40pp, 60K print run, 2 Public Holidays, artwork delays, polybags…   

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Despite the scale and complexity of this project, we do it four times a year and so we know what to expect… so we thought!

This time, significant last-minute changes increased the usual challenges and we had to be sharper, quicker and more responsive than ever, seeing around corners, trouble shooting on the hoof, and bringing all our experience to bear.

 Timing was critical to distribute the brochure before the opening week of a key show, with 35,000 due for delivery by Royal Mail on a given date. The Easter public holidays meant two days lost before we started, due to no postal service. We also had to accommodate delays with the artwork (not print ready when it arrived), a last minute pagination change and distribution in polybags rather than envelopes as previously.

But, thriving on pressure and harnessing a strong sense of duty (and an even stronger sense of pride), we got on with it and delivered – 24 hours ahead of time.

This is what it involved… 

  1. On receipt of the data, we conducted a full data clean to check for, and remove any irrelevant information.

  2. We found that the artwork provided to us for the polybag carrier sheet did not comply with Royal Mail regulations, so we had to carry out emergency amendments to avoid it being rejected.

  3. We proofed and printed the carrier sheet.

  4. The brochure artwork then arrived 24 hours late at 10pm. It was not print-ready but rather than wait for the client’s designer to make the amends the next day, we worked through the night adding bleed, creep and folio numbers.

  5. The next morning we took a made-up book proof to the client, sending PDF proofs as well to facilitate speedier checking.

  6. The client requested amends to several pages… to save time, we printed section-by-section as soon as each revision had been approved.

  7. For the Finishing stage, we were so tight on time that we had to prioritise the 35,000 copies needed by the Royal Mail and leave the rest until later.

  8. Ink-jetting the carrier sheet and packaging the brochures into polybags went on into the early hours, accompanied by the Dawn Chorus, BUT…

  9. …The first batch landed 24 hours ahead of schedule, with the remainder arriving on time, and the balance (25,000) delivered to the venue.

It’s a testament to the Hexagon team that we willingly work collectively to pull out the stops when the chips are down, never questioning early mornings and late evenings, mucking in and going beyond. And a big ‘Thank You’ to The Royal Mail!

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