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Designing a Smarter Dummy

When a customer wants to present improved mock-ups to its clients, Millcraft’s Cincinnati Design and Solution Center delivers.

Bennie Greene is no dummy, although he works with them all day.

In his samples sales support role at the Cincinnati Design and Solution Center of Millcraft, a 96-year-old independent distributor of paper and packaging, Greene spends much of his day creating dummies—also known as mock-ups—of potential print jobs for printers and creative agencies across multiple states.

Each dummy is designed to the exact specifications of a job, including size and paper type, and often can be delivered the next day. “It gives the client a good sense of the weight, the feel, and how the pages will look when they are bound, stitched, or folded together,” says Greene. And, quite often, Greene says, it’s the dummy at the beginning of a project that can win a job for clients.

The samples also help printers figure out logistics on the production side. They can assist in determining how best to fold, insert, score, or die cut the piece. In addition, printers are able weigh the piece in order to estimate postage or decide the size and durability of the box needed to ship 100 books.

Recently, a large commercial printer customer reached out to Greene, asking for ideas on how to elevate the look of mock-ups created for automotive booklet samples.

After thoughtful consideration, the team decided to invest in a thermal binder and labeling system that gives the look of a perfect-bound book and allows the name of the specific paper sample to be seamlessly integrated into the design—much to the delight of their customer. This, plus Greene’s creativity and access to two other fully staffed regional design centers, has proven to be a great asset for the design and print communities, turning project ideas into proven profit for customers.

Now, whether a customer needs a perfect-bound piece or a handcrafted saddle-stitched book, a folder, envelope, or other custom piece, Greene and team deliver the right look, on the right paper, at the right time. Just ask.

By Laurie Hileman