Illustration by Thomas Kerr

This image has nothing to do with the text below.

Starting at the rear – the end use of the printed piece determines how production must proceed:

A mailing piece, folded? A book bound from loose pages or folded signatures? Letterheads or fliers packed in bulk or more carefully for longer storage? Special finishing for mounting, die cutting or machine insertion. Stickers on rolls or flat sheets?

Then the quality of the printing required: How difficult will it be to print? How exacting are the customer's standards? All affect the method of printing, type of paper stocks, size of press, and degree of finishing.

Which production method will produce the best finished job, within a given turnaround time, while still meeting the customer's budgetary limitations?

These are the questions a printer has to consider when pricing a job. A price that meets the budget, in both the immediate sense of what the customer can afford for the current job and the long range sense of whether the price appears reasonable enough for the customer to return with future the same time remembering, Me, the Printer must make a reasonable profit in order to stay in business and serve his customers.

– Joel "Sticker Dude" Cohen
Ragged Edge Press, NYC

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