I have a client who wants me to handle the printing as well. Is there an industry standard figure like 10% or 15% of the total print cost that I should bill to the client? or should I charge a fixed figure as print handling?

  • Personally I would bill the time it takes me to get the printing set up, sent & collected, as thats actually what your doing. – MephistonX Sep 28 '15 at 11:57
  • As a side note, although I think this is a fairly common practice, if you are part of a professional design association, you may want to take a look at their Code of Conduct to avoid getting in trouble. I know in my region, the institution who regulates design practices frowns upon this practice. It's part of the ethical code they ask graphic design members to follow. – curious May 16 '18 at 18:52

Very old question....

If I cover printing for a piece, I charge the printing costs + 20% up front as a minimum. I've been burned by clients refusing to pay for printing due to some error they missed when they proofread something. It's never fun to get caught with a large invoice your client should be paying.

I honestly try and avoid doing anything other than acting as a liaison for printing for any project where printing costs are over 3 figures. Not because I couldn't cover it, but because there's too much risk vs reward.


If you are wanting an industry standard the percentage would be closer to 40% of the cost, although that is going to vary depending on the product and the average retail cost they could expect to be charged elsewhere.

For instance a set of full color business cards at a wholesale print shop will run you around $20 - $30 and your percentage on them would be 50% - 75%.

It may seem high but this isn't just a convenience charge, once you start "taking care of the printing" you become in essence a print shop, that also handles file management and design.

Most importantly you assume all risks associated with production and ensuring the client is happy with the end result.

If something goes south you want enough padding to cover most if not all of the cost of a reprint.

Even if something goes wrong on the printers end and they cover the cost of reprint you are stuck with the headache of customer relations and with hoping they get it done right the second time.

Billing can be very difficult to get in the beginning because of a misguided belief of overcharging. Make sure you research your local market to know what " everyone else " is charging, and find yourself a good wholesale printer with consistent pricing, and you can develop a rock solid price structure.

Don't be afraid of making Money!

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