Print buying advice

We often receive requests from customers about printing leaflets, brochures, invitations or flyers. Sometimes we've been asked where to print things, so we've thought it might be useful and save much time and money for our customers by providing this page of advice which lists printers we have regularly used and found to be competitive or offering distinct services economically. This list contains the full-colour or 4/4 prices for key products:

When it comes to printing banners and banner stands, we always use Colour Graphics, who appear to be far and away the best value for money, their products are of a high quality and we use them all the time for our conferences and exhibitions. Other stuff, however, can be a little more complex to get the best price/delivery time/quality combination, so here is a little matrix of decent printers (we use Azimuth predominantly) to help you choose...

Printer Comparison [Last updated: 15/10/2010]
Printers Size: A6, Qty: 1k Size: A6, Qty: 5k Size: A5, Qty: 5k Size: A5, Qty: 4pp, 1k Size: BC, Qty: 250
Azimuth Print  -  £128 £210 £133 £45.82 inc VAT
Solopress £95 £115 £220 £170 £55
247printhouse £80 £95 £190 ask £64.63 inc VAT
Fatflyers £90 £135 £240 £269 £75
A Local Printer £79 £85 £164 £109 £45.80 inc VAT

Useful information

Solopress have produced a helpful guide which explains the different file formats that most printers require artwork to be provided in (as this can often be quite complicated). It includes a link to an online PDF converter:

Some general advice:

  • VAT may or may not apply to your items! Check!
  • Don't expect all copies to be perfect.
  • Don't demand an impossible turnaround - you get what you pay for, typically these guys will do 5 working days, which is very very good. If you want 3 days, you'll be paying for the near impossible! Better off to be more organised and have your content and therefore file ready well in advance.
  • Get your file right first time! Have it proofread by your friends, colleagues, neighbours, pets, etc.
  • Double check your files. These days proofs from pdfs typically display errors that already exist in the file you sent the printer. If you'd checked it carefully before you sent it, you'd have saved time and corrections (which cost money). A good trick is to get someone else to have a good look at your file before you send it off - they will be less familiar with it, so more likely to notice error you may have grown blind to.
  • Don't harass the printer. These businesses are cheap and efficient, but if you harass them endlessly they won't be able to serve their other customers as well and the whole process is slowed down.