The word “quality” appears constantly in our lives: slogans, descriptions of services or products, everyday conversations where we want to praise something …
Its use is so frequent that the word has lost part of its true essence and of course the world of the graphic arts is not foreign to this loss.
Therefore to talk with a base, in our field of graphic production, it is necessary to rethink the concept: what is meant by quality? And more exactly: what is a quality printing?
Before the writing of this article, when consulting our clients about their idea of quality, we prove that they added terms of security, trust, knowledge, proactivity …
All this comes together to meet the expectations of satisfaction and care (both customer service and lack of defects in the pieces) to use the label “quality printing“.
Approaching what this term encompasses opens two ways:
1.- Quality understood as final result.
The quality understood as an end result, in the world of printing, encompasses the services offered by large online production centers; digital print shops; the usual printers, accustomed to their papers and their jobs without complications, and even the copy shops.
These business models base their activity on delivery times, volume and/or a strong standardization of the characteristics of the product (printing type, formats and a limited number of finishes as well as references of papers or other media) . The client is the one who adapts to the established parameters.
Under this umbrella a differentiated production approach and an exhaustive quality control is unthinkable.
The fidelity of reproduction will depend on the files sent, the technology employed and the professionals on staff. For example, the misleading accessibility of digital printing machines and their wide range of models, in some cases, has made them lose sight of the need for their maintenance and qualified professionals at the forefront.
In addition the lack of supervision causes files that are not optimal for an adequate result to go ahead or that the user’s ignorance generates errors that he implies to the print shop.
Hence, in terms of customer satisfaction, the results are very diverse. They are conditioned by the proper choice of supplier taking into account his real possibilities.
2.- Quality understood as a process.
Quality as a process is the set of phases necessary to achieve an outcome that can really be called “quality printing”.
In minke is the way we tackle each project. For us, its starting point is dialogue. Knowing the idea well, its communicative values and the sensations that are sought to transmit allow us to make a production approach with the papers and techniques that best fit the job.
We value how to enhance the concept and anticipate the viability of the chosen materials with the selected printing systems and/or special finishes.
We work with a living matter such as paper, which has its own nature and certainly does not behave in a systematic way. We cover graphic industry techniques along with the most handcrafted processes. Therefore, the maximum precaution and an exhaustive quality control are fundamental part of our procedures.
We are sure that if the previous process has been done correctly the final finish will be the desired one.
It is clear that both ways, either as a result or as a process, can lead to a quality printing. The difference lies in which offers a priori more guarantees of success and what the client needs.
As we understand in minke the craft of the graphic arts and the communicative potential of a well-produced distinctive piece, we believe that dialogue and creativity in solutions are the most appropriate channels to guarantee a truly satisfactory and useful quality printing.