A Distributor Asks: We have a client with four very specific Pantone colors that they would like to match consistently in every print job across various items. The green color specifically has been an issue several times (too dark on tumblers, too light on T-shirts.) I know inks and colors will look slightly different on different items and backgrounds, and I’m aware of the coated versus uncoated issue. I’m suggesting pre- production proofs, but sometimes that isn’t feasible. Are there any words of wisdom that I can or should pass on to the client when explaining color variations?

Some textile printers don’t use the Pantone blending inks to match PMS. I have a local guy who uses the inks from his “house brand” of opaque screen-printing inks, and he’s a genius at matching PMS colors. Given every factory and every screen printer is different, the thing to do is have a conversation with the art team at every factory and then explain limitations to your client for every order. And, yes, get pre-production samples.

Craig Sahli
Graphics Network
Tulsa, Oklahoma
PPAI 670721, D1

Some colors are more difficult due to their makeup on the color spectrum. For screen printing, have your printer order your specific ink in special and test-print the color with every new bucket to the previous “approved” swatch. That will help, but not perfect. On hard goods, if they run full color (CMYK), then they cannot control the specific colors. Your specific colors need to be run as spot color to better dial them in/control them. This is going to limit what products you can choose from.

Andy Lantzman
Promotional Therapist
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
PPAI 780859, D1

A Distributor Asks: I have one credit card that I use for promo vendors that I don’t have an account with. I do not use this card for anything else. My card is hacked two or three times a year. I offer to send a check, but most vendors won’t wait and don’t have ACH or PayPal. Any suggestions?

As a rule of thumb, and hopefully you aren’t doing this, but never ever put credit card numbers on purchase orders.

Charity Gibson
National Account Coordinator
Peerless Umbrella Company
Newmark, New Jersey
PPAI 715404, S10

Do business only with suppliers that take payment in a way that suits you. This topic has been repeated over and over through the years. A lot of answers in this thread and previous ones seem to think force is the way or waiting for everyone to change is the answer. Those two options are not proactive solutions. You must adapt to those you want to do business with, or do business with those that comply with your wishes, or encourage those you want to do business with to make the needed changes for you. One-time orders now and then because they have the lowest price will not be convincing.

It seems the only viable option is to take control of your clients’ buying habits and lead them to your preferred vendor’s products. Only sell the products from suppliers that accept the payment method(s) you need.

Bruce Reissaus, MAS

Advertising Specialties Alliance
Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
PPAI 222672, D2

A Distributor Asks: How do you handle rush orders that do not deliver as promised by suppliers?

If a deadline was missed, I’d refund in full no matter whose fault it is.

Rich Graham
Chief Imagination Officer
Dallas, Texas
PPAI 256367, D2

About two months into COVID, when the suppliers or delivery services both started struggling, we stopped guaranteeing rush and have stayed under that even to this day because it’s still just too much outside of our control to guarantee anymore. However, should this have happened prior to COVID, we would have done full refund because we are only as good as our word and suppliers.

Chris Pollan

President and Owner
Pollan Promos
Starkville, Mississippi
PPAI 276409, D2