Semester V | Sourcing


Sourcing is something that has been on my mind for a while.  I feel like a rather large portion of our industry doesn't actually do it.  Rather than seeking out information, they take was is handed to them.  This may be fine when you're just starting out, but in order to grow your business, establish your unique aesthetic, present as an expert in your field, and establish trust with clients, sourcing is absolutely imperative. 

When working as the go-between between products, production and clients, it's imperative that you are sourcing your materials fully and completely ahead of time.  You want to make sure that you know: what colors are available for this paper type? What are the corresponding envelope sizes? Which companies carry these paper lines but are frequently sold out or plagued with back orders (here’s looking at you, May Arts)?

When you have a good grasp on all of these background details, you will, for example, automatically grab your swatch book (that you pre-ordered from your paper vendor) to match a specific shade of purple for your client immediately rather than promising a product that doesn't exist.

Presenting your client with accurate and attainable product details when discussing their design will set you as the expert in your field, establishing credibility and trust.  Knowing the full range of available product will also help further define your specific aesthetic as a designer and better meet client needs.  We'll also briefly discuss pricing for different product and how to up-sell your client. 

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Victoria Rothwell