THE SERVICES WE OFFER
The key to the value that we deliver to clients lies in the way that we get to understand their business and then ally our expertise and detailed industry knowledge to find the best solutions.
We have been working with some of the world’s biggest businesses for more than 25 years so you can be sure that you will be working with experienced print and design specialists. We are proud of the way that we build lasting and long-term working relationships with our clients. As trusted suppliers to many businesses, clients look to us for advice on print production and design.
We go further and share our knowledge with in-house designers, marketing teams and other key stakeholders. They tell us that they appreciate the value that we add through our knowledge of the way they work and the industries in which they operate. The advice we give is independent and our aim is to provide the best solution at optimum value for money.
DESIGN AND PRE-PRESS
On any project, there is rarely enough time to check and re-check every last detail before it goes to press. Shifting deadlines, late changes, copy edits and changed images can all be the cause of the kind of bugs and gremlins that can be disastrous. That’s where the benefit of a fresh pair of eyes on your artwork can add value – or avert costly mistakes.
Our in-house team of design and pre-press specialists are professional and friendly. We are used to dealing with the commercial realities of projects and responding to the requirements of clients’ designers, copywriters and marketing executives. No battle plan, it is said, survives first contact with the enemy, and few print projects run like greased Teflon from conception to fulfilment.
That’s just the way it always was – and the way it probably always will be. When you can’t see the wood for the trees, we provide clients with an extra resource that will always go the extra mile to bring the project in on time and on budget.
We are self-confessed perfectionists when it comes to colour. We understand the importance of getting the perfect colour. That’s why we invest in the latest colour manipulation software and train our team to the highest standards. Whether we are retouching an image or proposing an optimal colour breakdown for printing presses, we are here to give advice, and provide a service that will ensure quality and customer satisfaction will shine through.
There was a time when any colour image that we worked with had gone through a long journey before it arrived on our desk. A photographer, probably working with a hand-held light meter would have framed and composed the shot, and then stuck a Polaroid back on their camera (yes, we’re that experienced here) and then shot the image having first decided which transparency stock to use (direct from the fridge if it was a studio shot).
After an inspection on a light-box, a transparency would be finally selected. And then it was transferred to a digital format by wrapping it around a drum scanner.
Today the process of colour rendition has been automated to the point of almost no return. Images only exist in data format until they are proofed or printed. A digital camera shooting in burst mode at speeds of up to 14 frames per second is the photographic equivalent of a machine gun. Shooting in RAW mode can be extremely forgiving on any exposure problems and by the time the resulting files have been slapped though Photoshop and batch-processed with a battery of filters, we have the graphic equivalent of mass-produced hatchbacks, no matter how expensive the equipment on which they have been created.
We know that quality in colour calls for the human element; skill in retouching and colour matching, because that’s where your images come to life and help build and protect your brand. The high standards we apply to our clients’ images mean quality results and a perceptible wow factor when the job is printed. It’s called care in what we do and pride in the results we achieve.
Our wealth of knowledge across all areas of the print sector has enabled us to build strong and credible relationships with our clients and to build up an extensive portfolio.We have an in-depth relationship with digital, litho, web, gravure and specialist printing suppliers across Europe.
This means that our clients benefit from an open and transparent process that allows us to pin down costs and drive up quality by dealing with the best and most competitive suppliers, on your behalf. Coupled with our negotiation techniques our purchasing power allows us to buy and sell at competitive rates for paper and print. Intricate knowledge of our vast range of suppliers allows us to save you money; we find the best deal available, and then negotiate for you.
The print industry is in a fragile state, that’s why it can be difficult, without detailed industry knowledge, to find a reliable supplier that will provide a high quality product at a competitive price. We have a strong reputation within the industry, which is backed up with a commitment to build relationships to make sure our service, quality of print and deadlines are always met.
Our specialists understand the critical importance of quality control. We work with major print suppliers and know their teams personally from board level to machine minders (often the most vital part of the process). We also know the technology of the industry and understand the importance of getting clients’ work on the presses that deliver the best results – within the required deadlines.
Great ideas, wonderful photography, stunning design, fabulous illustration, incisive copy and superb print are not the whole story.
Along with providing solutions in print we work with clients to manage the fulfilment process from database management, lettershop personalisation and stock control through to mail services. Once all the great ideas have been developed, the illustrations drawn, the photographs taken, the copy written and the job printed, you still need to connect with the client. Colophon work with clients across the fulfilment value chain from database management through to personalisation, stock control and mail services. We manage the insertion of millions of items into polythene or envelopes, from simple to complex packs and low to high volumes. We provide solutions for one-piece self-mailers which are often a low cost way to achieve a higher return on investment.
Your data can be cleaned, kept secure and processed in a manner that allows us to advise on your design concept to give you higher response levels in return. With our experience in dealing with mail service providers whether it be yours or ours we can confidently say your jobs will run smoothly and be delivered on time.
And by keeping up to date with the latest technology we can help develop your marketing strategy with new data-driven ideas.
An ethical approach to the environment
Independent advice on sustainable materials
We take an ethical approach to sustainability and are actively working towards ISO 14001 environmental accreditation.
In addition, our suppliers all have strict and continuously improving environmental policies. This means that we can advise and recommend on a wide range of environmentally-friendly materials including recycled, chlorine-free, FSC or PEFC accredited paper, biodegradable materials, environmentally friendly packaging or vegetable-oil based inks, in any part of the manufacturing or mailing process.
The Forest Stewardship Council and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes are independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisations.
They promote sustainably managed forests through forest management and chain of custody. They assure purchasers of wood and paper products that they are promoting the sustainable forest management.
Chain of custody is the path that products follow from the forest to the consumer, including all manufacturing, transformation and distribution links.
Chain of custody certification ensures that products from certified, well-managed forests are not mixed with products from uncertified forests. The integrity of the product is documented and protected throughout every part of the supply chain.
It’s not just about ink on paper
It’s also about ideas, people, originality, innovation, credibility, reliability, quality of service, technical know-how, flair, commitment, commercial realism, creativity and experience.
A range of clients from blue-chip businesses and multinationals to professional practices and small organisations rely on us, because they know that we deliver a quality service.
With vast experience in the industry we have the expertise to give clients what they want and the passion to ensure the highest standards of delivery.
Whether it’s a business card, a simple A4 4-page document, a 200-page brochure or a bespoke project we can inform you of the most economic and optimal way to produce your product.
We provide a friendly and professional service that is backed up by years of expertise and a commitment to the highest standards at the best prices.
A commitment to high-quality service and a desire to give your clients what they want will only get you so far. You need deep industry knowledge and technical know how too. Please take a look at our areas of expertise listed to the left.
Three keys to top quality
We build long-term relationships with clients by focusing on the highest standards of product and service delivery. The quality we deliver is built upon three key skills.
1. Knowledge of specific machinery and its limitations.
2. Experience in colour management on a variety of substrates.
3. Pre-press expertise, knowing how to manipulate documents to work with specific presses, to give the best possible results. The working relationship with our clients is reinforced by agreed service levels for the quality of the finished products and their distribution.
At Colophon, we work harder to deliver quality, and our experience and knowledge often helps us exceed our clients’ expectations.