If you're looking for expert printing advice, here's Andy Hunter of PrintHouse Corporation
8th March 2011
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How many to print? Decisions, decisions…

by Andy Hunter, Managing Director of PrintHouse Corporation on March 8, 2011

As part of my discussions relating to print projects there are a few questions that always crop up, one of which is “How many do you require?” Sometimes this may be totally fixed (working from a database to mail), but at other times it calls for a “guestimate” as to how many are likely to be needed until details/products expire and/or require amending.

When LITHO printing, our advice is “a few more than you’re likely to need” in most cases, as the run-on cost for larger volumes is invariably much lower than you think. The set up cost for litho printing is higher when compared to digital, for example (technically, litho provides the optimum print quality and there’s a cut-off point where litho becomes more cost-effective as well); metal plates are produced and it may take several hundred sheets of paper fed though larger machines before the exact colour balance is reached to commence with the print run. But once set, sheets can pass though our larger presses at over 10,000 per hour ….

These substantial unit cost benefits will apply to almost all areas of print, be it your brochure, catalogue, book or even business cards (where the best plan is to group a series of names together). In the case of folders with integral pocket(s), a “generic” design will enable the folder to be put to a wide variety of uses, with specific information placed within pocket as separate sheets that can far easily be updated.

To assist with decisions on final quantity, we have instant access to over ten years of product spending patterns for all our existing clients, to hopefully avoid any larger scale over-ordering that will ultimately waste material resources and money. Also, our estimating software will also tell us (and you) in a matter of seconds the cost implications for various quantities, so please don’t feel you’re creating additional work for us by asking …

Although on a purely mercenary level it’s likely to be more profitable for us if orders are placed for smaller volumes of exactly the same product several times at the same rate, in reality we discuss and offer the best, honest advice for any project on an individual basis. We’d like to think this method of working very closely together is one reason why our client retention over the past 20 years has been so high …

For any advice – quantity or otherwise – for your upcoming projects, please contact us directly at 020 8914 8434 or visit our feature on thebestof hammersmithandfulham

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David W

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