Virtually any printer can handle double parallel folds and gatefolds, and sometimes will take on jobs involving manual folding to create pieces that garner attention, Westphal says. It’s important to remember that clients can get basic work done at the local copy shop. “What they’re paying for when they come to us is materials they can’t get at their local FedEx Kinko’s,” he says.
Goldberg reports Goodcopy farms out embossing, but handles 99 percent of the folds any customer might want. Adds his wife Edie Goldberg, the company’s vice president of marketing, “If you’re handed something that you know from a technical standpoint is not going to be easy to achieve, that’s where your bottlenecks come in. If [clients] consult with us in the early design process, and they bring us in from the beginning, then efficiencies will result.”
Saving on Mailing Costs
Printers often become more valued partners to clients by designing materials that save money on mailing costs. At Elm Street, Palermo asks clients if pieces will be mailed. He and his designers then look for ways to design the piece to meet the client’s mailing needs. They will present several options, with one of those being a way to significantly pare down mailing costs. “We start with marketing questions, even though we’re involved in a design job,” he says. “What’s the audience, what are they thinking, what are their mindsets, and what’s the goal?”
The Goldbergs have such a close relationship with the post office, they have been asked to design and print post office materials. “Clients want things beautiful, but you have to accommodate the post office’s need for automation in getting clients the best price on postage,” Lou Goldberg says. “As pieces are designed, the designers will discuss with the mailing manager whether the pieces meet specs. If designers have a question, they will go to the post office or to our in-house manager.”
Westphal’s Group asks its clients to provide a budget number, including all the printing and mailing costs. Then it designs around that budget number. “There will be creative costs, printing costs, mailing costs,” Westphal says. “We look at all three factors to determine where money will be best spent.”
One important factor that’s helped Goodcopy grow over the years is its graphic design capabilities, Lou Goldberg says. “Customers like one-stop shopping,” he says. “The graphic design component allows your clients to have the confidence that you are their print professional, and will do the job right.”