With more than 30 years in the printing industry, we know a few things about what print buyers want. Most importantly, they want to work with a trustworthy partner. After that, when it comes to project delivery, they want speed, quality and no surprises.
Every once in a while, however, some project seems just a little harder to deliver than others. We’ve thought about this a lot through the years, trying to determine the keys to successfully delivering projects on time and without surprises. What we’ve determined isn’t necessarily earth-shattering, but it is important nonetheless: you must have good print specs.
Yes, the key to successful project delivery is having complete project details from as early in the production 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 involved and many variables at each stage of production. 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 understand 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 at the start, we have to ask a lot of questions. When customers do provide detailed print specs at the start, we can begin working on their 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
- Size (Flat and Finished)
- Sides/Number of Pages
- 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 first page for any project; you can use the second page for booklets, which have a cover and inside pages. Feel free to use the form to organize the specifications for your next project.