It Only Takes One Or Two Days

It only takes one or two days to get your printing job done …. False. Today everyone wants everything instant. You put something in the microwave and ZAP it is done. You take a photo with your camera, plug it into your computer and ZAP it is done. Even at the grocery store, if there is a line at the check out you can do it yourself and ZAP it is done. Do not forget the internet, if you want to know the answer of anything you do not have to go to the library anymore. You go to search and ZAP there is your answer. The telephone book white pages for everywhere is on the computer just put in the name and ZAP there is their telephone number. Our whole life is nothing but ZAP, ZAP.

The same goes for the printed piece, people think that you put a blank piece of paper in one end of the machine and it comes out the other end printed ZAP done. It does not work like that, ask me I am a printer. When they ask me how long their printing job will take I look at the piece and can pretty much tell what is involved. If I say a week or two I get the look and they can not believe how it would take that long. My print shop has a guarantee that if the job is not done on time the job is FREE.

The reason for that is printers are notorious for taking a long time because they do not want to lose the job so the say "one or two days". That is a ridiculous time. Once they get the customers art work, and quoted the job below all the other printers in the area they think the customer will wait.

I dropped into a competitor shop one day and their was a customer that was there to pick up his printing job. You could hear the presses running in the back room and the counter person went in the back room to check on the job. We could hear laughing in the back room and the counter person told the customer it was half done and he would be called when finished. The customer complained that his job has been there for almost two weeks as he walked out the door. A few minutes later the back room person came out and said "I guess we better start working on his job, he has been in quite a few times." Did this hurt his business? No because no matter what print shop you go to it will take a week or more to produce a job.

My approach after I told them the time it would take I would explain and show them what went into producing their job. If it was a special ink what we call a PMS color match. PMS stands for Panatone Mixing Color. There is a PMS chart which I show them to pick out their color. Some corporations know what their color is and will tell you a number such PMS 465. Their special number has to be mixed on a scale. I show them a printing plate that goes on the press to produce their job and also a negative that is burned on the plate in a burn box. Many times they had a lot of questions but went away saying they found my explanation very interesting and never knew it was so involved.

Today with the new technology there is no negative and the plate is produced on the computer. The way it works is the graphic artist sends a e-mail with the PDF file to our computer. We have what is called a computer to plate right on the press. All the printers that made negatives and burned plates have gone ZAP the way of the high button shoes. It is wonderful all the new technology, but it has put a lot of people out of their trade. And to answer the question can a printer product your job in one or two days ZAP, No.