I'm making a brochure for my company, and I went with white text on a black background since it looks the best. There's also a picture, so color is required.

At any rate, after a few test prints of both sides of the brochure (one page, two-sided), I noticed that the level of my black ink had dropped considerably, as in "60% considerably." I knew it was going to be hard on my supply of ink, but at the rate it's eating through ink, I'd estimate that the brochures are going to come out to $1.25 each if I use my at-home inkjet, so I figure there has to be a better option.

  • How much would a professional printer (Kinko's or a mom & pop place) charge for this?
  • How much would it cost (per page) if I bought my own laser printer?
  • Is it better to simply move to black paper and get/find a printer that can print with white ink?

Any answers to these questions or advice on the matter is greatly appreciated. There has to be a way to get this done for 25-35 cents a copy, or at least I hope so... :(

  • Kinko's web site says their two-sided color brochures "start at" $1.03. I'm going to go ahead and guess that buying a laser printer is my best option... lol.
    – Michael
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 6:55
  • Print it on someone else's printer. Maybe a neighbor who has a fancy wireless printer and no clue how to turn wireless security on. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 17:46
  • @lawndartcatcher loool, and then knock on the door and ask for them :)) Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 19:50
  • I would consider changeing the design if you really need them to be cheap, use white background and black text... you definetly save a lot of ink ;) Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 19:51
  • and if you really wanna go cheap cheap, make the photo B&W also, it might be cool :) enhance the contrast a little bit, and stuff like that (i know this doesn't answer your question, im just making suggestions here..) good luck! Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 19:53

1 Answer 1


Actually, using an offset printer will get you better quality and still save your ink cartridges. The only way to get truly consistent blacks is to get them done professionally; an inkjet or laster printer will often give you blotchy or inconsistent large areas of solid color simply because of the way they're done. You can also ensure that you're getting true black (and not the "post-drinking poopee greenish-grey" black you get with incorrect CMYK mashups. What? It's a real color. they just don't make a Pantone chip for it... )

Also, don't forget you're talking wear and tear on your printer - even if it's a brand new printer it'll put a huge amount of strain on the inkjet heads or drums, and it'll leave big clots of ink or toner all over the inside of your printer.

Factor all this in and I'd be willing to bet that using a print shop is the best bet for cost and quality. Also, you can get some nice slick papers which make black look really good.

  • 1
    I agree: I just went to the web site of a printer I use and their standard 12 x 9 (3-folds to 4x9) on 80# glossy paper 4-color brochure is $559 for 500 or $599 for 1000. The quality will depend on your design of course, but the final item will be much nicer than anything you do at home or at kinkos, and will bleed fully. They will also be FOLDED ALREADY!!!11 ;)
    – horatio
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 17:27
  • @horatio After some searching around, automatic "Z"-folders can be had as low as $70 if you don't mind feeding only 3-4 in at a time. The more expensive you go, the more you can put into them at once. Guillotine paper cutters can also easily take care of borders. The only things in my way of doing this at home are (1) the poor quality black fill (my HP 3050 is putting streaks in the black,) and (1) a cheap price (it looks like it would be $1.50 per brochure if it were done on my inkjet.) You're right, though, the smaller printers seem to offer good rates. I got a quote for $490.
    – Michael
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 22:07
  • Do small-scale offset printers really take jobs in the 1,000 copies range? I've always thought of offset printing as something done for big jobs. I searched for nearby offset printers in google and contacted two companies -- one by phone (they said their brochures would have a border, so that's not offset printing, right? Like I said, though, that can be easily taken care of with a guillotine cutter) and one via their web site's "Request a Quote" form.
    – Michael
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 22:15
  • 1
    Oh, yeah - I've had orders as small as 500 done. I am sure they'd be happy to do smaller runs but it probably wouldn't be as cost-effective. Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 12:02

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