This installment of Building Your Beauty Business dives into a specific area of marketing – printing your marketing materials!
Print materials like business cards, brochures, service menus and treatment cards are an important tool you can use to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty. Although we live in a digital world, clients will appreciate quality printed, beautifully designed pieces.
Marketing collateral includes important information like website, contact information, physical address, and services offered, so creating and printing usually comes after you’ve been working on your business awhile. If you’re still planning your business, keep this post in your to-do list for later, otherwise, keep reading for a few tips to keep in mind when working with a printer to get your marketing materials created.
Why is it Important to know how to work with a commercial printer?
Luckily, we have businesses like Staples, Office Depot or Moo to take care of printing needs for a business. But going to the printer knowing a few things will ensure you get exactly what you want on your first try. The last thing you want is 500 business cards that you can’t use because you chose the wrong type of paper or the colors printed wrong.
The world of printing has a lot of specific terms and phrases that make no sense to the average person, from types of paper to different kinds of ink to different forms of printing, it can get overwhelming. When you’re focusing on building your brand and creating the best experience for your clients, being able to “speak printer” is the last thing on your mind.
Understand Some Print Jargon
Bleed: the ink coverage on your page that you’re printing. For example, if you’re printing a business card and you want the entire front side to be blue, your blue design should extend beyond the outline of the business card so when it's printed and trimmed, the blue extends all the way to the edge of the card. Another way to think about it is, you want the image to “bleed” to the edge of the card.
Offset printing: the most common method of commercial printing.
Proofing: Proofing is the best way to avoid expensive mistakes in printing, so you should review the proofs you receive from your printer to ensure the job is what you want it to be. Essentially, you will receive a visual copy of the finished product
Finish: the feel and texture of any paper. Laid finish is machine-made paper that emulates handmade; embossed finish presses a pattern into the surface of the paper; matte papers have a dull surface well-suited to text - the list goes on.
Pantone Colors: Pantone colors are standardized colors, which mean various ink manufacturers can all refer back to the Pantone system to make sure their colors are accurate. Pantone colors help designers and printers ensure that your printed projects stay consistent with your company’s branding and look the way you intended them to look after they’re produced.
Coating: You’ve probably seen coated paper before, but understanding what types of coating are available and what they do to improve the function and quality of the paper will help you in designing your next print project.Coating is added to the paper to improve its surface and ability to hold ink. Aqueous coating and UV coating are two common types of coating. UV coating adds a gloss finish to the product and can improve the vibrancy of your printed piece. You should know that coating can, and usually does, impact the way you view colors in finished printed pieces.
Visit with your printer before actually printing
Think of your printer like a hair stylist or dentist. You’ll be working with them to get your business up and running and for years to come as you grow. Before you’re ready to start printing business cards or brochures, go into their store to meet with them so you know exactly what you’ll need to bring once you're ready to pull the trigger.
Ask for paper samples
Paying attention to small details like types of paper to use for your materials will make a big difference with clients. A sturdy piece of paper for your service menu will make a better impression than thin paper you get from the copier at work. Ask your printer for different samples and take them home to play around with. Stick the samples in your purse and see how they hold up, cause you know your client will do the same with the appointment card reminders you give them.
Print Different Versions to Get Feedback
Once you’ve started working with the printer to nail down your final design, try printing a few different versions of your marketing piece. You can take these samples to your family, friends or business partners to get their feedback. Something you may not notice may stand out to someone else.
Getting a fresh batch of marketing collateral from the printer is an exciting feeling. It means your business is that much closer to becoming a reality! Once you’re ready to take the next step, keep this blog post close by so you feel confident in creating the best designs.