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How Much Does Print Cost – A Guide

When it comes to printing your company’s marketing material, promotional material, internal communications or stationery, the quality of printing and materials is of great importance but you also have to weigh that up against the budget you have plus how quickly you need it. Often, it is a trade off between the three factors of high quality, speed and cost.

Also, with so many different options on paper, colour, size and finishing options the range of possible prices is huge. The even more confusing thing is you can take the same specification to three different printers and get prices that vary by up to 100% between the three. This is usually down to the type if equipment that each printer uses plus they may choose to put their own different mark-up on the labour and materials costs.

So trying to answer the question of how much print costs is very much like asking how long is a piece of string. However, the team at D2R have pooled all their knowledge into this article to try and give a you very easy to follow guide so at least you will be well informed when speaking to printing companies about cost.

colored printers rolls

What Are The Main Factors That Govern Printing Costs?

There are broadly four main factors that govern printing costs: the quantity you need, the size plus number of pages, any finishing touches and method of printing, i.e. litho, large format or digital printing. So let’s look at these in turn:

Quantity – there are economies of scale so the more you print, the cheaper the unit price becomes. The main reason for this is there is usually a fixed setup cost the printer has no matter how many you print. Therefore, the higher the quantity the cheaper it is as the setup cost can be spread over the whole quantity of items.

Size – common print sizes are A5, A4, A3 (A3 is twice the size of A4 and so on) so printing in these standard sizes is cheaper than printing in an odd size that falls in between these sizes as there is more paper wastage.

Number of pages – if you are printing a double-sided leaflet then the number of pages is two. If you printing a folded leaflet (i.e. an A4 sheet folded in half) the number of pages is 4 and so on. Once you combine the number of pages with the quantity you arrive at the total number of printing impressions.

Finishing Touches – examples of this include the type of paper you use, whether you want to add lamination, if you want the print cut to a specific shape or even if you want varnish some areas of the print. All this will increase the cost of the print.

Method Of Printing – broadly speaking this splits into litho printing, digital printing and large format printing. Litho printing is economical for large quantities and has a longer lead time, digital printing has a short lead time but is no as economical on large quantities and large format printing is broadly for anything bigger than A3 size.

Sample Print Costs

We have selected some frequently printed items below just to give you an idea of how pricing works. These are very rough guide and will vary from printer to printer and are also subject to change due to various factors so please check with your printer for the actual price.

Based on 170gsm paper

  • 170gsm gloss paper
  • Single sided A6 – qty of 5k @ £95, qty of 10k @ £145
  • Double sided A5 – qty of 5k @ £170, qty of 10k @ £245


Based on 20 pages, 170gsm throughout, staple bound (saddle stitched)

  • A4 – qty of 500 @ £700, qty of 1000 @ £975
  • A5 – qty of 1000 @ £575, qty of 2000 @ £860

Business Cards
Based on 450gsm, matt laminated both sides, double-sided, full colour

  • Qty of 250 @ £45, qty of 500 @ £65

A4 Letterheads
Based on 120gsm single-sided, full colour

  • Qty of 1000 @ £85, qty of 2000 @ £125

Based on full-colour, single-sided, 170gsm gloss

  • A3 – qty of 250 @ £85, qty of 500 @ £130
  • A2 – qty of 100 @ £120, qty of 250 @ £165


As you can see, there are a lot of variable when it comes to prices but we hope this article arms you with enough information so you can have an educated conversation with your printer. Quality of the end product will also vary from printer to printer so please ask for samples before you proceed with the job and ensure they send you a proof before they print.

If you need any further help then just contact us and we would be happy to talk it through with you.

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