Why Does Commercial Printing Cost So Much?

Posted by Adrianna On September - 21 - 2017 0 Comment

For the customer whose understanding of the print industry is limited to watching a desktop system push out a couple of pages found on the internet, it can seem difficult to appreciate where the costs from a commercial printing run might arise. Professional results, however, demand the right equipment and significant training. A lot of work goes into seeing that a commercial project leads to a top-quality product when everything is delivered.

Process Matters

The difference between processes in the printing world can be dramatic. Certain types of paper can only be used with particular systems. Color choices also matter. Doing something in six colors with full bleed to the edges over thousands of pages is a dramatically more expensive process than pushing out ten pages of black-and-white work from the Canon attached to your computer.

Attention to Detail

The more involved a project is, the greater attention to detail it will demand. If a customer wants 10,000 booklets produced, quality has to be monitored from the first one to come off the line to the last one. As ink levels change in a machine, results can shift from beginning to end. If binding and stapling are required, that calls for more machinery, people and time. Someone has to be present to spot any potential decline in quality and interrupt the process before a poor product might be shipped. That takes time, and time is money.


Maintaining a large number of machines and being able to produce results quickly requires a company to have considerable resources in place. It also calls for regular care of systems, training of employees and upgrades. To keep sufficient resources available to handle demand as it comes in means leaving some units idle during low-volume runs. Customers expect commercial printing options to be available when they require them, and that ultimately means firms have to keep systems ready.


Professional results may look easy to attain for those who have tremendous skills and access to the right machinery, but it’s a challenge for the everyday consumer to come even close to making the same product. Printing at a commercial level of quality and output is demanding. For those looking to get a job done the right way, however, the cost is absolutely worth it.

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