Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why Designers Favor Certain Commercial Printers

Photo credit: clconroy from

The Graphic Design USA magazine's Annual Print Design Survey reveals something interesting about the factors that most influence the selection of a commercial printer. The ordered list is as follows:
  1. Quality
  2. Price
  3. Customer Service
  4. Trust/Reputation
  5. Technical/Paper Knowledge
  6. Digital Short-Run Capabilities
  7. Environmental Practices
  8. Geographic Proximity
  9. Fulfillment Services
  10. Good Website
What I've suspected all along, and has been my experience as well, is that designers may choose printers because they have a decent quality and price, but we favor certain printers because of their customer service and trustworthiness. We can count of certain printers to give us a consistently good product, to ensure we are satisfied every time, and to see their role as our partners—not just vendors producing a product.

These factors all fall under the category of relationships. A printer who understands that their relationship with their clients is more important than "making a sale" will have a loyal clientele. Sure, building customer relationships takes time, but I know for a fact that I recommend printers to a lot of other designers, and continue to specify printers whom I have a good customer relationship with. And that factor alone will multiply that printer's sales way beyond what I could supply in just one sale alone.

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