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

Custom Pocket Folders: How to Choose a Printing Press

A client came to me recently with a question about custom pocket folder printing. She and I had been working with a local custom printing service with an HP Indigo digital press. My client had a short-run pocket folder (250 copies) to print, and she wanted to know whether the Indigo would be appropriate. The pocket folder dimensions were 9” x 12” plus a 4” pocket with no build. Could an Indigo print this short-run custom pocket folder job?

First Determine the Sheet Size

First of all, let’s look at this not as an individual job but rather as an approach to buying digital printing services. The first question would pertain to sheet size. How large a press sheet will an Indigo accept? I researched this on the Internet and was led to an HP Indigo monograph, which noted that the maximum sheet size slightly exceeded 12” x 18”. Would this be large enough for custom pocket folder printing?

I then turned to the dieline for the 9” x 12” custom pocket folders. (This is a drawing of the diecut pocket folder blank prior to folding and gluing). Although the finished size would be 9” x 12”, the unfolded pocket (prior to assembly) would require a larger-sized press sheet. Picture the pocket folder open on the table with the glue removed from the folded-up pockets and the pockets lying flat. You would have a printed, diecut paper form 18” wide (9” x 2, the front and back of the folder) by 16” deep (the 12” height of the folder plus the 4” unfolded pocket flaps). (Of course, you would also need to add room on the press sheet for the diecut glue tabs used to assemble the pocket folder, as well as space for bleeds and the gripper margin.)

Since the maximum HP Indigo sheet size is slightly larger than 12” x 18”, this digital press cannot accept a large enough press sheet to produce the pocket folder. Now for a 250-copy press run of almost anything, a digital press is ideal. Printing this few copies on an offset press can become expensive, not because of paper costs but due to make-ready (i.e., set-up costs for the offset press). All the money goes into preparing the press, which will only operate for a short time.

The Location of Your Printer, and Your Printer’s Equipment, Can Save You Money

The printer actually only bid about $600.00 for this job, which was surprising, since it was slightly more than half the next lowest vendor’s bid.

There are two reasons for the low price (and I did confirm with the custom printing vendor that the job would in fact be produced on an offset press). First of all, the printer was located in an area of the country with low overhead. (You can find cheap printing–low price, rather than low quality–in several parts of the US, including the Midwest, the Shenandoah Valley in the Northeast, Florida, etc. It will reward you to do some research.) The second reason was that the business printing service with the HP Indigo digital press also owned small-format offset equipment.

More specifically, you can print custom pocket folders with no build (i.e., the pockets are flat and have no depth) within approximately 16” x 18” of space on a press sheet (plus room for bleeds, gripper margin, color bars, etc.). And a small format press that will accommodate a 20” x 26” sheet (the basic size for cover stock) will be both a perfect fit and less expensive to run than a larger press (for example, a press that could print a 28” x 40” press sheet).

Lessons Learned: Use the Internet and Do the Research

So what do we learn from this? You can save a lot of money by doing a little research on the Internet. If you were doing this job, you might search the Web for printing companies in Michigan, Richmond, Florida, or the Shenandoah Valley with 4-color, 20” x 26” presses. Most custom printing services have equipment lists on their websites that will help you find these small-format presses.

Remember to ask the printing companies about shipping costs, since the cost to print and then ship the job to your office might exceed the total manufacturing and delivery cost of a locally printed job, depending on prices in your part of the country.

So start by determining the sheet size you will need, the number of copies you will print, and the number of ink colors the press must have. Then use the Internet to find this equipment. Once you have found it, you can get bids, samples, and references from the custom pocket folder printing companies that own these presses.

2 Responses to “Custom Pocket Folders: How to Choose a Printing Press”

  1. Kaycee Torr says:

    Good advice. Interesting to read.


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