How can we reduce our association printing costs without sacrificing quality?

Printed materials have long been important to associations, and will likely continue to be important to most associations for some time to come. But printers recognize the cost pressures that web sites and email have put on printed materials, leading some associations to reduce or even eliminate printed materials in favor of electronic communications. While there are many strategies for your association to reduce print material costs, many printers are offering an excellent option: gang-run printed materials. This refers to programs in which printers will run several standard-size jobs on the same print run, greatly reducing the cost for each inpidual job. As a result, associations can obtain excellent pricing on postcards, fliers, 4-page brochures, sales rack-type cards, business cards and more. There are three downsides to the gang or group printing runs for associations:

1) The turn around timing is fixed, making it difficult for your association to use the program if you are in a great hurry.

2) Custom printing or higher-page counts don’t work in most cases – you have to stick with the standard program sizes rather than your association’s special sizes or shapes.

3) Quality may suffer slightly if you have exacting requirements for your association materials. Note that most group run programs use CMYK and don’t allow any Pantone colors, so you’ll have to settle for the CMYK equivalent of your Pantone color, which can be less than ideal for some brighter colors.

Despite the disadvantages mentioned above, if your association can work within the schedule, size and quality limits, the special group run printing programs can save your association a great deal of money.

Has your association used special low-cost printing programs on your standard size printed materials? Have you been happy with the results?

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