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Top advice & tips for your accurate printing quotes

All printing quotes need to have competitive pricing and you can help by making sure your request is as clear as possible.

Standard sizes mean better Print pricing:

Printing machines generally have fixed sheet or reel sizes and you will get the best price if you stay within these parameters:
A5 – max 210 x 148mm
A4 – max 297 x 210mm
A3 – max 420 x 297mm
A2 – max 594 x 420mm

If your print runs are higher than 10 000 (net run) you would be advised to go Web Offset and this will mean the sizes will have to be reduced to:
A5 – 210 x 138mm
A4 – 278 x 210mm
A3 – 420 x 278mm
A2 – 576 x 420mm (Web presses can only deliver this product folded down to the A3 size.

State the head-to-tail size first:

Always give the spine size of the product first.
If you wanted a Portrait A4 you say 297x210mm
If you wanted a landscape A4 you say 210x297mm
To be 100% clear put an (h) next to the height required and a (w) next to the width required. Or better still just say Portrait or Landscape

A leaf is 2 pages (front and back):

Some people get this wrong and it can lead to confusion and an incorrect quotation.
A page is one side of a leaf. When you hold a piece of paper in your hand, (a leaf), it is made up of two pages. Make sure you check that the printer has stated the number of pages, not leaves. (It is common practice to quote pages).

Printed work that requires folding should not be below 70/80gsm:

This is mainly for sheetfed work (web work can go down to 36gsm)
So when planning a small run magazine do not bank on 60gsm text
Some printers might be willing to go down on text depending on if it is uncoated, what folding is required etc. Check with a Complete Print Strategist

Overall Varnish is not too Expensive but Spot Varnish is:

Getting your cover varnished with Aqueous or the more expensive UV is not going to break the bank.
When you ask for spot varnishing, on certain areas of your cover only, it can get expensive (if you still want to look at spot varnish rather ask for printing quotes on both options)

State project timing (state if repeated work):

If your job is urgent let the printer know – this could speed up the quoting process etc.
If however, you can give the printer a good amount of time to produce your job e.g. two weeks, let them know that they will have this time, this could result in better pricing.
Printers are always busy around November and December and quiet around January and February. If your job is coming in a quiet month or during the quiet period of the month, discuss with them now as it might result in better pricing.

State ink coverage:

When quoting, the Estimators allow for average ink coverage. If your job has a lot of ink coverage (such as solid black or cyan) rather notify in advance as it might result in delays and requoting after they have received your file.
Ink can be around 8% of the cost of your printed product.

Square back binding not done under 3mm spine:

If your magazine, catalogue, etc. is too thin you will have to get it saddle-stitched.
A rough guide would be about 80 pages of text on 80gsm paper should be thick enough to square back (perfect) bind, but do enquire first as equipment capabilities can vary between printing companies.

State delivery requirements:

Most printers will quote the transport for you. If it is within their free cartage area then no problem you will not pay. If however, you are delivering to Gauteng 50%, Western Cape 30%, and Kwa Zulu Natal 20%, let them know in advance and you will receive an accurate price for freight.

Payment Terms:

Most accounts will need to be settled 30 days from the date of the statement. This would be once your company fills in a credit application form. New clients might have to pay 50% upfront.
If you are willing to pay upfront, state this and ask what settlement discount you can get.

Be willing to pay a bit more for quality:

No one wants to pay more, but if the quality is high on your agenda rather spend that 5% more and go with printing quotes from a printer known for quality, your Complete Print Strategist will help here.

If you have any queries regarding print specs please drop us a mail and we will be glad to help.