Good Print Specs are the Key to Successful Projects


Since we’ve worked for more than 30 years in the printing industry, we know a few things about what print buyers want. First, they want to work with a trustworthy partner. Second, when it comes to project delivery, they want speed, quality and no surprises. While we do a good job of meeting these requirements for our clients, some projects always seem a little easier to deliver than others. So, we’ve thought about this a lot through the years. We’ve tried to determine the keys to successful project delivery. What we’ve come up with isn’t earth-shattering, but it is vital nonetheless: good print specs.

Indeed, the key to successful project delivery is having complete project details from as early in the process as possible. As a matter of fact, they should exist right from the start.

Printing is a complicated process. There are lots of details and variables involved in each stage. Change or miss one small detail and the final product can end up nothing like what was intended. To help reduce the potential for unintended results, basic project details need to be outlined and understood by both the client and the printer right from the start. Establishing accurate print specs at the beginning of the process can create this mutual understanding.

Print specs are the primary way a client can convey what they envision for their final product. The more complete the specifications, the better the printer can see the client’s vision. With a clear vision, the printer can provide a more accurate cost estimate, make time-saving or cost-saving suggestions, and ensure they deliver a high-quality product in an acceptable timeframe.

At Perfect, our estimating, sales and customer service teams know to ask probing questions to help us get the project clarity we need to provide our best service. When customers don’t provide detailed print specs from the start we have to ask a lot of questions . When customers do provide detailed print specs at the start, there are fewer questions. We can begin working on the project faster. At the very least, the specifications that help us get a good start on a project include:

  • Project name
  • A detailed description
  • Due date
  • Quantity
  • Size (Flat and Finished)
  • Sides/Number of Pages
  • Inks
  • Paper
  • Directions for mailing, shipping or delivery

We’ve created a project specification form to help our customers outline their specifications so we can understand their project vision. The form has two pages. You can use the one page for any project; you can use the second page for booklets, which have a cover and inside pages. Customers can find the form in the Resources section of our website.

These forms include the basic information listed above as well as some additional information for more complex projects. Feel free to use the form to organize the specifications for your next project. You can save the form for your records for future reference. This can help on reorders or when you need to produce a project that is similar to a previous one. Just start with the specs from the already completed project and you can reduce your planning time for the new one.

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