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When Requesting an Estimate

When submitting a project for an estimate, I will ask several questions to get a better feel for your project. If you aren't sure don't worry, we'll work through it together. If you've done a similar project in the past you may want to have it on hand when we talk:


  • Overview: What is the project? (Is it a self mailer, brochure, banner ad, etc.)

  • Copywriting: Will you need help with your copy? (If so, I can refer you to a copywriter.)

  • Quantity: If it prints, do you have a general idea of how many you will need? (Quantities determine printing methods.
    For example: 2,000 brochures would print in a traditional offset method but 200 brochures would print digitally. There are design considerations when printing digitally).

  • Printing: Who's handling the printing, you or me? (I'm happy to use your printers. I also have several printers that give me 'preferred customer" pricing and can contract the printing for you. )

  • Folded Size: Are you flexible on size if it affects pricing?

  • Mailing: Let me know if and how you plan to mail (For example, to get preferred rates from the post office, mailers need to be sized correctly and on proper weighted papers.)

  • Pages: Page count or number of panels? (Remember, book pages are divisible by 4)

  • Color: (2-color or full color, etc.)

  • Stock preference: Do you have a stock preference? (Coated or uncoated, premium or budget stock, etc.).
    Do you want a heavier stock for the cover or the same stock weight throughout?

  • Deadline: (Determines if job is a rush or on normal schedule. I try not to charge rush but if you need an 8-hour job turned around by next morning the rush charge will cover my working through the night.)

  • Photos: Will you provide photos or will you need me to purchase stock images or arrange for a photo shoot?

  • Copy: How complex is the copy? (Just headlines and straight paragraph copy or will there be data that needs to be organized in charts and graphs)

  • Illustration: Are illustrations, charts or graphs needed?

  • Budget: (helps me determine level of design if known)


  • Design Level: There are several things that factor into pricing. The printing method, the quantity, the stock, the number of colors and...the design level. Some designs are time consuming and others can be quick. The higher the level of design, the more hours will be needed and the project price will be higher.


Level 1 (Simple): This is for simple projects were extensive designing is not necessary. Headline and paragraph text flow into standard column formats. There is little or no imagery and the text is the primary graphic with callouts and sidebars.


Level 2 (Standard): Copy is more complex and some photos and imagery are required. These projects typically have a professional look but are less 'complex' graphically than the next level.


Level 3 (Premium): These projects involve complex imagery and design. Copy may involve data that needs to be presented clearly in several hierarchies of formatting. Charts or graphs may be needed if copy involves separated or illustrated data. Photo illustration may be involved. Photo research and stock imagery fees may be included. These are usually "high profile" projects for the client and often involve a "look development" of 2-3 cover design choices. These projects involve more design hours and therefore have higher budgets.

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