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Tip 4: Don’t compromise on design - Top 10 tips to consider when outsourcing print management

Managed Print Services - Chapter 24. Don’t compromise on design 

Many factors affecting print are inherent within the design, so it makes sense to use a print management company that incorporates a design studio. With all the expertise in-house, they will be able to advise on how your design brief translates into the finished item, taking production costs into account.

In briefing the design team, you need to be clear about your expectations of the finished item and how this meets the needs of your target audience. Is it a disposable means of highlighting a time-limited offer? Or will it be something that customers keep and refer to repeatedly? Understanding how your print item will be used, and how it will be distributed, influences its format, size, weight and the type of the stock on which it is printed.

You need to know from the start whether you will require your item to fold into an envelope or point-of-sale dispenser. A designer should be able to advise on formats to ensure that your strategic objectives are being met.

In the same way, you should expect a designer to advise on the implications of finishing including different types of binding and whether your item would benefit from being perfect bound or saddle-stitched. Some designers might recommend lay flat binding which enables the item to be fully-opened for easy browsing without cracking the spine.

A good design team will be able to advise you on how finishing effects such as UV varnish can create impact and boost the stand-out of your brand. UV varnish cannot be applied to uncoated stock, so always ask the studio to advise on paper choices. Your project may benefit from lamination, using gloss for striking impact, or matt for a tactile high-quality effect.

In addition, you could choose metallic inks (including gold and silver) and the design team will make sure you are aware of the impact this will make on the overall printing cost. Foil blocking can also create stunning effects but has similar implications for cost. Foiling and embossing can be requested on areas that are too intricate, causing detail to be lost.

Download the full 'Top 10 Tips' here