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Top 7 Paper Tips That Will Lower Your Printing Costs

By Margie Gallo Dana

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Printing is a highly-specialized field, yet every business person needs to deal with commercial printers. Many things can impact your printing costs, including size, quantity, ink colors, and paper. Paper is perhaps the #1 variable that affects your price the most. And there are lots of ways to save money in the proper selection of paper.

So, here are 7 insider tips that will help you choose wisely when considering paper for your printed materials -- because there’s a lot more to it than coated vs. uncoated or color vs. white!

  1. Paper typically constitutes 30% or more of your bill, so choose very carefully.

  2. Using a printer’s "house sheet" can save you money. (A "house sheet" refers to paper that a printer buys in bulk and keeps on hand.) But, since it may change, be sure to inquire about it every time.

  3. The weight of your paper can seriously impact your mailing costs. Always have a blank "dummy" weighed at the post office before going ahead with a major print job that's going to be mailed. (Although ink itself will add weight, believe it or not!)

  4. Avoid using coated paper for such things as forms or reply cards. Ball point pens may not work; flair pens will smear.

  5. The industry revolves around the 8½" x 11" sheet of paper, so the most cost-effective jobs are often multiples of this size.

  6. Uncoated is cheaper than coated paper; white paper is cheaper than colored paper; and lighter-weight paper is cheaper than heavier paper.

  7. Print only the amount you need. Why waste all that paper -- and that money -- by having thousands of printed pieces getting dusty in inventory. Plan wisely, shoot for zero waste. Consider digital printing, which is ideal for short runs.

    Paper has the ability to change the look and impact of every job. To be safe, always consult with your designer and/or printer when choosing paper.

Margie Gallo Dana is president of Dana Consulting in Chestnut Hill, MA. Her firm helps printers market themselves better to customers and helps business people make smart decisions about printing. Margie sends out a free PRINT TIP OF THE WEEK via email.

To subscribe, email her at gallogirl@msn.com Or she can be reached at (617) 730-5951. A public speaker and an author, Margie's mission is to eliminate the misconceptions between consumers and the printing industry.

Margie Dana
Dana Consulting
118 Arlington Rd
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
617/730-5951
617/731-8022 (F)

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Article Submitted On: September 06, 2000