This one will be short and sweet as I will simply cover some basics that will help you to get the printing quote you seek in the shortest possible time and with the most accurate results. This will not necessarily be how you can find the cheapest printing quote, or the printer with the best quality, but more specifically, how you can best communicate with printing companies.
The first thing you will want to address is what is the item you are looking for specifically? Don’t just start rambling off specs, as that is too circuitous and it is best if the conversation, whether in email, printing quote form or on the telephone, can start by centered around the item you want. This way the printing company professional, know where to take the conversation from the start and will be able not just to understand what you need but to make suggestions that best fit the item you want. If it is printing magazines or book printing that you want, that should be the very first thing you tell your professional printing partner.
The next thing up at bat should be the quantity before you go any further. This tells the printing company which type of equipment the conversation should be centered around. If you are printing one million catalogs, then web printing is the only choice to discuss. If it is for 200 books than your printing quote would be based on either running on a digital printing press due to it being the best equipment for the best possible price. By establishing a quantity, you keep the conversation focused on the limitations or abilities of a given technology. The reason for this is to work with the printing press and “always swim downstream” for the best results and pricing for your commercial printing quote.
Let’s talk page count and I do not mean how many sheets of paper, how many four page sections or any other similar verbiage. As Detective Friday used to say on Dragnet, the TV show, “I want the whole truth and nothing but the truth” and the only way you are going to get there is to keep the conversation about page counts rather than trying to wear your printing company hat and try and second guess how the job will be printed. You will be wrong in most cases. What you want to do is center all of the information you are looking to pass on to the printing company for your quote around the finished product and not how you THINK it will be produced or what you THINK the magazine printer or book printer wants to hear. Keep the conversation to what you want delivered to your doorstep. Thus a “page”, is one side of the sheet of paper from the spine out in the finished catalog or brochure. When you flip it over to read it that is the “next page”. Additionally once the printing company knows your page count, along with quantity he is very close to having a conceptual understanding of what you seek and suggestions to be made that may save you money or provide you with a better quality poster, brochure or magazine.
Size does matter for your printing quote! Once the printer has the size, quantity and page count there is supreme clarity of how your printing job should be produced and which printing press will give you the best quality printing results and quote. Once you pick the size you think best for your book, magazine or newsletter, do allow the printing company professional to make suggestions to other sizes as you will always wind up with the best and most cost effective printing quote once you are allowing the printer to suggest the best size for the particular printing press in question. Again, you will be swimming downstream, unless your heavier wallet due to your print savings drags you down.
Last of all let’s address the paper you choose for your printing quote. Not all paper is all things to all printing presses, or something like that. Web offset printing presses cannot run more than a 9 pt. cover. Sheet fed printing presses cannot run thinner than 60# coated text stocks. Also many custom designer and brand papers are not available to web printing presses. Therefore you need to understand that your paper choices may be held hostage to the rest of your printing specifications if you seek a professional quality printing job with a printing quote that is cost effective.
I am hoping you have found this information useful so that your next contact with a commercial printing company offers you a better understanding as well as increases the ease in order to facilitate your printing quote.
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