I have been playing this marketing game long enough to have earned my salt and pepper hair style. I remember working with film and paste-ups and watching old school pressmen work their magic getting colour alignment perfect on presses that thundered at 50000 sheets per hour.

It is for that reason, I bring up this subject. Just because something looks great digitally, does not mean that it will translate perfectly, or at all, when real ink hits a substrate.

It does not matter if it is flexo, screenprint, offset, web, sublimated or pad print, each of these art forms has their own nuances. Not only that, but then you have to worry about the material that they are being printed on as not all substrates work with all types of ink.

An example of this just came up and hit me upside the head today. We are producing a wide variety of promotional marketing pieces of collateral for a clean air and smoking cessation campaign for a client. The logo will be printed on everything from pens, to hats to frisbees, to lanyards and reflectors. The idea being that healthy living is not congruent with smoking and if you get the message subtly into the hands of the right audience, they will talk about it amongst themselves and behaviour modification will come over time.

Now everything was going smoothly until today. I got a panic email from production of the reflectors saying the proof that we signed off on looked terrible when it went on press. As you can see, the digital proof looks great, the actual physical proof, not so much. Everyone, including the design team at the plant, assumed that this would print properly, however, when it got to the press, the pressman observed otherwise and used his or her authority to stop the press and check. We adjusted the colour of the imprint to black and the press started rolling again.

My points are, do not skip steps and rely on vendor partners that you trust. It is much easier and cost effective to make mistakes in the digital realm. When it comes to printed items, mistakes can be very costly. The devil is in the details!

If I had not gotten a pressman who looked at this critically, I would have received hundreds of pieces of collateral that could not be used by anyone and a very unhappy client. That is the value of having partners you can trust and not always going for the cheapest price.

If there are ways that we can support you to communicate more effectively, please contact us at  Your Brand Marketing.


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