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Research results: The value of in-house creative services in a printing company

Published on December 19, 2016

Dr. Erica Walker, Lecturer in the Graphic Communications Department at Clemson University, shares results of her research about printing companies offering creative services. She provides guidance for companies thinking about adding or increasing in-house creative services.

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By Gordon Pritchard on Dec 19, 2016

Cary made a good point regarding a printshop's inhouse creative can put the shop in competition with its print customers. So, a shop considering this move needs to consider the potential loss of business. In smaller communities, offering a creative service is probably not as risky as it would be in a larger community that has ad agencies, design studios, etc. In many cases it may be more effective (and safer) for the printshop to form strategic partnerships with select designers, ad agencies and photographers.


By Cary Sherburne on Dec 19, 2016

An interesting example of a company in a large community that has not only implemented creative services, but also actually has an agency is Tukaiz. They have been able to successfully navigate the competitive landmines. http://whattheythink.com/articles/76531-former-wunderman-exec-joins-tukaiz/


By Gordon Pritchard on Dec 19, 2016

I'm not so sure. The article sidesteps the issue and in the end it says: 'What’s next for Eby and the Tukaiz/agenz team? “I want to be recognized as an agency that rivals any of the bigger agencies in Chicago,” he concludes.'
That statement puts them in direct competition with agencies and design studios. Why should an ad agency or design studio that's competing against Tukaiz for a client's ad business then turn around and give Tukaiz that client's presswork?
I was an in-house creative director at a printshop in the early 1980s and competed against other ad agencies, design and photo studios for business. Because we could offer a "soup to nuts" solution we were very effective at competing against the local talent - and lost some of their business as a result. Some creatives took the position that they could offer better creative than we could and so felt that we weren't really competition. But they weren't enthusiastic about getting us to quote on their projects.
Our printshop's business shifted as a result of having in-house creative and that needs to be considered. It's not all sunshine and rainbows.


By Cory Sawatzki on Jan 03, 2017

I would say that having in-house creative for those needing it, and coming to you requesting it is good. Great interview to both Erica and Cary. Thank you.


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