Printing and Purchasing

Print Quality

Do print buyers care about print quality? As I look at printing in the marketplace it gets me wondering if print buyers care about quality. I am not talking about the minor variations found in the normal production tolerances of equipment, but excessive variations as the following images show.

These two photos illustrate extreme variation or poor printing. These brochures came from one CVS store display rack. The main issues were folding, color, and cracking. The sources of these issues are:


  • Cracking can be caused by not scoring the substrate and laying the brochure on the form with the folds going against the grain of the substrate.
  • Folding issues can be caused by many problems such as: Out of register backups, substrate bouncing during the press run, poor trimming, and folder not setup properly.
  • Color inconstancy can be caused by fluctuating ink densities, water and ink imbalance, press not calibrated. To minimize color variation some printers print a PMS ink instead of process builds, however the gray appears to be a PMS and it was inconsistent too. This press appears to be out of control.

There are three key results purchasing looks for, Price, Delivery and Quality. Quality printers will deliver on time and provide competitive pricing because they have minimized waste caused by poor quality. Hopefully this buyer received a great price because this wasn’t a quality printing project.

Is your printing inconsistent? Share your story.

Comments on: "Print Quality" (5)

  1. Instead of trying to be the lowest price, and let amateur quality be the norm; try this. Establish competitive pricing points, taking into to consideration local markets and the low baller’s. Then produce the absolutely best quality you can and still survive. To achieve that, you must be extremely passionate about quality. One last thing, and it doesn’t cost a thing.
    Do it with a smile!!!

  2. The client was given hand-picked samples, I assume, and the rest was sent to the end user. I’ve done what you did here, Phil, and gone around to the end users or the place where the printing ends up to see how things really are. Do printers not care about quality, or do they not know what to do to become quality printers? Or is it a combination of the two? I suspect that’s more the case. What comes first, the caring or the quality? I think it’s the caring. Good job, Phil.

  3. […] because I view several brochures together and they do not conform to each other. (read my blog “Print Quality”) If I am viewing non-conforming printing in the marketplace, why are print buyers accepting […]

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