Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
Who We Are

Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at

Four Examples of Times to Request Paper Samples from Your Printer or Paper Merchant

It is well within industry custom for you, as a print buyer, to request paper samples, and there are some good times to do this to save yourself trouble and expense. Maybe you’re working with a brochure printing vendor (brochure printers), a custom book printer service (book printers), or a smaller printer for letterhead stationery printing (stationery printers), and you need to get a really good idea of exactly what to expect of the final printed job. Here are some scenarios:

  1. Let’s say you are designing a brochure with a complex fold. Maybe you will include a gatefold, or maybe an accordion fold (zig zag). Since it will be particularly useful for you and your client to see just how the piece will look on the final paper stock, request a “folding dummy.” Since the final weight of the piece will affect postage costs, and since the size and format may not adhere to postal regulations, or not fit well into a particular size of envelope, a folding dummy provided by you to the US Post Office for their approval would be doubly prudent in this case.
  2. Another scenario might be if you were designing a perfect-bound book on 60# Finch opaque stock, and your printer suggested printing it on 50# opaque paper to save on paper costs and reduce your postage expense. Subscribers to your publication might not want to pay the same price as last year for a book that is significantly thinner (a shift from 60# to 50# stock, at the same page count, would yield a thinner book, since the 50# paper stock is thinner than 60# stock–the technical term is “bulk” or “caliper”). Requesting a paper dummy of the book would be wise in this case.
  3. Maybe you have chosen an off-white stock for a booklet and you want to see exactly how a particular ink color will look on this stock. After all, many printing inks are transparent and are therefore altered somewhat by the color of the paper. Even if the ink is not transparent, the color of the surrounding paper will affect the viewer’s perception of the ink color. Requesting sample sheets of your chosen paper stock, and then asking your printer to do an ink “draw-down” (using an ink knife to smear ink of a particular PMS color on the actual stock) would give you a better idea of what to expect when the printed piece arrives.
  4. Or maybe you are having problems feeding a particular printing stock through your laser printer. Maybe you want to start using a felt stock of a particular weight, maybe 80# text, for your letterhead, and you want to make sure the paper will feed consistently through your office printer. Requesting paper samples to test on your laser printer can save you time and heartache later on when you’re on deadline.

Now the big question is, who do you ask? Your offset printer can give you the names of the paper suppliers from which he buys his paper, and you can ask their sample departments directly for whatever you need. It is their job to send samples to you, and they will be happy to do so. Or you can just ask your printer to request that samples be sent to you. This is a prudent choice when working with any of your print vendors, be they brochure printers, book printers, or letterhead printing services.

4 Responses to “Four Examples of Times to Request Paper Samples from Your Printer or Paper Merchant”

  1. Will the paper manufacturers still give you samples when psper your consumption is low?

    • admin says:

      I can only speak from my experience as a designer and printing broker, but in over 20 years I have had nothing but positive reactions to my requests for paper samples. Of course, my requests were small to moderate and infrequent. I didn’t ask for large amounts of multiple paper stocks. In some cases I did request paper samples for clients with only minimal paper needs, and I still received them in a timely manner. To be safe, you could always initiate a relationship with two different paper merchants (you would then have a back-up if one of the merchants didn’t respond to a request in a timely manner).

      That said, as a sales professional, a paper merchant (who represents the products of many different paper mills) is always looking for a large client. But who knows, perhaps a small client’s paper needs may increase, or they may even refer the paper merchant to a much larger client.

      One thing to keep in mind (which you may already know) is that you probably would not be buying paper directly from the paper manufacturer. Rather, if you choose a paper stock and you have had a positive experience with the merchant, you might encourage your printer to buy the paper directly from that particular paper merchant.

  2. Kelley Dragonette says:

    Great blog – you are very thorough and even handed.
    Best regards,
    Kelley Dragonette
    Xpedx Paper

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your encouragement. Please check back every so often or set up an RSS feed to update you by e-mail whenever new material is available on the blog.


Recent Posts


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!

Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved