Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Local or internet print vendor?

There are advantages in using a local print vendor versus going to the Internet.  I suggest you create your own file or even better get a graphics designer to do it.  Then have a local print vendor produce your print material.  A local printer will offer personal service, guarantee the work and make sure you get quality print materials that improve the image of your business.

You can place your orders with an internet print vendor and possibly save money.  However, you will not have personal support if your file is of poor quality, and end up with an unsatisfactory product that you paid for in advance. 

Some internet printers accept U.S and international orders and print them as group runs.  These orders are not always printed in the United States.   Which means their color adjustments may result in wrong color shades.  A printed piece with a blue sky may come to you with a purple sky instead.  Internet printers place limitations on what they offer.  Clients have to pick their layouts, papers and ink colors and do not get custom printed pieces.  Internet print firms offer lower prices because they run many orders from different clients on large sheets.  This mass volume process is cheaper but lacks quality controls. 

Shouldn’t we be buying local to help the San Antonio economy? You may pay a little more but you will be in full control.  Your marketing pieces will turn out the way you want them, which will raise the level of your professionalism.     

Friday, August 9, 2013

So, who owns your digital files?

You do, but only if you created your own computer files.  This does not necessarily hold true if you have a designer or print vendor create them.  The print industry trade customs state that files are tools of the trade. 

This is no different than if you contract a carpenter to build a wooden porch for you.  Let’s assume you have agreed to have the porch built for a certain amount of money.  What happens when the job is competed and you find out that the carpenter has extra nails and boards?  Are you going to ask him for the left over items or allow him to put them in his truck?   Was there something in writing on the estimate stating that you would recover any unused materials? 

This is the same principle with trusting your print or graphics vendor who created your digital files.   It must be stated clearly on the written estimate as to who owns those files especially with complex projects.  You may someday want to use those files again in some other fashion. You could ask for a copy of the file but if your print vendor gives you an Adobe PDF it may be useless if you have to make future edits.  It gets worse if you get unprintable Adobe PDF files. An unprintable Adobe PDF file is a digital proof that can be seen on the computer screen but will print as a hardcopy original.

 It can become very interesting when you wish to change designers or print vendors. Don’t be shocked if your vendor argues with you on releasing the files or charges you for locating and transferring your duplicate files. There are some sharks in our industry like any other profession, so buyer beware.