So You Need Printing? Now What?
Printing is a very large industry and the wide range of products that we can cover for a client can make even the most seasoned professional race for their handbooks, rulers, industry guides and of course our dear friend Google. With around 200,000 people employed in the Australian printing industry print is a complex industry that we come into contact with multiple times per day.
So how do you go about getting an accurate quote for your next print project?
There are 7 things you need to consider when sending a print job to your printer for a quotation.
1. Size-The size of the finished job is critical as it has a huge determining factor on the final cost. Also if the job is to fold it is helpful to know both the flat size and the final folded size of the job such as A3 Flat folded once to A4.
2. Paper - The type of paper you wish to use and the grammage such as 90gsm or 115gsm is also essential to know. There is a wide array of papers available in gloss, matt or satin finishes and also laser offsets and bonds for uncoated finishes. Here’s a tip if you don’t need to specify a particular brand of paper then the printer can use their best house sheet which will usually save you some money on the regular brand name papers.
3. Colours- If it prints CMYK or uses spot colours the printer needs to know. It is typically cheaper to print in one or two colours than in full colour but if you print in CMYK plus add corporate PMS colours as a fifth or sixth colour you can be adding a fair bit of extra costs in many cases.
4. Quantity- Yeah I know it sounds silly but we do get lots of requests without a quantity. I would also encourage you to consider getting a quote on a few different quantity breaks as well. You need to balance the benefits of printing more and get a cheaper unit cost (economies of scale) with the cost of obsolescence and having to throw out a whole heap of brochures. Also digital printing in shorter runs is very cost effective these days so printing smaller volumes but more often is not quite the sin it was considered to be years ago.
5. Binding/Finishing- There are lots of finishes available such as folding, saddle stitching with wires (staples), perfect or burst binding for books, or simply shrink wrapping the product. Just consider how the item is to be used/read or filled in and how it best may be stored and transported to the final location.
6. Delivery- Freight can often run between 2 to 7 percent of the total cost so it is a factor worth considering. Many printing companies can offer national freight and distribution to their clients’ retail stores or centres.
7. Artwork- Please specify what you will be supplying. Will it be press ready art in PDF (most printers preferred method) or do you want the printer to put the design together for you. This will of course bring additional costs but some printers do have some very good and cost effective designers on board if you don’t possess those skills in house. Special note here please proof read your art work both before you send it to your printer and at the proof stage so you can avoid any mistakes prior to the job going to print.
I hope these tips can have your next few print jobs sailing through like a breeze, for experienced print buyers this will seem old hat but I have witnessed a lot of larger firms with little to no print buying experience. I hope it has been helpful.