Freelancers - to print or not to print?


New Member
Hello everyone,

I am looking into working as a freelance graphic designer and I would really appreciate some good advice on printing work for clients.
I have had a bit of a hang-up in this department as I have limited knowledge on the subject, but I recently spoke to someone who works freelance and they told me they simply provide the client with the appropriate file - jpg/pdf/ai etc.
I find it difficult to believe that it is possible to operate in this manner as I would have thought clients would want/need solid tangible proof in hand rather than a digital document.
If anyone could enlighten me as to what is 'regular' practice regarding the printing aspect of freelance design I would be truly grateful.

Thanks in advance, Tony
Depends on the contract.

If you state to the client that you are only working on the design and will handover design files then that's the contract.

If they want to have it printed they need to source a printing company themselves, this frees the designer from any errors in printing that they could be liable for if they took on the printing too.

We get lots of files from clients who had freelance designer design a product and we have to print them.
I handle the print of jobs as well as the design BUT it can be a headache if things go wrong especially if you're busy as it pushes other deadlines on. However, if you select your printer carefully there is very rarely any issues.
That's one of the beauties about being a freelancer, you can choose what services you want to provide. If you want to offer your clients a print service alongside your design, then go for it. Most freelance graphic designers don't, as you are basically putting your faith into someone else to fulfil the job to the requirements of the design. If anything goes wrong, it is out of your hands and can be a big financial headache. I personally don't provide a printing service in my contract, but I do offer to take care of the printing and delivery of design work but only upon the client's request, to which I charge a separate fee. I basically keep design quotes and print quotes separate from each other, but I don't often get requests to handle the printing. I think most clients prefer to use their own local printers, unless they don't have the time to see to it themselves.
Well, that is possibly the most helpful piece of advice I have received EVER. I have been holding back as I was too afraid to make costly errors or be responsible for expensive mistakes. NOW I shall look upon freelancing in a completely different way, a way which could change my life forever. Thanks ALL who responded, I really can't thank you enough.