Cost Effective Print
Whether your work requires high volumes of print or simply the occasional leaflet, it is always worth knowing about any steps that can reduce your print costs.
What Do You Really Need?
- What’s it for – what do I want to achieve?
- Who is it for – what reaction do I want?
- How will it be used?
- What elements are vital? ie A tear-off reply card will need to be printed on a heavy weight paper so it can be posted.
- 1 or 2 corporate colours may be all you need to print especially on office stationery.
- If printing a brochure, you may decide that you only need full colour for the outside cover, and can use just 1 or 2 colours inside.
- One colour that is dark enough to be used for the text, can be used in lighter shades for borders or other images. Colours that work especially well in this way are dark purples, blues, burgundy reds and rich green.
- Changing the weight of 170gsm for your leaflets, to 150gsm.
- What do you really need? You may find that you’ll benefit from a lighter weight paper (as with direct mail).
- Ask your designer or printer if they can recommend an alternative to your usual paper that might reduce the cost.
- Where possible, provide artwork in a digital format, ready to output.
- If preparing an item your self, ask the printer how best to supply it. This can save time and money.
- If you can provide text on disk or even by email, you may save retyping costs.
- The ideal is to provide your designer or printer with everything they need right from the start, all in one go.
One of the most frequent causes of breaking the print budget is making late changes. Good groundwork is vital, especially if you need other people’s input: seek it at the earliest stage and then get necessary approval before the item even goes out.
If you’ve already had everyone’s input at the start, the proof will simply be there to check format and spelling - any changes to the text require time and resources. As a business, the designer or printer needs to charge you for these - so try to avoid them from the start.
Finally, consider printing more than one item together. By printing continuation sheets or compliment slips at the same time as letterheads you gain greater print value and much less waste.
- Look for versatility such as a generic folder that can be customised. See our cutting formes.
- Versions, such as language changes - design them so the changes only affect 1 colour.
- Standard sizes enable you to economise on standard envelopes etc and makes maximum use of the paper
- Time is money, so use technology - email or ISDN where appropriate.
- Avoid time-sensitive details or case studies that could date, and you'll be able to use the item for much longer, thereby gaining greater value.
- Beware false economy - choosing to assemble folders yourself may seem like a cheaper option but if you calculate your real wage for that time, you could be paying over double what you'd pay the printer to make them up for you.
- Deadlines - you can save a lot if you give an extra day on the deadline. An overnight service instead of a same day courier might save enough to print another item later.