When people think about print production, most marketers and procurement people think about printing. Actually putting ink on paper is less than 30% of the print production cost and yet this is where most of the cost management focus is placed. In actual fact the content creation (and warehousing and distribution) makes up the majority of the print production cost. Therefore here are a few tips on getting transparency and accountability in your print production.
1. When briefing print advertising, specify not only the media type, but also extra usage requirements (ie. posters, outdoor, etc) the campaign duration, appearance frequency and variations required as these impact on the concept and budget.
2. Specify as many aspects of the production as possible; budget, quantity required, all usage and format requirements and distribution to ensure the agency can make the best recommendation.
3. Define all mandatories in the briefing, including logos, corporate colours and style guidelines to reduce any time required to incorporate these later.
4. Ask the agency to prepare a production schedule following the briefing to ensure any cost penalties are minimised due to time constraints.
5. Ask the agency to prepare a production estimate before approving a concept, to ensure the idea can be achieved within the allocated budget.
6. If photography is required, have the agency check your existing digital image assets for appropriate material before committing to the cost of new photography.
7. Hold a pre-production meeting for all photographic shoots, large or small, to ensure all aspects are approved before the first shot is taken.
8. Proof read and check all facts at every step of the finished art process as once you give approval the responsibility lies with you.
9. Ensure you review a colour accurate proof (either digital or chemical) before approving the project to go to print.
10. Contact TrinityP3 as we provide assessment, auditing, implementation and training services to ensure ultimate transparency and accountability.
Most of the stories you hear about printing disasters relate to the actual printing process – wrong colours, bound the wrong way etc and everything has to be thrown away and started again. Almost all of these are caused in the pre-production process. What disasters have you experienced or heard about? Let me know here with a comment.