Why Expertise Matters.
The simple answer is that print production is an incredibly complex process dependent on other equally complex processes (i.e., paper & ink manufacturing, graphic design, etc).
Even within the area of printing itself, there are several different types of printing processes including:
- Offset Lithography
- Screen Printing
Each of these major categories, which can be broken into further sub-categories, has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. Even within the same categories, there is wide variety in the types of presses and technology available – all of which impact the cost and quality of the finished product. This does not even factor in the variability that paper (much less any other substrate) brings into play. Of course, this only captures the printing. There is also a great deal of variability on the pre-press side as well as a wide variety of binding styles and post-press operations that can effect the look and functionality of a piece. Another layer of complexity is added when you begin to introduce variable data and personalization into the mix.
The cherry on the top of this is a somewhat-standardized industrial nomenclature that is at first glance completely nonsensical. For the uninitiated, conversations about blankets, plates, in-line conflicts, natural vs. unnatural crossovers, and ghosting can make eyes glaze over and heads swim.
At the same time, printing is so ubiquitous in our lives that we hardly pay it any attention. So much so that it creates a paradox where print is common enough to be purchased as a commodity, but complex enough that no two jobs are ever the same. All of which leads to a situation rife with potential errors and inefficiencies – both in the production and sourcing of it. At the same time we, as clients and consumers, simply expect the final product to it to look right. When it doesn’t, we don’t understand why our seemingly simple expectations aren’t met.
The reality is that with printing, the devil is in the details and having a knowledgeable resource in place is an absolute requirement – if you want to get the most for your spend in this area. However, education in the printing process is typically an on-the-job baptism by fire, undertaken by someone who has no formal education or training in the area. As a consequence, it takes someone years to obtain a working knowledge of the printing process and even then it is limited to the areas they have direct experience with.
At Inkwell Enterprises, all of our employees in critical performance roles like sales, account management, and procurement have a formal education in graphic communications management and an average of 10+ years of industry experience. We understand the complexity of the printing industry because it is where we come from. There is a saying in the industry that when you love print, you have ink in your veins. That’s true of each and every person at Inkwell Enterprises. While that in and of itself makes us special, what makes us unique is our ability to help our clients leverage print to it’s fullest potential improving the effectiveness of their efforts, thereby driving profitability through increases in top line sales/donations and while at the same time driving bottom line savings from cost reductions and process improvements – a multifaceted approach that you won’t find with other Business Process Management firms.