5 ways to add efficiency to your production process
You know that sinking feeling you get when you miss a deadline? Yeah, we’ve all been there. But, missing a print deadline is a particular kind of miserable, one that can involve thousands of dollars in losses, strained vendor relations and the disruption of an entire strategic campaign (yikes!). So, how do you avoid this terrible gut wrenching feeling? We have five tips that are sure to help.
1. You need time!
A super common mistake made during the production process is not giving yourself enough time. How to avoid this: Plan in advance! I know, procrastination is a tough cookie to crack and telling yourself that you’ll just get it done tomorrow always sounds so appealing, but setting these goals for yourself is a sure-fire way to overcome this.
- Set clear deadlines with touch points – From the very beginning, everyone involved should know what they are doing and when they need to do it by. Create a clear schedule to mark when everything is due and check in with each person. Also, place the more important, time-consuming tasks at the top, and the less important, easier-to-complete ones at the bottom.
- Understand the project’s scope – Some printing jobs, such as annual reports and industrial B2B catalogs, take a while to complete, so make sure you give yourself a big block of time when working with jobs such as these.
- Don’t squeeze your vendors – Leaving everything up to the vendors at the last minute is unfair to them. Block out a little bit of extra time at the end and you will be a-OK!
2. Keep the production person in the loop
In a perfect world, the production person would be brought in from the very beginning. But we don’t live in a perfect world, do we? It’s important for them to know the details, the 4-1-1, from the start since they have an important role in efficiently executing the job. They need to know which vendors to contact, what products to get and how to help designers pick the right stock to get the right results. This also helps you follow that whole “give everyone enough time” rule (ok, tip).
3. Don’t design yourself into a corner
It’s best to know exactly what the project entails from the very beginning. And by everything we mean eeeeeverything. What happens if you’ve designed this beautiful infographic that spreads the information out in four columns, but the person with final say decides they want only two columns? Or if you design something beyond the vendor’s capability? You go back to the drawing board, which sucks. It’s really beneficial for the entire team if the designers are in close communication with your production point person, so headaches, like these, can be avoided.
4. Know the budget
What do you do if you design over the budget? Or pick a textured stock that is to expensive? You panic. And then you go back and fix everything so the numbers work. This pandemonium can be avoided, however, if you know the budget upfront. Having a firm printing budget and other financial information within the first round of presentation is always a good thing to do. It’ll make for an outcome that’s as smooth as Billie Holiday’s voice. (Side note – is there honestly a better way to relax than turning on “I’ll be seeing you?” The correct answer to this question is no).
5. Get creative with the medium
There are so many printing trends out there to try out! For instance, recycled paper products are all the rage. With this, you don’t have to worry about wasting paper – ok, killing trees – which is so great. Pat yourself on the back; saving our ecosystem is always a plus. Also, oversized catalogues that are large but have no binding – no staples or stitching or anything – have recently made a pretty big splash in the printing world. And, if you're more into the traditional print techniques, classic, good production is a thing of beauty.
But wait.. Isn’t print dead?
Surprisingly, it’s not! Recent studies have shown that people remember paper-based reading more than digital-based reading. So, if you want your customers to have a stronger connection and better recall of your product, we’d say consider printing for ads, messaging materials, etc.!
Need help with a production project? We're always on standby. Give us a shout.
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