Avoid Production Pitfalls
"The Stitcher Ruined the Order Form!"
Situations like this occur when the component moves through multiple pieces of equipment and/or vendors. A printed piece may look great, but won't feed through the laser printer because it's too small, thick or glossy. An aqueous coating added to make the printing really pop may be causing the ink jet personalization to smear. The potential for snags is great.
Reality Check: The more pieces of equipment a printed component goes through, the greater the opportunity for a problem. Plan your pieces from the last piece of equipment through to the first with your vendors. Communicate what each piece is used for and what process will occur when they're finished. For example, on a package with a personalized letter, communicate to the printer that the letter will be laser personalized. The printer will use special inks, paper and perforations to make sure the letter will then pass through the laser equipment without a hitch.
The USPS Rejected the Mailing or Increased Rates
If your mail piece doesn't meet postal guidelines, the U.S. Postal Service can reject or reclassify it, increasing your postage rates. A mail piece can be rejected for size, thickness, orientation of the mail panel and even the contents of the package. There are extensive guidelines for each postal category and they can be difficult to interpret.
Reality Check: The USPS will review, at no cost, your piece for all postal specifications. Send a mock-up of the mail piece to the design coordinator at your regional postal center before you output your final proofs.
Since postal guidelines can be open to interpretation even within the post office, it's a good idea to have the design coordinator sign off on the mock-up. If a question arises at another facility, you have proof of your due diligence.