1. I think as my career has moved on and as I have gained a greater understanding of print and the various techniques available it is something I try to keep in mind when designing. You could produce a great piece of design but if the print is awful it won't have nearly the same kind of impact.
2. The actual physical process of print is something I don't have a great knowledge in but I do have a good understanding of what is required when setting up a job for print ie. correct bleed, gutter margins (especially in brochures) spot colours, shiners, cutter guides etc - this knowledge has been gained over a number of years.
3. I try to work with just one or two printers, this way you develop a good working relationship with a printer which I believe is very important as you can draw from their knowledge and experience. I often ask my printers if they can advise or make any recommendations on a print job which will help to improve the job.
4. Similar to what I said in question 1 - I think a piece of design has to be good in the first place but good print will only help to improve the finished piece. As a graphic designer I feel it is important to advise a client on print finishing, paper stocks etc.
5. I think any graphic designer will experience some sort of print problem throughout their career - whether it is the designers fault of the printers fault. A good printer will always advise beforehand if they think a print technique may not work properly or give the desired result, if a problem has arisen from bad printing etc a good printer will normally re-print without too much fuss? and likewise if a problem has occurred due to the designer not setting something up for print properly or spelling mistakes etc which would result in the need for a re-print most times a good printer will be understanding of this and may re-print the job at cost price or if you are very lucky at no extra cost. I always seek advise from my printer on how to achieve the best result from my design and more often than not they can advise on something you may not have even considered before.
6. Something I have learnt over the years is that alot of printers can 'bend the truth when it comes to print deadlines. For example you may tell a printer you 'must' have the job back from print on Monday to which they will probably say '"sure - no problem" then Monday will come and they say it will now be ready Wednesday!!!! Always buy yourself some extra time with a client, if a printers tells you it will take 7 working days to print, tell your client it will take 10 but you will do your best to turn it around quicker. It is always best to under promise and over deliver.