There are a few questions that always crop up when discussing a new print project, 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 – 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 the print run. But once set up, sheets can run 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 easily be updated.
Another is “How many pages/sections”? If the design element has not been completed it’s the perfect time to discuss, as we can let you know the “ideal” finished sizes to minimise both print & finishing machine set up time – for lower volumes of up to a few thousand copies in particular (but not exclusively) the difference can be substantial.
As a common example, it’s a lower cost to complete 2,000 copies of an A4 32pp + 4pp cover Brochure than it is for 28pp + 4pp – print cost is pretty much identical, but finishing set up is lower for 32pp internal section. Similarly, with Books simply adding 2pp or 4pp can reduce the binding set up and at the same time have no impact on print cost; with advance knowledge job can be designed with this in mind; or, if design/layout is finalised and/or immoveable, we can add a “notes” section at the back as a non-intrusive solution.
For “non-standard” page sizes, by suggesting a reduction of just a few mm in some cases we’ve saved clients thousands of pounds – eliminates material wastage & reduces finishing.
I’ll expand a little on the above in the future, but in the interim please get in touch if you have any immediate questions and/or upcoming projects that fit into above categories, where a little advance planning will pay dividends.