Considering Risograph Print Pricing // Profit

Creative Review – Example zines and prices


Based upon my research into zines and self-published books, I thought about the pricing of my INTO_VERDE publication as an important professional practice consideration – especially in terms of making a profit and my work paying off. I considered a budget and wanted to try my best to stick to it…

The quotes I received for replicating my entire (currently 52-page) A5 publication in 2-colour Risograph forced me to potentially reconsider this element of the production/print of my work. Upon receiving a quote for the printing, I was concerned about how much I could be paying for such a small size of publication. Although I have confidence in my work and publication, I wasn’t sure spending the money would pay off as I desired – Would my publication sell well? Pricing it at a resale price of £15 would have made a small profit…

20 copies printed would cost me £175 —- sold on for £15 each would make a profit of £125

30 copies printed would cost me £210 —- sold on for £15 each would make a profit of £240

50 copies printed would cost me £250 —- sold on for £15 each would make a profit of £500

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 17.42.59
Email of Quoted prices for my printing

I knew retaining elements of my Risograph printing target was fundamental to my ambitions and personal practice aims. In reflection of this, I decided on a new potential approach to the print of my publication whereby I could get selected pages printed in Risograph – but the majority printed in a more economical format. I had already seen what my publication could look like printed through pixartprinting and felt the matte quality to the ink on the recycled paper could work nicely alongside the effect of Risograph print – characteristically textured on uncoated paper.

This possible plan for selected Risograph pages would act as more textured sections and contrast to the smoother sharpness and photographic quality in digital print. The full set of pages would retain a handmade and DIY aesthetic through my compilation and hand binding.

I can see that although this was a set-back on my idealised idea of an ambitiously produced, entirely Risograph publication, it has enabled me to consider how it would really show off some of my Quink drawings in their more RAW and beautiful full-colour form. Through the separation of colour channels to replicate through Risograph, lots of the real beauty in much of my drawings was put at a potential risk. I can therefore see some real benefit to combining the two print methods within my publication. An entirely Risograph printed publication may have been somewhat risky with the inks being subject to smudging and rubbing off on the hands of my audience. (although I can of liked this idea of leaving my mark on the people who interact with my work, perhaps giving them a green tint to their fingers, I can see this might seem messy!)

It may not have been my original vision, but I anticipate the interplay of the print methods will create some interesting comment on my interaction with printed matter. I still retain my passion for going against ‘the norm’ of a purely digital generated and printed work.  I hope to match as well as possible the paper stock and colours so there is still a coherency and complimentary balance with the full set of pages.


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