When choosing to print catalogs, it’s important to keep in mind the following;

  • What is the best catalog size?
  • What paper stock will provide savings yet have quality?
  • How will the finished catalog collate, bind and trim?

It could be a product safety or industrial catalog, knitting, fishing hobby catalog, an operator/owner’s manual etc.

There are several factors that strongly influence the price. These key factors have varying degrees of influence on the end cost of the print order for customers, however simply taking a closer look at these factors can give customers a better understanding of why these job details affect pricing.

To help develop a stronger understanding of the various cost-affecting parts of a job, we’ve broken them out into a few categories, that will hopefully answer any questions customers may have about why their jobs are priced the way they are.


Quantity to Print?

Why is quantity so important? This is due to the way jobs are laid out on the printing press sheets or rolls.

Printing more catalogs will result in a lower cost per catalog as you maximize the efficiency
the longer the press continues to run.



The type of paper you choose to print on has a heavy influence on the pricing of your print order.

Most printers have a set of house stocks that they recommend using when you choose to print with them.

A heavy paper for your catalog cover printing is important. A substantial catalog cover stock along with a resilient clear coating will maximize the durability of your catalog. So, use a thicker and more protective material for the cover for your catalog printing.

Depending on the size, weight, and your use, the inside pages may need to be very thin or very thick. Another detail to look at closely is the USPS postage rates if your book needs to be mailed to ensure the postage is within your price range.  We have an in-house postal service when you mail with us.

For Inkworks Marketing and affiliated partners, carry preferred house paper stocks saving customer significantly as we able to use our mass purchasing power to achieve lower paper costs and we pass this onto our customer.

Some types of paper require a special order. If we special order a stock, it will cost more which translates to the final cost of the job for the customer.

There may also be additional time required for the special stock orders to reach us slowing down when we are able to begin printing creating longer turnaround time.

If you have questions on how you can change your projects paper type to save you more money, feel free to reach out to our customer service team via email or phone at 949.348.7000 x 1.


How long does it take to print a catalog?

Turnaround Times

There can be rush costs to expedite a unusually quick turnaround as it requires the production department to rearrange the print schedule putting you ahead of other customers that have a longer lead time


Inks and Specialty Coatings

Your catalogs will have a better chance of attracting attention if you take the opportunity to use our large line of custom coatings, such as rough matte UV, spot gloss UV, soft touch coatings, metallic or custom PMS inks.

While this is super cool you may need to evaluate your ROI to ensure the increased visibility translates equals the additional cost.

Choose an aqueous coating, especially for the catalog cover this will keep your catalog from yellowing. High gloss UV coatings are not the trend for 2019, dull or matte coating provides your catalog cover printing with a distinguished look and feel and will improve readability over a glossy coating.


Why Catalog Size Matters

The size of your printed piece has a large impact on your overall cost.

Approximately half of your total cost will be based on the type of paper and how much paper stock is required to print your catalog.

There are standard sizes that help mitigate costs.  Are you thinking, duh let’s create an 8.5 x 11 catalog?  That is great if the quantity to print is low… under 3,000 catalogs.  For longer print runs 3,000 to 250,000 printed catalogs, shaving the size down ever so slightly to 8-3/8 x 10-7/8 is the most optimal fit for most web paper rolls and web presses.

This is not to say you could not design a unique size such as an 8 x 8 or an 8 x 24 flat to give you an 8 x 8 finished folded 6 panel brochures. Is bigger always better? The larger the flat size or finished size of a catalog the higher the price, so if you’re trying to save money on larger catalog, selecting a different paper type or quantity will be the biggest influences on your final cost.



Why Page Count Is Important

The number of pages has a huge impact on the final cost of your catalog. Page count ultimately influences how much paper and ink your project uses, even more than the size influences these factors.

This is when it is good to know your quantity to print. Page counts run differently on different presses. A good rule of thumb is all page counts need to be divisible by 4.

On our web presses print 32 pages at a time.

Ex: Optimal use of the press would be to print a 32 page (1 pass on the press) + 4-page cover.

Ex: Poor use of the press might look like 24 pages + 4-page cover even though the page count is lower, it actually requires 2 passes on the press for the text pages of the catalog.

Ex: Optimal use of the press would be to print a 64 page (2 passes on the press) + 4-page cover

Ex: Poor use of the press might look like 60 pages (4 passes on the press) + 4-page cover even though the page count is lower, it actually requires more passes on the press.

As you keep increasing the page count it is optimal to add by 32, 16, 8, then 4 pages to get the desired number of pages for your catalog.

Similar in level of influence upon the final cost to page count is binding, described below.





How you choose to bind your catalogs has a large influence on the price of your print order. Saddle stitching is the most basic type of binding, and it’s the most common for page counts of 64 or lower.  This method is basically stapling at the seam to bind collated print signatures together.

Perfect binding that use glue and specially spaced print layouts to provide a perfectly squared end, somewhat like a paper bound book is most common for page counts over 64 pages or a catalog that is printed on heavy paper.




How Do I Get My Catalog Out to Customers Quickly?



Whether you choose to have your commercial printer mail your project or not also has an influence on the end price. The convenience of having your projects mail directly from your printer’s mail center can help expedite your project’s mail turnaround time.

Having your printer mail for you may seem like an unnecessary added cost, but often times, as is the case with Inkworks Marketing Print + Design, we do not charge any more than what actual postage cost is from USPS.

If you want to get your catalogs in the mail faster and if you want to save yourself time and money trying to figure out the best way to mail your pieces, it can be better to elect to have your printer mail your project from their mail center.

Not every printer offers mailing since they don’t all have their own mail centers, so be sure to ask before placing your catalog order whether or not they will be able to mail those to a list of your choosing.

When mailing or co-mailing with Inkworks Marketing Print + Design, all you have to worry about is uploading your mailing list on time and we’ll be sure to mail them when you want them to mail.



So, how much does it cost to print catalogs?


The price of your catalog order will ultimately be determined by the

1) quantity

2) paper

3) ink

                                        4) size

                                        5) page count

Depending on all the specifications outlined above, it would be hard to just throw out a number. Let us give you a custom quote or get a quick on line quote for standard catalog specs.

Shipping costs will also add to the final overall cost. We have great freight and shipping rates due to shear volume. We print in 18 USA state plus Canada also a major plus in reducing turnaround times and shipping costs.

Overall in conclusion the best way to save on your project is to use the tips outlined in each of the sections above to costs down.

Feel free to get us in the discussion during the concept and design phase and we will work with your team to create the best overall end result that works within your companies’ budget.