Printbuyers Online

Print Standards

Sample of Print Standards

Note from editor:
The following print standards are provided as a sample of the types of information that print buyers should develop and document for their print suppliers. By creating print standards for your company, you can significantly reduce typical problems that occur when printer suppliers are unaware of your expectations. I encourage you to modify and add to these standards for your individual expectations and requirements.

I've provided a listing of Print Standards for years in my print buying seminars. Print buyers have found this to be a very useful tool. And by the way, printers love to receive customized print standards from their customers because it helps the printer more successfully service their client.

Hint: An easy way to modify these standards is to highlight the standards below, click "copy" from the edit menu on your browser, and then paste the article into a blank Word file.

Suzanne Morgan

Print Standards for Print Buyers

The following is a list of instructions and standards of how our company operates and how we work with our print and mailing suppliers. In essence, the standards serve as the terms and conditions for which we are contracting your services.

Please follow these guidelines for each of our projects. If there is a change to one of the items below, i.e. the delivery address, we will notify you in writing.

As a supplier to our company, we expect you to carefully review and follow the standards provided. Please communicate these expectations to your associates. Our goal is to avoid common communication and production problems, which increases our own efficiencies as well as our suppliers. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact _____________________ at (___) _____________ immediately.

Who to Contact:
Print procurement: ________________ at (___) ___________
Dir. of Production: ________________ at (___) ___________
Accounts payable: ________________ at (___) ___________
Questions on design/set up of files: ________________ at (___) ___________

Bids/Quotations: We request price quotations within 24 hours of receipt of our RFQ. We prefer to receive the quotation by e-mail. Written price quotes are mandatory.

If you are suggesting paper substitutions or any change to our specifications, please provide pricing on both our original specifications (if possible) and then separate prices for your recommended specifications.

Please notify us about any quoted projects where you subcontract more than 25% of the job.

Fonts: We will provide screen and printer fonts on all of our electronic files. To ensure that we do not violate laws regulating the illegal copying of software, we require that these fonts are used for our projects only and are not shared with other clients.

Trapping of files: It has been our experience that suppliers prefer to trap customer supplied electronic files, therefore PBO will not create the traps unless the supplier requests otherwise.

All PBO files will be accompanied by color separated lasers and a composite laser design proofs.

Author’s Alterations: We will pay for any author’s alterations that we incur, but we require immediate written notification of any addition costs (AAs) that exceed $100. If AAs exceed $100, do not proceed with any job until PBO approves the cost. If the total AA cost is less than $100, do not stop production. Proceed with the job and send us a notification (by e-mail) within 24 hours.

We closely monitor our AAs and hope to increase our efficiency and lower our costs over time. We encourage our suppliers to send us an explanation of why we incurred the charges and suggestions of how we can avoid those costs in the future.

Proofs: We request that supplier proofs – digital or film -- are provided to us within two days of supplier’s receipt of the job.

Color proofing: We encourage the use of contract quality digital proofs. We prefer ______________ digital proofs. We encourage the use of soft proofs as an intermediate proof. Color bars are required on any contract quality proofs for all process work.

If we have requested a press proof, please allow at least 24 hours advance notice of timing for our press checks.

Personalization: We require sign-offs on all appropriate proofs (i.e. data proofs, live proofs, etc.) before any personalization work is completed. PBO provides data files in the following format: _________________________________.

Mailing proofs: For any mailing projects that require insertion, we require a fax proof of the “fan out” or insertion order of the job.

PBO also requires a live proof before the mail is dropped.

Mailing verification: We require copies of the 3602s to be sent to us by e-mail within 24 hours of mailing.

Samples: For all print projects, we require that 15 samples are sent to our office (Attn: _____________). For projects that will be mailed by the supplier, we require samples 24 hours before the drop date.

Delivery: If and when projects are delivered to our office, please deliver the materials to our loading dock between the hours of 9-3:30 M-F.

Please mark all boxes with the project name, type of item, quantity, and our project number. Ex: “May ’02 Renewal Sweepstakes; Letter; 25,000; 56077”.

Over runs/Under runs: We will pay for up to 2% overs on our print jobs. We discourage under runs, but will accept projects that run no more than 2% under.

Payment: Approved invoices will be paid in 30 days. We often accept supplier discounts for quick payment, such as 1.5% discount for net 15 days.

Invoices: All invoices should be mailed to:
Drew Lewis
Accounts Payable
55555 N. West Street,
Washington, DC 20012

Please reference our P.O number and our project number on all invoices.

Inventory: If storing materials for us, we require updated inventory counts within 5 days after the mailing/printing project is completed as well as monthly inventory reports.

Return of preparatory materials: All artwork, electronic disks, supplied film and any other preparatory materials given to the supplier by PBO will be returned to PBO within three (3) days upon completion of the project. All materials should be sent to Steven Jacobs, 3rd floor, PBO.

If you have modified our electronic files, please be sure to post-flight our files and return the modified version to us.

Ownership of artwork/disks/files: Any preparatory materials that PBO furnishes to complete a project is owned solely by PBO. If changes are made to the materials (i.e. manipulation of files), with or without the request of PBO, the materials remain the property of PBO.

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