Printing Pitfalls: understanding the vital role of your agency

Digital marketing may be on the rise, but in fact there are an awful lot of printed words out there that we still rely on. In fact, print marketing is still a crucial, if not more carefully planned form of marketing. Consider flyers, legal documents, menu’s, direct mail, financial reports, vouchers, signs, marketing information, booklets, programmes, billboards, banners, stickers, posters, in-store competitions – even that rude sign on the back of your car. Words are printed everywhere.

Brand buzz

Getting people to recognise your brand means consistent reach to the public not only in regularity but across multiple media. At some stage or another, you may have to print information through any one of the above-mentioned options. And print marketing is often the first thing your customer will see; it is the gateway introduction to your company. Print is therefore powerful, and requires utmost control to ensure that nothing to your detriment slips through.

Brand design, colour, typeface, and inculcation of message are vital in promoting image impact through repetition and continuity. Size, spelling, legibility are paramount, as is ease of comprehension. Look and feel, and the words used and the way they are used, are important. At these early stages, before you roll out your campaigns, you need to check for errors of grammar, format and meaning.

Power and potholes

  • Print still works in major areas of communication such as news, information, education, inspiration, special offers and entertainment. And there is often a feeling that there is a more time to contemplate meaning and absorb information.
  • All media should lead to an exchange of information from the content to the reader. However, an error in print will create more annoyance than any transgression on digital media.
  • It’s amazing how much a spelling mistake or a missing comma can cause umbrage in print readers. Not to mention unfortunate misunderstanding or, as in the case of something as important as a financial report, utter disaster.
  • When bringing your online campaign to paper, you need to ensure that the design, colour, and typeface are reliably good in the new format. Paying special attention to paper type is essential. Colour must not run or change – and typefaces that looked clear and good online, should print up clearly without compromising either message or design.

Maintaining reputation in print

Speed – In a nutshell, you don’t have it. On digital you can move as fast as lightening, and change things equally quickly. And even more conveniently, you can go back anytime and erase or adjust as you please or according to fresh circumstances. With print you don’t always have this luxury.

Cost – Printed mistakes are costly mistakes. And so a great deal of work and attention must be applied before the actual printing. Print work needs careful review and several pairs of fresh eyes to ensure that there are no small grammatical or spelling errors. Designs must be checked against strict printing specifications. Check, check and check again.

Pressure – Of course, last minute jobs happen, and your agency will go the extra mile to ensure they get the work out – but what you don’t want as a matter of course, is that things are designed under pressure, printed and shot off to the media to meet a deadline rather than allowing time for the essential and meticulous process of editing and proofing.

Time – Neglecting the vital factor of time allowance can result in serious detriment to your brand. Wonky logos and indecipherable print looks cheaply done. And any grammatical error or spelling mistake will really make your brand look stupid – perhaps untrustworthy, and certainly not worthy of a customer’s money.

Bottom line – Because most items are connected to print at one time or another and there is a distinct ROI element that is real and trackable.

Before you might think that digital is over, and that print is the returning king, there is a wealth of change always moving in the digital world. But Millennials who once spurned print, are turning back to its value, because it’s still there in every aspect of life. However, print excellence is still a key factor. Print – from paper to copy to fonts to colours – needs busy eyes. The pitfalls of print are also, in essence, its salvation.

Finding us… Out of the Blue

For all of the above reasons, print should be handled by a professional agency, trained, experienced and geared to produce something that is carefully primed to do its job as intended.

Come and talk to us. We’re in that edgy business of surprise called marketing. At Out of the Blue Creative Communication Solutions we work with clients to build communications that do better business through concepts that are smart and relevant.

Find us at: www.outoftheblue.co.za