How To Save Money On Printing Costs
Mark Hale ‐ December 31, 2013
How To Save Time & Money On Your Next Printing Project
Having things printed can be costly. We understand. Part of our job is helping our customers save time and money. Here are a few easy ways to save time and money when you print your next project:
- Plan in advance. A customer waiting until the very last moment to order materials causes one of the biggest expenses we see.They have a trade show on Friday and come to us on Tuesday. The result is that the job costs more because of the tight deadline, because press schedules have to be changed and ordering paper and supplies on short notice results in rush charges that are passed on to the customer. Advance planning can save on rush charges.
- Use standard paper sizes. Professional graphic designers tend to violate this rule the most. They want the piece they design to be unique and different. Most of the time unique and inexpensive do not mix. These designers do an excellent job with designing the piece but because they don’t understand printing techniques the piece ends up costing a lot more than needed. While projects can easily be completed in non-standard sizes and shapes, they often require extra time and materials to complete the job. They tend to take more paper to produce. To save time, design for standard paper sizes and create layouts that don’t require time-consuming cutting to create the finished size or shape. This also helps the environment since there will be less waste. Standard sizes for flat sheets of paper are 11 x 17, 8.5 x 11 or 5.5 x 8.5. If you have a question about what is a standard size, call us we can help.
- Use standard ink colors. Ordering special inks can often add time required to complete a job and can often be very costly. The least expensive choices are one color, two color or four color CMYK. Five and six color jobs often times cost 30%-40% more than standard one, two or four-color printing.
- Run larger orders. Ordering larger quantities will often save you money. If you know your company will need 10,000 forms over the year, print them all at once instead of every other month. A large portion of printing costs lies in set up charges. Once the job is set up, it does not take that much more time and paper to run 10,000 than it does to run 2500. If you have signed up for our VIP Client Program, we will store materials for you and deliver as needed.
- Use standard file formats, since not everyone uses the same software or same versions. When in doubt, give us a call to confirm the file formats and platforms we support.
- Include all graphics and fonts, since missing files can often cause printing delays. If we have to fix your file, this could result in extra charges to make it print ready.
- If you use photos and other graphics in your design, make sure they are high resolution. High resolution is defined as 300 DPI (DPI stands for Dots Per Inch). You usually cannot lift a piece of art off a web page and use it for printing. Art used for Internet is always low resolution, 70 DPI. If we use 70 DPI art for printing, the finished piece will look fuzzy and not sharp. When we have to find high-resolution art, it will cause delays in getting your project printed and could result in extra art and design charges. If you have a question about whether a piece of art is print useable, send it to us and we will tell you if it is suitable for printing.
- Avoid last minute changes by having another set of eyes proof your layout (including spelling, fonts, and graphics) prior to submitting a print job and during subsequent proofing stages.
- Make sure when proofing you proofread carefully. Do not assume someone will catch a mistake. As they say, the devil is in the details. The most common errors are numbers getting transposed in the phone numbers or addresses. Be sure you triple check these. Once you approve the proof you are saying you have checked the proof thoroughly and you are taking responsibility for it being correct. If something is incorrect, it is your responsibility. Reprinting is wasteful and costly.
- Communicate your need for speed when you place your order, and ask what is needed and when it is needed to help meet your deadline.
- Stop printer hopping. You may feel you are getting the best prices by shopping around and getting bids. This is true to a certain extent. But, developing a good working relationship with a printer you can trust and return to again and again will save youand your company time and money. Once a relationship is built and the line grooved in it is easier on you. Your printer knows what you expect and how you want to be serviced.
Having a relationship with a printer will save you a lot of time and headaches having to baby-sit and explain what you need and how you need it. Sometimes the few dollars you save by shopping around are eaten up quickly with you wasting time on frustration.
Existing, regular customers also receive higher priority when it comes to allocation of time and resources. Wilson Printing has a VIP client program that gives participating clients special service, treatment and pricing.
As with any project you’re working on, it’s wise to be realistic and prepare your materials in advance. Know what quantities you need and consider ink colors, papers, mailing requirements (if necessary), deadlines and your budget before getting started. If you aren’t sure where to start, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you get your next print project off to a great start!
We realize that your business is not guaranteed, that we earn it each and every time we do work for you. We appreciate your business at Wilson Printing.
Anything we can do to save you time and money and make your life easier we will do!
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