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Correctly Setting Expectations

(October 2010) posted on Thu Oct 07, 2010

Best practices for handling client expectations for vehicle wrapping

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By Jared Smith, vehicle wrapping

Again, you are setting the client’s expectations so there are no surprises and no avoidable delays. When you deliver that proof, let them know when you would need approval by in order to hit their install date. If the client would like you to make some revisions, let them know when they can expect to see those revisions and if there will be any additional charges. The same applies for color proofs of match prints: Let them know what to expect.

Print and install realities
If you have made it through the quote and design process with a happy client, I’d say you are off to a good start. However, in the spirit of being up front, I must tell you that was the easy part.

Now we need to let our client know what they can expect in print quality. You’ll need to find a process that will allow your client to have the correct expectations for the three main areas of potential conflict: color accuracy, print quality, and resolution – three factors that can easily be areas in which the client’s expectations differ from the reality of wide-format digital printing.

Many of our customers are accustomed to screen printing and offset printing, where spot colors and very high line screens are used. This means that they not only have knowledge of printing, but they may assume they can expect the same level of output. This is all the more reason to make sure they know that CMYK has a color gamut, and that some PMS colors are flat out outside of this range, meaning you cannot get that color, period. The client must know that our machines were meant to print signage with a viewable distance of at least two feet or more, and the resolution will not be the same as the last round of brochures they printed. Once the client understands that you are an expert who is being up front about the differences and limitations of our technology, they should be very pleased with the final print quality, as it was exactly what they expected.

If this project is a standard poster or banner, you’re likely in the clear already. I wish it were always that simple, but that’s not typically the case.