JSondy… I think you have it right.
OK, I read everyone’s comments before me. Then wrote my comments... It took forever to accomplish, but here is my take on it…
There are several levels of service required for a printer. On the consumer side, level one is “can you copy this?” The next level is, “I have a brochure I created and need to print it for distribution throughout the company. How much will it cost?” The last level on the consumer side actually bleeds into the commercial sales side of the equation. This level is typically entrepreneurs looking to print a quality item do distribute at a one time event or to stir up interest in a particular product or interest.
On the commercial side, it requires more of a “hands on” approach in most cases. As I originally presented it, the commercial customer starts at the level of the entrepreneur. But truly the first level of printing for commercial accounts, require a higher level of attention to the customer. Commercial accounts print large quantity and typically employ a designer. That designer is sometimes part of the printing company’s team. In that situation content to the printed document is sent by email, one article at a time from many sources (writers), or as one file and the designer “plugs in” the content based on a pre-arranged “template”. So you can see how this type of printing service is more of a “hands off” process. It’s become so typical that it’s a process rather than a service.
The next commercial printing level, is generally those people looking for something more than a “template” style production. They should take advantage of a sales rep to discuss paper choice for the product presented, and other creative aspects that the commercial customer may need guidance.
The final level of printing needs for commercial account would be, those looking for special inks, unusual coverage requests, along with all those paper choices and more. Take a look at your local Ferrari dealership booklets. It’s quality printing compared to the nicely done full-color magazine you receive.
So it really depends on the level of attention your project needs. The unfortunate part is that many people setting out to print something don’t know enough about their options. They believe they don’t need “help” from a salesman. They believe what they see in their minds eye is exactly what they need, and will get. But in many cases, a sales rep can provide creative involvement and knowledge towards what a printed product will look like when the ink coverage bleeds through specific paper blends in different manners. Color shifts and many other complications can occur it not choosing the proper design with the proper paper and ink coverage.
Everyone values quality. But not everyone is willing to pay for it, or take the time to learn what actions produce quality. They just want what they want, as fast as they can get it. It’s up to the entrepreneur to decide what type of customer or demographic they can, or want to, serve.
I recently bought 1000 stickers containing my band
’s name and web address, from an online printer. I want to pass these stickers out during and after our live performances. The price was right, and I don’t really care how well they come out… so long as you can read the name. For the kind of service I require in this situation, there is no need for me to employ my local printer. The cost of print, and shipping is lower than the cost provided by local printers. Maybe my local printers have too much overhead to accept a job of so little importance. After all, I am not likely their target market for this “sticker” project. On the other hand, the guy in another state may have different labor costs or might be a one-man operation who loves printing simple jobs. When the price is right, why should I deny the entrepreneur my business if he provides the service I require at a fair (possibly low) price.
Font Issues… Fonts are like songs. Someone created it and someone owns it. Each font on your system has to be registered. Of course, just as in the mp3 music trading issues, you likely have fonts that aren’t actually owned by you, or your system ships with specific fonts as a default. Those fonts are likely public domain or owned, then licensed to Apple or Windows or whatever. Anyway…
If you use fonts that your printer (and sometimes this means your personal printing device) doesn’t have, he will not be able to print the item using the same font unless you provide a properly designed PDF, Illustrator, or Photoshop document. If you are using the standard layout programs like Quark, or InDesign, you have to be sure to export all the fonts used in the document to allow your printer to print the document properly. Then theirs always the issue of each computer reading the fonts with a slightly different kern or using fonts that don’t work well with the printer’s ripping software.
EPS means Encapsulated PostScript. Full information about EPS files is found here…
It is a postscript format that allows the file to be placed into templates and ripped to a printable format… such as direct to plate or to film. Many printer like the EPS version of a file because they often imbed the file with all required font and image linking information.
Getting back on subject... I use online printing when I know the quality is not important. I also have extensive experience in the printing industry and graphic design. So maybe I have a better feel than most to determine when it`s appropriate to discuss options with a print shop`s rep.
Vincent Wilcox (a.k.a. KRAKR)
My band: Letters Make Words