Communicating Lasting Impressions

7 Tips to Cut the Cost of Printed Marketing Materials

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Graphic design and other choices made before printed marketing materials reach the press can significantly affect the cost. When planning annual reports, newsletters, brochures, direct mail and other marketing collaterals, consider these seven tips to help cut printing costs.cut-cost-of-printed-marketing-materials-

  1. Use standard paper sizes. 8.5” x 11” letter size is economical to print. So is 11” x 17” legal size. Bleeding ink off the edge of the page generally increases the cost because a larger sheet is required for printing, then trimming.
  2. Compare the weight of papers. Cover stock is heavier and more costly than text stock. Yet it is ideal for publication covers, business cards, postcards and brochures. Depending on the marketing materials and their use, it might make sense to use a lower weight cover stock. Some brands sell a text stock that is of comparable weight to a cover stock.
  3. Print on the proper press. Printing on a digital press rather than an offset press is more affordable, but design and quantity dictate machine choice. Digital presses are good for small runs. Printers differ on what they consider small, so ask. With that said, printers offer volume discounts so don’t underestimate your needs.
  4. Omit or reduce large areas of solid colors. Solids are beautiful, but to look rich they need offset printing where operators can make micro-fine adjustments to the color. Press checks by graphics professionals add to publication costs.
  5. Print multiple pieces. When possible, print marketing materials as a single job. Good examples include direct mail campaigns or brochure series. Sometimes there is room to add a business or thank you card to the side of a publication cover to maximize paper use.
  6. Submit proper digital files. Commercial printers appreciate art files that are press-ready. This involves using industry-standard design software, correctly linking images that contain the proper resolution, using the right color system for the selected printing process, allowing for creep (paper shifting away from center spine in saddle-stitched publications) and a host of other design intricacies.  
  7. Avoid rush charges. Ask about the time needed for normal printing and stay on schedule. 

The Mills Agency has written, designed and printed marketing materials, numbering in the thousands, for schools, colleges, hospitals and nonprofits. View some of them here. Then contact us about producing creative and affordable publications for you.