Honestly, it could be a disaster for a design student who has no knowledge about any good printing stores around city they live. However, such disaster does happen on quite a lot of students especially for international design students - Oops, well it might also include me. The numbers of printing stores that I stepped into in the past 11 months, let's say.. ONE! Such a shame though. Well I do quite a lot of the printing at school and home mostly, cause if it's just for test print, it gonna save me money. The very only one that I visited called Unique Print, for those who don't know about it, it's the green house place where most of UTS and Billy Blue students will go and print. They got quite limited binding options though, such as wire binding, perfect binding (remember they can't just print one piece for perfect binding) and saddle stitch. The lesson that I learnt from them is (well it could apply to all the printing stores in Sydney please do remember) - you have to prepare the files carefully before going there - trim mark, bleed, pdf, cmyk, otherwise it will definitely get you trouble. I am pretty sure that you don't want to be blamed by the print guys over and over again right!
King Papercarbon8Recently, I inspected two printing stores couple days ago in the city. One is called in Alexandra. Give you some hints here, King Paper is half art & half printing store. You could select the paper first and set up for printing later. You'll love it badly I promise cause it stocks countless paper! Yes it's the heaven for artists and designers! It actually reminds me of Fuzhou Rd in Shanghai where known as an art road, pretty much you can find the same kind of messy vibes like the one here. Next one is carbon8 which is much bigger and designy and got many staff working around. They are normally very busy. Obviously they do have more binding options such as lay flat, sewing binding, screw binding, Japanese binding, and all the basic ones like what I mentioned above. Also, they do wire binding for examples but watch out, it called Canadian Binding here. Anyway, as a suggestion you get to plan your book first then ask for the quotes via email, also it's probably better if you know your budget since it's easier for you to set up the printing requirement and etc. Give a phone call before you go, leave them time to prepare! in Newtown and the other one is called
What I want to point out here is it's actually super important to know what your potential printing store is. Why? Here it reminded me of a story when I worked in Super Nature Design in Shanghai. Me, a studio buddy and creative director went out for printing stickers on the floor. In the beginning I was thinking it might be just a big professional printing store, however he took us into a very small and hidden place till the end of the road. For me it's more like a family workshop. But CD told me they actually did good job on what he wanted. That was so inspiring! Cause from my previous printing experience, big and well known printing store is not flexible at all. However, those small one could spend long time on your specific requirement and creative ideas. Why not try them then? And it's also very lucky if the printing guy is willing to teach some printing techniques or even share some tempting story with you.. I will never get bored with that part anyway. If you are happy with the result, then stick to them and grab them as your "in-house" printing supplier and build long term working connection. Later on, they get to know your specific taste and style, I am confident that you will turn to best partner ever! Sound too ideal? Well it's actually quite common in the industry!
So, as a reminder for you and for me, it's never too late to step into printing stores as many as possible. Chatting over what you want, find the most suitable one and bring them in your project supplier? Sounds good?
Have a great day!