Printing and creative design go hand-in-hand. Think about it: what good is a customer-facing print piece if the imagery doesn’t draw in the viewer?

When you need marketing materials for your business, ask your printer about the creative team that will assist throughout the process. If you’re in the very early stages, you’ll want to meet with the designers and work together on the tone and direction for the campaign.

Be on the lookout for a commercial printer whose creative department works closely with the printing department. This can sometimes be a challenge -- in fact, very few commercial printers have a creative staff at all. That's all the more reason to ask about it!

Once you do decide on a printing and creative partner, here are a few of the initiatives a creative team can help you accomplish.

Related: What Your Graphic Designer Needs to Hit the Mark

Branding and Identity

Branding is vital to the success of your company. Without branding, there’s no way to differentiate your business from the masses. Sure, you can put in a lot of hard work, but without a story to tell it's difficult to connect with your audience and capture their attention.

Developing brand guidelines requires planning, strategy, organization and management. It’s a hard job, and it’s certainly not for everyone. You need an experienced team of creative professionals to truly pin down the types of brand messages and imagery that will resonate with your audience. Their expertise allows you to share messages with your customers that represent who you are, what you do and who you do it for.

Creative-Team---Ironmark

Creative Strategy

An effective creative strategy binds all your marketing elements together. A cohesive look is imperative when creating brand standards and building brand recognition. After developing your identity and brand strategy, make sure all your marketing efforts communicate the same clear message about your business.

During the first meeting with the creative team, discuss your branding goals, the types of assets you envision and how you plan to use them. This way the creative team can build a plan that's suited to your exact needs. This is especially important for multi-unit and franchise businesses whose marketing strategy needs to span across different locations.  A solid creative team makes sure your marketing materials remain unified and carry the same look, tone and messaging.

Layout and Design

This is one of the most difficult tasks for businesses to handle on their own, especially if they're unfamiliar with the ins-and-outs of the printing world. Many printing companies don't offer creative assistance with marketing materials, so you need to understand their capabilities. Ask your printer about creative concepting, design and layout up front, especially if you're creating new business assets from the ground up.

For example: say a cleaning business needs to print new pop-up banners. If they're working with a company that provides a dedicated creative team they only need to manage one relationship.  That means no more juggling communications between a printing company and a third-party graphic designer, or wasted time stuck between vendors arguing over file types or offset vs digital. It’s all handled by the printer, so the job gets done easier and faster.

DOWNLOAD: WHY YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING STILL NEEDS PRINT

Don’t Go It Alone

In the end, you really just want the printing process to be easy. If you don’t want to worry about the complexities of brand messaging, creative strategy or print design, you need an expert opinion and a true partner.

Look for a commercial printer that offers comprehensive services, and take a look at what our in-house creative team can do for you. Contact us today, and let's get the ball rolling on your next creative project!

Written by Hillary Reilly

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