Archive for September, 2007

Clients sometimes request their booklets or flyer packets to be corner stapled. For the purposes of cost, this is a fine option. For purposes of presentation, corner stapling is not suggested.

For a more professional looking piece, a client should consider other binding methods, such as tape binding, spiral binding, hard cover binding, perfect binding, comb binding, velo binding, coil binding, saddle stitch, wire binding, etc. These options offer a more presentable look for marketing materials.

Here are some images of each option:

Coil BindingComb BindingHard Cover Binding

Perfect BindingSaddle StitchingSpiral Binding

Tape BindingVelo BindingWire Binding

When a company is promoting .35 a color copy, keep in mind two things: (1) It is only for a limited time; (2) 35 cents only includes single-sided documents (double the price for dual-sided copy work).

Some clients disregard the chargeability of design services. This could be due to the fact that designing is not necessarily a tangible item. Or maybe clients expect the costs to be rolled into the price of the product.

In any case, graphic design is not a free, unless you have family member willing to do so. Graphic design takes time, takes experience (i.e. portfolio), and requires quality communication. This service lives and breathes by the logic, ‘you get what you pay for’. If a service provider does not charge much for design work, then they probably do not have the experience or resources they need. More than that, if a client decides to be cheap about design work, good designers will ultimately put those projects on a ‘back-burner’, and/or not spend a lot of quality time on the creation, and/or allow only a certain numbers of changes, etc.  

It’s unfortunate that these actions can happen, but it is the truth. Maintaining competitiveness is absolutely appropriate, but trying to get away with something for nothing in the design world is ridiculous and can be deemed disrespectful.

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Some folks confuse offset printing with copier printing, meaning clients that are doing a copy job sometimes feel the price of service should trend downward when less color is used. Pricing according to the number of colors printed is a model that is used in offset printing (i.e. a 2-color project costs less than a 3-color project).

Copiers work on a per-click model. Everytime a service provider prints an impression (one side of an 8.5 x 11 page), they are charged a click, and each click costs a contracted amount of money (usually cents). Regardless, of how much toner is being used or not used, the click charge remains the same. Thus, service providers usually have a low and high range of what they are willing to charge per impression, but the price does not change based on what color is being used.

The low range tends to be around .39 per copy, but that price is misleading because it is based on each impression (single side), so a client would need to double that price for double-sided documents. Also, that price is usually a temporary loss leader anyway. The high range is typically around .88, and this does not matter if it is a single-sided document or double-sided document, so a client ends up spending more than they need to if they are printing single-sided documents.

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When does it make sense, in terms of pricing, to print my flyers on offset press?

This post explores when the quantities of color copy work and offset press match up in the total price. Keep in mind, the pricing is very general and is based on the pricing ProjectCenter offers to its clients.

Description of materials:
Copier- 8.5 x 11 regular color copy paper
Offset- 8.5 x 11 100lb Gloss Book

390 single-sided, or 240 double-sided Copy = 100 Offset
615 single-sided, or 375 double-sided Copy = 250 Offset
660 single-sided, or 405 double-sided Copy = 500 Offset
715 single-sided, or 450 double-sided Copy = 1000 Offset

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It is important to know that running a straight copy or print on a copier will produce non-printed borders. In other words, copiers inherently will not allow a client to print in full-bleed (artwork to the edge of the page). Copiers automatically produce around a 1/4″ border around the artwork.

In order to circumvent this limitation, a client would need to print the artwork on a paper size that is larger than the artwork specs, and then have the pages cut down to size. The cut will be placed just inside the outer edge of the artwork, subsequently allowing the artwork to cover the entire page.  Keep in mind though, that the service provider will mostly likely charge for this sort of work.

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Common logic would suggest that having the outside of a booklet printed on 100lb gloss cover, and printing the inside pages on gloss text, would be a good idea . Clients want to do this to differentiate the cover from the internal pages. Be aware that there is an issue with that, if the service provider is running a project on a copier.

If you are doing a basic fold and saddle stitch process, the artwork will tend to crack when the 100lb gloss cover page is folded. This is because of the combination of the way a copier prints to a page (more on this in a future post), and the thickness of the stock.

The good news is that artwork tends to be designed to proactively differentiate the cover from the internal pages anyway. If that is not enough, then consider printing the cover in color and the internal pages in black & white. Or use a different binding option altogether, such as spiral plastic coil, comb bind, etc.


ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit

Sometimes there are marketing clients that like to replicate a dollar bill as part of their marketing piece.  One has to be very careful as to how close the artwork matches the actual dollar bill. If it is too close of a match, a copy machine will literally lock up, and a service manager needs to come out to unlock the machine.

The suggestion would be to make the artwork look like a cartoon (‘funny money’) version of the real dollar.

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In past posts, we’ve discussed the difference between digital printing and spot color (offset) printing (see  

Spot color is a process by which a printer mixes colors, adjusts machinery, and runs the stock through the printers for every color used. Digital is just as it would suggest- the image is printed digitally, without much setup needed.

This article wonderfully explains the differences:


ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit

Earlier this month, we spoke of the benefits of scanning and document repository- services that are typically utilized by the legal industry.

One point that was not mentioned was the importance of handling such materials, in terms of federal regulation. With the weight of such policies, it would seem even more beneficial to have a service provider handle the scan and depository work.

Read more about these regulations here:

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Quality is the name of the game in book printing. Very little can be wrong with book printing due to the high visibility and longevity of the product.

For other very important reasons, see this the article by BRIOprint:

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It is not uncommon for a client to be behind schedule, and then push a printer to provide better turn-around times. ‘Shit rolls downhill’ is such an unclassy description of this scenario, yet it could not be more true. The client is in a ‘shitty’ situation, the printer ends up mixed up in that ‘shitty’ situation, and there is a big chance that the project will end up turning out ‘shitty’ in terms of quality.

So, the ultimate resolution for clients is to take the path of least resistance and try to find a printer that will meet their timely needs. Some online print companies will taut a 48-hour turn-around time. But what most clients do not realize is all the stipulations that go along with such marketing.

In every situation, the 48-hour clock does not begin ticking until the proofs are approved completely, and a proofing process could take days to complete by itself. Furthermore, a client will, without fail, pay substantially more for faster turn-around times, not to mention all the other charges for proofing, shipping, handling, finishing, etc.

This method of promising something and ringing up more charges throughout a single buying experience (i.e. services and accessories) is a classic Dell computers method of business. Online printers are embracing this approach to business more than ever before.

Can a printer shorten the printing time slighty? If it is a loyal, reasonable client, then the answer is yes. Does a printer want to get into a habit of doing that? Absolutely not, because the risk level of poor performance gets higher everytime this scenario rears its ugly head. 

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