Online Printing Pricing

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Before you begin designing custom booklets, unique business cards, personalized invitations, and marketing materials, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of digital printing pricing.

As a customer-focused online printer, we want you to have all the information you need so there are no surprises when you submit your print-ready files and submit your order.

How Printing Pricing Works

Printing projects are created mainly from paper and ink. When calculating the price, we estimate how much paper and ink is needed, as well as the labor exerted by our employees, to produce each project.

Any additional finishing operations like die cutting, coatings or lamination are added to the price.

There are also costs added to each project for our equipment, maintenance, our buildings and other online printing services that allow us to run a production facility. The final price then includes a margin to cover corporate expenses, like sales and customer service costs.

Since Smartpress is a 100% employee-owned corporation, the profits that remain after all costs are deducted from the price go right back to the employees who produce the projects and support our customers.

Why Pricing Differs Between Printers

Price differences between online printing companies is common. One main reason for this is because of the complexity in trying to estimate costs for each and every project, size and quantity.

Even a small difference in equipment between printing manufacturers can translate to significant price changes. For example, one printer may have an inserting machine that can automatically insert a card into an envelope while another printer might do the same work manually by hand.

It’s important to consider other benefits of working with an online printer, too. With Smartpress, you not only get competitive pricing, but also:

  • A team of print experts excited to help you design and complete your project.
  • Personalized customer service with constant and easy communication.
    • Hint: See that blue circle in the bottom right corner? Chat with one of our experts right now!
  • Quick turnaround time.
  • An easy online ordering platform that lets you customize your projects in real time.
  • The assurance that your projects are printed with eco-friendly practices.

Double-Sided Printing

Double-sided printing costs more than one-sided printing because more ink coverage is needed. Most digital presses flip your project and do a second pass to print the other side, which doubles the machine time and increases the cost of ink usage.

Coatings & Laminates

Print pricing for finishes like this can differ. UV coatings and laminates like Soft Touch originate from natural and manufactured chemicals, and some are more expensive to create than others.

Those raw materials and manufacturing costs vary widely across different specialty coatings and laminates.

Different types of paper stocks and print substrates have different characteristics for absorption and adhesion, too. This can impact the processing speed and vary the amount of coating required to get the desired finish on your project.

Full-Color Ink

When it comes to full-color ink, most commercial digital printing equipment uses four colors to create print pieces. CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) can be combined to produce thousands of different colors and shades.

Print pricing for black-only projects is less because less ink and only one color is used. Running black ink on a digital press also runs at a much faster speed than all four CMYK colors – it’s just one revolution on the press instead of four.

Surcharge for Custom Sizes

A surcharge is applied to any product printed in a custom size. This includes any size that’s not listed in the size dropdowns on our product pages, as well as projects that are created via Custom Quote. The surcharge can range from $10-$15 for all products except booklets. For booklets, the surcharge is $100.

A surcharge is applied because of the added work and time it takes to create projects in these custom sizes. We pride ourselves on offering the most and best premium services to our customers, and that includes having the option to print with our pre-set dimensions, as well as your own custom ones.

Custom Quote

A Custom Quote is priced similarly to a regular print order. What makes them custom is typically a quantity outside of the standard range, a non-standard paper or a combination of finishing options that aren’t built into our standard pricing calculator. Print pricing for custom quotes are done manually by our professional estimating team.


Shipping fees vary by weight, size, distance to travel and transit time. Because of this, a small package requiring an overnight delivery across the country can cost more than a larger package using ground shipping.

If you have questions about printing pricing or any of our online printing services, contact customer service. Our team of print experts will be happy to discuss your project.