How long will my job take to print? | Learning Hub | Fineline Print & Web

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One of the most common questions we get asked is: How long will my job take to print?

In truth, that depends. And it depends on the following factors:


1: The type of job you are having printed.

2: The quantity required.

3: Any special finishes like laminating or die cutting for example.


Once we’ve made a decision to order something it’s a natural human response to want to know when we can have it. And we want it sooner rather than later! 

So, I’ll try and answer this burning question as best I can and explain the major factors which affect job turnaround time.



1: The type of job you are having printed.

This is the number one factor affecting how quickly your job is delivered.

If you are looking to have a small run of leaflets printed off for a local event. You only want a couple of hundred and A5 size is fine. 

The likelihood is that if you’ve done the design you can take your PDF to your print provider and have it printed that same day. And certainly within 48 hours.

Another example might be for a die-cut presentation folder. This type of job requires large printing presses and specialist equipment to cut and crease the folder once it has been printed. The likely turnaround time for this type of job is around a week to 10 days.

Posters and Banners could be another example of a wide range of lead times. Your printer might be able to print off a large format poster on plain paper the same day whereas something like a Vinyl Banner might take five to seven working days.

And there’s a very good reason for these widely varying fulfilment times.

Your print provider will often have the equipment to print small, everyday items in-house. But it’s highly unlikely that they are equipped to manufacture every product that they offer for sale. 

In most cases, printers will rely on off-site sub-contractors with the specialist equipment to handle these types of work.

In a way, it’s like going to the dentist. Your dentist will have the skills and expertise to do many types of routine work on-site. If, however, you need a new crown, for example, this will need to be made by an off-site specialist before being fitted by your dental practitioner.



2: The quantity required.

How many of an item you require will also have a major bearing in how long your job will take to print.

In the first part of this video, we talked about same-day turnaround for a short run of 100 A5 Leaflets.

In another scenario, you might be looking for a run of folded leaflets - but instead of a run of 100 you want 20,000 and … you want them folded too.

Instead of an almost immediate turnaround, a job like his could take a week to 10 days to complete.

This is simply because larger print runs need to be printed on presses built to handle higher quantities. And, more than likely, these machines will be off-site.

There’s nothing wrong with this, your printer will simply be ensuring that your order is completed in the most cost-effective way.



3: Special Finishes

These could include processes which include Die-Cutting for Presentation Folders, Laminating or Encapsulating large format print, Raised Print and Embossing for Business Cards and specialist binding processes such as Perfect Binding to Spiral Binding to name but a few.

The common factor with all these processes is that they require specialist equipment. Sometimes your print provider will have this in-house and sometimes they will rely on an offsite print finishing house to do that part of the job for them.

Just like the dentist analogy which I used earlier, your print provider will be able to handle many processes in-house. But … rarely can they handle everything. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that. They are simply making sure that the elements of a job which require specialist finishing are handled by those best equipped to do so.


So, there we have it.

As we’ve seen, there are a variety of factors which affect the turnaround time of your job and we’ve touched on the major influencers.

I hope this short session has given you a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes and save you from any lengthy waits which you hadn’t anticipated.


I hope this quick skim through has been helpful and thanks for dropping in,


But before you go …

I’m on a mission this year to help You make Your Print more Profitable.

If you’ve found his article helpful and you’d like to receive regular insights and answers to industry secrets just pop your name and email in here and we’ll look forward to sharing with you.

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