060 | Ways to save money on printing costs with Ronnie Williams, DeFrance Printing

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Ronnie Williams is the owner of DeFrance Printing, which is a full-service commercial print shop located in Southern California. Ronnie grew up in the print industry and is the third generation to own and operate DeFrance. His grandfather began printing in the late 1930s, followed by his father in the early 1970s, and Ronnie was a fixture in the print shop by the young age of five. Ronnie’s background brings a unique perspective, in that he has expertise in both the print process, as well as the outcome.

This episode is a little bit different than most, in that we’re diving into some of the technical aspects of printing, common mistakes that people make in file setup, ways to save money on your print runs, and how DeFrance helps a wide range of industries with packaging, catalogs, marketing materials, and more.

Ronnie, and the team at DeFrance, have recently expanded their services to include warehousing and fulfillment, helping independent brands with not only printing, but also storage, fulfillment, and distribution of their products. They have particular expertise handling orders for big box stores, such as Paper Source. Ronnie, and the team at DeFrance, have been strong supporters of our Tradeshow Bootcamp community and advocates for education around the print process.  I know you’ll learn a lot from Ronnie!


  • The history of DeFrance Printing and how long Ronnie’s family has owned it

  • Their core clients and the type of work they do for them

  • All of the different print methods DeFrance offers

  • The fulfillment services that they offer

  • Paper Source’s specific rules and regulations as to how things need to be shipped

  • Ronnie’s favorite projects to print

  • The things that people should figure out before reaching out to a printer

  • Some common mistakes he sees people making when submitting art files

  • A Pantone color versus a CMYK color and what the benefits are to both

  • Turnaround times and the expectations people should have

  • When he recommends getting proofs versus not

  • The materials, other than paper, DeFrance prints on

  • The types of products they are getting the most inquiries on right now

  • How DeFrance prints gift wrapping

  • Some cost-cutting or cost-saving tips to maximize print runs

  • Products outside of the stationery world that DeFrance prints

  • What’s next for DeFrance Printing

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“Most people carry low inventory because they don’t want to prepay for all the cards, not knowing whether the order’s coming. When they get one that’s 500, 1000, 4000+, they then come to us, and we can print the job, sleeve it, package it, UPC barcode it again, and get it out to Paper Source in time. It’s something we do very regularly, and our bindery guys have it down pat.” – Ronnie Williams

“You can market your business, create new products, and sell more product, while we worry about all the other work and get it off your back, so you’re not up until midnight or 1:00 a.m., sleeving cards the night before it’s got to go.” – Ronnie Williams

“They don’t see the value in [our services], until they start doing it themselves, and then they realize the time it consumes. It’s the same as when people are printing for themselves. It’s amazing that they can learn these trades and they can do it, but at some point, it does cross over and start to consume their time, rather than allow them to grow the business.” – Ronnie Williams

“Greeting cards, letterpress, and foil are still some of my favorite. I do get on press still every once in a while. I was just on press last week, doing some art prints.” – Ronnie Williams

“I just love the process of seeing how it comes together and gets completed.” – Ronnie Williams

“Specs are very important, to make sure we’re talking “apples to apples” to each other.” – Ronnie Williams

“I find that you’re not just a printer. You’re not just taking the jobs as they come and just pushing them out. You’re trying to make sure that you’re maximizing the time, the money, and the effort and energy that everyone’s putting forth to create the best possible product.” – Katie Hunt

“The first time we produce or make anything, we like an extra day or two to make sure we’re double-checking.” – Ronnie Williams

“Paper adds up to a lot of money in this process, and so if you’re in love with a high-end paper, it’s going to make the job more.” – Ronnie Williams

“I’ve seen you try to bend over backwards to help people make their dreams come true. ” – Katie Hunt


Website: DeFrance Printing | Instagram: @defranceprint | Facebook: @DeFrancePrint

Connect with Katie Hunt

Katie Hunt is a business strategist, podcaster, mentor and mama to four. She helps product based businesses build profitable, sustainable companies through her conferences, courses and coaching programs.

Website: prooftoproduct.com  |   Instagram: @prooftoproduct

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