Printing Own Stationery vs Buying from Printers

  minstrel2nd 21:49 30 Jul 2005

Hi Everyone

This is my first posting so I hope I've come on to the correct forum. I run a small business where I require reasonably high quality headed paper, business cards and compliments slips. I'm toying with rthe idea of purchasing a colour laser printer and printing my own in order to save costs.

Has anyone out there looked at the pros and cons?

Particular points of note are:
Time required

Any help would be much appreciated and thanks in anticipation.

  Technotiger 21:58 30 Jul 2005

Hi, first, I am no expert, but - thinking of cost, I am sure that a good printer such as the Epson R300 or similar would for a start be cheaper than a Laser printer - with print quality just about as good, if not better.

I assume you are using XP, so this with Microsoft Word 2000 or similar will provide you with all the templates necessary for your requirements.

I have not, as you say, looked at the pros and cons, just my own limited experience.

Anyway, you have come to the right place - Welcome to the best Forum on the net. There will no doubt be many others coming to you with their own ideas too.


  minstrel2nd 22:02 30 Jul 2005

Thanks for the kind words of welcome and also the suggestions - this is exactly the sort of information I am looking for.

  stlucia 22:27 30 Jul 2005

All inkjet printers I'm familiar with don't use waterproof ink, so your letterheads etc. will smudge if they get wet or damp. That won't happen with professionally printed letterhead.

Colour laser printer output, I think, is waterproof.

The biggest cost in professional printing is getting the master plates made. From then on I'm sure the cost is cheaper than doing it yourself.

  ade.h 23:04 30 Jul 2005

When I first started my own business a few years ago, a tight budget prompted me to create all my own stationery with (at that time) Word and Publisher 2000.

It will take hard work to produce professional-looking designs and careful printing techniques (quality printer, inks, paper and card are essential) but after some creative elbow grease, I was able to produce stationery that was very nearly as good as that from a printing company.

It was only increasing volume requirements (giving out cards faster than I could print them, almost) and an improved budget that made me opt for the profesionally made alternative.

Give it a go! Post back if you want any info on materials or designs.

  Taff36 01:26 31 Jul 2005

I`ve looked at this several times and as I am about to set up my own consultancy I have gathered my thoughts again. I have to say that I have two good printer associates and they have ofered a free starter pack for me but let`s asume they hadn`t.

First of all get the design right. I am pretty adept in Word and can make most things look OK as far as a choice of layouts. Logos at top or bottom, address to match or opposite, address on one line or letter style etc. The hardest part is making the "Logo" look good. I will leave that to someone with graphics training. They will supply me with the finished article in various useful electronic formats. jpeg, gif and bitmap in full colour and greyscale (for Fax Headers and mono laser printing on ad hoc stationery) I will layout the stationery and give the design to my printer.

To start with I would print just A4 letterheads, Compliment Slips and Business Cards. (When the latter are home printed you can tell - thin or what?) Quantities based on how many I think will last me 6 months. There won`t be many invoices so I either print them myself or overprint my letterhead design with the Invoice.

Everything else, the lower quantity stuff, T&C`s, Specification Sheets, H&S information, Fax Headers etc will be lasered. (Mono to start with and colour when I can afford a decent quality laser with lower running costs per page.

Always ask a commercial printer how much for the quantity you think you want and then a "run on cost" for half as much again. It will be a fraction of the cost because as St Lucia the set up costs are higher than the materials and labour for small quantities less than a 5000 these days. Hope this helps!

  minstrel2nd 01:39 31 Jul 2005

Thanks, guys, for all the suggestions - there's some really good stuff there to take forward. I must say my first post has been a pleasant - and informative - experience.

Thanks, again.

  ade.h 17:33 31 Jul 2005

And as Taff pointed out, biz cards are critical; I use approximately the same card as the printers use, which is around 300-330gsm with a coated surface.

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