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Diecrafters, Inc.: the finishing touch

Mar 1, 2004 12:00 AM

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Sometimes it's necessary to put last things first. Diecrafters, Inc. (Cicero, IL) celebrates this mantra by providing diecutting, foil stamping, embossing, packaging, mounting, drilling, binding, perforating, assembly capabilities and more, to add the finishing touch to any print job.

While most of Diecrafter's clients are commercial printers, it also works with designers, advertising agencies and end-users — anyone responsible for the success of the finished product. The company's website (www.diecrafters. com) offers a helpful pre-production planning section that includes checklists and descriptions for even the most novice designer.

We talked to Diecrafters president Robert J. Windler, who reveals that while the company is known for its postpress work, the finisher's success starts with job planning.

How has Diecrafters changed over the years?

During the late 1980s we added foil stamping and embossing to our existing diecutting capabilities. We also added some additional bindery services to round out our production mix. Since many products these days involve multiple finishing processes, we offer our customers a worry-free, “under one roof” production solution.

Which finishing service is most popular?

We're probably best known for our diecutting expertise. Some typical diecutting applications include portfolios, capacity folders, pop-ups, table tents, product inserts, danglers, shelf talkers, mailers, forms, media holders, CD sleeves, cartons, packaging and marketing collateral.

Any common diecutting misconceptions or pitfalls?

As schedules get tighter and deadlines get closer, it can be tempting to plan a complex diecut piece without involving the finisher. We encourage our customers to involve us before the project is designed and printed. We routinely save our clients time and money by offering expert advice in the form of a proper layout or die line.

What's the most unusual job you have produced?

We get quite a few phone calls from clients who say, “Here's an idea I have… Can we make this work?” Once we know their budget and schedule, we can almost always find a solution. Although many of these projects would be considered “unusual” or “difficult” at first glance, we believe that just about anything is possible with sufficient planning and communication.

Any tips for commercial printers on working with an outside finisher?

It is important to have a strong relationship and to interact regularly with your outside finisher throughout the entire project life cycle. A steady flow of information between our staff and customers helps us build close working relationships, which allows us to organize resources for improved efficiency and quicker turnaround times. It also helps printers manage their clients' expectations.

When you involve the finisher early in the project planning process, postpress problems can be circumvented. This way you'll get the most value for your finishing dollar.

How do you attract new clients?

We attract new customers through the efforts of our sales force, our diecut mailers, our monthly e-newsletter and referrals from satisfied customers. We also maintain active memberships in several trade associations.

What's in your plant?

We operate a wide range of presses that allow us to diecut sheets from 2 × 3 inches to 28 × 40 inches, of up to 60-pt. thickness. We can foil stamp from 5½ × 8½ inches to 28 × 40 inches, up to 30 pt. Our automatic folding and gluing machinery will accommodate sizes from approximately 4 × 6 inches to 28 × 40 inches.

What services or equipment would you most like to add?

We have an eye on some attachments for our existing machinery that will automate some processes that we currently complete by hand, but we have no plans to expand into other areas of the printing industry. We'll leave the printing to the experts!

Where's the best place to eat in Cicero?

Freddy's Pizzeria. And don't forget to finish off (no pun intended) your meal with one of their delicious Italian ices!

If your company has an interesting story to tell, we want to hear from you. E-mail and give us a brief description of yourself and your printing company. You could be the next profile in “Spotlight On.”