If you’re a newbie to printing or an expert print buyer, there is a lot to consider. There is always something new to learn in print and we want to help you to understand what is essential during the first stages of contacting a commercial printer for an estimate. Our guide to requesting a print estimate will help you achieve this.
When requesting an estimate, it is important to make sure all the information of a print specification is listed to ensure the price is a true reflection of your needs. Some projects are simpler to price than others, which is why a leaflet campaign may be quicker and easier to estimate than a brochure or an entire direct mail campaign.
As well as creating a handy print specification form, below is a list of printing requirements which you must think about to create a printing specification.
During the planning and design stage, it is wise to speak with us. We have seen in many situations where we could have saved the customer money if they had just changed the format of their artwork slightly. Once artwork is completed and signed off this can be a headache.
It costs nothing to talk to us about your intentions and it may save you in the long run by discussing your objectives when requesting a print estimate.
If you need help setting up your artwork up for print see print ready artwork guidelines or talk to us about using our in-house design team.
If it a good idea to gauge an accurate quantity for your printing requirements when requesting an estimate. If you are unsure exactly we can give you a range of prices, which will help to calculate the unit cost for budgeting purposes. We give “run on” and “run back” prices as required but be aware there are set up fees for plates and the press if using lithographic and letterpress printing. These fees are included in the initial cost after which the cost per 1,000 “the run on or run back” is greatly reduced and you can easily see what price you will pay for more or less.
Most job are printed using the 4-colour printing process or full colour process (CMYK) which will cover the entire spectrum of colours required to print pictures and all text. If you require metallic colours, fluorescent colours on any particular (spot) pantone colour on its own or in additional to CMYK, this should be specified when requesting a print estimate.
Paper and Board
With such a vast range of paper and board available it’s important to know what works for you. It’s worth reading our articles on paper Print Paper Types | A comparison guide of available paper for print and Coated Paper Vs Uncoated Paper. If you require a luxury paper there are a range of specialist paper stocks available which is discussed in our article Luxury Papers | A review of specialist papers that add wow factor! As well as environmentally friendly paper.
Pagination (Number of pages)
This can sometimes be confusing. In print a page refers to a single side of a sheet. If you hold an A4 sheet in your hands this would be classed as one leaf and 2 pages. If this was folded in half it would be classed as 4 pages and A5 thus is abbreviated as a 4pp, A5. So, an A4 sized brochure with 10 flat A3 leaves and a cover will be annotated to A4 40pp text + 4pp Cover
Finishing refers to the print finishing of a particular printing job. Basic finishing such as folding and trimming depending on the item required will be included in your in estimate.
If you require any specific print effects such as embossing, folding, laminating, etc it is important to discuss this with your commercial printer when requesting a print estimate. We will help advise you and suggest what we think is best to ensure your job is perfect.
We are often asked – “how long will it take to print my job?” Whilst this can be indicated in most circumstances, what our customers actually mean is, will the job be printed in time for when I need it?
It is important to discuss the delivery deadline of your job and to see if the production time needed is realistic to achieve your desired deadline. Many commercial printers will book jobs in to production and the presses can get booked up quite far in advance, so it is wise to keep us informed should your agreed artwork deadline slip.
We will always try and be flexible by moving jobs around to accommodate your new delivery deadline, where possible. Discuss your timing with us when requesting a print estimate.
Don’t forget timing is often based subject to the sign off of artwork proofs. Any delay at this stage can impact the production schedule.
Delivery time needs to be taken into account of your deadline. Whilst most work can be sent on an overnight courier; extra time must be allowed if shipping overseas, parts of the Uk and Ireland – Scotland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. We have had deliveries held up in customs for a number of days which is beyond anyone’s control, so allow extra time if shipping outside the country or remote parts of the UK.
If your artwork deadline slips but you still require delivery day you may need to consider paying a premium for same day couriers, this can be expensive so try and be flexible where possible.
Remember to inform us of any specific delivery instructions, if delivering to warehousing specialists they often require a booked time slot to accept your order.
If you need a split delivery mention this in your specification as our print estimating system is able to calculate weight and apply delivery charges accordingly.
Print Worx are always here to help and offer you advice to achieve your needs. Simply get in touch to request a print estimate or fill out the form below to request a price.