People stumble into our shop all the time with packages. It’s actually pretty funny. At least once per day somebody comes in with a package they want to ship and look around, confused. You see, they got us mixed up with FedEx Office / Kinkos. Not exactly sure why, but it happens. A lot.
So today we thought about the differences between us and national printing companies / marketing service providers like Fedex Office / Kinkos, and came up with the following three big ones (as well as why you benefit from them):
1. We design things, Kinko’s doesn’t.
We design things. Often just from a client’s simple thought, we take that and run with it, perfecting it through marketing strategy and different design thoughts, ending up with a beautifully written and printed (or digital) piece. Kinko’s can push a button and print out your file. Sometimes the print comes out right, sometimes it doesn’t. They don’t care either way. If there are problems, they can’t fix your file, nor do they want to. They don’t have professional graphic designers on staff, and they usually don’t have the software necessary to help complete your work even if they wanted to. They also can’t help you create the right content (or edit yours) to get the best results.
2. We use the latest and greatest tools, Kinko’s doesn’t.
Our clients depend on us to create top quality print projects. We don’t design beautiful things only to print them on crappy machines. So we constantly update our equipment to ensure we provide the best print quality. And it’s not just presses and wide format printers. We also regularly update our design software (we’re currently evaluating whether to go with the standard version of Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6) or go with the new “cloud” version). We also have to keep up to date with our computer equipment and Raster Image Processors (RIPs) because a lot of what we do now including variable data publishing (VDP) requires so much more in terms of computing power than in the past. If you’d like a good laugh, ask someone at FedEx Office / Kinko’s about VDP or their imposition hardware and software.
3. We work for our clients, the staff at Kinko’s work for a paycheck.
We care about giving our clients the best possible finished product on or before their deadlines. If we don’t, we aren’t going to make our clients happy, they aren’t going to refer anybody to us, and that is going to really hurt our business. When FedEx Office / Kinko’s hands you an average looking job after missing your deadline, they don’t lose a wink of sleep. Meanwhile it kills us to provide anything less than perfection, on time.
So I guess the real point to take away from our lead-in story about people walking into our shop with packages is that we don’t do shipping. And aside from the confused customer, it makes a lot of sense. Shipping is easy. You take a package, punch in a few keystrokes, take payment and put it on the pile to be sent out. There’s no beauty, precision or pride to it. So while it just doesn’t work for us, it fits the Kinkos business model perfectly.