Salespeople who sell only sheetfed and digital work often wonder and worry about offering heatset or open web products to their customers. And that concern is natural. After all, those salespeople have experienced picky customers looking at proofs or on press checks. But the good news is that customers typically differentiate easily. Digital printing has helped this issue. Your customers already know there’s a difference between what they will see from a digital press and what they will see from a sheetfed offset press. They expect them to be different. In some cases, they count on them to be different. They simply want them to be comparable. The same expectations apply to heatset and open web printing. And the core question is: how effective is the end product? Will it do the job it is intended to do? There are several things to consider:
  • Process controls for all printing processes have improved dramatically during the past 20 years. We’re a long way past the days when you could tell what printer produced the product based on its appearance. That’s moved mechanical reproduction quality to a level that’s usually above where the customer can tell any meaningful difference. The goal now isn’t hitting the highest level. Rather, it is consistently hitting that level. Which, to brag just a little, is what we do really well. That means process color reproduction on a heatset web will look very much like sheetfed offset onto coated stock. And it means that open web reproduction will look much like sheetfed offset onto uncoated stock. Your customer will find them comparable.
  • Is a logo or other branding color critical? Ask that question up front. Most customers understand that the same ink looks different on different substrates. If they do, and if they have looked at their logo or branding color when it has been reproduced using different processes, they are usually fine with a web product.The key is to avoid surprising them.
  • Is the piece designed for the process? Inline conflicts, ghosting and other issues are really the result of designs that conflict with the reproduction process. So ask for our advice and feedback as early as you can. If we see a problem brewing,we’ll equip you to give your customer feedback and good advice. The good news is that this is rarely an issue. A design needs some really big problems before we cannot manage around them.
So, let us help. When you have an opportunity and are concerned about how your customer will react, we can support you through your sales process with advice,information, samples and other tools. It’s part of being “very resourceful.”
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