Where to save money on Printed Folders. You might well be in a position whereby you are tasked to source Printed Folders and not really have much idea about the costs. This little post is all about the things that go into Printed Folders and hopefully, from that, you will start to see where you could save money. Let’s start with a list of the cost elements:
Colours and printed sides
The size of the actual folder itself is relevant in relation to its economical placement onto a standard sheet size, in this case SRA2 640×450. If you consider a standard folder is A4 210×297 and consists of four pages, that in itself makes 420×594 without any capacity or pockets. Clearly the bigger size sheet you require the more costly the job and similarly if you end up on a bigger press due to the sheet size, then the costs start to rise rapidly. In simple terms, the bigger the folder and pockets and gussets the more costly the paper will be.
The shape is also important because it will ultimately need to be cut out of the backing for making up. This is done (usually) via means of a cutting form which presses the sheet and creases where needed and cuts the outside lines including business card slots. In the first instance the cost of the cutter must be paid for and the more complex and bigger the shape, the more costly this die shape is. However, it will last around 20k-30k impressions and so usually is a one off cost. The more reputable printers will offer you the range of their standard cutters, which tend to be glued or self locking, capacity (range) or none, different shaped pockets, business card slots etc. You can see it is more efficient to speak to the printer first to get the shape and work to that than get your own cutter made if you are starting out with a new project.
The number of colours used and the number of sides printed adds to the printing cost. Standard would be four colour process (photo quality) and then special colours according to your brand, and the sides refers to the Outside or Cover and the inside. Typically on a B2 press the sheet is printed one side, if the inside is required, the sheets need to be turned and run back through the machine for the inside to be printed adding to the cost. If there are special colours used, these have to be put into the ink ducts and then washed out clean after use, which is going to be adding to the cost.
The material always makes a difference in printing, generally you have recycled, silk, gloss or uncoated and then special papers with heavier weights or structural properties such as anti cracking. This would be important if you were not laminating (to save be eco friendly) and used a solid ink coverage across the creases. Weaker paper would tend to crack in these positions showing white through the crease. A 300gsm to 350gsm coated paper is standard. There are literally so many variables on paper this could run into a book so we will leave it there. Suffice to say, the heavier or more specialist the paper, the dearer it will be.
Quantity is only really important on folders because of the processes involved and so it is always worthwhile getting the maximum you can use made up plus 10% in case of extra requirements. Definitely do not go for the exact number or just under as you may well end up having to get a smaller run done at vast expense.
Finishes could be lamination and how many sides, spot varnishes and area used. The lamination will protect the folders from wear damage and marking, gloss tends to be the favoured option but matt looks much more classy with the chance of marking. Again the more fancy you go the dearer it will make the job.
Capacity is important on a glued folder, and not so much on self locking. If you consider the hand finishing required in folding to shape a capacity folder you can see huge costs involved, particularly on the smaller capacities as the tighter creasing is much more difficult to coax into shape. This hand finishing will form a significant part of the cost.
Fixing type of which there are two, glued and self locking. Pretty much speak for themselves, glued will be done by the factory and self locking is usually left to the customer at their end. Self locking initially could be dearer because of the shape required and consequently form cost if it isn’t already in existence, but otherwise due to no hand finishing should be cheaper to produce. You are just left with the quick putting together when you need them.
The delivery is important. Consider a 10mm capacity glued folder. These will take up large amounts of space in boxes and then the courier costs in transit. Obviously, a self locking folder will be sent flat and parcelled up, so that parcel will be quite big and heavy.
Hopefully that gives you an insight into why Printed Folders are costly print items and how you might ultimately be able to save yourself some money. In any event, we are always happy to discuss with you and walk through the job with you. We want happy customers.