PrinterChat: The Value of Labor, Pricing, and the Race to the Bottom

Jamie McLennanWill Crabtree, and Deborah Corn discuss the lack of value print customers assign to labor, particularly when it comes to design, why clear communication about your rates and offers is critical, and advice for pricing your services competitively while avoiding a race-to-the-bottom price war. (Transcript below)


Mentioned in This Episode:

Women’s Print HERstory Month 2024:


ISA Sign Expo 2024:

America’s Print Show:

Jamie McLennan:

DMR Graphics:


Will Crabtree:


Sign Parrot:

Gorilla Consultants:

Deborah Corn on LinkedIn:

Print Media Centr:

Partner with Print Media Centr: 

Subscribe to News From The Printerverse: 

Project Peacock: https://ProjectPeacock.TV 

Girls Who Print:


drupa Next Age (drupa DNA):


[0:00:03] DC: This is the true story of two printers who agreed to podcast with me and have their opinions recorded. Listen to what happens when printers stop being polite and start getting real.

[0:00:13] JM: Hi, this is Jamie McLennan.

[0:00:14] WC: And this is William Crabtree.

[0:00:16] DC: And I’m your host, Deborah Corn. Welcome to the PrinterChat Podcast.


[0:00:26] DC: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Podcasts from the Printerverse. I am Deborah Corn, your Intergalactic Ambassador. More specifically, we are here on the PrinterChat Podcast, which means, I’m here with the chattiest printers I know, Jamie the Printer from DMR Graphics. Hello, Jamie the Printer.

[0:00:44] JM: Hello, Deborah. Hello, Will. How you doing today?

[0:00:46] WC: Hello, Jamie. Hello, Deborah.

[0:00:49] DC: And Will the Printer from Tampa Media, which now is comprised of Tampa Printer. What’s the t-shirt company? I always forget that one.

[0:00:58] WC: 813 Shirts.

[0:01:00] DC: 813 Shirts, Sign Parrot and Gorillas –

[0:01:05] WC: Consultants.

[0:01:06] DC: Gurus? Are we still calling it gurus, or have we –

[0:01:09] WC: No more gurus. Gorilla Consultants.

[0:01:11] DC: Gorilla Consultants, which now comprises Tampa Media, which Will is the emperor of. Hello, Will.

[0:01:21] WC: Hello.

[0:01:22] DC: Excellent. We have a really interesting topic. Today, Will is going to lead it. But before we get there, let’s do a little catch up. Jamie the Printer, what is going on at DMR Graphics in Cachahoshumakabaka, Pennsylvania, however you pronounce it?

[0:01:38] JM: Pennsylvania, make it simple.

[0:01:41] DC: Cachahochin? How do you say it?

[0:01:42] JM: Conshohocken.

[0:01:43] DC: Conshohocken.

[0:01:44] JM: The locals call it –

[0:01:45] WC: You got to – you like, you like, hock it up a little. A little Hock.

[0:01:47] JM: Yeah. Hocken. That’s it. If you say that, everybody here knows you’re not from here. You have to say you’re from Conchi.

[0:01:55] WC: Conchi.

[0:01:56] JM: Yes.

[0:01:57] DC: All right then.

[0:01:57] JM: They may think you’re from here. That’s what I understand.

[0:01:59] WC: Got it.

[0:02:01] JM: What’s new in the DMR Innvoke world? DMR got our Colorado installed a couple of weeks ago. Yay. Awesome.

[0:02:09] DC: Yay.

[0:02:10] JM: Yeah. Yeah. Canon’s, yeah. The thing prints amazing. Just a little set up –

[0:02:17] WC: It prints amazing.

[0:02:19] JM: Yes. Prints amazing. Just trying to get all the materials set up, and some back and forth with our favorite magnet that we bought it for, so we could run lots of magnet, which we haven’t started running lots of magnet yet, so we’re still going back and forth with Canon a few things. They’re being very helpful, but yeah, we’re not where we thought we’d be a couple of weeks later, but yeah, we’re excited.

[0:02:40] DC: Is that par for the course, like installing new equipment?

[0:02:44] JM: Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. Yeah. Sometimes, yeah. There’s a lot of different things. When you get the bundle, hey, this is all you get. What kind of a rip system to use? Yeah, we use this rip. We use that. Yeah. Well, this one uses the newest version, which you don’t have yet, so let’s add this and let’s add that. Oh, by the way, the material you buy is on a three-inch core. This one needs a two-inch core, which is not in all the paperwork that you write, read, and all that. We sent test samples and materials –

[0:03:09] WC: What’s got a two-inch core? No media has a two-inch core.

[0:03:12] JM: I don’t know what size core it is. It’s something different than what we have. Yeah, it comes with staplers and change things, yeah. I don’t know. Just some of the things I’m learning. They’re being good to us. It’s just, it wasn’t as plug and play as we hoped, but everything’s coming along.

[0:03:28] DC: Well, as soon as this is up and running, I’m sure you will be.

[0:03:31] JM: Oh, it’s up and running. Yeah. It’s just sitting longer than we thought it would. We are ready to roll, like when the box showed up and we were ready to go. Then we bought another company, Friday.

[0:03:44] DC: Oh. Well, hello.

[0:03:47] JM: These things happen just out of nowhere. Yeah, we bought a small offset printer in New Jersey. We got a 40-inch Heidelberg moving into our New Jersey location and some other equipment and fun stuff like that. Yeah, it’s a little turmoil going on right now. A little fun. Hey, get to meet everybody. “Hello. What’s going on? What do you do?” “This is what I do. What do you do?” Yeah.

[0:04:10] DC: Are you keeping the location, or are you merging it into –

[0:04:13] JM: Oh, we’re merging them into our Innvoke location, so everything’s going to be merged in nice and neatly there. Yeah, should be fun.

[0:04:20] DC: Well, I visited DMR. You still have a lot of room for another company, just to bring in there.

[0:04:25] JM: Oh, we have a lot of room here. We have plans. We have plans for stuff.

[0:04:29] DC: Excellent.

[0:04:31] JM: In April down at ISA to –

[0:04:33] DC: Okay. It’ll be fun walking around the show floor with you. Okay. William. Catch-up time.

[0:04:39] WC: I don’t know. I have so many things and I have some new employees starting. A lot of new employees –

[0:04:44] DC: Oh. Congratulations.

[0:04:45] WC: We have a new general manager starting tomorrow morning for Sign Parrot. That’ll be fun. We’ve interviewed people for the new head of Gorilla Consultants. We have two candidates that we like, that we’re going back and forth on the salary negotiations. We had another gentleman from Philly, actually. He’s from your neck of the woods. Moved down and started on Monday. He’s an operator. Was running a couple of –

[0:05:12] JM: [Inaudible 0:05:12].

[0:05:13] WC: Huh?

[0:05:14] JM: Dealing our work floors from up here.

[0:05:15] WC: Dealing your work floors, man. Bring them down to Florida. We got to do it. Actually, no. If you live in the Northeast, and the weather up there is great. You don’t need to move to Florida.

[0:05:26] JM: Got with CNC, like Kongsberg, call me.

[0:05:30] WC: Yeah. No, if you are. But if you are moving to Florida and you would like a job in the printing industry, or the sign industry, please call me. Hit me up. Always hiring. But no, the things are, they’re constantly volatile, but they’re stabilizing. I don’t have anything super crazy, other than just the normal, kind of keeping it all together.

[0:05:53] DC: Excellent. Well, keeping it together is not as easy as it seems a lot of the time.

[0:05:58] WC: It’s not.

[0:05:59] DC: Things at Print Media Centr, or as usual, ebbs and flows. But we are in a flow at the moment with this being March and Women’s Print HERstory Month. We have over a hundred submissions from women in the industry that we’re profiling at Everyone can go check it out. Link in the show notes. I was really impressed. We’ve had more than 21,000 page views in the last three weeks, just on the, I’m assuming, it’s for the blog traffic and for everyone seeing about what the initiative was all about.

International Women’s Day is this Friday. We’re hosting an online event for that. Got a few hundred women registered. Really excited. Then besides, we’ve got Dscoop coming up, Sign Expo, which we’ll all be at. The PrinterChat Podcast will be live on the show floor at some point during the show in Orlando. Then after that, pretty much, oh, America’s Print Show, well, Girls Who Print is having an event there as well. Then after that, it is a straight shot to Drupa, hosting Drupa DNA. Drupa. Hosting Drupa DNA with Frank Teuckmantel, and really looking forward to that. Then after that, I’ll probably collapse and die for the rest of the year. Who knows? That’s what’s going on at Print Media Centr. Thanks for the quick catch-up. Now, we’re going to turn over hosting duties to William Crabtree.

[0:07:33] WC: All right. Well, so there’s two topics that I’d like to talk about today. The first being, something that I’ve seen and have been watching for many years is an interesting thing to me. It’s the assignment of value that clients give to labor and the lack thereof. What I don’t want is this to be a bitch fest or a complaint session about customers. That’s not the point of this. The point of this is to discuss the topic and understand it. Discuss how I’ve navigated it and been able to, I can’t say, circumvent it, because it’s still an ongoing thing and it always will be. When you talk about graphic design services and installation, these are the two big hot buttons that people are like, “I don’t want to pay to do that. I think I can do it myself.”

Especially when you have in the design world and you have Canva, right? Now, it’s Canva before it was Microsoft Word and Publisher. We would get the DIY designs of like, “Hey, I did it myself.” Like, doing it in Word was the worst, right? Jamie’s holding a gun to his head right now. Yeah. The client that would bring you the Word document that they designed themselves and it’s like, okay, cool. This is great. This is instructions. This tells us what we need to know. We design something and they’re like, “No, no, no. I want it to look like what I did in Word.”

The point being is that there’s this chasm of value associated with the time that it takes to do design. I’m curious as to what you guys think about this and your experiences and we’ll circle back to how I’ve navigated it in the most recent times. Jamie, you look like you’re just ready to spill right now. I know you have many stories. But what has been your experience when you add a design service as a line item on an estimate or an invoice?

[0:09:21] JM: Well, just a flashback to the days of Word and other things that you were talking about was quite interesting in those days, and I’m glad they’re long gone. I’m like, yeah, there’s other things that have popped up, but it’s not as difficult as it was back then. Yes, design is always tricky. You have the customers that know and the customers that are learning. It’s the ones that are learning that we need to teach and say, “Hey, look. This is what design is.” Design is the whole thing that makes your print piece look like what it does. Yeah, the press does a great job, puts the ink down, all that. But if the design is bad and you ask us to help you design something new and do something totally different, there’s a price for that. It’s X amount of dollars per hour.

We have a design team that’s going to sit down, they’re going to review it. They’re going to ask you for ideas about what you want, what types of – what do you want this piece to look like, all that stuff. There’s a price for that. Yes, there are sometimes when you’re like, “Hey, this design is going to be $400, or $800, or whatever it is.” People just hit the brakes. “Well, wait a minute. We can do this ourselves. Hold on, we’ll get back to you.”

[0:10:30] WC: We’ll find someone else who could do it cheaper.

[0:10:32] JM: Yes, we’ll think about this. Then they’ll come back with something like, “Oh, it ain’t great.” All right, so they gave us a PDF and I’m like, “Okay, this will work. Sure. All right.” It’s not what we thought we were going to do, but we can still print that. It’s manageable. Sometimes they’ll come back with some crazy stuff and you’re like, “I need this. I need fonts. I need that.” They’re like, “What are fonts? I don’t know what fonts are.” Stuff like that. That’s always the thing. It depends on the customer and it’s hard to put this in words without really pissing people off. Yeah.

[0:11:02] WC: Well, hold on. Again, the point of this is not to bash the client, right?

[0:11:06] JM: No, it’s not.

[0:11:07] WC: I like to look at this as education, right? There’s a value chasm in that from the consumer standpoint, any consumer, right? I’m guilty of this as well. Somebody comes and says, “We’re going to put in a new dishwasher and it’s going to cost you $150 to install it.” I sit down and I think, I can install a dishwasher. Do I want to save $150? Then the aggravation that I’m going to feel trying to install a dishwasher because I don’t do that every day all day. Is it worth the $150? Yes. I will pay you $150 so that I don’t have to worry about that or do that.

Depending on the client, your corporate clients are going to be like, “Yeah, of course. Go ahead. No problem.” Your small business owners, small business owners are the ones that are going to be more conservative and are going to want to try to save their dollars because they have to. But assigning that value to the time and what we do and how that saves them time and how that saves them heartache is the conversation. That’s how you have to frame it.


[0:12:10] DC: Are you looking to elevate your game, take your bottom-line customer relationships and events to the next level? Then I want to work with you. I’m Deborah Corn, the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse. I engage with a vast global audience of print and marketing professionals across all stages of their careers. They are seeking topical information and resources, new ways to serve their customers and connect with them, optimize processes for their communications and operations and they need the products and services and partnership you offer to get to their next level. Print Media Centr offers an array of unique opportunities that amplify your message and support your mission across the Printerverse. Let’s work together, bring the right people together, and move the industry forward together. Link in the show notes. Engage long and prosper.


[0:13:12] WC: Deborah, what do you think?

[0:13:13] DC: Okay. Well, listening with my print customer ears, I hear you actually conflating two different things here, design and production-ready files, which are not the same thing.

[0:13:28] WC: You’re not wrong.

[0:13:30] DC: What?

[0:13:31] WC: I said, you’re not wrong. I said, you’re not wrong.

[0:13:33] DC: Okay. Okay, you’re lucky, because I was about to get my car and come over the bridge and say, what? Yeah. I worked in advertising agencies with Clio award-winning designers who could not create a file to print if their life depended upon it. I knew that because the printers used to call us and say, “This looks great, but we can’t print it. We’re going to have to either kick it back to you, or we’re going to have to make some arrangement to get this done.” I just want to point that out, because I’m not a printer. I can’t address that. But I’m hearing you say two different things.

The second thing is that I’m also hearing with my print customer ears, that a lot of this seems like it’s a conversation and not a menu. Once you start having a conversation, then you get into, “I’m not paying it,” right? But if I see a menu like, bring your own design, click here. Bring your own files, click here. Have us create a design if you click here. Then if you go to the – if I click bring my own design, it’s caveated the hell out of it that if anything is wrong with this file, it’s going to cost you this much an hour for us to fix it. Or for one price, one price for a postcard, one price for a brochure, what with your – you can, again, caveat basic elements of a design into a menu and say for one price, for this price, you don’t have to worry about all this, we’ll design it and make sure it prints.

That goes back to something you said that was really important, Will. Take the nightmare away from me, especially if you want to move people towards that option where you’re designing it so that you know it will print. There’s lots of terms and words and light-checking data you could put in there to make people say, “Okay, this seems really complicated. It’s probably best for me if I let them do it.”

[0:15:46] WC: Yes, 100%.

[0:15:49] DC: My work here is done, people.

[0:15:50] WC: Your work here is yes, yes, it is. You dropped the mic at this point. But no, there’s education, there’s communication, there’s documentation, right? What you’re talking about right now is the general UI of most websites that you’re interacting with print. You have your own files. Do you want to design it online? What are we doing? That’s usually the start point of what most websites online are doing these days, from a print standpoint. They start with the artwork. They start with the file. That’s what starts. That’s what starts the conversation in a lot of cases.

It’s an interesting thing, because the file sometimes needs to adapt to the product. What comes first? The type of file, the type of print, the type of artwork determines what you’re going to make. Signs, it’s different from business cards. For vehicle wraps, it’s different from banners. All of these things still have to have the right artwork. Also, when you’re talking about design, design is objective, right? It’s art. Is it cool? Does it look good? Is it going to get the message across? Versus, is it going to print right, to your point? Having the file the right way, is that what’s most important, or is having the artwork that the customer likes what’s most important?

[0:17:11] DC: I mean, you’re printers. I’m assuming that there’s – if you start spending four hours on a business card, you’re probably going to lose a lot of money on it. Sorry, Jamie. I cut you off.

[0:17:20] JM: That’s true. No, most business cards are usually typeset edits. They already have their logo. They’re ready to go. It’s simple. $15, $20. It’s minimal. There’s a minimal fee to start. I mean, it’s the wide range. I’m dealing with a newer air-conditioning company and they’ve been around for a long time, but they have a new marketing person who she’s great. Just graduated college. She’s designing. She’s doing all their social media. She’s creating videos. She’s doing all this cool stuff. She’s great. She calls and asks questions. “Hey, I’m looking to do a postcard. We wanted to go to these types of people. I already have an idea of a design. What sizes am I allowed to make it? How can I do this?” We’re having a conversation and we’re directing her to the app that their company wants.

These are things. You want a small postcard? You want something that’s going to stand out in the mail. Great. She’ll send over a couple of ideas. Great. It doesn’t have any bleed. It doesn’t have this. Add bleed. Oh, what’s that? Okay. This is what that is. Bleed is this. Those type of companies are great. You can walk them through. You can talk to them. A lot of times, like Will said, it’s customers that have never designed anything before, or they know they need to grow their business, but they don’t quite understand. You have those conversations, like there’s simple things we can do. There’s simple designs. Design, consult, we’ll go over it. We’ll review what you want. If it’s going to be a brochure, a trifold, or if it’s going to be a six-page 25 and a half by eight and that folds to eight and a half by 11. Each one is a different timeframe on how much.

Are you going to supply photos? Are you going to supply copy? Are we doing all that? All adds to the thing. You break that out. If you can supply the copy and the photos, we can lay everything out, do a design and it’s going to save you some money. If we’re doing it nuts to bolts, we’ve got to go buy the photos, or we can send our photographer out and take the photos. There’s a different fee for that. We can do all that and that’s this price. It’s just having that conversation, trying to make things as simple as possible. Hey, you can do A, B, or C and we can do anything in between there and make your piece the best piece that you will ever think it will be.

Yeah, it’s just having that conversation and knowing that, hey, it’s X amount of dollars per hour. If we’re going to do it, $100 an hour, $125. Everybody’s got a different rate. The small designer down the street has a different rate from an agency that’s got 10 designers. There’s all different types of rates and we try and fit in the middle there somewhere.

[0:19:34] WC: The interesting thing here is for many years with Tampa Printer, I had to train customers of what these things were and how these things work. We call it custom design. Custom design is basic design, custom, but you’re giving us all your information. You’re giving us your copy, you’re giving us your images, you’ve done the footwork. You know what you want. We’re just going to customize it and make it a little bit pretty.

Where premium design is, you don’t know what you want. We’re going to go through the wringer with you. We’re going to go back and forth. Even getting people to understand that design costs money, it costs time, time costs money, you have to pay for it, right? You have to pay for it upfront because I’m not going to start doing work for your project unless you pay me. In the sign world, it’s a whole different ball of wax. Signs, I got to see it. I got to see what it’s going to look like.

People want you to design stuff on spec. If you’re not familiar with on spec, spec means basically, you’re doing the work for free and hope that you’re going to get paid later. This has been a big thing that I’ve had to reconcile. Recently, what I’ve done is we have started offering free design. We’ve actually taken the value away of it and are advertising free design, free sign design. Most of these things are, they’re typesets at best. It’s a business card, but it’s just a large scale.

Most people will give us a JPEG, or a PNG logo and they want a phone number or whatever it is on the sign. We’ll place their PNG logo, we’ll place their phone number, or whatever it is on their sign, and give them a mock-up on whatever building, or in front of their space, or whatever it is. We’re not talking about permanent work, we’re not talking about anything of robustness, but posting a panel, or a piece of ACM on the side of a building, etc. Give them a quick mock up and it takes 10 or 15 minutes of a designer’s time to get it done. But that’s what starts the conversation.

It’s an interesting dynamic of like, I want to see it before I buy anything, or before I commit to it, which is what consumers expect in the sign world versus the printing world where I want to do it myself and I want it to be what I want it to be. I’m going to try to not pay you for design. There’s this – go ahead, Deborah. I see you chomping at the bit.

[0:21:52] DC: Well, there might be like, a happy medium there. I mean, for example, a 50% deposit, or some deposit that gets applied to the total job when it’s over. If you don’t use the design, they’re still paying something.

[0:22:12] WC: Right. Well, so we’re still navigating this thing, as far as the free design is concerned. If it’s quick and it’s something – remember, most of my CSRs are graphic designers as well, right? If they can do a quick typeset and they can do a logo placement with a mock-up that takes them 10 or 15 minutes –

[0:22:30] DC: I want to push back on something you said there. You’re not really designing something, though. You’re just taking a word, sticking it like in a Photoshop file, and showing it, this is what it’ll look like on the side of your building. You’re not starting from scratch. I’m opening a pizzeria, make me a sign, right?

[0:22:48] WC: Well, I’m opening a pizzeria, make me a brand, right?

[0:22:52] DC: Right. Exactly.

[0:22:52] WC: What level do we talk about? What is design, right? Is design the actual conception, or is design just layout? Is layout typeset.

[0:22:59] DC: All I know is it’s free and you’ve actually devalued it for the rest of your company. I’m just saying, words matter, right?

[0:23:08] WC: 100%.

[0:23:08] DC: Instead of saying –

[0:23:09] WC: Look, I come from a background of we don’t use the word free. We use complimentary. We don’t say the word free, because using the word free devalues everything. Complimentary means that we’re comping it. We’re giving this to you, even though it shouldn’t be given to you, is the difference between free and complimentary. But in advertising, the word complimentary design doesn’t really convey. You have to use the word free.

[0:23:32] DC: Correct. I agree with you. The only other thing I would say is that if you can’t get someone to be willing to leave a deposit, should they follow through on the whole job, you can say, “We will present you an idea. We will do one revision. After that, we require a deposit.” So, you’re not getting too much of your time sucked into this. Of course, would it depend upon the type of sign and your margins? I know that the sign business is way more complicated and way more customer-focused than I ever gave it credit for, until I started hanging out with you guys and the National Print and Sign Association. Everyone has now set me straight. I understand that it is very people-oriented.

[0:24:26] WC: Very different.

[0:24:28] DC: They want to talk to people. They want to see things. I get it. I guess, what I’m saying is, I’m just trying to interject with ways that I would be willing to, because you have to get past me, right? I would be willing to invest something at some point, maybe not in the beginning. Maybe I would be like, “Nope. I can get this done somewhere else for nothing. Are you going to work with me or not?” Depending upon how sophisticated they are.

I think that there is a point where people are still reasonable about work. But it does go back to the topic of this conversation. Do they value that service? I still think that there is a big difference between designing a sign and making sure that it could become a sign at the end of it. That to me is where this conversation is really talking about, like, what is not being valued? What do you think is not being valued? Well, is it people’s time? Or artistic stuff, or making sure it works?

[0:25:34] WC: I’ll give you a couple of examples that spawned this conversation. I’ve got two ends of the spectrum. I’ve got an RV yard. I don’t even know what to call it. They basically were places where RV goes and park, like a campsite. They had this giant custom-built by a handyman billboard thing at their entrance. This was not a sign. This was like, it was built with telephone poles. This thing was crazy.

It just basically holds a banner is all it does. You drill a banner to this giant face. It was a $1,500 banner. This woman refused to pay a deposit until she saw a design. It was a 10-minute design. It was not a design, again, word used loosely. For me, I’m like, “No. You pay a deposit. I will do the design. I will send you a proof in 45 minutes. We’ll have it installed in a week and a half. This is a no-brainer.” Refused. Refused. This was in my purview. I can’t imagine how many times we’ve had losses and how many opportunities that we’ve lost, because of this same stop point.

[0:26:42] DC: I’m just curious, does she let people park in the RV park without paying up for it?

[0:26:46] WC: Yes. I love this analysis. I love to pull the client’s business in and give an example of like, yeah, would you let them park? Would you let them park for two weeks and then pay you at the end?

[0:26:56] DC: Yeah. Let me see if I like it after a week and then I’ll pay you for it. I’ll just going to get – Right. Exactly.

[0:27:01] WC: This is how you assign that, right? This is how you get value.

[0:27:04] JM: I’m going to camp in your pool and swim and then I’ll let you know.

[0:27:09] WC: On the other end of the spectrum, we have a job that we’ve been working on since August of last year. August of last year. It’s a $110,000 job at one point. It’s been whittled down to $82,000. We did drawings. We’ve incorporated in the EMC. It’s been engineered. I’m at least $10,000 into this, just from fucking design. Literal design. Architectural design.

[0:27:35] DC: Just tell me what EMC is, because I have no idea.

[0:27:38] WC: The LED screens.

[0:27:39] DC: Oh, okay. Sorry.

[0:27:40] WC: We brought in the company. We did all this. After so much time, then they hit us with an alternate bid to match. Then we matched the bid. We got a call from the EMC company that they had introduced a third party, another company to bid on it again. We have collected 0 dollars on this at this point. Then the sign industry on these big jobs, this is what’s done, right? It’s like a construction thing. You’re basically doing the architectural design in hopes that you land the job, and it’s a volume thing. You talk to the big dogs in the sign industry and this is how they do it. It’s what they do.

What I said and what my response is is we’ll do free design, but we’ll give you two proofs. You get two revisions and then you’re done. After that, if you’re not willing to engage with me and pay me for my work and for my time, then we’re not going to do it anymore. This brings us to the next conversation and the next point.

[0:28:42] DC: Wait, hold on. Jamie has comments about what you just said.

[0:28:45] WC: Jamie. Yes. Bring them.

[0:28:47] JM: I’m grimacing, because I’ve seen this in action, because we’ve flirted with the sign company for over a year and merged with them and bringing them into the family and just watching the stuff they do, even with their long-term customers, I’m like, you’re basically showing them what the whole store is going to look like. What stops them from going somewhere else and just – and giving it to somebody else and bidding it lower? I’m pretty sure they have a couple of times. Because they’re like, “No, that’s not the budget.”

[0:29:11] WC: 100%.

[0:29:11] JM: Budget is now this. I’m like, “You’ve just done all the work. We haven’t got paid for anything.” I’m like, “I don’t understand it. Why?”

[0:29:18] WC: If you really want to bring this back, you talk about me years ago, a couple of years ago, on this podcast, I’ve talked about being a broker and shopping brokers and pinning vendors against each other and all of that, the printing industry. That’s basically what everyone does in the sign industry from a consumer standpoint, is that they will submit a bid to three, four, five companies. It’s like, if you were going to get your bathroom remodeled, it’s almost construction. If you were going to get your bathroom remodeled, you’re going to get three bids. That’s what people do in the sign industry. If it’s a good, like a monument sign, a pylon sign, anything electrical, anything lit, it’s treated like a construction project, not like a print project.

That’s the big change and the big difference between these atmospheres and these industries. It’s been crazy to learn and crazy to see and watch. You know me, I have to learn the hard way. The dynamic of it is crazy. We didn’t even touch on installation and how the value of installation is viewed in a similar way. I don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole, because I want to get onto the next topic. The value of labor associated in general, I think, is devalued.

Consumers don’t want to pay for someone else to do something. If you line item something as labor, then they scoff at like, “Oh, why am I paying for this?” What we’ve been doing in our wrap and sign installation projects and estimates is we’ve been pulling out the labor, and we’ve been line iteming the labor specifically for install, for design, and for these things, because there’s no sales tax on labor, at least in Florida. Overall, it makes us more competitive to be able to do that, because the end invoice is lower. But we have to explain to the customer, they’re like, “Why am I paying so much for labor?” Well, because you’re not paying sales tax on that, if I kept it all over here and I kept it in the material costs, you would be paying another $500 to $1,000 in sales tax.

Having that conversation with customers is really interesting, which is what’s brought this to light in the way that it has, is that no one wants to pay for people’s time. When you present it in a way that it benefits them, and to pay more for time, then they change their tune.


[0:31:35] DC: It’s back. Citizens of the Printerverse, it is time to make your plans to attend Drupa 2024. The world’s premier printing event returns May 28th through June 7th in Dusseldorf, Germany, with 18 halls filled with the products, services, and companies you need to drive your business forward. Drupa also offers visitors a variety of topical daily programming with speakers covering packaging, textiles, sustainability, and trends shaping the industry. Stop by Hall 7, I’m co-hosting the Drupal Next Age Forum with Frank Teuckmantel. Drupa DNA offers 11 days of sessions, interviews, panels, co-located events, global networking, and of course, a little fun awaits. Visit and get your ticket to the future of your business today. Links in the show notes. Drupa long and prosper.


[0:32:39] DC: I don’t understand. Do they think they’re going to go up in a cherry picker and uninstall the electric sign, the neon sign, and hook up a new neon sign, and get the permits and make sure the street is blocked off and make sure everybody’s safe and nothing’s falling on anybody’s head? I mean, that seems ridiculous to me about the installation.

[0:33:02] WC: This is one end of the spectrum, right? Now when you’re talking about drilling a piece of ACM to the side of an aluminum building, or even installing a graphic on a truck, putting a new DOT number on the side of a pickup truck, right? “Oh, I can do that.” There’s a level of things that are finite enough that people think that they could do it themselves, and we’ve done it, right? DOT number, great. Here you go, buddy. All good. No worries. You don’t want to pay for install? You know what most of those guys come back and do? They buy another one and they pay for install, and then they’re asking for a discount.

[0:33:37] DC: Because they’ve ruined the first one.

[0:33:39] WC: Because they’ve ruined the first one.

[0:33:39] DC: That guy would price away. I can’t even put a Band-Aid on without it getting stuck on me. The last thing I want to do is touch a wrap, or anything like that.

[0:33:49] WC: This is the whole point of the conversation, the topic is that assigning a value to labor is what throws people sideways. Paying for people’s time when it’s design, when it’s installation, versus getting a thing, right? If I have to pay for someone else to do something like, I start going over, and I’m not saying I, the consumer starts going over like, “Well, how can I save money? Could I do this myself?” I do. I do do this. If I’m presented with a cost of something and it’s something that requires an action, I think about, well, whether can I do that myself, and is it worth my time to do it or not? Then 99.9% of the time these days, it’s not worth it for me to try to do it.

[0:34:28] JM: The conversation we have to have.

[0:34:30] WC: Yeah. Maybe we should save, because we are getting close to running out of time here, but maybe we should save the conduit of this, or the next part of this conversation, which is the race to the bottom, right? We’re talking about pricing and negotiating prices and how volatile pricing can be from within our own markets, as well as cross-markets, right? You have someone that moves from Atlanta to Tampa and they’ve paid a certain amount for a project so many times, and they come down here and it’s a completely different price, but they expect to get to the same price.

Something that I’ve always said about the printing industry, which is one of the things that I love about it so much is that there’s no set price for anything. You go to five different shops and you ask for the same thing, you’re going to get five different prices. It’s amazing and it’s what makes this industry so fun, because you can do whatever you want to a degree. Now, the higher your price is, probably the less clients you’re going to get, so you have to price things appropriately.

I think the race to the bottom is over. I’ve been looking at a lot of people’s prices, a lot of other competitor’s prices, the retail guys, the trade guys, and the difference between trade and retail is not as drastic as it used to be. The numbers are really leveling off across the board. What do you guys think? Jamie?

[0:35:45] JM: There’s a lot to say there. I thought, let’s talk about that in part two.

[0:35:49] WC: I think we do a part two on this one.

[0:35:51] JM: No. I mean, in our separate –

[0:35:52] WC: Deborah’s over here like, “Why? What are you talking about?”

[0:35:54] DC: We’re not doing a part two. We’re talking about this. I don’t know what are you guys talking about.

[0:36:01] WC: Okay. We’ll scratch the surface because this is –

[0:36:03] JM: You thought up a big point that I like to talk about is what – Northeast is generally more expensive. California is more expensive from what I understand.

[0:36:12] WC: It’s based on the economy, right? Your cost of living is dramatically higher in New York City than it is in Iowa. It’s dramatically higher in California than it is in Kansas City, right? The cost of living and what things cost, you can charge more.

[0:36:27] JM: Yeah. That thing happens. What I see it as you’re talking about doing installs and stuff, and I do installs all around the country. I have different teams that I deal with that I’m comfortable with, that go to different cities and do installs for me. People I’ve vetted out, people we’ve done different work for. I’ve had installs in Oregon, California, Colorado. Every state, almost the same type of work is slightly different. It all depends on what their fees are, and their insurance, and the size of the install company. That’s part of the deal. I’m printing everything. I am sending it to them. My customer wants our quality. They don’t want me to send it to somebody else that’s going to do something similar. They know what we print on. They suggest. They only pick certain materials and bundle it up, send it to your installer, have it installed in our location and we’ll know it looks the same there as it does in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. Not a problem.

The one customer I do this for, they’re very easygoing. Not easygoing, but they understand, depending on the market. I’ve done Kentucky. I’ve done Colorado. I’ve done Denver and I’ve done California. California were probably the most expensive, but they also were some of the bigger jobs. I’m like, you weigh it. But I’m like, hey, I can’t make every one of these exactly the same, because at one point they said, “Look, we want three levels. If they’re going to do one wall, two wall, three walls, and a couple of windows, give us a price for that, this and that, and just have that the same across the board.” I was like, “Whoa. We can’t do that.”

[0:37:55] WC: How are you handling surveys for this? How are you getting all of your measurements and all that fun stuff? Do you have the local installer go and do your survey for you?

[0:38:03] WC: Yup. They go out and do the survey, measurements. They take pictures. They send me everything. We upload the art. We make sure it fits. We talk to the customer. They proof everything, then we print everything to spec, send it out and have it installed. Yeah, so we’ve got a team of people that we work with that we like. I’ve come across a couple of other people that have been really good, and I sent you guys one a week ago. I really like the guy. I think that part is where you can see the difference.

I also see it in large print jobs. Back in the day, it used to be a third for paper, a third for printing, a third for binary, the time, and stuff like that. Now, most of the materials have gone up, so that’s not – it’s more than a third now. It’s all changed around a little bit. Those figures have all slowly changed, and this part costs more, we’re going to make a little less on this part. Binary is going to be a little bit less or more. If it’s got intricate binary, that’s going to cost a little bit more, but we’ll try and trim where we can. That’s all changed all the time, especially the last couple of years with materials going up, that totally threw that out the window. People were a lot more forgiving in 21, 22. We understand, materials cost a lot more. But now, it’s like, “Oh, wait a minute. Let’s tap the brakes a little bit. Let’s double-check everything.”

[0:39:17] WC: Everything’s more expensive for everyone, everything. You spent three times as much at the grocery store than you did four years ago.

[0:39:23] JM: Right. But now, I find people tapping the brakes a little bit. Let’s take a couple, look at a couple of different materials and see what’s what, and then they’ll come back with, “Hey, we checked out somebody in the Midwest. They’re here at this price.” I’m like, okay. I’m going to give you the best price I can for the TriState area that I live in. We’ll come from there. You know what we can do. You know how we get it done and we know that you’ve never had a complaint. We’re going to go and make sure you’re taken care of.

But if we want to shop across the country and get price from, I don’t know, Kansas and then ship it here, then you’re talking about shipping costs on top of that. Maybe you’re printing less, but you’re going to cost more for shipping. All in the conversation with the customer. I definitely see, like you had said, there’s definitely – I always thought Florida was cheaper. Florida is cheaper than us. Definitely. You can definitely get things –

[0:40:10] WC: Cheaper than Jersey and, yeah, yeah, yeah. Florida’s a little bit, right? It used to be huge. It used to be a huge difference, where Florida was way cheaper than the Northeast, but Florida has become far more expensive because so many people have been moving here from the Northeast. Now the chasm is much less. But you go to Virginia, or you go to Kentucky and the cost for a wrap, or the cost for a sign, or the cost for a business card from a local print shop is going to be a lot less than it is here. Deborah, what do you think? The faces that you’re making.

[0:40:45] DC: Just because it’s so interesting listening to you guys speak about it, like printers where I’m a customer. I’m like, I don’t even think about these things. First of all, why is somebody buying a business card in Kentucky and shipping it somewhere? That makes no sense to me. They’re probably already in Kentucky if they’re getting a business card in Kentucky. Otherwise, when –

[0:41:08] JM: I don’t know about business cards. Just bigger projects. It’s not like –

[0:41:11] DC: Okay, that’s fine. But I’m just saying, like you don’t – Go ahead, Jamie. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to cut you off. What were you saying?

[0:41:18] JM: I cut you off. But yeah, it’s not really a business card. But if it’s a corporation that’s buying all the full stationary business cards and envelopes and stuff like that, they may shop that around. We’ve got locations in five different states.

[0:41:31] DC: Okay, that’s fine, as long as they are also willing to work out the logistics of shipping it all over the place and factoring that into their price that they’re comparing bids. That’s what I would say to you. In my entire career of working and advertising agencies for over 25 years, there’s always a range that your three bids are within. There’s a high end, a low end, and a medium end, but they’re all very close to each other. They’re probably maybe within a $100, or $200. In some cases a little more if, depending upon what the relationship that company has with the paper mill, or where they are in the pecking order of getting something on time, or whether or not how they’re going to ship it at the end, which is a big factor.

If, for example, I have awarded jobs that on the cost of the job was higher, but the cost of the shipping was lower, so it evened out, but I did have to explain that to people. I had to say, this is why we’re going with this bid because we can actually get it faster and two, where we needed to go for less money. But you need to factor all of that stuff in.

[0:42:48] JM: I’ve had many times and we’ve got a better postage rate. Our printing was more, but we can sort it a certain way that we can –

[0:42:53] DC: Exactly.

[0:42:53] JM: – that costs less.

[0:42:55] DC: That’s what customers more so need to understand. But if they’re triple bidding, they probably have some knowledge about this. What I would say is, I think I’ve told this story. There was only one time with Sandy Alexander, I tell the story all the time that their price was just so out of the range that I had to call them because I thought I did something wrong in my specs. But I’ll tell the story another time, but it wasn’t that they just – to the point of this conversation, they valued everything in the company and they stood by their pricing. For the next few years, I tried to be worthy of printing with them, because they told me no. I was calling from L’Oreal and I was like, I can’t believe what’s going on here. I can’t get what I want.

With that being said, there are nuances to all of this stuff, but anybody who’s bidding with a printer in New Jersey, a printer in Florida and a printer in Kentucky, they have to be sophisticated enough to understand that there are going to be nuances to that, including sales tax. There’s different sales tax in every state and things of that nature. I’m not disagreeing with anything you guys are saying, but I’m not sure that all print customers see it the same way that your experience, but of course, this is your experience you’re talking about.

[0:44:20] WC: Let’s bring it in just a little bit, right? We’ll go back to business cards. Business cards. Go to Moo, [inaudible 0:44:27], and whatever other print website –

[0:44:31] DC: You can’t. How do you compare anything to those two companies that are doing billions of business cards a day, versus someone who might be doing four orders a day?

[0:44:41] WC: I match their pricing. My pricing is the same as theirs. I don’t do four business cards, but I do a lot more than that, but I don’t do nearly the volume that they do. The point is, is that you look at those two websites among any other that comes up in the top five results of searching for business cards in Google, a local printer, and then another online, you’re going to get four different prices, four different prices. There is no uniformity of what things cost in this industry, right?

[0:45:08] DC: There’s a range.

[0:45:11] WC: There’s a range to a degree. It’s close-ish. But the bigger the project gets, I mean, so let’s look at 500 business cards, right? 500 business cards could be $9, could be $19, could be $39, could be $59. There’s variables that can play into that. Apples to oranges, apples to apples. Apples to apples, say 14-point business card, double-sided four over four. Or 14-point card stock, four over four. Look at that on all of those websites and you’re going to be $3 or $4 difference, sometimes $5 or $10. But on a percentage standpoint, you’re talking 10% to 30% difference.

Now, you inflate that to something like an installation, or a large project and you’re talking $500. The bigger it gets, the bigger that amount gets. The percentage is you look at business cards, it’s only three, four bucks, I don’t care, so whatever, right? You’re talking about something that costs thousands of dollars, that makes a huge difference. When we’re talking about there’s pricing differences from market to market, from city to city based on cost of living and all of those things, right? Look at just local market. Call five different shops and you’re going to get five different prices for every product that you ask for a price. That’s the point that I’m making.

What I’m excited about, again, and when I originally brought up this topic, which was a while ago, was the race to the bottom, right? That’s always been something that I’ve been begrudging about. Something I’ve always fought against, right? I refuse to price match. I refuse to be the lowest price. I’m not the cheapest, but I’m not the most expensive. I’m in the middle. I’m in the middle. Now, the way things are going and the trend that I am seeing is that the race to the bottom is over.

Everyone has decided that the cheapest is not the best way to be. Your Four Overs, your VISTA Prints, which are two different ends of the spectrum. These large companies are raising their prices, which is a great opportunity for those of us in the local market to be able to leverage our pricing and still make a margin. Because when I look at, for me, right, I’ve always set a threshold of a thousand pieces of what I can do digital, versus offset. When I look at my offset pricing for outsourcing to my gang-run printers, a thousand pieces was the threshold. 2,500 is now the threshold.

I can print 2,500 pieces in my shop, on my digital presses more efficiently, faster, and more cost-effectively than what I’m going to get it for if I outsource it to a gang-run offset printer because the prices are going up. That’s what’s exciting and that’s what’s fun about this. When you apply that philosophy to business cards, to installations and to bigger projects, it makes it more competitive, right? We don’t have to fight on price all the time. It’s still important. You still have to negotiate and you still have to be in reality, you can’t be like, “Oh, we’re going to charge $85,000 for this thing. It should only cost five.” But there’s more competition and competition is growing constantly. The competition is getting less about who’s the cheapest and what’s going to be the lowest price. At least that’s my perception.


[0:48:37] DC: Print Media Centr provides printspiration and resources to our vast network of global print and marketing professionals. Whether you are an industry supplier, print service provider, print customer, or consultant, we have you covered by providing resources and strategies that enable business marketing and creative success, reporting from global events, these podcasts, Project Peacock TV, and an array of community lifting initiatives. We also work with OEMs, suppliers, industry organizations, and event producers, helping you connect and engage with our vast audience, and achieve success with your sales, marketing, and conference endeavors. Visit and connect with the Printerverse. Links in the show notes. Print long and prosper.


[0:49:31] DC: It’s not what it costs, it’s what it’s worth. These are just not the right conversations that printers are having with people. For example, if I walk into a pizzeria, I don’t say, a slice is 5 bucks. I only want to pay 3 bucks.”

[0:49:47] WC: Can I get half a slice?

[0:49:48] DC: I’m just saying like, and I don’t start arguing about how much someone’s paying the person making the pizza as the thing that’s making life, or the rent of the store. I just don’t understand in many ways why printers feel this obligation about pricing.

[0:50:09] WC: It’s not a feel of obligation. It is a response to what we are given. It is a response to the interactions that we have and what is expected from the consumer.

[0:50:21] DC: It goes back to exactly what you said, Will, that there’s some disconnect in consumers. Let’s not talk about professional print customers, right? Now, I’m a professional print customer. I have a legal obligation to my corporation to purchase things at fair market price. If I’m not going to go with the lowest bid, I’m sorry, that’s the way it works. I need to justify why that is. As long as my three bids are within range, and I have a reason, I can get it faster. They’re around the corner. We’re going to need more time to get them files. The shipping costs will be less in the long run. I can get it there quicker is usually what I –

[0:51:06] WC: You add value.

[0:51:07] DC: Exactly. Then I can justify why I’m going for the middle, or the higher bid, as long as everybody is within the range. If somebody is way out of the range on the high end, I would call them to find out why that was. If they were way lower, the lowest, I would be terrified of working with them, because I’m like, well, I don’t know what is going on here, but either they don’t know how to estimate things, or –

[0:51:40] WC: You did something completely wrong.

[0:51:42] DC: It’s just going to be wrong and it would scare the crap out of me. I would never go with that really off, out-of-range lower price. But it goes back to perhaps – well, I’ll just send an e-mail if I’m not going to send a postcard. Maybe that’s where the pricing situation comes from, but I don’t know. I had somebody say to me once that, they were talking to me about speaking at events. Often, I do speak at events and I don’t get paid to speak at events. I get my travel covered and things of that nature. There was a whole conversation about, “Well, do you think people are going to the event to eat the lunch, or do you think they’re going to the event to hear the speakers? Are they paying the hotel? Are they paying the caterer? Are they paying – everybody took a plane. Do they pay for airline tickets?” Why is it all of a sudden the speakers, that everyone’s coming to see have no value to the organization, right?

[0:52:44] WC: Yeah. Same thing. Yes.

[0:52:47] DC: To the point of this conversation, it’s the perception of the value of print and the value of proper design to convey a message in a glance, in a tagline, to convey a feeling, an emotion, a sale, education, whatever it is, in the easiest way possible and visually appealing. Well, guess what? That has a freaking cost to it. I just wish that printers would just stand their ground on this stuff. Although, I know that they don’t.

[0:53:25] WC: Well, it’s, again, it’s the wild last, right? When you have competition and you have customers that are constantly shopping.

[0:53:31] DC: I’m just saying, don’t you buy your pizza like the best pizza –

[0:53:33] WC: But a pizza. You buy a pizza. You eat a piece of pizza every day. I can eat pizza every day. It’s food, food. You need food, right? You need printing, but –

[0:53:40] DC: I’m just saying, do you order from the cheapest pizzeria, or from the one that you like the best?

[0:53:47] WC: I order from – but it’s all the same, the cost of Papa John’s versus Eddie and Sam’s, which are my – Eddie and Sam’s is mine, right? Papa John’s trash, right? No. I’m not giving Papa John’s credit. Eddie and Sam’s and Tampa is the best pizza in Tampa. The cost to order a pizza from Eddie and Sam’s is maybe $2 more than a pizza from Papa John’s. I can get it delivered in my house. The difference is nominal. Versus when you’re talking in larger bids, like a vehicle wrap, right? I want to wrap my high roof, long-extended Ford Transit, which is going to be $4,000 to $5,000.

Then you’ve got the guy that can do it in his garage that went to 3M school and has a 365 printer in his bedroom. He’s like, “I’ll do it for $2,500.” Now, he might mess it up. He might do a good job. He might be the best installer that’s ever lived and it crushed it, and you saved a bunch of money. But this is what you’re competing with. This is – wraps is a –

[0:54:47] JM: I find that in the wrap world.

[0:54:47] WC: Talking many different industries here, right? But it translates across the board. All of what we’re talking about, it translates across the board. Jamie, what are you saying? I’m so sorry.

[0:54:56] JM: I find that in the wrap world, and it’s one of the reasons why we stayed away from it. I get it. You do get those guys that, “I’ve got the HP. I love it. It runs this and I can do it in my garage.” They wrap people’s –

[0:55:07] WC: It’s changed in the screen printing. Screen printing for the longest time. Screen printing for the longest time. Garments. It was like, it was garage jockeys, man. They got a manual press in their garage and they’re going to just bang them out and you’re competing against that.

[0:55:20] JM: Yeah. We don’t do t-shirts either. We stuck to rigid material and posters and stuff like that, that takes a little bit more work and a little and that. We do almost everything, because with the equipment we have, but there’s certain markets we tend to stay in and certain markets we don’t go after, just because we know where we fit and who’s looking for what. We’d look at our top 50 customers and go, “These are the ones that we want to keep duplicating over and over and over again.” Yeah, we do get people to get refers and like, hey, this is our price. This is what we do. We win some, we lose some. I’m like, I understand that. We’ll do our best we can. Sometimes we’re not going to get that smaller job, because it’s not really us.

[0:56:03] DC: That’s really a great point. Not all customers are right for all businesses. The other thing I would say is that there is a content play here, which is to have customers who have tried the cheap way out of it to come on and say, “I wish I would have done it the right way the first time.” Have more people give those testimonials to stop everyone else from making the mistake. Even in the world, I came from, again, triple bid. Everybody wanted to work because they wanted to work with us. They gave us pretty good pricing. But if there was something wrong with it and there needed a reprint, there was always – oh, we found that money to reprint. There was no haggling over that, if it was our mistake. If it was their mistake, different story. If it was our mistake, it didn’t matter what they charged us. It was like, “Oh, my God. Just make this go away and I’ll be your best friend.” I think this was a really great topic. Will, do you want to wrap it up? I think we probably should revisit this because it’s –

[0:57:10] WC: Yeah. This definitely needs a part two. I think we should convert a little bit and see if how we take this further. I think that this conversation and I knew this conversation was going to be a hot button, which is why I wanted to talk about it. I think it’ll continue to evolve. It’s evolved since I brought it up to begin with, right? I think I made a joke earlier that I sent you guys a text message about this topic in September of 2023, and it’s now March of 2024. This has been brewing for six months at this point. I think we should revisit this. I think we should keep this dialogue going. We’re definitely running a little long. Let’s wrap up for this podcast and let’s revisit this and do a part two.

[0:57:50] DC: Great. Jamie, did you have any final words on this topic?

[0:57:53] JM: No, I agree with Will. Let’s check in and see what’s going on. I stick to my guns.

[0:57:59] WC: Oh, I got an idea. I got an idea. Okay. Well, hold on. Hold on. Something I forgot to mention in one of the most – one of the things that I’m most excited about and catch up is that Jamie is going to be flying down for ISA in April, in Orlando, right? We’re going to be recording in the Gorilla Consultants Podcast Studio. We’re going to do a PrinterChat Podcast in Gorilla Consultants. Deborah, aren’t we recording on the floor at ISA?

[0:58:28] DC: That is potentially the plan. I don’t have confirmation yet, but they do have a whole podcast situation on the show floor at ISA. I put in our request to record on Thursday.

[0:58:41] WC: Can we bring in our own gear and not be hinged on someone else?

[0:58:46] DC: We don’t have to bring anything. They have the podcast studio there.

[0:58:49] WC: Okay.

[0:58:50] DC: I’m going to pick up Jamie on the Tuesday. Oh, we’re going to come over and do our recording and tour of Tampa and Will’s empire. Then Jamie and I are going to drive to Orlando and then meet up with you the next day, I guess.

[0:59:05] JM: Yeah. How have the three of us were together since we came up with this podcast?

[0:59:08] WC: Right. Yes. It will be the first time the three of us will get in the same room together. No?

[0:59:14] DC: Weren’t we on Printing United since then? I thought –

[0:59:16] JM: That’s 2019 when we came over to dinner.

[0:59:19] WC: Yeah. It’s all been near misses. Oh, Jamie’s going to be at this event, but Will’s not, and Will’s at this event, but Jamie’s not.

[0:59:24] DC: But I saw you at Printing United last year.

[0:59:26] JM: Yeah. We’re at Printing United. Will. No.

[0:59:29] WC: Yeah. This will be.

[0:59:31] DC: He was there in Vegas. Will was totally there. I guess, you were there on different days, or something like that.

[0:59:38] WC: My point is, is that we should pick this back up at ISA. I think this would be a great topic to talk about. Deborah is shaking her head. She’s saying no.

[0:59:44] DC: No, because at ISA, we’re not going to talk about pricing of that print shops. We’re going to basically, walk around the show and talk about the future of the sign business and what’s going on on the show floor and if we’ve assessed any patterns. I’m very curious to see if there’s more electronic signage, digital signage at the sign show. That’s a hot topic there at any show. You now have digital applications. But at this point now, I can’t really understand why printers don’t have access to both, or at least partners. It’ll be really –

[1:00:21] JM: Probably with that years ago and nobody took us seriously with it. We had –

[1:00:24] DC: Exactly.

[1:00:25] JM: – I’m like, your printer. I’m like, we offer all that. Here’s what we offer. We’ll design the plug-and-play. You plug it in and it’s all there on your monitors. Yeah, they’re like your printer. We’re going to go to somebody else to do that.

[1:00:36] DC: I hope that the industry starts. This is a way to stop having these pricing wars with people. You say, here’s different options. If you don’t like this, we can do this instead for you. Regardless, I will see you guys in a few weeks. To everybody who has stayed on this podcast and listened to this topic, thank you so much.

When we release it on LinkedIn, leave us your comments. Let us know what you think about pricing and the value of design and labor. Until next time, everybody, thanks for joining us. Print long and prosper.


[1:01:16] DC: Thanks for listening to Podcasts from the Printerverse. Please subscribe, click some stars and leave us a review. Connect with us through We’d love to hear your feedback on our shows and topics that are of interest for future broadcast. Until next time, thanks for joining us. Print long and prosper.


If you enjoyed this episode, try one of these…