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Printing Costs: A Guide

Printing Costs

When it comes to printing your company’s marketing material, promotional material, internal communications or stationery, the quality of printing and materials is of great importance. But while a certain standard of print quality is non-negotiable, it’s the printing costs that will really determine which printing company gets your business.

With the huge array of printing companies on the market, the almost infinite number of products and countless variations, some people would think that trying to write a pricing guide to Printing Costs was a fool’s errand. Well, today Approved Index are your fools because we’ve tried to pool all our collected knowledge on printing costs into one simple guide.

How Are Printing Costs Decided?

Printing costs for a standard print job are determined by three factors: the amount of materials (paper and ink) required, the number of different images (pages) to be printed per document and the method of printing itself. The first factor is self evident. The other two relate to different methods of printing

  • Digital Printing is done on professional quality laser or inkjet printers. Every page is printed as if it was the first time and takes the same time to print.
  • Litho Printing uses much larger machinery. The initial image for each page is created on a plate (or aluminium drum or rubber roller) which can then print the image an unlimited number of times.

The consequences are that litho printing is a much more cost effective method for printing high volumes of the same image, whereas using it for small, one-off jobs is not cost effective at all. The opposite is true for digital printing. The grey area in between involves jobs which are of medium volume but require many different images or pages (which each require a new plate to be set-up in litho printing).

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Printing Costs for Digital and Litho Printing

Most times you won’t know which method of printing you’re being quoted for. Most printing companies have the equipment to perform both types of printing and the different print qualities are almost indistinguishable from each other. Every printing company will have worked a printing costs matrix out in advance so they’ll just feed your requirements into their database and give you their lowest quote, regardless of the technology involved.

Guide to Average Printing Costs

We’re selecting prices at random from Approved Printing Companies suppliers. We’re going to use a price-per-unit for each of flyers, brochures, business cards, letterheads and posters to give you an indication of how these prices change with volume (in brackets). Prices will apply to full colour prints with a paper weight of 130gsm with a gloss finish, unless otherwise stated. This is only to give a rough idea of costs – if you’re looking for prices for a specific job, you’re best off getting quotes from several suppliers which you can accomplish easily through our simple online form.

  • Single sided A6 – From 0.7p (20k) to 4.5p (1k) per flyer
  • Double sided A5 – From 1.3p (20k) to 9p (1k) per flyer

Based on 32pp, 130gsm throughout, staple bound (saddle stitched)

  • A4 - Prices from 38p (10k) to £3.01 (250) per brochure
  • A5 – Prices from 20.1p (10k) to £1.61 (250) per brochure
Business Cards

Based on 400gsm matt laminated, double-sided, full colour

  • Prices from 3.8p (5k) to 18p (250) per card
A4 Letterheads

Based on 120gsm single-sided, full colour

  • Prices from 2.58p (50k) to 29.6p (250) per letterhead

Based on full-colour, single-sided, 170gsm gloss

  • A3 prices from 6.22p (25k) to 56p (250) per poster
  • A2 prices from 12p (25k) to 59.6p (250) per poster

Compare Printing Costs

As we’ve indicated, prices vary a lot between different suppliers so gathering as many quotes as you can for each printing job is essential to finding the best value. Aside from printing cost, quality of printing also varies so asking to see, or be sent, samples of similar jobs before choosing a supplier isn’t out of order. If you have ongoing printing costs it might be worth taking on a print management company so you can benefit from discounts applied to repeated orders.

The best way to find the best printing prices is to compare supplier quotes. Approved Index can help here - we use your specifications to find the best and most suitable printers for you. Get your tailored printer quote today with Approved Index.

Complete the quick and easy form at the top of this page to compare UK printers today.

Find the best Printing Company for your business with Approved Index.