The Value of a Professional Print Designer

Why you should work with a professional print designer

If you already work with one, you may realize the value of a professional print designer. However, you may be underutilizing their expertise. When you work with a graphic designer for any project, you will get the best results when you include them from conception (or shortly thereafter) to delivery. This ensures that:

  • the final piece is what everyone expects;
  • the job gets completed on time;
  • you benefit from the designer’s creativity, expertise and technical knowledge;
  • you are more likely to see results.

For printing, this is especially important due to the nature of the medium—permanence and print time. You cannot simply hit Undo or quickly correct an error after publishing, like you can with digital work such as websites and PDFs.

Since we’re always all about helping you help yourself, here are some tips to help you plan your next print project. You will see that a good professional print designer does much more than create a design.

  • Involve the designer from the beginning to not only allow them to make helpful suggestions to help you reach your goals but to make recommendations to achieve the best ROI. For example, you may envision needing a trifold brochure, but really a different-sized print piece (i.e., a larger brochure or an oversized postcard) may yield better results. A good designer will help you decide this after discussing your needs, your deadline, your budget and how the piece will be distributed.
  • Print and design budgets should not be mutually exclusive. Talented designers know how to create an effective design solution that also saves you money in printing (if you have budgetary restrictions). Therefore, allotting a certain portion of your budget to design and the rest to printing isn’t the best path to take. Sharing the overall budget with the designer will help determine the best approach to both design and printing to get you the best bang for your buck.
  • Designers have printer connections. You may love your printer, but, in certain situations, they may not be the best fit for a particular job. We can recommend printers who might be better suited for that job. This may result in lower costs or higher-quality work because they have different, more appropriate equipment suited for that particular job.
  • Always have your designer review proofs. Some clients prefer to directly communicate with the printer (which is fine), but it’s highly advisable to involve the designer in the process. This ensures that everything goes as expected and stays on track. When it’s time to review proofs from the printer, be sure to have the printer send the designer a proof. PDF proofs usually don’t incur an extra charge. For complex jobs, a hard proof (paper proof) is advisable for both parties. It’s better to spend a few extra bucks at this stage rather than incur additional time and costs as a result of the job needing to be reprinted due to an error. You may think the proof looks fine. However, your designer may find something wrong, as we check for different types of details. After spending much time working in a file, the designer is the most familiar with the intended result, making it more likely for us to catch any technical errors. If you approve a job with an error that was overlooked, the cost of reprint would be on you if you needed to reprint. If a printer error occurred after you signed off, you likely would not have to pay for that, but you don’t always have the luxury of time to have a job reprinted.

Overseeing the print production process is what we graphic designers do well and do every day. The cost of doing so is usually already included in the design fees. Putting our expertise to work for you could save you money, time and stress.

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