If you’re a graphic designer then no doubt, you will need to use the services of a printer on pretty much a daily basis.
It’s an often undervalued part of a designers thought process but can be the difference between delivering your vision or it falling flat on its face.
I worked at a large printer for a number of years and know that good print is a real skill. I have taken that knowledge which has proved invaluable since becoming a self-employed graphic designer.
Find printers in your local area. Not only is it good to support local businesses but you can’t beat actually making a press pass. It’s amazing how many adjustments can be made with a few ink density changes.
Chances are you will need a select few printers depending on the particular spec of any job. Print costs are normally governed by the size of their press and the amount of inks they can run. So, select the printer specifically for each job depending on quantity, size, inks and finishing.
Talk to the printers before any print run and discuss the design you have in mind. Talk about paper stocks and the effect it may have on your design. Ask them for samples from other work they have done. Again, talk to them about finishes and check out samples of the same finish. The more information you have, the more successful the end product will be.
I’ve built up long-standing relationships with a handful of printers in Shropshire and the Midlands that I can turn to for any project. There is another upside too. What tends to happen is they get to know you and your work and they start asking you to do design work for them too!