When submitting a printing quote request, in a perfect world, the print buyer would have all of the details for their print project at their fingertips. Then, they would submit this information to their printer in a clear and organized format leaving ample time for the printer to work up the quote. The printer would then proceed to put together an accurate and detailed price quote for the job in a timely manner.
Well, we all know that we do not live in a perfect world. Print buyers, graphic designers and printers themselves know that not all requests for quotes (RFQs) are so clear and many times some details are not known at the start of the project. More often than not, information is missing from the RFQ or in some cases unavailable. Such is life. And, alas, a new blog topic! Here is my list of some basic but essential information to include in your next RFQ:
- Your Name
- Contact Information
- Project Name
- Project Description
i.e., newsletter, booklet, flyer
- Print ready files provided?
- Delivery Due Date
- Finished Size
- Type of Stock
i.e., text, cover, weight
- Number of Colors
i.e., black + PMS, 4 Color Process
- Print on 1 or 2 Sides
- Number of Pages (if booklet)
- Is a Proof Required? What type?
i.e., folds, perforations, binding
Including this information in your next RFQ should get you off to a strong start. Be sure that you submit identical information to each potential printer so that an apple to apple comparison can be made when you receive your quotes. When comparing the bids, if one price seems to be way out of line with another, be sure to ask questions. Make sure that everyone was on the same page when they priced the job. After all, we humans do make mistakes from time to time!
Now, if you don’t have all of the details for your print project up front, fear not, printers are fantastic people (for the most part) and love to talk about print and the graphic arts. Have a conversation over the phone or, better yet, in person with your potential print partner. Opening the lines of communication should get both you and your printer off to the right start with your print project and your business relationship.
What suggestions do you have for print buyers looking for printing quotes? Do you prefer to work with a select group of print providers or do you work with many different printers?