These days there’s always pressure on budgets, we’re used to it, it’s the new norm for us. Brand managers, Marketing managers and their teams are taking more control on production. Internalising management and buying services direct gives greater budget control but also brings greater responsibility. A responsibility for which some are unprepared for when something goes wrong. Suddenly what seemed like a simple money saving solution is now going to blow your whole marketing budget and your deadlines.
Here’s our top 5 production tips to keep it all in line:
1 Know the process
No matter how simple the job seams make sure you know process and what effects it may have on production. A simple example is specifying digital or litho printing. While a simple choice to use digital printing may mean faster turn around and cheaper printing it can change the stock that can be used, the quality of image reproduction and the accuracy of colour matching. All of which you can end up with a flimsy brochure, on a cheap shiny stock, with forms that wont work with a biro and does’t match you new brands colours. If you’re not sure of the process ask for samples. Ask about the process, it’s strengths and limitations. A cheaper process will always have some drawback, make sure you know what it is. Always ask. never assume, you know what that does.
2 Get an independent proof reader
Get someone not involved in the project to proof the work, or better yet pay a professional proof reader. Everyone involved has seen the job so many times they can no longer be relied to see simple typos. Naturally we’re better at spotting fresh changes but the more we see something the more that ability is diminished. So find someone who is thorough, diligent and fresh to the project to proof read everything.
3 Always get a production quality proof
PDFs are not proofs. Lasers are not proofs. They are fine for copy correction and iterations of changes but not for production proofs. Unless the proof comes from the same system as the final production, you’re gambling. If your supplier wont supply a proof, find a new supplier.
4 Make a production check
Press checks can be a pain, travelling to some godforsaken industrial park in the middle of nowhere can take for ever, but there’s no better time to catch a production issue. See your job actually being printed, tweaking the colours, correcting any last minute errors. It could be the last opportunity to change a balance sheet before a report is bound. A mistake spotted now might be expensive and delay delivery but it’s better than a reprint.
5 There’s always time for a reprint
Always keep this in mind. No matter how much pressure your under from a deadline or a budget. How tempted you are to skip any of these steps or rush them. If the job is delivered wrong, it’ll have to be redone. Costing everyone involved time, budget, reputation and maybe their job. So take the time to understand the process, make sure the job is properly proofed, arrange a production check and know what is delivered is right.