14 Questions To Ask Your Printer Before Placing Your First Order

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Just because a company has a few printers and plenty of paper on hand does not mean they are qualified to produce high-quality marketing materials, souvenirs, gifts, or stationery for your business. As you search for a printing company to help you create a brand for your company, it is important to ask the right questions. Before you trust a commercial printer with your ideas, ask these fourteen questions:

1. What sets you apart from the competition? 

This may sound like a loaded question, especially if you ask it right upfront. But the way a commercial printer answers this question is an excellent indicator of their confidence in their abilities and services. As a consumer, you only want to work with a company that can provide the best services at the best rates. When you ask this question, listen carefully to the response. Does the person answering your question seem hesitant or unsure about why they are better than the competition? If so, this could be a red flag. On the other hand, if the printer is passionate and excited about what they can offer and what makes them different than the competition, you’re off to a great start.  

Some of the things you should listen for in an answer to this question include a focus on privacy and security, a passion for the industry, and an unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction. 

2. What services do you offer?

You may have an idea of the type of printing service you’re looking for, but it is always important to clarify this upfront before starting a relationship with a commercial printing company. Ask about all of their printing services. Do they strictly focus on paper goods such as flyers, stationery, and business cards? Do they handle photography or corporate orders? This could start a dialogue about other products and services they offer that you could take advantage of in the future. 

14 Questions To Ask Your Printer Before Placing Your First Order

3. Are there any guarantees?

Before you sign a contract and begin a professional relationship with your commercial printer, it is important to know what to expect. Part of this is understanding if they have any guarantees on their products and services. Ask about their policies when it comes to on-time delivery and completion of the project. What happens if the work is produced and it’s not what you were expecting? Asking these questions upfront helps to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding halfway through the printing process. A company that is confident in its products and services will offer a guarantee to ensure you are satisfied with your product. The best commercial printers will have a 100% guarantee if you are unsatisfied in any way with their delivery. 

4. What techniques/methods do you use?

There is a delicate science behind high-quality printing. It is so much more than putting paper in a printer and pushing a few buttons. It involves careful attention to detail, and your commercial printer should have a variety of specialized techniques and methods to ensure your product comes out looking its best. Some special method you should ask about include:

  • Embossing
  • Foil
  • Die-cut
  • UV coating
  • Lamination
  • Varnish

5. How many orders like mine do you handle each year?

This question gives you an idea about how familiar they are with the methods and techniques required to complete your project successfully. If they regularly handle orders like yours, you can be confident that they know what they’re doing. If they’ve only done a project like yours once or twice, they may not have the experience required to do it correctly. It is highly recommended to look for a commercial printer who has extensive experience with orders very similar do yours. 

6. Can I see some samples of work you’ve done before?

One of the best ways to ensure that a commercial printer is the right fit for you is to ask to see samples of their previous work. This allows you to see and feel a finished product and communicate your expectations and concerns about your specific order. A reputable commercial printer will be happy to show you samples of their previous work. If they don’t have something to show you or are hesitant to show you, this could be a red flag. 

If you aren’t exactly sure what you want, ask to see samples of previous work and help you get ideas and come to a decision. As you review their past work, you will be able to ask questions about your specific order and get clarification about what the printer can and can’t do. As a printer is showing you examples of work they’ve done in the past, they can explain to you the processes and procedures involved in creating a similar finished product. They can also use this time to offer suggestions and advice to help you create the product, stationery, souvenirs, or branding materials that you need.

7. Is there any part of the job that is outsourced to another company? 

One of the most important questions to ask when choosing a commercial printer is if they do all of their work in-house. The best printers will have the equipment, staff, and resources on-site to do all the work themselves. If they do plan on outsourcing some of the work, you can expect to see a markup and the price for this. If you are concerned about getting high-quality results at competitive and fair prices, look for a company that does all of their work in house and does not outsource any of their services. it is hard to find a print company in Lagos that handles all its printing in-house, but at Kiakiaprint there’s a full range of high tech machinery to fulfil the most complex forms of printing. Including Security printing and smart labels.

8. Who is my primary contact, and how do I get a hold of them? 

Every order is unique and requires a different timeframe and process. Whether you are ordering a single souvenir that will take a few hours or a more expensive project that could take days or weeks, it is essential to know who to contact throughout the process. Before you start a professional relationship with a commercial printer, it is important to find out who your primary point of contact will be. Ask about how often you should expect to receive updates and the best way to communicate with this person. There’s nothing more frustrating than being left in the dark when it comes to the progress of your order, or calling an office and always reaching someone new and getting different information. Knowing who to contact can help reduce anxiety and improve overall communication during the printing process. 

9. How Fast Can My Job Be Done??

For most people in busy cities like Lagos, time is of primary importance. Therefore, one vital question you need to ask your printer is how long the production process of your order might take. This erases any high expectations you may have and save time. 

10. What Are The Most Cost-Effective Options??

Most printers won’t tell you this but value and affordable can be reflected in every and any job. Either for the finish or design layout, try to find out how you can get value without breaking the bank.

11. What File Format is Preferred???

Regardless of how bulky or how small your job might be, it is necessary that you know the file format that is preferred by your print shop. Some print shops prefer the designs to come in the PDF file format, others prefer J.PEG and others PNG depending on the kind of job. Some print shops like Kiakiaprint can work with any of the formats. However, it is necessary that you do not assume but request for their preferred format.

12. What Resolution Should my Images Be?

This might seem trivial but it is quite important that you know what image resolutions to give your print shop. The generally accepted resolution is about 300 pixel/inch but due to the print type used by your print shop a higher resolution might be required. It is therefore that proper enquiry is made before placing an order to avoid any issues.

 

13. Does the print shop use Offset Printing and/Or Digital Printing?

Offset printing is print technology which requires templates be created for each print order.  Image(s) go from the print template to the rubber to the print surface. Print technology is moving to digital printing as this technology is more precise in terms of rendering true Pantone colors. Many organizations are very precise in terms of the color shade they want to be used.  Other organizations are satisfied with a close colour variant of their print job. Digital printing costs more than offset printing but provides better quality. Ensuing your printer knows the difference and can recommend accordingly will ensure happy customers. 

14. Does the Printer offer delivery service?

Big cities in Nigeria are well known for their traffic jams in which hours can be lost.  Many print shops will gladly have you come by the shop to pick up your order. For efficiency reasons, a print shop that can deliver an order can make the difference between who wins your job.  So be sure to ask your printer about delivery service. A print shop with a logistics unit to ensure customers get their orders on time should factor into a customer’s considerations. Kiakia Print has used their dispatch motorcycle riders to deliver orders around Lagos.  And for orders outside of Lagos, they have partnered with courier companies to offer customers great rates.

KiaKiaprint Has The Answers

At Kiakiaprint, We pride ourselves on exceptional services and unparalleled customer service. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about our company and our services. You can reach us on our website, by calling our office, by sending an email, or even by connecting with us on social media. We’re standing by ready to help!

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