One of the most important relationships a magazine publisher has is the one with their printer. Without a printer, there is no print magazine; while there are many online-only publications, the money in the industry still remains with the print titles. However, the relationship between a printer and a publisher usually revolves around two things only: cost and quality.
A focus on cost is obvious, as publishers are looking to balance budgets more and more as the industry tightens. Quality, on the other hand, is an interesting variable. Of course, the quality of the printing should be a huge consideration, but the quality of what is provided to the printer should be just as vital.
Most professional designers today put their focus on digital, which is great for other industries, but quite problematic for print publishers. Designing for print requires an innate understanding of colors, bleeds and styles that do not apply in other design disciplines. A lack of those understandings can cause print jobs to be held up in production quite easily, or can result in poor quality submissions to the printer. A printer can do a lot to help a publisher resolve the problem, but there is only one true solution: better trained designers.
The Printing Industries of America (PIA), the world’s largest graphic arts trade association and an organization with expert knowledge of the print industry, is seeking to help resolve the lack of training. They have released an iLearning course titled “Print Production for Designers” meant to help bridge the gap of understanding many designers have with print knowledge. The goal of the course is two-fold:
- Broaden the horizons of designers.
- Help publishers have access to higher-quality designers who can help them produce better quality magazines.
Printers can also make use of the course, and should take it upon themselves to help educate their clients. Printers are responsible for their role in quality, but it is also their responsibility to hold their clientele accountable for providing proper files; otherwise, a printer cannot do their job correctly. The PIA course provides printers the means to foster this new level of relationship with publishers as well, and in the end, it can help printers save time and publishers money.
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