With a bit of knowledge – we recommend these five great tips – you can level the playing field and ensure that you are able to request a design and print quote without having the wool pulled over your eyes by the printing company providing you with quotes.
1. Clearly establish what you need to get Designed or Printed:
There are a lot of interchangeable terms in design and print and this can add to the confusion when you come to request a quote.
For example, what exactly is the difference between a printed flyer, printed leaflet or printed brochure? Surprisingly the answer is not very much and the terms are frequently used to indicate very similar printed products.
However, as a guide bear this in mind.
A flyer tends to be a single page and the term ‘printed flyer’ usually indicates a lower quality of design and print. It’s cheap and cheerful in other words.
The term leaflet usually refers to something which might be halfway between a single page printed flyer and a full printed brochure. A leaflet might still only consist of a single side of paper, but it can equally be made up of a sheet of paper which is folded to create 4 or more pages.
Meanwhile a full blown printed brochure usually indicates something more substantial and usually consists of multiple pages.
The same confusion can be caused by the names of other printed products. For example a business card and a calling card are pretty much the same thing.
So if you are planning to get a design or print quote for a flyer, leaflet or brochure then be sure to bear these distinctions in mind. They’re not absolute but this knowledge will help you speak the printers language from the outset.
2. Paper or card is usually referred to as ‘stock’ or ‘material’ by printers:
There are many different types of paper which professional printers will tend to refer to as ‘material’ and you can request a print quote on different ‘weights’, that’s just thickness or paper or card. However, if you fail to specify the weight of paper that you’re after then your printer may well select the weight for you. That’s fine and it is probably being done with the best of intentions, but the problem is that you may find that if you are getting more than one design or print quote, they are all based on slightly different criteria – in this case by having a different thickness of paper used for each quote. This becomes more critical the longer the print run, so be clear in your own mind the basis upon which you’re getting your printing quoted. You can always vary the actual material you use later on, but at least you will have established an equivalent quality of paper for each quote.
3. Know your GSM and Microns:
A further complication can creep in to your design and print quote because of the different descriptions applied to different types of card stock.
Although paper is always measured in GSM or Grams per Square Metre, strangely enough card sometimes isn’t. Instead card is frequently referred to in Microns. So is there a comparison? The answer is not directly, but bear in mind that 300microns is probably equivalent to only 250gsm.
Whatever else you do make sure that you ask everyone to quote on the same basis. There is nothing more frustrating than discover too late that the design and print company that you chose based their printing estimate on a completely different basis to another print company who would have done a better job. Good luck getting your accurate Design and Print quote.