Every business needs printed materials - brochures that advertise the company's services, envelopes, stationery, business cards, invoices, work orders, etc. All of these items are a type of marketing for your business. Every letter you send out on letterhead, every work order that you leave with a client, every piece of paper that has your company information on it gets your company name out in front of people and it is important that the impression left behind is positive and professional.
You can create those pieces basically one of three ways:
- DIY on your office printer
- Using an online vendor or big box store and choosing a template from their selection
- Working with a professional printer
If you are not using option 3, why aren't you? Is it because you think it's way too expensive? Is it because you don't have anyone in your office that knows how to design art files, so you go with option 2 and use a template?
Your company's literature should be as unique as your company. Now, I am not necessarily a firm believer in the whole "you get what you pay for" mentality. I have worked in a few different industries and I know first hand that sometimes the cheap thing is just as good as the one that costs three times as much, BUT - that isn't always the case. I do have to admit that "you get what you pay for" is right some of the time and, when it comes to your business, you don't want to just go for the cheapest route. You need high quality, professionally printed goods. High quality instills confidence in your customers. Low quality looks cheap and leaves the impression that your company will do inferior work.
Again, your literature should be unique. Do you really want business cards or brochures that look the same as the hair salon down the street from you?
There's one online print vendor (who shall remain nameless) that does a lot of advertising of its super cheap business cards. Those super cheap cards are from templates covering about 20 industry classifications. So your business cards may look the same as your competitor if your competitor uses that same vendor. The commercials currently running try to tell you that their cards are top quality, so why pay more than $9.99? Well, l've seen their $9.99 cards and let me tell you - they are not something that I would want to give out to my clients. I will admit that many of the designs they offer are quite nice looking on my monitor, but when you actually receive them, the quality is very poor. In this case, you get what you pay for.
There are also a few brick and mortar chain stores that offer printing services, but they are either working from a template or just copying and printing whatever you provide to them on a flash drive. They don't offer design services and they won't be an advocate for you.
Professional printers have graphic departments. They have designers on staff who will sit down with you and discuss your ideas. Designers can create projects from scratch with a few basic instructions from you. They are creative. They can turn your sketch into a fabulous brochure or poster. They will be an advocate for you; they'll tell you if they think there's a better way to do something to achieve the results you desire. Or, they can review the art files you created and tell you if they can be used in commercial printing. If there's a problem or two, they can fix them for you and make the files press ready or teach you how to do it yourself. Those are the advantages of working with a professional. The end result is a fantastic piece that reflects well on your business and creates just the kind of image you wanted.
Is design work free? No. It's an additional service that you pay for, but it doesn't have to break the bank - and the return on investment can be phenomenal. Office Express has professional graphic designers on staff who can take your ideas from concept to reality. If you have a project, call our print department and let us give you an estimate - you'll be surprised how affordable quality professional printing can be.