Tips for Saving Money on Print Projects

When creating any print piece there is one thing that I have found clients forgetting to budget for: the cost of printing. While printing is frequently fairly expensive, there are a few tried and true ways to help cut costs and keep your project within budget without sacrificing quality for a print project. Below are a selection of basic areas and ways to save print costs.

Use Standard Sizes

The easiest way to save printing money is to make sure that you are using standard envelope and paper sizes for the area that you are printing in. Most people will recognize 8.5” x 11” as a standard US Letter size, but there are also many other standard sizes. These sizes are used to maximize the space of a printed sheet and will allow you to save money in printing. Using standard Envelopes also saves you money on having custom dies created.

Using Stamps

Another way to save money is to use stamps instead of printing for items that you use often, such as your companies return address. Long-term it is cheaper to have a self-inking return stamp with your organizations logo and address created than to have custom envelopes created regularly. This also helps if you often use multiple envelope sizes for different mailings.

Dies are thin pieces of metal, similar to a stamp, that cuts out paper into uniform shapes. It is often used for things that are not perfect squares, such as envelopes.

Use Existing Die Cuts

When creating something more custom, contact your printer to see if they have any existing die cuts that are close to what you were thinking. Having custom dies created is often the most expensive part of the printing process so using an existing die will save money.

Produce it Yourself

If you are creating something fairly basic, such as a printed letter, try printing the project in your own office. This does not necessarily require a high quality printer, however you should let your designer know that you are planning to print it in house so they can allow for things like your printer now allowing full bleeds (meaning that the project will need to be designed with a white boarder around all edges) and for simple, easily reproduced colors.

Printing something in-house is also good for custom letters that you send out regularly, such as lease renewal notices and client invoices.

Create Your Own Colored Paper

Want to print your project on a ‘classy’ paper that is just slightly off-white or has a hand-made texture? Your designer may be able to recreate this look on cheaper, more basic paper by printing the project with a light off-white texture in the background.

Always Get A Proof

The biggest unexpected expense is often having to reprint a project due to a mistake. This can be avoided by having many eyes proof read any text, and by having the printer deliver a proof. A proof is often the first printed piece which you can use to check colors, double check text proof reading, and print quality. By checking the proofs not only do you protect your pocket book, but you also ensure that your projects are always high quality.