Why does a six page brochure tend to cost more than the other formats?

Many of my internal clients request six page tri-fold brochures versus four page or eight page stitched-in brochures. Why does a six page brochure tend to cost more than the other formats?


You don't say what the finished size of the piece is, but most likely the price difference is reflecting the cost of paper. These days paper can be the largest portion of the total printing cost, particularly with long run jobs. That means you can often save a lot of money by getting the best possible utilization of the sheet of paper you are printing on. If you are talking about an 8.5 x 11 printed sheet, there is simply a lot more paper waste when printing a 6 page tri-fold.

You might be able to shop around for a printer who stocks paper that trims down more efficiently, but the common paper sizes are generally less expensive to begin with because of efficiencies of scale. The paper mills output a lot more of the standard sizes and can afford to charge less for those sizes.

Alternatively, you might be able to squeeze another print job on the same sheet of paper to get more mileage out of the sheet. Of course you would be limited to the remainder of the sheet, and bindery considerations could also be a factor. But usually the printer would be able to trim out the added piece and then fold the remainder of the sheet in their usual manner. Talk to your printer about how you can best utilize their standard sheet sizes. You could find some substantial savings if you coordinate with them.

Stephen Beals is a digital pre-press manager and has been writing for major print publications for many years. He is the author of A Practical Primer for Painless Print Production. He can be reached at stephenbeals@mac.com.
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