By Joe Tallman
Over the years, I have found the most successful printing projects are well planned by developing a schedule that is created with the priority placed on the printing and finishing needs for your piece. Basically, work backwards in developing the schedule. Listed below are 8 steps for managing a successful print project.
Create requirements that identify your audience, your message, and your goals.
Identify your resources for the project. Your resources may include marketing, creative, content writers, project manager, proofreaders/quality control, printer, and mailing. A dedicated project manager will help ensure a successful project and will be the center of communication between internal teams and printer while tracking chargeable hours, timeline, and costs.
Develop a project plan that includes timeline, project tasks, and project milestones. If the project is complex, you may want to schedule stand-up meetings that can be held periodically for 15 to 30 minutes to allow each team member to quickly identify completed tasks, what tasks will be worked on next, and any possible risks to the production schedule.
Talk with your printer while you are in the planning and design stages of the project. Discuss timeline, file preparation, color space, proofing, bindery and finishing capabilities, mailing and/or delivery if needed. You may also want to discuss bleeds, image resolution, and safe text margins.
Create a checklist.
Have everything proofread after every iteration. Check all press proofs carefully.
Spot check the finished piece before mailing or delivery.
After the project has been completed, review the project’s success and any customer feedback. This will help make the next project even a greater success.