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Design quotes…It’s not just about the bottom line

Quoting is a vital part to the commercial world. It allows clients, new or old, to get a better idea of how much a project may cost. By nature, each quote is very different and depends on the requirements supplied by our clients.

Let’s take an example of a printed 32-page product brochure.

Graphic design costs

The costs will have to include initial designs for approval and artwork formatting of master pages for all relevant sections of the catalogue. Product lists require specific typesetting and table formatting so that will be included in the design costs. Time taken for supplied image retouching, resolution, colour mode amendments must be taken into account and will be based on the number of images in question, as well as any research and costs for additional imagery from photo libraries and licenses. We will source the necessary information for plans and map work, any translations requested and if copywriting is required, that will be costed on an hourly basis. All of which will go into the melting pit when costs for the brochure design.

Our efficiency

During the actual production of a piece of design work, dividing the brochure project into sections means that we can have multiple designers working on the project at the same time. But, by setting up master style sheets and pages, continuity is maintained throughout the design process and gives a beautiful and cohesive outcome. This division of labour also means we always meet tight deadlines…. the same amount of hours but a much quicker turnaround. The job will then be collated into one final document and proof read before the brochure is put through the final print preparation and pre-flight checks in readiness for print.


design studio cardiff


Print management

Print management of the catalogue will involve liaising with our carefully selected print house to get the best price for our client, based on our print specification and requirements. This can include if a job is to be litho or digitally printed, the material or stock that will be used, the number of pages (which for printing purposes must be divisible by 4 to avoid blank pages) and any finishes such as; machine varnish, lamination, spot UV, foil blocking or embossing. Perfect bound or stapled, packing and delivery details. Our artwork for the brochure will have to take into account printers specifications and specialist artwork requirements where finishes are being used and be fully prepared and print ready before being uploaded to the printers’ server. For example, if you were to have an element on the cover spot UV’d, you would have to create a new document with the specified element in the exact place it is on the main brochure document, but in black. This way the printer will know when they print it, it will overlay the cover in the correct position and shape. The same process would apply for foil blocking, embossing, varnish etc. As with most things, print preparation takes time and careful attention to ensure the design files are all correct before being printed. This allows each job to have the time and attention it needs to look great for you and your business.

We would also have to consider time taken to supply any retouched images back to the client, as well as supply a suitable pdf file for emailing or online purposes.

Time and effort

As a design agency we don’t pick our pricing figures out of the air; our costs are based on the time it takes to carry out the work, the number of designers involved on the project and the various aspects of work required. Every figure we supply to our clients is a tailored quote based on the exact requirements of the work based on the initial design brief.

Most may not initially realise just how much time and skill goes into the production of a design and print job, and as you can see…. it’s not just about the bottom line.

But what about a digital project?

See our second part next week on how we quote for a digital project.

Get in touch

Looking to get a brochure or catalogue design quote for your next project? At Martin Hopkins we offer a professional agency service that helps your business grow through tailored thoughtful design. If you would like to chat to us about a quote, call us on 029 2046 1233 or email info@martinhopkins.co.uk

Alternatively, we have an online project planner:

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