David Drucker, Noel Tocci, and Deborah Corn discuss going ‘glocal’ with your print business and projects, the benefits of starting projects slowly no matter the deadline and share some current printspiration pulled from the past. (Transcript and PDF download below)
Mentioned in This Episode:
David Drucker on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-drucker-b1b5946/
Highresolution Printing and Packaging: guruofprinting.com
Noel Tocci on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/noeltocci/
Tocci Made: https://toccimade.com/
Deborah Corn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deborahcorn/
Bob Homier: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobhomier
thINK Academy: https://learn.thinkforum.com/think-academy-live-classes
Raw Marrow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rawmarrow
Print Across America: https://printacrossamerica.com/
Print Media Centr: https://printmediacentr.com
Project Peacock: https://projectpeacock.tv/
Girls Who Print: https://girlswhoprint.net
[0:00:02] DD: Does your printing need some passion?
[0:00:05] NT: Your design, some dynamic dimension?
[0:00:07] DC: Are you stuck in a CMYK rut?
[0:00:11] DD: I’m David Drucker, Founder and CEO of High-Resolution Printing and Packaging.
[0:00:16] NT: I’m Noel Tocci, Founder of Tocci Made, Bespoke Print Consulting.
[0:00:20] DC: And I’m Deborah Corn, the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse. Welcome to Making it with Print, the podcast that takes a deep dive into the conception, creation and production of amazing printed products.
[0:00:34] NT: If you can dream it –
[0:00:34] DD: You can make it.
[0:00:38] DC: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Podcast from the Printerverse. This is Deborah Corn, your Intergalactic Ambassador. More specifically, we are here with the Making it with Print crew on the Making it with Print Podcast, which means I am here with David Drucker from High-Resolution Print and Packaging. Noel Tocci from Tocci Made. Hello, gentlemen.
[0:01:02] DD: Hey, how are you doing? It’s been a while.
[0:01:04] NT: Hey guys, how are you?
[0:01:06] DC: Okay, I’m going to make that a contest for everyone to figure out who was Noel and who was David on that hello. We’ll leave it like that. When you listen to this podcast, you guess who was first and who was second and make a comment and we’ll see what happens.
I wanted to actually start off this podcast with giving somebody a shout out. There was a lovely post the other day about the importance of educating students about print and really celebrating the fact that graphic art students were learning about design and print and they were installing signage.
It was posted by a gentleman named Bob Homier. Perhaps, Homier, but we’re going to say Homier on this. He is actually the Production and Customer Experience Management Specialist at Ricoh USA, out of Los Angeles. Why he is getting the shout out, besides supporting the students, which is super, super important. In his post, he gave a special shout out to this podcast and more specifically, to the episode that we did about ushering in the next generation of print and design and how we can pay it forward.
The reason why I specifically wanted to bring this up was because this was such an important topic to David who suggested it, and Noel and I when it came up. It takes a minute to marinate, but it is getting out there. Gentlemen, thank you for putting information that is now being used to encourage people to get more involved with students.
[0:02:45] DD: Fantastic. Fantastic.
[0:02:47] NT: Fantastic. I thought that was great. Thank you.
[0:02:49] DC: Excellent. I saw you guys had a little back and forth with him in that post, too. Again, Bob, thank you so much for recognizing the podcast. Now we’re going to start talking about our topics today. We have three interesting topics. Two of them are submitted by my co-hosts. We’ll start with you, David. You want to talk about glocal printing.
[0:03:14] DD: Yeah. The nature of my business has changed. One of the earlier podcasts, I had made mentioned that my clientele base was strictly Manhattan prior to the pandemic. Through getting on to LinkedIn and expanding and showing people the work that we do, I now do work nationally, as well as internationally. But that posed a whole new group of issues, specifically something that we’re going to talk about in the next segment, which is timing. But I have clients that are in New York and now they have an office in California. Therefore, their events in California, I need to produce the work in California.
The same thing in Texas, the same thing in Chicago. We had talked last time about printing locally, which helps to bring down the carbon footprint and the increased sustainability of printing. What I had to do is just go through the motion of knowing all the equipment, reaching out to the suppliers, talking to their production people. As long as I know what the end result is going to be on a certain piece of equipment, I can produce outside.
Therefore, we’re using local paper vendors to that area. We’re using local printers and we’re doing local deliveries. It actually makes productions go faster, because there’s less time producing here in New York and New Jersey and then shipping across the country, or to where else it needs to be shipped. For me, it also goes a step further, because some of these events are in the UK. We looked for people who had this specific equipment and talk to them about what their abilities are. Now it’s very easy to then delegate work outside and to make – we don’t have to worry about shipping it overseas. It’s great for that sustainability as well.
[0:05:29] DC: When you talk about printing in Europe, I mean, they have different PMS colors. It doesn’t match all the time. They use grams for paper. I’m just saying, like for me, it’s not something I could just switch into. They don’t even have the same paper stocks as us in some chances. How do you do your research about – I understand you think a press and a press gets you is a good starting point if it’s the same press, but there’s a lot of other considerations, including where it is. Is there a lot of humidity? Are they in the mountain, right? I mean, does any of that come into play?
[0:06:06] DD: Well, to be specific, I am really talking about printing on a digital press. I’m not talking about printing on a 40-inch piece of equipment. When it comes to that more intricate work, I’d rather do it right here, unless I fly there.
[0:06:22] DC: Okay, I hear what you’re saying.
[0:06:24] DD: Then look at it then. But digital equipment, whether it’s an HP, or whether it’s a Ricoh, you know what that end result is going to be. It makes it very easy to decide to do that. As I said, it’s a time factor that is saved. Looking at the larger equipment, I have to be there for that. I have to be there to make those little intricate changes as they need, or to add the artistry that’s needed for that. They’re two different means, but I would say that the majority of what I’m doing outside and in other territories is digital.
[0:07:04] NT: Yeah, if I could chime in, I actually have done an am doing and getting a lot closer with a couple of printers in the UK. You’re right. I’ve lived my life standing next to a press and it was hard for me. But believe it or not, the technology’s gotten so good. Deb, you brought up an important point, the papers are different, the way they measure them and so forth. If you do a little bit of work, there’s really – it’s a good opportunity and it is very possible to print there, particularly if it’s going to deliver there.
Now, they do things a little bit different, potato, potato, if you will, but at the end of the day, the product is every bit is good. You get into the shipping, so if it’s coming back here. But the other thing is it can typically be 25%, 30% less money. There are more affordable papers there that are more readily available that every bit is good. It’s just interesting. I take a chance on the big stuff. I know what David’s saying. HP is an HP when you get into the 40-inch presses and stuff. It’s a little more tricky. I find not that the pre-press, I like it here better. I just think it’s different, right, the way they go about it.
David and I put our personality on it. If we don’t know what to expect when you walk up to press, it doesn’t mean that they’re both not beautiful. Is it the beautiful we’re used to. But I think it’s interesting. The worlds are getting much closer. Not just Europe in there. I mean, I’m in the same boat. I found that shipping stuff all over the place between the time and the money, there are many, many good sources that may not have been had the opportunity to do the work we do, but every bit is capable of doing so with a little help. Yeah, interesting.
[0:08:42] DC: Absolutely. I mean, ultimately, it is a great sustainability story to tell as David preface this with. The thing I just want to say about that, this is that you guys are in a different situation, because you are vetting individual printers and deciding who has the equipment, who you want to work with. You’re in a different skill assessment level than some print buyers were marketing people out there. In that case, what I would suggest is look at the networks of printers.
To your point, HP has Dscoop. Canon has a network of printers. Xerox has a handy link with all their printers all around them. All of the manufacturers have a network of global customers. If you know that you can set the color, or whatever the settings on a press that you work with locally, you should, to the gentleman’s point, be able to communicate that information to anybody else who has that press anywhere in the world. For all the other print customers out there, you can still tap into these networks. You don’t have to know the name of a specific printer. You could literally go to any of those corporations will come to me and I will give you the people you need, who know where all the presses are in the world.
How important does G7 come into this? For anyone who might not know, it’s a color certification. Do they even have that in Europe? Is it interchangeable? I just want to say, I have a little PTSD with a color issue from printing in Europe. That’s why I keep bringing it up. To your point, it was not digital printing. We expected an orange, a red PMS color and it printed orange, and we got for Bacardi and we got in so much trouble. I can’t even tell you. I’m just have PTSD. That’s why I keep bringing it up. It’s not the same process anymore.
[0:10:49] NT: Things have changed, if I can jump in quite a bit. I’ve actually printed in Asia where we know the equipment and we have the same equipment and we’ll do a press proof and we’ll profile everything and we know what they’re running, and you referenced G7. Even beyond that, what are they running? Total link density and all the curves and everything else. We will actually supply press proof, so they have a – be surprised, it can fall right in. The big unknown, especially with Asia is that you’re not typically going to get the exact paper and ink is translucent.
Beyond that, it’s very controllable. I mean, well, I like to go stand there. But it’s about communication, right? It’s not that we print better than them. Well, you print with all of the information in your head at your hands, right? They don’t know what you’re trying to do, unless you tell them, or help them along. You’d be shocked how close you can get all over the world just with the right amount of information being passed along with the job. It’s more than files if you’re going to go overseas, right? It’s like a different language, right? It’s you have to learn not only the language, but perhaps the dialect. I think the technology today and people are open-minded about doing it and why not? You’d be shocked, if you’d give people the right information, what they can do, it’s just like, what we can do.
[0:12:06] DD: Yeah. I think no hit it on the head. If you do all your homework right up front, whether it be proofing, whether it be your pre-press, you’re dialing it in. Also, the press is now a different than they were 20 years ago, or 25 years ago, where you would sit there and have a three-hour make ready for a single form. That was killer at times. Now it comes up pretty fast. As I said, as long as you’ve done your upfront homework, it helps to push things moving forward.
[0:12:38] DC: Do you think that you could – essentially, you’re creating a network, your own network of printers for a job. You might have to print that job in multiple places. To your point, you don’t want to ship all the paper to one place and then ship the printed paper back somewhere else. There’s a lot of sustainability story there. What happens if a location, you can’t get the equipment you want in a certain location? Are you able to translate that job into another press and still feel confident about it? Or are you trying to stay on the same exact press and get as close as possible to where you need it to be?
[0:13:19] DD: That’s a good question. I haven’t had the situation, where I haven’t been pinpointed as to where it’s printing and what it’s been printing on. Truthfully, if you have something that’s delivering within Europe, it’s easier to ship it there than it is to produce it here and then to ship it there. I also find that a lot of clients are willing to play ball, knowing that you’re working with different locations.
If you don’t have a trust factor from your client, then you’re not going to have a trust factor. It’s going to be doubted. Sometimes that doubt makes you think twice about what you’re doing. “Am I going down the wrong road?” I think that the fact that we have a set goal and know how to set it up makes that happen and creates that trust. There’s going to be a difference. I mean, there’s going to be a slight difference between printing in location one and location two, but there’s more forgiveness, because you’re capable of doing it.
[0:14:29] NT: I’m going to say something and it’s the way that you carry yourself and you said something important to me. People trust you here and hopefully, they trust me as well because they see that we’re in control and they see the results. When you now open up the whole world, they’re wondering, “Well, who’s driving the bus?” If you carry yourself with the confidence of somebody who can make it happen here, across the world, mix the two parts, and you hit it on the head. It’s the trust, right? It is a little scarier, because it’s one thing to manage across a finisher and a printer maybe across two or three states.
Now when you cross the ocean and you’re finishing and you’re printing in these different components and it might be flexible and offset and digital, all in the same collateral piece, somebody better be driving the boat and paying attention. I think that you have discovered people that you know what you’re talking about and you have that ability. I think, there haven’t been a lot of people that were willing to do that, right? A lot of people would say, “I get told every day, I’m nuts.” Why would you want to do that? I think you feel the same as I do. Well, why wouldn’t you? It can be done. There is more work to do something globally, as you say.
[0:15:41] DD: Noel, just to bring at this point, you know when you have a conversation with someone on the other side, that conversation is going to lay that path. Know what you’re talking about. If you have a discrepancy talking about it, talking about it leads to other inspiration that you might not have had before.
[0:16:05] NT: Yeah, can I say something without naming names? Last week, I had the second meeting with somebody I didn’t know well until a couple of months ago from Europe. Represents a big conglomerate. We’ve had now several meetings where we’re talking. At the end of the second meeting, we’re waving our arms and we go, “You think like I do. I think like you do.” It’s more about that.
We know what the equipment is. We know who the customers are and where the potential is. But is there a working relationship? I didn’t mean to cut you off. Is there that yin to yang? Can we finish each other’s sentences? Do we feel the same way? Are the things that are important to us, not the chemicals that go in the press and the size and the shape of it, but what are our expectations? What’s okay? What’s not okay? What have you encountered and how have you overcome it? That’s how I go. That’s how I’m going about it. I’m not ready to commit a lot of dollars in work to try to make this work, unless I have somebody that feels the same way. Who’s in control of their environment, like we hopefully are bars. Is that what you’re talking about, probably? It’s that relationship, it’s everything.
[0:17:14] DD: Yeah. Yeah. What has also helped move this forward is we have easier ways to look up companies besides the web, LinkedIn. You begin to see the type of work that somebody does. I’ll look something up and get a little bit of detail, so I can start a conversation with, “Hey, I saw you did on LinkedIn. Tell me a little bit about this.” Then once everything warms up, that conversation warms up, it just gets into a great conversation. Or maybe –
[0:17:45] NT: Yeah. Exactly. For me, I have clients that are from the UK and other countries and they have to print here. You’re my guy in the US. Well, now it comes. Well, now I’m interested in Europe. Who do you know? You get your advice from somebody. Now you trust each other. Well, who do you trust over there and how do you think that would work? It’s like the friendship chain, right? Who do your people go? Well, where do I find somebody? Well, where do you find a friend, or a significant other, right? If there’s some similarity, or some common ground, and I think that’s how it happens for me.
Referrals are where most of my work comes from. When I’m looking for new – some new manufacturing, or in a different geographical area, which is all the rage now, I got to know somebody who trusts somebody that I trust.
[0:18:30] DC: I’ll just give you a customer perspective on this, to the printers listening, which is the same way it’s always been. If I trust my printer and my printer brings in a partner, I don’t need to know how the sausage is made. I don’t need to know who – the name of the printing company in Germany, or in England. I don’t need to know any of that. As long as my printer takes responsibility for everybody that they’re working with and they’ve done their due diligence, and I trust them to the point where you have those relationships, and you do have to trust your printers at the end of the day.
I mean, my printers were always my referrals for – It’s always like a web press. No one has a web press. You have to find one. Ask my trusted resources who they refer people to. I don’t just go out there in the world looking for them. I think that that’s a really important point. You can introduce a whole new sustainability mission with your current customers by creating your own network of partners, of trusted partners and just let the customers know how you’re printing locally. They don’t need to know who you’re partnering with, technically outsourcing it to. They just want the sustainability part of the story. I love this topic. When we come back, we’re going to talk about something Noel wants to talk about.
[0:20:01] DD: Are you a frustrated creative and want a print partner that takes an artisan approach? Do you want to be inspired with techniques that will enhance your next printed, or packaging production? Or are you a printer that has unique abilities and need a liaison to enhance your exposure? I’m David Drucker, owner of High-Resolution Printing. I am an independent creative consultant with access to every printing technology out there. I work hand in hand with creatives and printers, creating projects that are complex, require meticulous detail and precision from concept to completion. Want to see what I mean? Go to guruofprinting.com and get inspired.
[0:20:43] DC: Welcome back, everybody. Okay, Noel. Start slow to finish fast. Explain, please.
[0:20:50] NT: Okay, so this, I go way back. I’m old, as many of you have noticed. I guess, you can’t tell from my voice. This came about, because, and when I say old, I’ve been doing this since 1980. Since the beginning of time, or since Gutenberg, right? Well, that’s really wonderful. You can do this for me, but can you do it faster? Or the event is three days from now. That hasn’t changed over the ages.
What I have noticed is, and it has made me nuts, is that, well, we didn’t have much time. You did a good job. I like it, but next time. There’s no next time in my world. That makes me nuts. People say, “Well, how are you going to do that if you don’t have much time?” Someone said this a long time ago, an old guy in the printing business and it’s like, we’re all pulling our hair out and rushing. We’re starting, you buy paper, you’re making proofs, and you start to go to press and then someone goes, “Wait a minute. You didn’t realize that you got a quarter inch bleed here, or you got a low folio lip and you don’t have room in the sheet. You bought the wrong paper.” Someone just threw their hands up and goes, “This is ridiculous. Stop. We’re not going to make the deadline.”
He just screamed out, “If you don’t start slow, you can’t finish fast.” You get real nervous. People go, “Well, it’s due in a week and a half. We got to get paper now.” Well, you do. But you need paper the day, or depending on the time of the year and the weather, right? You might need it the day before. You certainly don’t need it three days early if it’s the wrong size to buy it again. If you use the paper that’s the wrong size, you might be compromising something else.
Part of that starting slow to finish fast, and I hope I’m making sense of it. I’ve mentioned this before in the podcast. Something goes wrong, or something could have been better. Everybody goes in a room and they do what’s called a post mortem. Excuse my language. The damn body is dead at that point. If the job of the person could come to life, I don’t think they care that now you want to figure out how they don’t die.
If it’s such a thing as a pre mortem, knowing that we’ve all been in that room before, you think about it. It’s like, when you stick your hand in a flame, “Whoa, I don’t do. That’s hot. I’d burn myself.” Well, think about and I joke, oh, I better pay attention. You know what? I’m going to go plan this out carefully. This won’t fit in my garage. It’s a joke, but it’s not a joke, because that’s where it’s going. You’re going to redo it, because we do anything people want.
What does starting slow mean? I’m really interested on your take, too, Deb and both of your intake on this. But starting slow means, do you really understand what you’re trying to do? The old paradigm was, well, what I’m trying to do is take those files and make something beautiful. Well, wait a minute. You’re taking those files, but did the client really intend to print on uncoated. Do they tend to print uncoated, or they’re black and white? Are there color? Is a part of this digital? These are all questions that have to happen upfront.
Starting slow is even – so people go, “Well, it’s the files and you go into pre-press,” and you go, “Are these files created correctly?” Well, yes. I go way before that. What was your inspiration for this? “Well, this is the piece I really love.” Well, your content is nothing like that. We can make something like that, but perhaps not where we’re sitting right now. Did you ever consider this? Do we lose it? I don’t want to get into a lot of details.
The bottom line is you can’t go far enough back to start slow. Everybody goes, “I need this. I just found out I need this.” Well, sometimes that’s true, but you know what? It’s been kicking around for a while. I got an email today. It’s probably known for a month. We need 10,000 posters. I think you did one two years ago. I think, they’re 12 by 18. How much is it? We all know what we did a couple – you know what I mean? Wait a minute. Slow up the bus, right? I’m going to throw a number out and a week from now you’re going to go, “Oh, it’s not okay.”
Well, we could know tomorrow. If we just slow up, think about it. Go back in your emails. I will. That’s just this case. I think it makes sense, because the fast part doesn’t mean you’re running the press fast, or you’re skipping steps. It means you’re being as efficient as possible and it’s moving from pre-press to proof, to press, or a digital press to finishing, to shipping. I mean, sometimes it’s shipping. I’ve seen guys got a week to do the job. Everybody performs aces. Job’s sitting there, it has to deliver at 5.00, 1.00 in the afternoon. Shipping department goes, “Where is it going? Are there special labels? Do they have to be split up? Do you need a truck? It’s New York City. Do I need a certificate of insurance to get my truck under the building?”
Those things all matter. I’ve done it where I’ve done some of the best jobs I’ve ever done, and this is a true story. About 12 years ago, and the client was so upset. The job was amazing. The trucker got a flat and he ended up – he couldn’t find the guy. 8 o’clock at night, there’s a tractor trailer in Manhattan. Everybody’s gone. He can’t deliver. The job went seamlessly. But you know why? Because no one thought about shipping. No one thought to mention, “Hey, we need a couple hours to get there. Is someone going to be available? Do we have a contact number, or cellphone?” That’s what that means, that I take all the oxygen out of the room and make it too confusing, or does it make sense?
[0:26:16] DD: Yeah. You bring a point up about shipping. I find shipping to be one of the most challenging aspects of any job. It’s not only getting the truck. It’s also, where are you shipping to? I mean, I’ve shipped a long time ago. Shipped a job. It was a full tractor trailer. The warehouse it was going to could not accept anything, because they didn’t have room for it. That experience of, what am I going to do now? Has me think about the entire process.
It’s also, to pack you and I on the back, we have experience in going into this. We know through a conversation of where we’re going to have our pitfalls. We’re able to begin to talk around that. The other thing is files, especially if you’re dealing with somebody new, is to show me a file. Well, hopefully by that time, they already have a design together and we can at least see a couple of PDFs, or an image of what it’s going to look like and begin to evaluate it. I’m doing something now, which is 15 skews, 15 parts to every skew. I have to go through each file to make sure that they are within that skew.
It’s just a tremendous amount of work. The producing of it is the most simplistic part of it. It’s the right machinery. We put it on the right machinery. The delivery is the easiest part. Unless, you really know and put aside that time, as you said, to put everything together at the start and know what you’re dealing with and understanding what pitfalls are, it comes much easier. At least that’s the way that I see it.
[0:28:09] NT: Yeah, let’s get a little granular. I don’t estimate a job, something of value without seeing low-res PDFs. I get the files, the InDesign files, but I want to see low-res PDFs, because I’m instantly, I make myself pagination. I had one the other day. I got 29,000 brochures. Yeah, well, there’s a fold out. Okay, where is it? Well, there’s a fold out. Well, no. On the phone, you got a few minutes? We made a dummy. Oh, it’s off page 17. If it’s on the one before it – now, you’re not talking about 3,000 a week and print fours and nest them.
I know this stuff’s going over people’s heads. Not printer’s heads, but it makes a huge difference. There’s tricks we can do. We could take a six-pager and Z-fold and put it in and stitch. All of that stuff matters. It’s the difference between understanding the job and not understanding the job. If they’re getting pricing and something is priced incorrectly, it doesn’t matter. Having low-res PDFs gives me an ability to understand the job, because they may think they’re creating something that’s different from what’s possible.
Or they may say, “After all of that, this happened.” I said, can you move the fold out? It’s not designed yet to the center sprint. Of course. We would have went through all of that trouble to figure. We did. We started to. I can’t ask those questions, or make those requests until I completely understand it. That goes right down to the calibre of the paper, and if you’re right angle folding, or you’re not, or you’re stitching, you’re going to stitch 8s, you’re going to stitch 16s. All of that matters.
It might not matter, I want to stitch 32s, which is crazy. You’ll get something, a case found book, what they call a nail head, right? Because you got too much thread. What you don’t want to do is get to the point where you’ve made something that isn’t what someone wants, and it’s really just because you weren’t talking to each other. I think that you have to take it upon yourself as a maker and a printer, or like David and I, or any printer to really ask the questions and really –
The other thing you can do and it’s not a tactic, but you’re making the job yours and fit what you’re doing, right? Five people might have five different ways of doing it. That’s okay. But it should fit your production protocols and your equipment like a glove. Or you need to rethink it and bounce back. It doesn’t mean you’d have to tell the customer, “No, you can’t do this.” You might say, “Hey, can you lose a 16th here? Or, let me show you something. You’re okay with this?” Because now you just made it more efficient.
Therein, that’s the starting slow, right? Because it’s not going to hit a folder and the guys are going to go, “Well, this isn’t going to work.” Well, now we have paper and we printed it. We’re done.
[0:30:47] NT: Hi. I’m Noel Tocci, Founder of Tocci Made. The printing industry has changed quite a bit and I’ve learned a lot since I joined my brother’s small but mighty printing company in Newark, New Jersey back in 1980. Over the years, while focusing primarily in the design and creative communities, I’ve come to understand and believe wholeheartedly that powerful, effective and impactful print communication always lives at the intersection of great design, appropriate materials, and thoughtfully curated execution.
Making beautiful work is a journey, from concept to idea, to desired result, Tocci Made is here to help you find your way and create work that is not only effective, but something you can be proud of. Head to toccimade.com and find out how we can help.
[0:31:35] DC: All right, well, I’m going to come at this a little differently than you guys did, because for two reasons. One, because you are both in a special, in a different situation than most, let’s say, “the printers out there.” You’re hired guns for specialty projects. You really collaborate with clients. It’s part of why they want to work with you. If we translate everything you just said to a regular print shop, I’m sure all the printers out there, it’s like, who the hell has time for any of that? What I’m saying is that there are ways where they can set up their print shop in order to accommodate these longer collaborative conversations, but that starts with, in my opinion, incentivizing their customers.
For example, how can we get all of the other work that doesn’t require these in-depth discussions and production meetings and pre-production meetings and all of this stuff in and out of this print shop as fast as humanly possible without human touches, so we have the time to slow down and have these conversations with our other clients. Back in the day, there used to be these things called rush charges, which is, I’m not speaking about these elaborate projects. It’s different.
If we look back, if you have an order of business cards, if you don’t need them for a week, you’re incentivized to. There’s one pricing for that. There’s one price if you need it within three days. There’s one price if you need it in an hour, just like shipping, by the way. This is no different than if, do I want it tomorrow? Do I want it in three days, or do I want it next week, right? It’s my choice. If I know that I can get my work to the printer with seven days, instead of five days, that it’s at a – you know I’m saying? It incentivizes the customers, which means that printers have more time to manage when they want to print it. They could print it on the sixth day of a seventh day thing. The customer doesn’t care as long as they get it when they get it.
The other thing is that automation really comes in here. Because if you want to talk to me for – could be a month of a month of meetings, a month of scheduling, bringing other experts, doing some research, coming back, Zoom after Zoom after Zoom, then I need to get your other work that doesn’t need these conversations through your customer portal, through our online ordering system. If you’re just reordering something, don’t incentivize the customers to do it that way. I agree with what you’re saying a thousand percent.
I will also say, as an advertising agency print buyer, also, I would also tell myself, get over yourself, Deborah Corn. I want whatever I want when I want it, my printer is going to give it to me. Most likely that is going to happen, but that can happen on every single job. It takes everybody down, including all of the other work in the print shop. I love the concept of starting slow to finish fast. It’s almost like, garbage in, garbage out, right? If you don’t have everything up front and shipping, such a great point, Noel, that has actually happened to me where all of a sudden, I get a call from a brand that somebody called them, that there’s a somebody with a forklift and a palette at their office door and they’re like, “Uh, who?” I mean, we’re like, “Where the hell did the palette into – play in this?”
I didn’t specify palette and they were like, “Well, how do you think 90 boxes in getting –” You know I’m saying? There was no communication. I agree with you that it becomes the fine details at the end. But starting slow and finishing fast is completely possible at print shops on elaborate jobs. I believe, if you can get the other stuff out of your face as soon as possible. Comments on that. David?
[0:35:54] DD: As long as you’ve done your homework up front, the backend should come out right. I agree. I really applaud Noel for bringing up this topic. I think it’s a great session. I don’t know if I have any more to add to it, so I’m going to leave it to Noel.
[0:36:12] DC: Noel, final words on your own topic.
[0:36:15] NT: Well, I think, Deb, what you said is really important. There are jobs that just come in the same way every time. But think about it. Somewhere along the line, someone learned how to relieve and that’s a simple job. They learned how to release it. The plant is completely set up to do it. That’s all I’m saying. Let’s strive for that efficiency at every level, not that simple jobs is not as beautiful as the complicated one, but you can make the complicated ones, or the more custom ones less painful. That’s my point.
By looking at how you do the simple jobs, people go, “Well, that’s a simple job.” Yes, but there’s process in everything you do. It’s like, people go, “Oh, I can’t afford that.” Oh, you can do a gorgeous job with one color, with good paper. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but it still has to be planned and thought out correctly. You have shop – you just hit it on the head. There’s people that do the same thing over and over and they do it well. It’s like a well-oiled machine. They did. They created process to do that. Ever be it so straightforward and simple, all I’m saying is apply process to everything else.
People think custom, oh, all bets are off. You make a dress, there’s 90 tailors in a room and we got six weeks. Well, that’s not practical. You can do a complicated, sophisticated job and make it follow production protocols. There’s just more to it. That’s all I’m saying. Learn our lesson from the stuff that does work, because it does work in the shop.
[0:37:43] DC: I love what you’re just saying. I think that all the print shops, if they have the right capabilities and the right attitude, they can deal with those complicated projects. I would suggest you put a print concierge. Call our print concierge up on your website. It’s not the regular contact button. It is the, “I want to create something that has never been seen before,” or, “I want to do something, but I have no idea how to do it. I’m going to need time from somebody on your end.” You make a different request and a different type of person is the one who addresses those customers. People who have the mindset like you guys, which is like, okay, this is going to be a pain in the ass, but I’m in it to win it till the end. Go ahead, Noel.
[0:38:35] NT: She said something really important. What you’ve done, the problem with the machine, you look at a folder. If you ram something in it, well, it’s running. It’s going to explode. That’s what you’re talking about. The concierge corrals what’s coming and now can feed it in by funnel. Wait a minute. It’s not going to be as complicated. It’s what we say about creative thought and machinery, if this plan creative thought –
[0:38:58] DC: Yes. It can also slow those people down and say, hold on a second.
[0:39:02] NT: A 100%.
[0:39:03] DC: Where are we shipping? How can we ship? Who’s receiving it? All the problems that we have.
[0:39:10] NT: Well, in your shop. The good ones that I deal with, they won’t even start a job without – It’s a pain in the neck. You’ve had this. It’s a 100-page book. The shipping, the shipping, I can’t start. They’re right. Because we have to buy cartons. What size are they? Are they double-walled? That’s a protocol. The job can’t start without knowing how it’s finishing, meaning how it’s going to ship. People don’t understand that, but it’s part of the process. But you can apply that to anything. Your idea with the print concierge is really just a great idea, but it’s a starting point. It’s a catch all, so that that chaos doesn’t hit live production and just –
[0:39:50] DC: Exactly.
[0:39:51] DD: – finish it all.
[0:39:52] DC: That job doesn’t get met by a salesperson who just sees a sale in front of their face. It’s like waving a red – Of course, we can do that. It doesn’t matter what page the fold out is on. What’s the specs? What’s the zip code it shipping to? How many do you need? When do you need it? Of course, we can do it. Of course, we can do it. I think that there’s a little contribution of that slow down on sometimes on the printer’s side, too.
[0:40:16] NT: It’s a meeting of the minds, right? A really quick, fast story. I talk to people about, well, how do we get these fancy customers, right? The guy who owns the print shop gets a young sales force. They go out, they get this crazy workout. Look at this. The guy goes, “What am I going to do with that? I can’t make any money.”
[0:40:31] DC: Exactly.
[0:40:32] NT: Where do I start? I don’t even know how to look at it. We talked to them about, “Wait a minute. Slow down.” Take that and repurpose it. Hence, your concierge into something digestible for the guy who’s got $20,000 worth of notes every month who can’t make any money off this crazy idea. It’s distilled into reality.
[0:40:56] DC: Or pass on it. I actually had this conversation with –
[0:40:59] NT: Identify what print and what doesn’t. Then teach yourselves people. Maybe you can tell people, we can pivot them. “Hey, you know what? That’s not for us. Call Noel, or David, but they’re not.”
[0:41:08] DC: No, but exactly. I did an interview with Dscoops on varnish video series the other day and they were asking me about, should printers – how can printers can work with advertising agencies. I was like, not all printers can, nor should they want to, unless they can deal with me on the other end of the phone call. I’ve been out of it for a while. I’ve calmed down. 60-million-dollar budget, who’s in trouble? Nobody understands there’s quite a lot of consequences. If you mess up a job on a 60-million-dollar client who’s now threatening the agency to leave and getting, the same reason we all do things. “Well, I’m going to leave, unless you do something for me.”
[0:41:59] NT: Can destroy someone’s brand. It’s like I was saying —
[0:42:00] DC: Well, I’m just saying that the agency ends up eating the money and you get in trouble. There’s a whole process around it. If everybody, to your point, Noel, just slows down, make sure it’s the right job, make sure that you can make your money from the job, you can deliver it on time and provide the creative and hopefully, business results that the clients have, everybody should be okay.
When we come back, we’re going to talk about what has inspired us since the last podcast.
[0:42:32] DC: Printspiration is streaming across the printerverse on the Project Peacock Network. And our mission to provide education and resources for print customers, students and printers around the world has never been more accessible. Watch what you want, when you want, where you want. It’s free. Visit projectpeacock.tv to access original programming and replays from our online events. Learn about the Peacock partners and companies featured in our shows. Join our mailing list to learn about new episode premieres and series launches and create a free account to make watch lists. Ready for your close up? Get your Peacock show on air by visiting projectpeacock.tv and request your partnership proposal today. Peacock, long and prosper.
[0:43:24] DC: Welcome back, everybody. Okay, this is our Printspiration section. I would love to know from my co-host, what has inspired your creative print possibilities since our last podcast? Who would like to start? David’s looking at me.
[0:43:42] NT: Sure. You need to be careful for what you asked for.
[0:43:46] DC: Okay.
[0:43:49] NT: I’ve been in the lack of producing on better papers, higher quality papers, colored papers. I mean, to me, that’s a challenge of having that great end result, and how we go about producing it. There are two productions that I’m working on now. One, I’m still digging through, which is a little tiny book. It’s about 32 pages, and it’s on black stock, cover weight stock, but it’s printing white, which I’m going to be screen printing it.
I could go about doing it hot stamping, but I think the screen printing has its own artistry to it. I have to be less concerned with the heel marks that go through. That’s coming. What I did find is that suppliers, I used to have that could bind a small book are not on existence anymore. Or they’ve merged with somebody else and they got rid of that piece of equipment. The binding in seems to be the biggest challenge that I have.
The second production is an NFT. It’s actually a 1,000 NFTs. The client wants to produce on handmade Japanese paper. Somebody buys the NFT, a digital format. Then I get a file, and then I produce it and we send it to whoever bought it at that point. That has its own challenges, too, because being a handmade paper means that no two sheets are exactly the same. I know what I want to produce it on, the type of equipment I want to produce it on, but the challenge is the heads, the ink heads of those equipment, how is that going to react to a paper that has a different thickness as we begin to produce it?
The second thing is, how do we buy so much paper? Who inventories handmade paper? Is it new paper? How long we have to wait for it? The thing was that I was saying, I’m looking for these jobs. I’m looking for these challenges. Then all of a sudden, it falls into your lap, and you need to figure out those solutions. It’s pretty interesting, because it’s closely aligned. I’ve gotten to the point where, and I don’t mean this personally against any mill, or anybody else. I think, I hate coated paper. I hate gloss paper. Then I hated matte paper. Then I hated coated paper. Then I hated white paper. Now, I think I hate smooth paper. I think I only like color, paper that’s not white.
I’ve driven the challenges up from myself. What I’ve determined and found is there’s something really beautiful in it. I’m now, I’m to the point where, and almost let you’re up against David, I’m doing – do a fair amount of real estate. I’m doing two now where one is all silver with grays. I’ve got silver paper, metallic paper that I’ve got a lay down. Double hit of LED white. Then we’re laying metallic PMSs on top of it. Some are letting the paper come through.
Then I’ve got black paper that we’re going to print gold halftones on. There’s some white as well, some under the gold, some not. I guess, what I find really, really fascinating is an interesting and inspiring to me is getting away from the norm. It can be very simple, sometimes very simple is very, very complicated, right? Black paper and printing something readable on it as a combination of many different things. It’s the same. David, you’ve got a real challenge. I know you reached out and I wasn’t much help, but the problem, and you just hit on something, it’s bad enough doing what I’m describing. Now if the paper is not consistent, equipment is manufactured to reproduce things the same way every time. That’s the beauty of the equipment, right?
If the caliper, or the paper changes with every sheet, you’re not going to get to the same, so that you might want to sign a number of them and call them art. No, for me, it’s similar. It’s pushing the envelope, but making simple things from very, very complicated places and integrating them with very simple things. I like that, and I think that that’s wonderful as well.
The other part of the inspiration is I find myself just trying to do simple better. Are the pages with just type on it, or a half tone? Is it really all that it can be? When someone picks it up and I’ve always used my family. If they pick it up and they go, “Oh, this is nice,” and they don’t know why, then you’ve done your job. If there’s something interesting about it, is it haptics, the way that it’s produced, do they find?
I also find myself and no negative that I love all the big publishers. Now, every weekend I go, I find myself going to Barnes and Noble or somewhere else and I just look at books for two hours and I go through them and I get very excited about them by what I see on the cover, and then I make myself nuts and I have to leave, because I look inside and I go, “I would have done that differently.” It’s not that I don’t love that as an object. But that drives me. Then I go back and go, “I’m not doing that in my book. That bothered me. Did you see that little thing?”
I think that that’s the inspiration. Looking at what’s been there and trying to do what’s really difficult, but doing it. Because if we do that, it will not trickle down, but I’d like to see more of it done, not just with guys with big budgets, right? What’s wrong with that? What David described is absolutely gorgeous. Think about what he’s talking about, an NFT, right, which is the furthest away my mind from ink on paper, to not only ink on paper, but ink on handmade Japanese paper.
I just think that that’s wonderful. Yeah, that’s my inspiration. It wasn’t too different from David’s.
[0:49:50] DD: Hey, Deb, just let me jump into one second and respond to Noel. Noel, so you go to Barnes and Noble and you go through these books and you get – you are inspired by what you see. Okay, doesn’t that help you for the future? To say, “I want to do a project this way.”
[0:50:09] NT: 100%.
[0:50:10] DD: It turns the client around. For me, I mean, that’s how I approach sales. If I know I’m going up against some other vendors, turning the specs around makes it my job. It makes it, as I keep saying, that artistry. You go to Barnes and Noble. I have books from the 50s and the 40s and the 30s. One of them is called Parach de Noelle. It’s a book huge, big, huge, very thick and paper companies would emboss and do all their creative production. It would be various articles. As a book, it was really a magazine. It was a sales tool.
But I go through it. My books have fallen apart, but I go through them and I begin to just to refresh myself, because we’re in a business right now. The work that we want to have, we don’t necessarily get. We provide a service. But those pieces of information help us to get back onto our track of why we’re doing what we’re doing. It informs the way you go about your business. Yet, the old printing magazines are amazing, too, from even from the 60s, if you look what – it’s just fascinating.
[0:51:33] DC: You guys just inspired me to give somebody a shout out and then I’m going to tell you what my printspiration is. But there’s a Twitter account I follow called Raw Marrow. They are a strategic content creation businesses that hate agencies, major site of blood cell production, branding video and social media. On their Twitter feed, they send out color palettes from crazy things. Today’s was an Eartha Kitt album, like a vinyl album from a long time ago. The other day, they used an escalator safety brochure. I mean, it’s a lot of inspiration and it comes from old things. A1950s Calypso poster.
Then they give you the color palette, which is really interesting, because the Eartha Kitt colors, I have to say, they’re very alluring to me. I’m not so great at picking the complimentary colors, like just knowing them. I usually go into my Photoshop, or illustrative palettes and get something I think fits in the family. I find this very helpful to see a nice way of presenting a background and typography and all of that. I suggest everyone follows them and shout out to Raw Marrow, who I look at every day.
What inspired me since the last time fits into your publication inspiration. Oddly enough, I inspired itself, which happens sometimes. I was writing a class, actually, a course for thINK Academy, which is part of Canon’s user group, and I was writing about digital publishing and new opportunities, new ideas. I did some research and I came upon a whole resurgence of flip books. If everybody remembers, if you know what those are, they’re small books and there’s illustrations in them. When you use your thumb to flick through them, it creates motion, animation of the images.
Now, this was, there was, there’s contests now. Most of the time, these are illustrators who are participating in this. It is a – was always about drawing. I looked at it and said, what an amazing way to send a save the date to somebody. What an amazing way to communicate. We’ve opened our business somewhere in a very short run, you’re not very customized way. You could really show, even use it as a calling card for your own business. You could do anything on the flip book. It can’t be too complicated. It’s not supposed to be.
Animate a paper going through a press and say, call us for help, or come to our event, or anything like that. I got inspired by doing research and I think we should take on flip books as a – an application away from just being about an animation gimmick and more of a messaging device. What do you think about that?
[0:54:49] NT: I love that idea. I love flip books. Fantastic. I actually was just thinking about something very similar myself, should I find the equipment that can produce a small book like that without –
[0:55:03] DC: Why can’t they? Why can’t you produce it and then cut them? Trim them? You can’t?
[0:55:08] NT: You can chop them, right?
[0:55:10] DC: I mean, they can’t be hardcover bound. They’re not supposed to be. Why couldn’t you? You bind them and then cut them, or you cut them and then bind.
[0:55:19] NT: Years ago, it’s so much later, I can talk about it, but I used to do work for the garden, right? Did season tickets for the Rangers.
[0:55:26] DC: Hold on. He means Madison Square Garden for everyone who’s not in New York City. Go ahead.
[0:55:32] NT: Madison Square Garden and they were talking about their season tickets for the Rangers games. Just someone mentioned it to me. We were having a beer. That’s where the best ideas come from, right? Someone said, “Well, make a great flip book.” Imagine that, right? The guys get the puck. As you go through, when he scores through the whole season of tickets, but you can do it with anything. I love your idea.
[0:55:51] DC: Anything.
[0:55:54] NT: Type even the message. It’s pretty straightforward. I mean, you could do it on a digital press. It doesn’t have to be an HP, or in a Lander, or something like that. I think, I mean, for me, I’m thinking you could chop it and you could put one of those big box staples in the end. Then what I would do is put a little quarter binding, like a piece of fabric around the back and there you go. Bang. It’s a great idea. I think we brought this up early on, David. If you do one, let me know because I would love to do. I think it’s a great promotion.
[0:56:20] DC: Maybe we should do one for our Making it with Print Podcast. That could be cool.
[0:56:23] DD: That’s a great idea.
[0:56:24] DC: Yeah, we could do it for our own prom. I love that. What do you think, David? Did you chime in on the flip book?
[0:56:30] DD: Did I chime in on the flip book? Yes, I said, I love flip books. It’s been years and years since I’ve produced them. It’s funny. When I said, it rains, it pours. Going back, I’d say, maybe about 25 years ago, I was doing several different clients flip books at the same time. Each one very unique to each other, but that’s part of the fun.
[0:56:53] DC: I think everybody out there who has the right equipment, or the right partners should think about creating a little flip book promotion for your own printing business. Send it to your customers with a list of things, ways that they could use it for their specific business. This is not a mass mailing. This is specifically to the florist, specifically to the law firm, specifically to the marketing agency, with specific customers that you mention by name. This is how they could use it. Or, I know it gets a little markety for printers in that space. I believe that if you sent the flip book as a new format that we’re offering, and you gave it to the right creative people, that’s all you would need to do. Then just sit back and wait for the magic to happen. Then use what they create as the samples to attract more people.
[0:57:54] NT: You can personalize it, too. Imagine that’s your invite. Coming to the party and then you got a flip book of the party and your names in there. That would be cool.
[0:58:01] DC: I mean, and using digital printing. It could be my face on the cover. It could be my pet inviting me to the opening of the new vet location, or the food truck part. I mean, there’s a million things you could do with it, including going to your local chambers of commerce and seeing if you can create some tourist situation out of it.
Okay, everybody think flip books. If you have any ideas out there. By the way, my ideas for everybody. Take it. Everyone can take it and run with it. If you obviously do something, let us know. We’d love to see what you’ve created. Gentlemen, thank you so much for another amazing episode. Everybody, thank you so much for listening to Making it with Print. You are listening to Making it with Print. We really appreciate it. Thanks again, to everyone who’s sharing it out on social media.
Until next time, print long and prosper.
[END OF EPISODE]
[0:59:04] DC: Thanks for listening to Podcasts from the Printerverse. Please subscribe, click some stars and leave us a review. Connect with us through printmediacenter.com. We’d love to hear your feedback on our shows and topics that are of interest for future broadcast. Until next time, thanks for joining us print long and prosper.