make sure that their offerings match the particular kind of output you require.
When you have a clear picture of what you need, you can quickly narrow down your options. This will also help prevent issues that can cause unnecessary headaches along the way.
Keep in mind that different printing companies may have varying capabilities, so you have to do some research after knowing what you need. Then, find a firm with printing services that match what you require and proceed with the subsequent factors on this list.
2. Customer service
In any service-oriented business, customer service should always be a priority. For printing services, you need to choose a company that can follow your desired output and communicate with you well if anything needs to be changed.
Remember that the level of communication can make or break any printing project. When the printing service provider knows how to listen well, they will fully understand your needs. Alternatively, a company that has a deep understanding of their services can inform customers ahead if an order is possible to accomplish or not.
Also, providing professional service means that they have to keep you in the loop about any changes from the proof approval to the printing and binding processes. Having friendly and approachable staff who will go the extra mile to accommodate a customer’s requests is also a plus.
3. Experience and reputation
As with any other type of company, you must make sure that the print service provider you hire has substantial experience and a good reputation in the trade. You can determine this by checking the length of time that they have been in the printing business. This information primarily reflects the extent of their expertise in the industry.
Plus, reputable companies perform final checks before mass production is done to make sure that no typographical or design errors have been missed. This is the key to having excellent printed output.
To check whether a prospective printer excels in this area, you can read reviews from past clients who have experienced their services firsthand. This can be done through social media or search engines.
4. Quality of output
Checking the quality of their output is an important part of choosing the right print company for your needs. This can be carried out by looking at samples and portfolios posted on their website.
However, it is highly recommended that you inspect the samples in person. This will allow you to check whether the following aspects of your printing project are met:
- Quality of print;
- Color consistency;
- Paper stock and size;
- Binding method for brochures and other multi-page printed projects; and
- Finishing features such as lamination, hot foiling, and embossing.
In most cases, print companies that use high-end printing machines are the best choice for achieving high-quality prints. This is because advanced digital printing presses offer unparalleled precision, clarity, and consistency in their output.
5. Reliability and punctuality
Aside from the quality of output, reputation, and experience, you should also make sure that you only hire printing companies that are reliable and prompt with their service. This will help ensure that your orders are delivered on time, which can prevent any disruptions in your schedule and prior commitments.
For most printing jobs, companies will provide a specific timeline for when they can guarantee the completion of the task. Depending on the company, this may be based on the number of copies to be printed, among other factors.
In some cases, printing companies only start the countdown to the deadline after the submitted digital proof has been finalized. This will give them leeway for editing time that may be required before the digital copy is run through the printing press.
A final word
In spite of the advancements in information technology, professors, teachers, and even students continue to benefit from mass printing services in the academic scene. From printing certificates to producing thousands of copies of learning materials, make sure that you get reliable and high-quality printing services by taking these considerations into account.
Michael Gribben specializes in Marketing and Product Development at King Printers Co. Ltd in Osaka, Japan and is the spokesperson for Print Arabia, the first Japanese online printing company in Dubai, UAE. Print Arabia offers hassle-free offset and digital printing, as well as large format, novelty and T-shirt printing services.