If you’re a smaller business needing professionally printed marketing materials, you likely have a limited amount to spend. Don’t waste those precious dollars–get the most from them by following some valuable tips.
We all know that time can equal money, so if you plan ahead, you can save some money. Outline your project and make a plan. Know your details and timeline before you get started. It’s best to know what your final product will look like before you submit the job to the printer. Know all the details, including your budget for the job, deadline and other relevant information.
Review the amount of information and layout of the expected printed piece. It could be possible to combine two pages into one by redesigning. Of course, crowding text is not recommended, but you may be able to combine some similar information without compromising the look and intent. This strategy is particularly useful when printing multiple pages; for example, a booklet. Eliminating just a few pages’ print can save you quite a bit.
Make sure you proofread your print copy multiple times before sending to the printer. Changes after the printing process begins is much more expensive. Verify your digital files are in the proper format and resolution.
Don’t wait until the last minute to submit the project to the printer. Rush and expedited jobs cost extra, so allow sufficient time for normal processing.
Research Printing Companies
There are many commercial printing companies available, so you’ll need to decide on which company is best for your purposes. Some print companies are online only. Ordering online may be satisfactory for routine print jobs where everything is standard. However, it’s advisable to go with a local printing business, preferably with a brick and mortar location, to get the best service and results.
Print companies with a physical location are members of the community and serve local customers. They strive to make sure their clients are completely satisfied so that they refer friends and family to them as well. They will usually assist you in designing your printed products, answer any questions you may have, and provide a more personal experience overall. This reduces the risks of mistakes in the final product, causing cost overruns.
When you research printing companies, make sure you check their online reviews and ratings. Google reviews, Yelp and other review sites are great places to start. Look at their social media posts. Do they offer free estimates and/or consultations? Free design assistance? These are all areas you should consider when deciding on the company.
Involve the Printer from the Beginning
The printing company you choose for your printing project hires professionals who know the printing business. They can help you get the best possible results, while staying within your budget, but they need to know the details. If you communicate with your printer about budget, deadlines and other specifications, a successful outcome is more achievable.
Once you relay your requirements, the print company will likely have questions and suggestions on maximizing your budget. They can foresee any challenges that may be forthcoming, and recommend alternatives, if necessary.
The experts at the printing company can help you with design or redesign of your printed materials. They can recommend paper, ink, trim sizes and layouts that may save you money. Your print provider can be considered a custom manufacturer. They have estimators on staff who can determine how to produce the work on their equipment. If they know you have some flexibility, they might be able to tweak jobs to benefit you.
Paper and Volume
The paper size and weight that is used for your print project will affect the cost. The normal finished size of a print application is 8 ½ x 11 for a text weight. Designing the layout to fit into this standard paper size will reduce your print costs.
Using thinner paper can save 10%–15% of your paper costs. A “house stock”, or type of paper that your printer carries in volume, will also be a more economic choice for your print jobs. Paper brightness is also a cost factor–the brighter it is, the higher the price.
There is always an initial setup cost for a print job, no matter what the quantity is. The more pieces you order of the same copy, the lower the unit cost. So if you see a need for more copies in the future, you’d save money in the long run by adding the count to the job.
If you have a low-volume print requirement, think about digital printing. Digital printing doesn’t need any setup and is charged per copy. This means the unit cost varies little no matter what the quantity. Every print is the same, which means more accurate counts, less waste and fewer variations, due to not having to balance ink and water during the press run. Digital prints may cost more per unit, but if it’s a small volume requirement, you’ll save money in the long term.
If you have two items with the same technical specifications, you can try to have them printed together. This requires only one setup fee and will keep colors consistent in both items.
Fees such as file prep and other setup charges are a requirement for print runs. Avoid these charges – and save energy as well as materials and money — by running several jobs together at one time. This is called “ganging jobs”.
Ganged jobs don’t necessarily need to look the same or even be single sheets. If they use the same type of printing they can be combined.
Color printing uses four basic ink colors: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Achieving certain colors using these basic ones can be harder to accomplish. Orange and purple can appear dull and muddy-looking. If you want tPrint as many pieces as possible on the same stock. Since most paper stocks have a minimum order, using the same paper for multiple items will also provide savings.
Call Minuteman Press St. Peters for All Your Print Requirements
Minuteman Press of St. Peters understands that businesses have limitations in their budgets and we will help you keep your printing costs to a minimum. Contact us for a free quote on your print project. We can help you with design and recommend alternatives to lower your costs.