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25 Tips to Control Printing Costs from Commercial Printing Company


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25 Tips to help you save money on your print jobs with Ryan Printing, Inc. We are a full-service commercial printer in Blauvelt, New York, serving Rockland county and the tri-State Business community

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25 Tips to Control Printing Costs from Commercial Printing Company

  1. 1. Follow us on: 25 Tips to Help You Save Money on Your Print Job
  2. 2.  Through a secure customer-branded store-front that can be setup on Ryan Printing’s servers, clients can access, customize and order their printing on-line. Web-to-Print offers significant savings in prepress, proofing and inventory control while improving workflow efficiency. Ask about tailoring web-based pricing, products, ordering, tracking, proofing, and much more, for your organization's specific needs.
  3. 3.  A great way to save time and money is to install a print driver on your desktop computer downloadable through Ryan Printing’s website. As easy as typing file print, this driver will correctly assemble, convert and send your digital file to us.
  4. 4.  Research has shown that when people receive something in the mail that has been personalized with their name, interests or lifestyle, they (not surprisingly) pay more attention to the piece. Though more expensive per piece to print, targeted print earns a much higher return on your print investment and makes print work harder. In fact, the U.S. Postal Service estimates that every dollar spent on direct marketing will return almost $12 in sales.
  5. 5.  If you are doing a mailing, print less and save money by setting aside time in the early phase of your project to update your mailing list. Remove unlikely respondents and duplicate addresses.  Keep Prepress Under Control  Prepress professionals at printers are responsible for ensuring that the electronic files that they receive from clients will print correctly on press. At prepress, client files are converted into a format that the press can read.
  6. 6.  Much like a pilot performs a series of cross-checks before taking off into the sky, file creators should pre- flight their documents to be alerted to missing fonts, images, colors, incorrect color space and transparency issues prior to uploading their raw files to a printer. Many industry-standard page layout applications, such as Adobe InDesign and Quark XPress have such features.
  7. 7.  The ideal format for transferring digital files is the Adobe Portable Document File (PDF), but not all PDF formats are alike. File creators should save their files as a press-ready PDF to gain maximum time savings during the proofing process, or use Ryan Printing's Web-to-Print Driver (see above). When working with Ryan Printing for the first time, consult with one of our prepress technicians before sending your file(s) to make sure everyone is on the same "page".
  8. 8.  Talk to your printer about whether your job can be printed on a digital printer. Ryan Printing's HP Indigo digital presses can usually match offset’s printing quality, and can be more cost effective. For shorter runs, digital printing may cost less, allow personalization, require less complicated prepress and involve less waste. Digital printing is not be suited for certain jobs, however, particularly those requiring certain types of paper or Pantone color matches, so speak with a Ryan Printing representative.
  9. 9.  As every printer will tell you, each print job is unique. Talk to a Ryan Printing representative early; don’t be afraid to ask about any potential prepress or production issues that can be avoided through better design.
  10. 10.  Nothing is truer than the old adage “haste makes waste” especially when it comes to printing. Rush jobs are charged an additional premium to accommodate rapid prepress, press time, fulfilment and mailing - try to avoid this!
  11. 11.  It might seem silly to mention this, but many print cost overruns are due to press downtime or reprints that results from avoidable mistakes such as typos, incomplete sentences, bad dates, wrong captions, etc. So take a breath, slow down and review your piece carefully with the spell checker on and off. Or better yet, have several people in your organization not involved with the project look it over prior to submitting it for print.  Design a Lower Cost Piece While Maintaining Brand Integrity
  12. 12.  Printers use a particular stock of paper for their everyday printing that has proven itself to be the most versatile in printing and reliable on press. This stock is purchased in large quantities at substantial discounts which can be passed on to you. Inquire about printing your job on house stock and ask to see samples so you can evaluate how your piece will look on that paper.
  13. 13.  Paper comes in different weights which affect its durability and its opacity. Heavier basis weight sheets of the same type of paper costs more money. For example, printing on an 80# cover stock versus a 100# cover stock can save you up to 20% in paper costs.
  14. 14.  If you are not concerned with slight differences between printed pieces for a particular job, ask your printer to suggest alternative papers that may be appropriate for your job. Will any of the recipients of your newsletter notice that their paper is slightly different from others? If not, be flexible and allow the printer to substitute similar papers to keep your costs down.
  15. 15.  Sometimes a design or organization's brand identity just calls for a special paper and paper must be ordered for the print job. Paper comes in cartons and the more cartons you buy, the less the unit cost of each sheet. If you know that you will be using more of this stock in the future, it pays to purchase it all at one time to take advantage of savings and to warehouse the rest at a nominal cost at the commercial printer. Be aware that if you print less than the carton amount, you are still responsible for paying for the carton price.
  16. 16.  The sheets of paper that are fed through digital and offset presses come in standard sizes up to 28" x 40". These large-size press sheets were created to easily fit multiples of commonly used finished sizes such as 8 ½" x 11" with minimal waste. Pieces that are designed to these standard sizes save paper as well as money.
  17. 17.  Given that paper comes in standard size sheets, sometimes reducing the size dimensions of your piece by a small amount will enable you to use more of each parent sheet of paper. Talk to your printer about your specific project to see whether this might be the case with paper you have chosen.
  18. 18.  Standard size envelopes save time and money. (See table for common invitation and commercial envelope sizes). Envelopes should be at least ¼" longer than the longest insert and the recommended clearance from top to bottom should be no less than ¼". Make extra allowances when inserts are thick or bulky. And stick with two color inks on your envelopes for the best price.
  19. 19.  Prior to printing, a piece is laid out (imposed) to utilize as much of the press sheet as possible. Multiple copies of the piece will be squeezed onto a sheet. Due to the particular dimensions of a piece, often there is extra room on the press sheet. Instead of wasting paper that is paid for, it might be possible to use the extra space for another printed piece (i.e. do a Combination (Gang) Run - see example).
  20. 20.  As a general rule, marketing pieces tend to work best using CMYK process colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) to take advantage of full-color offset and digital printing. Other products like invitations, business cards, envelopes and corporate stationery may work better and cost less printing in one or two spot Pantone colors. Often, brand identity determines which colors to be used, so consult your Ryan Printing representative to come up with the best solution for your needs.
  21. 21.  Speaking of inks, print jobs with solid ink coverage require more press time since it is harder to maintain consistent color and quality throughout the run. Consider using large solids carefully when determining the purpose of your design.
  22. 22.  Spot varnishes and laminates, metallic inks, die-cuts, embossing and debussing can add to the cost of printing. Depending on your goals and the end-use of the product, these special effects may be well worth it and even necessary (i.e. packaging or similar applications), but talk about this with a Ryan Printing reprehensive to weigh costs and benefits.
  23. 23.  If you anticipate needing more print pieces in the future, it often makes financial sense to print more of these pieces now. With offset printing, the more you print, the less it costs per piece. Printing involves various fixed costs regardless of the volume of printing such as prepress, imposition, making plates and setting up the plates and ink stations.  Choose Your Printer Wisely  Having an on-going dialogue and relationship with your printer is the key to printing smarter within your budget. Here are some qualities you should look for in choosing your printing partner.
  24. 24.  Not all printers are the same. Some, like Ryan Printing, offer graphic design, digital and offset printing, wide-format printing, binding and finishing, personalization, direct mailing and database management services in-house, while others subcontract part of their printing processes with outside vendors. Keeping your job in-house means more quality control, flexibility in meeting deadlines and lower cost.
  25. 25.  A little due-diligence on your part now may save you a bundle down the road. Ask for long-term client referrals to assess the quality of the printer’s work. Ask about the level of service they provide and their reliability history. Visit the printer and get a plant tour.
  26. 26.  Ryan Printing's clients know what a good printer does. A good printer asks questions and is concerned with your overall communication goals as well as your time and budget. A good printer is honest about what and when they can deliver. And a good printer takes the time to understand your objectives and to offer workflow, product or production solutions.
  27. 27. Contact Us: Call: 845-535-3235 300 Corporate Drive - Suite 6 Blauvelt NY 10913 FAX: 845-535-3234 Follow us on: