How to Save Green, When Buying Blue

In the mid-Fifteenth Century, when Johann Guttenburg brought transported type printing to the western world I doubt he envisioned the business he would create. Today, printing is a significant line item on every business budget. Invoices, contracts, business cards, letterhead, and brochures are all part of the day-to-day operations of every business.

Often when the bill comes, it feels like you are carrying the whole


billion business by yourself. There are, however, ways to save money on printing, if you know the right questions to ask..

The most important thing to remember if you want to save money on printing is that printing is a production business. Large jobs and long runs are less expensive than short ones, so plan ahead! The most expensive part of the process is the set up. Once the press is running, your per piece cost goes down with every page you print. For example: I recently designed a small tri-fold brochure for a client. The printer%u2019s quote looked like this:

500 pieces 0
1,500 pieces 0
2,500 pieces 0

This is fairly typical whether you are printing 500 or 5,000 pieces. The more you print, the lower the per piece cost. It was easy for this client to make the decision to print the higher quantity instead of planning a reprint six months later. But what if you positively don%u2019t need more?

Ask about Gang Runs. When you print 1,000 postcards your printer is positively laying them out on a larger sheet of paper maybe 4 to a page or 8 to a page like this:

When printing is complete, the printer will cut the page divide the accomplished task into piles. It doesn%u2019t matter to him if the four piles are the same or different, but your savings could be tremendous. Using the Gang Run format, you can positively originate four dissimilar cards and print them at the same time. Look at the potential savings on four batches of 1,000 postcards:

Printed separately 0 each run for a total of ,000
Printed in a gang run for a total of 0

The benefits are obvious, but there is work involved. You must invest time up front to think about your printing needs for the next six months or year. Then bring that plan to a meeting with a printer, and let him help you look for ways to save money.

Another way to use the gang run is to originate a %u201Cshell%u201D. Letterhead is an example of a shell. With your logo and address at the top, the town is blank so you can run personel letters through your desktop printer one at a time.

This same strategy will work with postcards or newsletters. Working with your printer, construct a shell and pre-print a one-year furnish in color. Then when you need some, you can whether print small quantities on your in-house printer, or have the market printer overprint the definite data in black ink. The result; the accomplished stock has a professional, full color look, for significantly less.

Creative use of color can also save you money. Black and white doesn%u2019t have to be boring! Using reverses and ½ tones you can originate the illusion a piece has more than one or two colors. Also, one color in doesn't have to be black. Dark blues and dark greens are highly legible, and much more eye catching, without being any more expensive.

Talk to your printer about paper. Find out about their %u201Chouse sheets%u201D. These are regularly adequate capability for most projects, and because they buy large quantities, your price is lower than for a specialty paper. Sometimes, changing paper grades from 100# to 80# can cut your cost, but you may not be happy with the capability so always ask for a sample. This is where printers will look to cut cost, so if you are getting manifold bids, make sure you get paper samples.

Establish a relationship with one printer, rather than looking for the lowest bid every time. In the long run, this relationship will save you time and money. A printer who knows you are price shopping they will quote a low price, with no extras, because they know you will go somewhere else next time to save a few pennies. However, if they are working with you on a quarterly basis they will look for ways to add value.

For example, my printer checks all my files before they go on press. She has caught spelling errors, or other small mistakes I missed. Yes, I pay a bit more, but it is a lot less expensive then re-running the project.

We work together to schedule my projects. She is willing to give me a small discount, if I can give her extra time to print a project. Sometimes, she will tuck my small job into a hole in her production schedule or concentrate it on a gang run with other one of her customers. And every now and then she throws in the itsybitsy extra, over-runs at no extra charge, or a paper upgrade because she has a small furnish of positively nice paper left over from a larger project.

Printing is a big part of your budget, but with upfront planning and the right relationship you can administrate your costs!

How to Save Green, When Buying Blue

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