Sign & Digital Graphics

October '14

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"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." —Warren Buffett B udgets are tight these days. Many clients are looking for the lowest- priced products available, especially for short-term use. But as a supplier, one hates to turn out inferior products just to meet a low price point. Fortunately there are some good solutions available. DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS Printing Well on a Tight Budget A little extra effort can yield quality output at a reasonable price B y D u a n e F a s t Duane Fast is a Vancouver, Canada-based Interpre- tive Graphics Consultant with 30 years experience as GM of Artcra Display Graphics Inc., an inter- national manufacturer of interpretive graphics and exhibits. The holy grail of printing is to create a good-quality, budget-priced product. Every aspect of the printing process is involved in achieving this, and it starts with the philosophy of the print shop. The lowest-priced shops often have the idea that there is no extra time or effort that can be spent on the print jobs. These shops compete fiercely with each other, usually just over price, leaving extremely small margins. But budget printing is possible without sacrificing too much quality. A shop that puts in a little extra effort can still have reasonable prices, but will stand out from the crowd, allowing it to price with at least some profit margin. The Service Service is always worth something. Customer files receive no pre- press, it's just click and print, what you see is what you get at many low-priced print shops. However even for budget printing, the mini- mum service level should be a prepress check of the client's files. Will the sky be purple or the face green? Is there a font problem that will cause type issues? Are the images all high enough resolu- tion to print without pixelation? Just a few minutes spent checking the details beforehand will mean a lot to a client. Then they can be given the option of fixing the files themselves, or paying to have it done. The Quality Control Printing is not a perfect science. Glitches do happen. Checking the prints before they leave the shop instead of waiting to see if the client notices gains a lot of goodwill and will only cost a few minutes of someone's time. The Mutoh VJ628 is an economical way to get into printing with a low price point and a small footprint to accommodate small spaces. s I G n & D I G I t a L G R a P H I C s • October 2014 • 33

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