Do you manage print for your clients?


Having worked in the print industry for many years I've seen huge amounts of money lost and significant cashflow issues.
If I go it alone and do graphic design as a freelancer, I'm wary of getting into this problematic area.

Does anyone manage print as a graphic designer? If so, how do you go about it? Or do you pass this one on?

Ta :)


Staff member
I get them a price. They can go with me or not. If they don't go with me and something goes wrong with print it's on them.

If I send it to the printers I can QC it before sending on. Which gives me an avenue to get it fixed before sending to the client.

Typically, as I can send on lots of work to printers, I can get the price a lot cheaper than if they went to the printer themselves, which gives me an opportunity to markup the printing price I get, which still makes it under the cost the client would get directly from the printers themselves.

All in all, the printer makes a profit, I make a profit, and the client gets it cheaper than if they went to get it done themselves.

They don't have to use me, but if they do, I need to make money on the printing side of it, as I take time to QC the items and, collect them from the printers, and deliver them.

If the client doesn't want to use me then so be it.

I'd rather get big-ticket items like runs of 10,000/100,000/1,000,000 as 10% markup on these is quite significant in my pocket, although, assuming the risk on a print run of 1,000,000 is a huge undertaking, you would need serious insurance.

If I can put a 20% markup on 1,000 flyers, or 500 booklets, then at least if there's a mistake my end the reprint doesn't come out of my pocket so to speak. I just lose the profit on the print run.

If it's a seriously large print run over 100,000 then I would make sure that my proofing sign off was Iron Clad! And I'd put in place a deal with the printers in the event of a rerun due to any errors from the client.

The client could sign off and there could be a mistake in it, but the proofing sign off would clearly state that any errors or omissions are solely the client's responsibility and that I am not liable.

Then I arrange with the printer in the event of a rerun if they can do it at cost. I can then pass this on to the client in the event of a rerun, and get it done slightly cheaper than the original run.

If the printer makes an error, that's completely on them.

There's a lot to it - I may not have covered all facets, but it's something to think about in getting business insurance to cover yourself.

Paul Murray

Ultimate Member
I'm mainly digital, but on the odd occasion I do print work, I basically just export the artwork and let the client get it printed themselves. If it's a larger job I'll liase with the printer to ensure the artwork is ready and just charge the client for time (or include it in my original quote).


Staff member
Like Paul I only ever do the odd print job but I'll set it up and communicate with the printer on their behalf.

I'd never fork out for the printing myself as it's too risky.

Recently someone I know had paid for a very large job to be printed and unknown to them the printers had gone in to liquidation.
The liquidators entered the premises and skipped the lot.