With public schools and universities watching their budgets fall year after year, finding ways to save money is becoming a top priority in many districts. Everything from teacher’s salaries to classroom supplies is being tossed under the axe, and the cost of educational printing is no exception.
Despite the popularity of digital materials, printing projects are far from extinct. Everything from the forms you distribute to your students to the programs you pass out at your basketball games and the yearbooks that go around each June comes hot off the press. Here are 6 ways to scale back the cost of your educational printing projects without giving up the quality you deserve:
1. Do the design yourself. The cost of designing a particular project often far exceeds the cost to actually print it. You can save thousands just by looking around for a software (or a company willing to sub-license the software) that will let you generate your own designs so all your printers have to do is put those designs to paper.
2. Order in bulk. While digital printing is slowly but surely closing the gap between the cost of individual projects and the cost of a bulk order, many print shops will still offer you a discount for ordering 1,000 copies of a project rather than one. It never hurts to ask, or to think ahead to what you can store away for next year!
3. Build a relationship with a certain print shop. Insurance isn’t the only thing you can save money on by becoming a repeat customer. Educational printing is an ongoing process, and it’s really, really nice to have someone sitting at the helm who’s going to know exactly what you want before you have 3,000 copies of it sitting on your desk rather than after.
4. Shop at the right time. There are peak hours for everything, including educational printing. Print shops are filled with orders for programs, graduation invitations and announcements and poster projects in August and September, December and April and May. Order a project during the “downtime” (preferably well before you need it) and you may be able to negotiate a lower price.
5. Shop around. Every print shop is different, and every shop prices their projects a little differently. You certainly don’t want to settle for a second rate printing facility just because it’s cheap, but there are plenty of places who will do a great job that won’t charge you an arm and a leg in the process.
6. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Corporations spend hours negotiating the prices of their business printing projects. Don’t let the cost of producing your project blow your budget because you’re afraid to do the same.