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  • Michelle Brownridge
    8 years, 1 month ago

    Hello ladies 🙂

    This is my first post on Ladies of Letterpress! I recently got my old style 10 x 15 C&P up and running and I’ve already have a couple of jobs lined up.

    I run a printmaking collective that hand silk screens t-shirts and posters and whatnot, and we have a pricing schematic worked out based on how many layers or colours that the client wants, plus set-up fees and design. 

    I am wondering how other people go about pricing and quoting clients… I have to quote on some wedding invites right away, two colour. 

    I am thinking about charging for plate making (I make my own plates), design (of course), paper, a set-up fee and printing labour. The thing that I can’t seem to figure out is how to charge for printing labour. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated 

    Gary Johanson
    8 years ago

    Well, it looks a little late for dealing with the actual quote needed, but i might comment anyway concerning pricing. One point is that no matter what, market value rules. That being said, the market value of letterpress printed products are substantially higher than most other processes. As a former calligrapher, i might advise against the temptation to lessen the value of hand wrought letterpress artisan products by undercutting. Keep your prices in line with average prices as near as you can ascertain them to be. Those of us haunting and stumbling through site after site already have a decent appaisal of what our treasures sell for, more or less.I would start with what your fiscal needs are, your rent, light bill and utilities, &c. What do you need to make to clear your bills. What do you need to take as profit? Once you get a figure here, start adding your cost of goods for prospective order. How much is your time worth? Count all your costs, the cost of shipping your paper and dies to you, cost of makeready, any custom inks, the cost of your dies.If you have an idea of what you must take to cover your cost, and you have a grasp on the percentage you need from your labours to pay your bills, and you know what you want to pay yourself, you are ready to experiment with crunching numbers. This is where you begin to determine your necessary margin, the difference between costs of goods, operating costs and administrative costs – and your gross taken in. You may find you need around a 50% margin to make things work. Or 70%. Or if you work from your garage, only 30%.From here, what i did was pull a few sample prices based around my determined costs and evaluated the margin. If i could live with it, i worked that margin into the equation on my Excel spread sheet, working it through all possible order types i could think of. I found that my resultant prices stayed pretty much in line with market average. There will always be folks cheaper and more expensive than you. Again, its all averaging, trial, re-working, and trialing againto arrive at a point that best represents value to your product, and a fair income to pay you costs and remunerate yourself for your hard work and hard fought skills.Things i have chosen to work into my prices are design time and remake errors. I find it not uncommon for a mother of the bride to throw a last minute wrench into the works by decrying the wording of the text, or some such thing. I allow for a last minute overnite rush die to be made at no penalt,!y to an already overtaxed bride to be. It cuts down my margin, but i’ve made a friend and maybe even a referral.!I hope the above makes sense. I am not an accountant but i have run retail businesses most of my life (high school diploma only) – and learnt letterpress on the print shop floor when letterpress was still considered a standard shop item. Customising pricing to suit your shop and environment is like customising anything else : it may take a lot of time to work out the finished product.

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