There’s a time and a place for the standard tri-fold brochure or one-page flyer. They’ve helped companies build their brands for decades, after all. Yet sometimes you know that a common approach won’t capture your target audience’s attention. And whether you’re thinking about a dimensional kit, unique die cuts or metallic varnishes, you need a plan to get your client on board.

While these design ideas may seem like obvious winners to you, it’s important to realize how “scary” they may feel to a client that’s done things the same way for years. And, let’s be honest: More creative approaches tend to come with higher price tags to justify, as well. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared for the design presentation. Consider these tips.

  • Share mockups. Designers can look at a sketch and envision the final product. That’s not so easy for many clients – especially if you’re working in 3D. Ask your print rep for samples of similar projects to show. If you’re working on a packaging project, ask your printer to mock up it up for your presentation.  
  • Look for data. You may be able to find stats on how adding a “special” element can affect lift. Your rep may be able to share results or testimonials from a similar project he or she produced recently. Also, present rationale based on industry trends and design best practices.
  • Know your costs. Be sure to get a print estimate before you share ideas with a client. There’s nothing worse than having an idea that’s “probably outside our budget” shot down simply because you didn’t do your research ahead of time. Once you have your estimates in hand, be prepared to present options too. For example, if your client says she can’t afford a full varnish for $1,200, your response might be “No problem! How about we apply varnish just to the cover? We can still wow recipients, but that approach would only cost $500.”

Noticing a theme in these recommendations? We are too! It’s about how important your print rep can be in this process. Make the most of your partnership, and ask your rep to help you throughout your design and creative steps. You both have the same goal, after all: To produce quality work that achieves a high ROI. And if it’s work that you can’t wait to put in your portfolio, even better.

Redefining Print