You know the feeling. The courier brings in a package of printed samples. You rip it open to see how your latest project turned out, and the sweet smell of printer's ink engulfs you.

If you're lucky, the color is exactly as you imagined, the photos have reproduced perfectly, the paper has just the right snap to it, and it has been trimmed and finished meticulously. It's love at first sight.

Before you get carried away with self-congratulations, remember that the love you feel when you pick up your perfect printed piece is probably the result of some serious relationship work with your printer and your paper rep. And the more you put into those relationships, the better chance you have of opening more packages of perfect printing.

The first blush of romance. . .

The time to involve your paper rep and printer in a new project is right at the beginning — not when time is tight and you need to get the thing printed NOW.

Discussing paper stocks, exploring special techniques and talking through potential difficulties at the beginning of a project may open your mind to options you hadn't considered. But you've got to ask for help!

Build relationships that last

Each project is a chance to build a relationship with your printer and your paper rep. And the more you know about each other, the better that relationship will be. And the better your relationships, the more likely that your jobs will turn out the way you want.

Print isn’t dead yet

While you may look at everything you can do on your phone and swear "Print is dead, long live digital.", take another look. Print has some unique advantages over digital, and rumours of its death are highly exaggerated.

  1. Tangibility: You can touch it, smell it, feel its weight. There’s nothing digital that can compare to the experience as you turn the pages of a favourite book.
  2. Reliability: Reading something in print is a reliable occupation, Ads stay where they are put - they don’t pop up unexpectedly, blaring and startling people, and text remains where you left it, waiting for you to rediscover a favourite quotation or passage, without a lot of scrolling...
  3. Consistency: A complete branding campaign with both digital and print applications solidifies your brand identity in a way that digital wishes it could. Posters, transit, retail all help you build a consistent voice and messaging.

Don’t declare print dead yet, there's still a lot of love in this industry!

Good relationships are built on common experiences, mutual respect, and good communication. So remember, you gotta do a little work to get that lovin' feeling when you open your next printed samples!