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What is Personalised Print?
Personalisation is a way to use your customer data (such as profiling or purchase history data) to customise the content of the print you produce. Personalised printing enables you to tailor each printed item to match the likes and tastes of each customer.

Personalised direct mailing

Personalised cover for a direct mailing. This one has two inserts – printed, cut and enclosed in just one process!

For example, you might have information telling you what sort of offers a particular customer tends to buy, so you might want to add similar offers in the next brochure you send them. Or if you have a customer’s address, you might give them details of their local store and highlight specific promotions linked to previous purchases.

Benefits of Personalisation

  • Improves product attraction
  • Increases usability
  • Displays products each customer is most likely to buy
  • Increases enquiries, orders and ROI

Personalised Print has two main goals. Firstly, it’s used to attract attention. At whatever point your customer comes into contact with your print, personalisation allows you to put attractive products right at the point they first see it, making the print more relevant to the customer and driving up engagement rates.

Secondly, focusing a customer’s attention on products and services you know they’ll like makes the print easier to use (they can find the stuff they like more easily) and consequently increases response rates, conversions and ROI for the marketer. Win/win.

Using your customer data to personalise your mailings, catalogues and brochures is a great place start if you’ve never tried to use your data in this way.

Here we look at the latest innovative ways you can apply personalisation to your print.

Basic Personalisation
The most basic level of personalised printing is to include elements such as names, addresses and other text taken straight from your database. This information will be included on the carrier sheet (the sheet containing the customer’s address and mailing details) but can also be used to print onto items such as envelopes and the cover page of a catalogue for example. This information is traditionally printed using black inkjet or laser on specific areas left blank after litho printing the main catalogue or brochure.

simple personalised print

Example of simple one-colour personalisation

However, in many cases, we can now print litho and digital inkjet in a single process and even this level of personalisation can be in four colour (speeding up the job and reducing cost!).

You can also add personalised letters or cover introductions (possibly taking it a stage further and including page references for products you think a customer will like) and can also leave blank spaces on covers to add a local store address or contact information. All this increases the value of the product to the customer, making them more likely to read it and convert into buyers.

Graphical & Variable
The next stage on from basic single-colour personalisation is to use your data and the latest four colour (full colour) printing in more creative ways to enhance product relevancy and usefulness even further.

Four colour ink jetting is now commonplace alongside or even inline (working consecutively as part of a single printing process) with litho presses at some of our suppliers which means it’s possible to designate areas of print which will be both full colour and fully personalised within the product.

four colour variable print

We can print different holidays in each copy depending on individual customer buying habits!

This means, if you hold profiling data on your customers – such as buying history or product preferences tied to product metadata – it’s possible to print covers, carrier sheets or internal pages which display graphics and text determined by the actions of the customer themselves.

For Example, if your customer has previously bought a lawnmower you might decide to try and cross sell a hedge trimmer or maybe a composter on the cover page. If you also hold data which shows two weeks ago they abandoned a shopping cart on your website containing grass seed and plant food, you might also want to include links to those items on the first pages – or produce a money off voucher on a fold-out flap as part of the cover. If you hold the right data, you can do this with every customer you’re mailing out to.

You could also incorporate a panel showing offers on these items inside the front cover and use a ‘Things you Might Like’ panel  pointing them further items within the catalogue your data suggests they might like.

Other Online Data
The next level of personalisation is ‘mashing in’ further content from other data sources. In this case, the world’s your oyster as practically any information available digitally can be used. For example, it’s possible to combine the opening hours of local stores with directions from the customer’s home to the store on a digital map and print this onto the print. The possibilities are only limited by the  available data sources and the imagination.

Another example is that variable data can also be taken straight from your inventory or pricing system to display product promotions and special offers in a similar way found on many websites. It also means print runs can be more targeted and more regular, maybe breaking up your traditional twice-a-year brochure mailing into more frequent, focused and up to date mailings.

Quality
In recent years, digital inkjet and laser quality has improved greatly, meaning the quality of personalised digital printing is now indistinguishable from litho to all but the most expert eyes. Mixing digital and litho can now work very well, offering seamless quality to your customers so they won’t notice the difference.

four colour personalisation

The quality of the personalised inkjetting is pretty much up to the quality of the parts printed litho these days. Your customers won’t notice!

Cost
Cost is related to how far you want to go with personalising your print and is often dependent on the quality of data you hold on your customers. It’s also about finding the best-fit printer for the level of personalisation you require. Some printers can produce corner-to-corner (i.e. full page) fully-personalised printing while others offer simple black on white personalisation – and there’s a whole range in between. The trick is to find the optimal solution which will fit your requirements, drive up your conversion rates and be delivered within your budget.

Webmart works at the cutting edge of UK print and offers every major personalisation option available in the UK or Europe. We’re expert in helping you find the solution you require and offer an entirely independent print consultancy service focused solely on finding the right solution for your needs.

To discuss how personalised print can work for your marketing campaign, contact us now to speak to your Webmart Print Consultant, either by emailing or calling your local office.

 

 

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Paper that Grows into Flowers!?
Nope, we’ve not been taking psychedelic drugs – there is actually such a thing as paper that grows into flowers!

We’ve been playing around with it in the Webmart Yellow Shed and it’s great. We think some of you (and your customers) will love it.

So here’s some information on what it is, how it’s used and, more importantly, how it’ll appeal to your customers.seed-paper-germinating We’ve also given a little background for your designers, outlining some of the considerations  to think about when designing for seed paper.

What is Seed Paper?
It’s a handmade, 100% recycled paper that contains living seeds from a range of flowers (see below). The papers contain natural pigments and printing inks are soy-based (so are REALLY environmentally-friendly!). When doused in water or planted in soil, the seeds start to germinate and because the paper’s uncoated and it’s pretty absorbent, it quickly turns into a mulch, freeing the seeds to grow.

What does it mean to your customers?
Seed paper has two main benefits. It’s a great way to show off your environmental credentials, but it’s also an incredible way to drive up response rates. Let’s take a look:

seedpaper-bookmark-webmart

Seed paper shape attached to a bookmark.

Environment
Not only are you communicating with your customers but seedpaper doesn’t get recycled – it gets planted! The pulp of the paper is 100% recycled in the first place, and when it’s planted, turns to mulch, naturally biodegrading once the seeds grow into flowers. Many customers pass the paper on to their kids or grand kids to grow or just put it in a flower bed to see what happens; so your eco-credentials gets passed from person to person!

Improved Response Rates
Which brings us on to the second point. Seed paper is not thrown away! It tends to be retained, shown around, popped into pockets or handbags to be shared later with kids or keen gardeners – or anyone else who might show an interest. That of course means that your message and brand have more of an impact than using standard papers. But there are very tangible results too.

Accompanying redeemable vouchers with a seedpaper shape (such as a star or other brand-relevant shape such as the flower on the bookmark above) drives up voucher redemption rates.

One example we’ve seen for a major supermarket chain’s promotion is that using seedpaper drove up a redemption rate of around 5% (non seed paper) to over 26% simply by the inclusion of a seedpaper shape! Customers made a mental note of it, retained it, shared it then redeemed it.

Job done seedpaper!

Flowers
Seed paper can be created with the flower seeds below (chosen as they offer the best combination of size, survivability (is that a word?!) and bloom). Which seeds can be used is determined by the thickness of the paper.

Five Spot, Candytuft, Baby Blue Eyes, Flax, Siberian Wallflower, Scarlet Zinnia, Sweet William Pinks, Corn Poppy, Tall Spurred Snapdragon, Northern Lights, Catchfly, English Daisy, Gloriosa, Black-Eyed Susan.

Artworking & Printing
Seed papers are uncoated and tend to have a rough surface. They’re also ‘sided’ meaning the surface of each side is different with one side being the print side. The reverse can be printed on but the rougher surface has to be taken into account when artworking. Larger type and darker ink colours are suggested for legibility.

Seed Paper Colours

Some seed papers are available in a range of colours

Also, because it’s uncoated, it’s more absorbent which means inks will be absorbed into the paper and appear lighter than might be expected with coated papers. For this reason, it’s advisable to see paper proofs. More artworking guidelines are available from your Print Consultant.

One of the main concerns when creating seed paper is to keep the seeds in great shape. Which also means the printing process has to be right so the seeds aren’t squashed or heated or sealed. Inkjetting is the preferred process as it doesn’t employ heavy roller-pressure or ovens to dry the ink. Letterpress can also be used  (on the thicker papers) but it’s important any printer understands how to handle the paper and has the right equipment to produce a great job but without damaging the seeds.

Products
There’s a range of paper thicknesses available from 130-250gsm, some are suitable for four colour printing, others aren’t.  Some papers are available in a range of colours too. Since we can print digitally on some papers, it’s also possible to do some simple personalisation too. As always, get in touch with your Webmart Print Consultant to find out more.

Uses
Seed paper has many uses, but here are some of the most popular to get your creative juices flowing:

Seedpaper-shapes

Seed paper ‘shapes’ and business cards.

  • Books and brochures
  • Postcards
  • Business stationery
  • Product boxes & tags
  • Cup holders
  • Envelopes
  • CD covers
  • Seeded shapes
  • Beer mats
  • Bags
  • Business card holders
  • Cotton-bound books

Ordering & Pricing
Because seed paper is made to order (most customers have specific colour, weight and seed requirements) lead time is longer than normal. Expect average orders to turn around in 3-4 weeks.

To get an idea of pricing, call your local Webmart Print Consultant who will be able to advise you on specifications and get you a price or contact them through our web form.

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Print Consultant extraodinaire Greg Warner gives a 3 minute presentation on how print drives online engagement and conversion, with a close look at some interesting research relating particularly to brochures and catalogues.

Call Webmart: 01869 366931

Link to Infographic or Contact a Webmart Print Consultant

We’ve also compiled the infographic below from a variety of research sources. It gives a window on how print marketing drives online search and ordering – something that’s notoriously difficult to measure unless you’ve got the right multichannel measurement tools in place. But seeing it in this format, hopefully you’ll get an idea of the interplay that’s going on between your channels.

It’s also incredible to look at the relative open-rates and read-rates for print – the kind of stats email and online marketers can only dream of (see the data in the stars).

Does this support the notion that print is fast becoming a ‘premium’ channel in the eyes of the consumer? We’ll let you decide*

Print's Role in Multi-channel Marketing

How exactly does print interact with online channels?

Click the graphic for a larger version.

*The answer’s ‘Yes’ by the way 🙂

For further Webmart videos and case studies of how we help your print marketing, please check out Webmart Downloads page.

For further print innovations, visit our Print Innovations category.

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A few Webmarteers attended Drupa Print Expo this year in Dusseldorf. The standout event that everyone came back talking about was the launch by Benny Landa of his new Nanographic printing presses.

Nanography is the term coined for a new process which aims to plug the gap between digital print and lithographic print, making medium sized runs more economic for customers and printers. It uses similar print heads to ink jet but key differences are that the size of the drops of ink are smaller in nanography and the ink is printed onto a printing blanket rather than directly onto paper. The ink is dried on the blanket so it forms a polymer layer (think plastic) which then sticks to the paper on contact, effectively laminating the image to the surface of the paper.

Nanography uses special water-based inks but can print onto standard cut sheets or webs of paper – as well as onto PVC or packaging film. It’s being touted as using less energy and less ink than current processes too. Indeed the whole proposition does sound well thought out and the unveiling presentation was very slick and convincing (guess it should be at a cost of £20m!)

We took a video of the launch presentation, so check it out below.

Landa expects its first presses to be delivered to printers towards the end of 2013. Looking at the quality of the test runs they produced at Drupa, we reckon they’re going to need that time to get the print quality up. However, printers seemed to be queuing up to put down deposits so it’s looking like nanography is going to be a feature of the print landscape in the not too distant future.

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What are they?
Scented varnishes are thin, transparent coatings that are laid over a piece of print. The varnish contains tiny micro-capsules of scent which are broken when rubbed, allowing the scent to be released into the air.

Uses for the Marketer
The great thing about scented print is that it can really evoke an emotional response in the reader. For example, the smell of rubber or oil for a car enthusiast. Or of cut grass or lavender for a gardener. Or how about Xmas pudding for a Christmas promotion? There are a huge array of aromas available, and each has a host of possibilities for the creative marketer or designer to use to engender a specific response in their target audience.

scented varnishes on print

Magazine cover overlaid with scented varnish on the fruit.

And of course, there’s the novelty and attention-grabbing value scented varnishes have. They encourage people to share items, to keep them on their desk or take them home to share with the family.

If used well, scented varnishes can really add impact and longevity to print. The secret, as ever, is in understanding your target audience to get the best out of them.

Scented varnishes can be used on a wide range of printed products – including point of sale, catalogues, leaflets – even business stationery. It can also be used on all kinds of stock – cards, papers, vinyls, glossy or matt.

We’ve had particular success with inserts and direct mail pieces too.

For limitations, check out the Technical Information section below.

Smells Available
Here’s a list of the off-the-shelf smells we have available. It is possible to produce custom scents too – so if you have any specific requirements not covered here, speak to your Webmart Print Consultant to discuss your options.

scented varnish flavours

Technical Information
Once a printed piece has been produced, scented varnishes are overlaid onto the print as a separate process. They can be mixed with other finishing techniques such as spot UV varnish and applied in a single pass. We can print on anything up to B1 size (1020×720) and on anything from 80gsm paper up to 600 micron thick board. Note that we don’t recommend applying scented varnishes to uncoated stock without applying a sealer first.

Pricing
Scented varnishes are relatively inexpensive, with the price decreasing for larger order volumes. They tend to be only slightly more expensive than other ‘standard’ varnish coatings. Again, for a price, get in touch with your Webmart Print Consultant.

If you’re in print marketing and interested in innovative product ideas, either keep reading Printing Brain or get in touch with your Webmart Print Consultant. 

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If you’re reading this, you’ll probably know that Direct Mail is a great way to communicate straight to your customers (if you don’t understand the power of Direct Mail yet, why not dive into some of our Direct Mail Tag articles to find out more?).

Creating ‘sticky’ content in your Direct Mailing is a great way to provide something that’s useful, informative and attractive for your customers. It’s also one of the points on our list of 14 tips to increase Direct Mail response rates article. Stickiness means it hangs around and doesn’t get binned. It keeps on communicating your brand and messages to your customers well beyond its initial impact on the doormat.

But stickiness can be tricky to find – and get right.

Well we’ve come up with something that’s really sticky and timeless. Namely, face paints that can be printed straight onto your DM and mailed out to customers!

face paint printing for direct mail

Large message area, great stickiness. DM that keeps on working!

For anyone connected with a kid (big or little!) who’s into supporting field sports or teams, you’ll appreciate that sending a DM piece that includes face paints can have real impact. But they’re great for showing support in lots of other ways too, including  promoting corporate branding activities as part of an event or other campaign.

The great thing about sending out DM that includes facepaints is that it means they’re snapped up, shown around, stored, used, kept for later and passed on. If you mail out to the right profiles within your database, you could be on for some extremely high retention rates – and consequently high enquiry & conversion rates.

And they’re not just great for football or sports of course. There’s a wide variety of colours available, so could be used for more or less any campaign targeting kids or parents.

Here’s a list of the basic colours available – though special custom colours can be mixed, meaning the world’s your oyster.

Basic colours: White, Yellow, Orange, Red, Green, Blue, Ochre, Brown, Black, Plus glitter silver, glitter copper, glitter red, glitter, green, glitter light blue, glitter purple, glitter dark blue, glitter gold.

Safety Notice
The face paints use non-toxic cosmetic pigments that are specially formulated for use on skin. However, there are one or two other common sense precautions that should be taken so it’s always worth including a safety notice on any print with face paints. Give us a call if you need our suggested text.

Artworking
It’s important the face paints are placed on a print-free area to prevent users picking up screen inks and applying those to their faces too. That also includes not printing underneath the face paints.

So what’re you waiting for? Webmart offers a comprehensive print and mailing and postage service (and advice on other things like data processing, downstream access, call centres). So get in touch with your friendly Webmart Print Consultant to find out more. We’d love to chat through this and any other Direct Mail options with you.

 

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We recently visited the Technology for Marketing and Advertising show at Earl’s Court.

Chief Webmarteer and MD Simon took to the Direct Marketing stage and presented his ‘A Hairy Yorkshireman on the Direct Mail – 10 Tips to Reduce Costs and Increase ROI‘ presentation.

If you missed it (or want to see it again) here’s the video along with the prezi presentation (below).

Direct-Mail-TFM&A-presentation-by-Webmart

Click to jump to the presentation at Prezi.com – or use the link below.

Important Note. Since doing this presentation, Royal Mail have announced further price changes. Check out our article on Royal Mail Price Changes from 2nd April 2012 to keep up to date.

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Here are the main changes Royal Mail have announced which will affect the market from 2nd April 2012. If you use mailing as a significant part of your business, give your local Webmart Print Consultant a call to help you navigate your way through the changes or help with reengineering your print.

VAT Changes
As of April 2nd, anything that’s not stamped or put through a franking machine will be subject to VAT. Which won’t be

Royal-mail-vat-increase

Be prepared for VAT on your mailings!

a problem for VAT registered businesses but will be a cost for non-VAT registered businesses as this means they’ll be immediately hit with a 20% increase in price.  People who can’t claim VAT back include insurance companies, charities and universities – and some businesses within financial services industries (consult your tax advisors to see if you’re affected).

There is a tariff coming out aimed specifically at people who can’t claim VAT back called the Standard Tariff Letter VAT Exempt which will give a small discount on the price of a second class stamp and there will be no bulk discounts available. So a comparison needs to be done against other available tariffs (such as the advertising tariff) to ensure it’s worth switching over to this tariff.

As always, your Webmart Print Consultant is best placed to advise on your options, including DSA (down stream access) versus Royal Mail.

Bulk Mail Transformation Scheme
The Transformation Scheme has been brought in to simplify the product range as there are so many schemes and tariffs currently available.

The tariff changes are not blanket price changes so it’s quite complicated to understand the impact the changes will have on individual mailings. Most prices will rise (surprise surprise!) however Royal Mail do expect some of their customers to be actually paying less, including Packet Post customers with mailings under certain weights who may experience a drop in price.

Having said that, hardest hit will be customers using Packet Post through Mailsort 1400 as Mailsort 1400 will no longer be accepting packets.

New Product Areas
These are the new areas Royal Mail are focusing on and have split down their mailing categories into the following sections to make them more understandable to customers:

  • Advertising Mail
  • Publishing Mail
  • Business Mail

Generic Changes
2nd Class mail –  traditionally 2nd class was 2-3 working days delivery but is now coming down to 2 working days.

Economy (previously called Mailsort 3)* – traditionally targeted delivery within 7 working days but that’s now coming down to 4 working days, giving clients a much tighter focus for staffing up call centres (and which is much more in line with downstream access providers). Delivery in 4 working days means if it’s posted on the Monday, it’ll hit the doormat on the following Friday at the latest.

Economy can also be combined with the Multistage Service (see below) so teasers or follow up mailings can be produced and mailed (within 6 months) to a main product mailing and take advantage of the Economy rate.

Note: that Saturday is counted as a working day for deliveries, but not for dispatch.

royal mail logo

To get the lowdown on Royal Mail changes, give Webmart a call.

ASBoF Tarrif
Advertising Standard Board of Finance (ASBoF) is a regulatory body to which it was optional to pay a levy of £2 per 1000 mailed items to ASBoF (which can be recouped from ASBoF) on all mailings. From April 2nd, this will no longer be optional, although the levy can still be recovered from ASBoF. This means that on a £3000 cost, £6 will be payable to ASBoF. This fee won’t be charged against Business Mail as, by definition, it won’t be classed as Advertising Mail.

Mailsort Options
These are being reduced from four different mail sorts to just two: High Sort and Low Sort.

High Sort is the equivalent of the old Mailsort 1400 and sorts the mail to the delivery office level.

Low Sort is equivalent to Mailsort 70 and sorts the mail 88 ways for delivery directly to mail centres.

Advertising Mail
Advertising Mail is generally the lowest cost option. But what constitutes Advertising Mail?

In a nutshell, it’s Items with a uniform message intended to promote sale of products or services.

Advertising Mail has to include a ‘seed’ item which is checked by Royal Mail to ensure it complies with advertising mail regulations.

The price increase for Advertising Mail will typically be 3-4%.

Key changes to Advertising Mail:

  • 2 sorting levels – High Sort and Low Sort.
  • VAT payable
  • Now available for packets
  • Polywrapped items can now be sorted – both high and low sort – but have to be minimum large letter size

Advertising Mail Multistage (old Mailsort light)
An interesting service if you wish to mail before or after a main mailing as part of a campaign. To qualify there has to be a minimum 40000 items (in total across all mailings in that single campaign) and all have to be machine sortable. Maximum number of items before the main product is one item. After the main item, the maximum number of follow up items are 3 (up to C5 in size).

Sustainable Advertising Mail
No real changes here. Note, biodegradable polywrapping is excluded from this scheme because many local councils don’t have the facility in place to recycle it.

Publishing Mail (currently Press Stream)
Many publishers may be using Press Stream currently, which is only available on first and second class options (i.e. delivery in up to 2-3 days). Publishers may save by going to Level 4 sort which increases the delivery time by 1 day but could save 3% on delivery.

Business Mail
The main change is that there will now be no ASBoF levy on business mail and now large letters can be sorted in poly bags so these can access Low Sort.

Business Reply
Is a service where postage-paid cards are included for customers to reply direct to the sender and you only pay for the responses you receive. All are first & second class responses, the difference being Business Reply Standard may be non-machine sortable whereas Business Reply Plus has to be machine sortable and is lower cost.

For more price change info. check out www.royalmail.com/prices2012.

Update:
If you’re mailing after 2nd April you must be using the new mailsort database. However some mailing houses have agreed a 6 week’s period where they’ll accept mail using the old database. Depending on mailing house, the cut-off date will be anywhere between 9th April and 21th May. Call your Webmart Consultant for up to date information on cut-off dates and penalties.

Product re-engineering is a good way forward to try and minimise the impact of these changes – call your Webmart Print Consultants to discuss your options.

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In Part 1 we had a quick look at how pre-production can be an incredibly useful phase of any catalogue printing project as it clarifies precisely what’s going to happen and by whom when the job goes to press. Now, we skip on to the post-production phase of the project and see how to best follow up and start the cycle of continual improvement and innovation.

catalogue-printing

Forms, designs, weights are all up for discussion in the Innovation phase.

So, your catalogues are printed and are safely in your fulfilment centre or warehouse. There were probably one or two unexpected twists and turns along the way and your Print Consultant (who’s been through this many times before) has been holding his tongue, dying to say something along the lines of ‘I said this might happen,’ or ‘I told you so!’. But they don’t because they’re professional and know it’ll wind you up.

But there is a place for this conversation, and it’s now.

Post-Production and Innovation Meeting
They can be separate but it can be a good time-saver to combine them, especially when we’re all sat down and focused.

The post-production phase is where we take a look at the production that’s just happened and look at ways to improve. Things like:

  • What went wrong (so we can avoid it next time)
  • What went right (so we can do it again)
  • How the printer performed
  • Any surprises
  • Any misunderstandings
  • How we can formalise the learning so it’s part of the process for the next job

All this learning will be documented and added to the pre-production bible for next time. That way we learn from any mistakes and it becomes process-mapped to create a virtuous cycle each time the project is printed.

The innovation part of the meeting is where we all bring our ideas for exciting new formats, new innovations for existing products, look at items such as interim products that can drive up response rates – and check out what the competition’s doing. It’s where we look at the performance of the print and work out how to boost it further. Out of this can come an agreement for further research or costings of new formats and/or agreements for strategy or product enhancements.

It’s all pretty obvious stuff, but we find that formalising the process in this way really drives the improvement cycle into the business and means we’re continually driving improvements, making all our lives that much easier and, ultimately, making all our catalogues work better for our customers. Which has got to be a very good thing.

You can do this sort of thing yourselves, but our clients find it invaluable to have an experienced, independent 3rd party Print Consultant bring their expertise to bear on the proceedings as they usually identify improvements that you’re too close to see. They also see and manage lots of other catalogue printing projects so are very useful in making suggestions that probably wouldn’t otherwise come to mind.

If you regularly print catalogues and are finding the process difficult to manage, then Webmart’s Print Consultants are here to help. Contact us here and we’ll have your catalogue production running like clockwork in next to no time.

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If your business depends on brochure or catalogue printing delivered to your customers by direct mail or mail order, then here’s a couple of process improvements that you might find useful to make your life easier and make  your print that bit more effective.

Namely, the use of the pre and post-production meetings.

pre-production-meeting

A pre production meeting in full flow in the Yellow Shed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, OK, they sound dull as a wet bank holiday in Warrington but I assure you, they’re entirely vital in removing frustrations and adding that little bit of sparkle to your productions that makes life (and the bottom line) more fruitful. Let me explain.

Pre Production Meeting
Just like your tedious form teacher used to say, perfect planning prevents poor performance (or words to that effect!). Well, our print consultants are experts in planning a production so things run smoothly. And the key phase here is the pre-production meeting.

This is where specifications, print timings, distribution schedules, packing, warehousing, definitions, language variants, people involved, emergency contact information, contingencies, and so on, are all planned out meticulously to cover every eventuality and keep all key people informed and up to speed before the project goes to print. Many catalogue printing projects can be complex, multi-version affairs, so having everything agreed and itemised before the project goes to press is very worthwhile.

Pre Production Bible
So the end result of this meeting is the Pre-Production Bible, a master document containing all information relevant to the production which is used as a reference guide throughout the printing phase and is key to keeping things moving predictably and delivering to spec. and to schedule.

It can be a bit of work to organise and create (which is one good reason to have an experienced Print Consultant to hand) but it allows you to turn what can be an unpredictable and chaotic nightmare into a structured, anticipated and thoroughly organised event. Hurrah!

We’ll take a look at how the post production meeting starts a virtuous improvement cycle in the catalogue printing process in the next article. But to take advantage of all the sage-like wisdom of our Print Consultants, all for the price of a cup of coffee and a warm welcome, contact us and we’ll get onto the case.

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