Printing industry not immune to recession

Commercial printers struggle as clients tighten their budgets.I just found out that one of my main out-of-state commercial printers is going out of business. My contact called yesterday morning from his car to tell me that the printer wouldn’t be taking any more print orders including pending jobs without paper already in the shop.

The 48-page annual report, final proofs of which I was about to approve, fell into the latter category. Having just discovered the demise of his company, the sales consultant was on his way to bring my design files and proof to another printer when he gave me the bad news.

Although we’ve never met in person, I’ve worked closely with this sales rep for seven years with two different companies. When the first printer closed its doors, I followed him to the next one. And I’ll do it again because maintaining a strong bond with a rep is so much more important than the relationship with the whole company. A good representative will always step to bat for you—an invaluable quality, especially when your project has already passed its deadlines. Ours had.

So the good news is that the annual report will still hit the streets this month. But it’s poignant to see another print business go down. The economic climate has vendors in this industry struggling to keep their doors open. Over the past several months, I’ve received more direct mail, cold calls and introductory emails from commercial printers seeking new business than any other time during my eight years at this nonprofit.

These pitches are arriving from all over the country. A sales rep from a commercial printer in Fort Worth, Texas, said that her company had lost many of its major corporate clients, who at one time had big budgets and consistent purchase orders. So the printer concentrated its marketing on nonprofits.

But we’ve had to tighten our belts, too. The production manager of our local print vendor has always given me a sincere “thank you” with every order we submit. Lately, it sounds a bit more effusive.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Printing industry not immune to recession”
  1. Nick Raymon says:

    I like the approach you took with this topic. It is not every day that you find a subject so to the point and enlightening.

    • hal says:

      Thank you, Nick. How is your print company faring? What is some advice you can give to corporations and designers who want to submit projects, but feel that it’s not in their budgets?

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