BY MATTHEW BIRCHARD

Printers don’t have a vested interest in the design of what they’re printing.  If you’re willing to invest in printing, hire a graphic design firm to create what you print.

Let me preface this post by saying that the commercial printers Rains | Birchard works with really are valued partners and it is through our close relationships that we turn intangible designs into something you can hold in your hand.  That being said, printers are not designers.

Calling up a commercial printer will get an eager rep to your door in no time. And, if you only have your brochure mocked up in Word or PowerPoint, several will be happy to offer the services of their pre-press department to complete your design.  Here are 5 reasons to not take them up on their offer.

1. Print reps sell printing.  It sounds obvious, but they make their living putting ink on paper; how the ink is laid out on the paper doesn’t really matter. A print rep wants you to be happy with a design to the point at which you approve their proof and bind yourself to paying for the job so they in turn get paid.

2. Commercial printers don’t know your market, customers or business needs.  Because of these they can’t effectively offer you insightful design services that will have a positive impact on your business.

3. Your customer doesn’t care how much your brochure, catalog or presentation folder cost to print.  What they do care about is whether or not it conveys to them the information they want.

It must be a quality print job, to be sure, but a printed piece’s value to your business is in the graphic design.

4. For a printer, every solution to a need will involve printing.  You may think that printed materials are the best solution to a marketing or business challenge you are facing, but if you’re working with a full-service marketing firm like us, we may recommend something other than print, like advertising, e-mail marketing or maybe just hiring more sales people.

5. The most talented graphic designers work where their talents are put to best use. Commercial printers employ pre-press operators who spend the vast majority of their time taking other people’s designs and using software to prep the files for offset or digital printing.  Pre-press does not require artistic ability.  Good designers work for creative firms.

So, if your business requires printed materials, it’s best to start with hiring an agency like us.  We’ll work with you on the copy and layout to make the end result something we’re both proud of.   We will also guide you through the process.  We have a very good understanding of turnaround times, capabilities and what is considered usual and customary with commercial printing.  For Rains | Birchard Marketing, our focus is on what we are having printed, not only how it is printed.