FAQ: How to Save Money on Small-Format Printing

Small-format printing typically refers to prints up to 11” x 17.” These prints often include specification books, flyers, posters, note cards and more. Because of the nature of these prints, customers typically order large quantities, which can amplify the price of the project. But don’t worry, if you’re working with a tight printing budget, we’re here to help! Check out these 6 tips to saving money on small-format printing:

1. Be flexible on print size. 

At Alabama Graphics, we charge per “impression,” not necessarily by the final quantity of prints. So, if you are flexible on the finished size of your project, we may can fit more prints at a smaller size on one page, which will save you money. For instance, if you’re interested in printing 6” x 8.5” flat cards, consider 5.5”x 8.5” instead, because we can fit two of those smaller cards on one page, essentially, allowing you to print twice as many cards at the same price.

2. Determine if double-sided prints are necessary. 

Because we charge per impression, double-sided printing is twice the cost of single-sided printing. So, if you’re working with a tight budget, determine if the single-line of text or solid color on the back of the card is necessary. If you can limit your project to a one-sided page, you’ll cut your costs in half!

3. Ask us if we can offer you a quantity price break.

When you’re ordering large quantities (typically 500 or more), there are often price breaks that we can offer. For example, sometimes it is cheaper to order 5,000 flyers even if you only need 3,000. Our experts should let you know what the costs will be at the specific quantities that you’re interested in, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

4. Be aware that paper makes a difference.

We have a nice variety of paper on hand, but if you need a specific paper that we do not carry, it could incur extra charges. Let us know the specific paper you have in mind, and if it isn’t something we carry, we can help you determine a cost-effective alternative.

5. Don’t order at the last minute. 

By ordering in advance, you can avoid paying rush charges to ensure your project is complete, and on time. If your order requires binding or folding, it’s very important to allow for extra turnaround time, especially if it’s a large order, as this will extend processing time.

6. Skip the “bleed.” 

Bleed refers to a print in which the image extends all the way to the edges of the page. Files with bleed cost more to print since they will need to be trimmed down or printed on over-sized paper in some cases. For instance, if your design is a standard size (like 8.5″ x 11″) and has white all along the edges, it will be less expensive!

All in all, we’re here to provide you with the best printing solution possible and want to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. Give us a call today to see what we can do to minimize your printing costs!

Birmingham: 800-292-3806 • 205-252-8505    Montgomery: 800-463-5610 • 334-263-0529