Why Large Volumes of Print Represent Much Better Value
You can see by comparing prices of 500 and 5,000 of our business
cards that 10 times the quantity
of cards cost less than three times as much? Why is this?
The answer is in the process used to print your cards. We use litho (lithographic)
printing which uses aluminium plates to transfer ink, via a series of rollers,
to the sheets of paper or card.
The plates are costly to produce, but once made, can produce one or one
million prints – the cost of the ink and paper is relatively very small.
Quite often, if you contact us our Freephone Design Advice Line or by email, we
will suggest an alternative quantity of a particular product if the next
a significant saving.
This is not a 'hard-sell'; it's our belief that it would be wrong not to
advise you of the (often very small) cost difference between the minimum
order quantity and the next quantity break.
Since the plates are expensive, can they be kept and used for future
Unfortunately not. At one time, plates were made using a process similar
to developing photographs. They were exposed to light, developed, and 'fixed'
which meant they could be kept indefinitely with careful storage. This meant
that future reprints were possible at a significant cost saving.
Today, plates are manufactured using a CtP (computer to plate) system, which
is much faster and more environmentally sound. Lasers 'etch' the image into
the plates, a lot like a laser printer in your home or office.
The downside of the process is that because the plates are light-sensitive,
they last only a day or two before deteriorating beyond use. Future reprints
therefore need to have new plates manufactured, which means there is no cost
However, the new techniques of batch printing that computerisation has brought
about – where your job is printed alongside dozens of others – is so efficient
for the vast majority of printed
significantly over the last 15 years or so.
Plan ahead and save money
If you can predict with some accuracy what your likely use of business cards,
leaflets, letterheads and so forth is likely to be, it makes sense to order
as large a volume as possible (providing of course you have the storage space).
Beware of some of the pitfalls associated with ordering and storing large
volumes of print, however. It is clearly a false economy to order a large
quantity of letterheads, only to end up disposing of half of them
because you have moved offices.
We are always happy to suggest ways of modifying an existing design to avoid
as many of these pitfalls as possible. Please feel free to contact us for
a no-obligation chat about your ideas on Freephone 0800 077 6467.