You Are Reading

Design For Print: Costing

*Written in my own words*

Costing a Job 
Before you start work on a brief you should gather some estimates on how much it is likely to cost to be printed therefore you can know yourself and tell your client know approximately how much something will cost as this determined what is possible as all client will have a budget they will be working to. As a designer you will always be limited by what the client’s budget it however it is important to try and be as creative as possible with the limitations of the budget and to be resourceful. This is why it is important to get quotes up front before designing as you may need to change aspects of a design accordingly.

When gathering quotes it is ideal to collect a minimum of three quotes from three different companies for the same service this will ensure that you are getting the best deal and your not over paying for something that can be done by another company for a much cheaper price. Three is a minimum the more quotes you have the more likely you are to get a better deal.

It can also be a useful skill to learn how much standard pieces cost to print, such as printing with standard paper sizes and standard print methods this will make it easier to work with clients and give them a rough estimate for what they can afford within their budget. Understanding viable minimal quantities can also help with quoting and understanding what can and can not be done within a budget. For example offset lithography wouldn’t be used for a print run of 50 pieces. Therefore understanding minimum quantities for different print methods and techniques is essential.

Additionally avoiding extras can also reduce any impact on the final cost of print job which many not have been allocated for. When the printer makes has to make changes to a document such as spelling errors and colour specifications these will be charged and can increase the production. It is therefore essential that all errors are avoided, however it is humanly impossible for everything to run perfectly so allow some extra money as a back up.

Delivery of a product is also a cost that is often forgotten about and can dramatically increased the overall cost of production. Paper is a heavy and dense material therefore delivery can be extremely expensive and this price needs to be agreed with the print company before confirming the contract with then, this will also prevent any unexpected charges appearing on the bill which haven’t been allocated.

[Calvert S, Casey A and Dabner D. (2010) 'A Foundation Course for Graphic Designers Working in Print, Moving Images and Digital Media' London, Thames and Hudson]

[Ambrose, G and Harris, P. (2009) 'The Fundamentals of Graphic Design' Switzerland, AVA Publishing]

[Ambrose, G and Harris, P. (2008) 'The Production Manual' Switzerland, AVA Publishing]

[Fishel, C. (2007) 'Mastering Materials, Bindings and Finishes' USA, Rockport Publisher, Inc.]

[Mason, D. (2007) 'Materials, Process, Print: Creative Solutions for Graphic Design' London, Laurence King]

Comments for this entry

Leave your comment


Copyright 2011 All rights reserved